“It’s the soil.” The General explained. “Erosion. She should have planted east this year.”
Jesse nodded. “There’s only so much a sixteen-year-old girl can do by herself. I’ll see what I can do. Some manure should help.”
The General nodded thoughtfully. “Dan is very generous with his manure. I would go to him. He seems to like you.”
“It seems a lot of people are happy I married Jenny. Apparently the only other suitor was a man named Markey, and he has a bad temper.”
General Land shook his head. “Ain’t no lie.” he replied. “That boy has always been ill-tempered and after my daughter. Thank the Lord you got to her first.”
Jesse grinned. “I’m thankful too, General. She’s something else.”
“Most stubborn woman you ever did meet.” he grumbled.
He shrugged. “She’s been getting’ along so far. She was stubborn at first, but I think she’s comin’ around. Ya know, General, I don’t see why she was so hard to control all those years. She’s really an angel once you get down to it.”
“Amazing.” The General muttered. “You’ve gotten to know her better in the last two days than I have in the last sixteen years.”
Jesse pursed his lips. “She’s not all that complicated. She’s a good woman.”
“Jesse Thomas!” Jenny shouted. She came riding up on her horse, a big grin on her face. She pulled back on the reigns quickly as she reached them, jumped off the horse before Jesse could help her down. She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a big kiss on the lips. “You’ll never guess!” she cheered. “It’s just so great!”
Jesse chuckled. “What is it?”
“Lucy’s pregnant! You’re going to have a nephew or niece soon! It’s just so exciting! I’m going to make her a baby blanket and everything! Jeff even promised to let me help make the baby’s cradle!” She kissed him again, squealed. “I can’t wait until we have a baby Jesse! I just can’t wait! I had to ride over and tell you, but I can’t stay. I promised to ride into town and buy some flour-”
“Jenny.” Jesse said, frowning. “You can’t go by yourself. Not with the Yankees in town.”
“Oh, but I promised!” she whined.
“Lucy will understand. Until the Yanks leave, neither of you need to go into town without a man. Understand?”
She sighed, then smiled. “Alright. I understand.”
“Jerald or Robby could go with you.” General Land suggested.
Her face went from happy to hard. “That’s alright, Pa. I can wait.” She turned to the horse and mounted it. “I promised to help Lucy with dinner too. Is that alright? Should I stay here and help?”
“It’s alright, go on.” Jesse replied.
She leaned down and kissed him in the lips. “I love you Jesse.”
“I love you too Jenny.” He smiled.
She grinned then kicked the horse and rode off.
The General shook his head. “She’ll never forgive us.”
“General, if you want to be in her life, then be in her life. You’re her Pa, she’ll always love you even if she wants to hate you. She’s still just a child, only sixteen. She’ll come around. Try explaining to her why you joined the Union.”
“She wouldn’t understand my reasoning.” he sighed.
“If you want her to stop this nonsense, then tell her to stop. But don’t lay a hand on her, General. I won’t accept any man hitting my wife.”
The General nodded. “I understand. Jesse, Jenny’s so young. I know she’s excited but for her to have a baby so young…”
“She is young General, trust me I know. But Jenny is finally getting to live a life she’s wanted. Lucy is already like a mother to her, she’s not alone anymore. She knows she has us as family. I can’t take any of that away from her.”
“You’re in love.” he General replied, looked Jesse over.
Jesse looked down, then looked up at the General. “I am. I know it’s only been a few days. I don’t want to leave Jenny. I don’t care about Tennessee, General. I suppose I’m going to get our own home soon.”
“Land is expensive.” The General pointed out.
Jesse smiled. “Money isn’t a problem for me General. Jenny will be well taken care of. In fact, we need to head down to the store and get some food. I’ll get the manure tomorrow. Pardon me General. I better catch up with Jenny.”
© Copyright 2016 Cherie Arlavine . All rights reserved.
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