10 Year Anniverary & New Releases Winners: Carrie Fancett Pagels' Butterfly Cottage - Melanie B, Dogwood Plantation - Patty H R, Janet Grunst's winner is Connie S., Denise Weimer's Winner is Kay M., Naomi Musch's winner is Chappy Debbie, Angela Couch - Kathleen Maher, Pegg Thomas Beverly D. M. & Gracie Y., Christy Distler - Kailey B., Shannon McNear - Marilyn R.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Part 9 - A Forted Frontier Holiday: Amish Snow by Kelly Long

Part 1 - Inside Fort Providence by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Part 2 - A Providential Proposal by Susan Craft
Part 3 - Landlocked by Carla Olson Gade
Part 4 - Preserve my Life From Fear by Elaine Marie Cooper
Part 5 - A Gift from Buckskin Samson by Kathleen L. Maher
Part 6 - Narrow Passage by Pat Iaccuzzi
Part 7 - Through the Storm by Lynn Squire
Part 8 - Christmastide by Carrie Fancett Pagels, Susan F. Craft, and Elaine Marie Cooper

Since Christmas the militia and Colonel Christy and his son have begun scouring the countryside and examining the farms that the inhabitants of Fort Providence abandoned. When a fierce snow storm blankets the countryside the men return to the fort. Some of the Amish inhabitants have taken ill with the fever that began in November. And now for:

Part 9 - Amish Snow by Kelly Long

            He was hot, burning with need, and he wanted her to hurry. The soft light of the oil lamp pulled shadows across the quilt on the bed and he had the absurd notion that he might fall headfirst into the dark play of light and heat and wait for her there.
            “Your fever burns higher,” she whispered.
            Daniel Mast tried to smile up at his beautiful young wife but the effort cost him and he sighed instead. He saw the pail in her hands, brimming with fresh white snow and closed his eyes against the desire of his thirst. She understood though and soon held her fingers full of snow to his mouth and he sucked gratefully. The snow was so much cooler to his throat than water and Miriam was patient, giving him taste after taste until he turned his head with reluctance.
            Miriam sat down on the edge of the bed, putting the pail on the floor.
            “You know what comes next, I fear,” she said sadly, reaching a small hand to the damp hair of his forehead.
            He drew a deep breath. “Go on with it.”
            There was a sudden knock on the thin door of the bedroom and Amos, his younger bruder, poked his head in. “I bring more snow—ice too And the rope.”
            Miriam waved at him. “Kumme. We must start.”
            Amos dragged a full tub filled with icy whiteness across the wooden floor and stood with a length the rope in his hands. “Miriam, go on out. I will do it this time.”
            “Jah, go,” Daniel breathed as he raised his arms above his head and allowed his bruder to tie him fast to the bed.
            She shook her head, the glow of the light catching on the fair hair that peeked from beneath her kapp. Her blue eyes were large in her face, shadowed with worry. He didn’t want to see her in pain, or watch her tears when he screamed…
            Miriam Mast lifted her chin then bent to lift the nine-patch quit from her husband’s big body.  He had started to visibly shiver already and she wanted to cry. He wore doeskin breeches; she and Amos had decided to allow him the clothing for modesty’s sake after the last tortuous bout but she knew she’d have to help him change once they were done.
            She folded the quilt and laid it aside then bent to scoop up a large handful of snow from the wooden tub. Gritting her teeth, she began to pack the icy whiteness firmly against her husband’s long legs. She tried to concentrate on the thought that she was doing the right thing, what Grossmuder Mae would have done back in Lancaster. But Miriam was gone from that world now, living instead in a small house with Daniel and Amos and longing for Lancaster though they had left to build a new home. But they were blessedly inside Fort Providence, in the palm of Derr Herr’s hand, and they were safe for the moment. Safe but for a fever that had wracked her husband for days, and she was at her wit’s end in trying to battle the heat of his body. She was used to him tall, secure as a rock, his brown hair tousled and his green eyes shining. But now, his thick lashes lay against his flushed cheeks in dark crescents as his eyes narrowed in pain. Packing him in the ice and snow was one of the most difficult things she’d done in life and when he moaned she bit the inside of her cheek until she tasted blood.
            “Faster,” Amos encouraged her as he piled ice on his bruder’s chest.  She knew Amos hated doing it to Daniel too—at seventeen to Daniel’s nineteen, Amos more than honored his beloved brother and she knew that he was as worried as she. Yet there was nothing to do save finish the work, and at last, it was over. Daniel lay tied, his body, but for his face, encased in ice and snow, after several more fillings of the wooden tub. They must leave him thus until the snow melted or until he could stand the burning cold no more. She must not give in to his sobbing pleas; she knew he was beyond reason. But when he screamed—the strangled sound of a strong man in unbearable pain—she wanted to cover her ears and flee. Yet she stood fast.
            “Third day of this,” Amos murmured in an anguished tone beside her. “He can’t take much more.”
            “He will be well. I have prayed,” she whispered.
            “I too,” her bruder-in-law sighed. “Perhaps Gott will grant us grace as it is nearly Second Christmas.”
            Miriam nodded. She’d forgotten the holiday in her worry. Now she remembered the Amisch observance of the Epiphany and the normal exchange of small gifts that would take place. She recalled last year with a sudden flush to her cheeks. Daniel’s gift had been three extravagant kisses…
            “Three of the Wiseman…three gifts, and as thee knows, I lack the coin to buy you such, but would use my lips to do you honor as my wife instead.” He’d touched her hair and then her cheeks and then brought his mouth enticingly low against her throat…
            She remembered herself with a start as someone pounded on the thin door, the noise echoing above her husband’s strangled cries.
            Amos narrowed open the door—they were not much used to visitors as such. But the wood fell back from his hand as a flurry of white snow swirled inside, bringing a lanky youth, dressed in casual buckskins, his bright black eyes glittering above ruddy cheeks.
            “You don’t know me…” the visitor gasped with the cold. “But I cannot help but notice your actions the last few hours. I wonder—do you have a man down with the fever then?”
            Miriam stepped forward, wetting her lips. Perhaps the youth knew a healer…
            “Jah, my husband has been ill for three days now.”
            The dark-haired young man reached out a large hand, first to Amos, and then bowed to Miriam with a courtly air.
            “William Christy is my name. And three days is much too long for such doings as the torture of ice-packing a man.”
            Miriam saw Amos bridle a bit at the other man’s tone but then she heard Daniel moan again.
Sei se gut—please, sir, if ye might aid us in any course, we will gladly accept.”
            William unwrapped his hands and nodded. “Then get him out of that ice for one thing. I will heat some herbs at the fire.”
            Miriam gestured to Amos and they hurried to Daniel, scraping off the ice and snow then draping him in a dry quilt. Amos untied his bruder’s hands with a sigh of relief.
            Daniel lay panting on the bed when William Christy brushed Miriam aside with a gentle hand. “Step away, milady. ‘Twill only take a moment to get this bitter lot down his throat, but it will help him. From the Indians hereabouts. A fever killer.”
            “Indians?” Amos almost growled.
            Miriam watched William look at her brother-in-law with steady eyes. “Yes, sir. The Indians could teach us much were we willing to learn, and I thought the Amisch were open to all.”
            “’Tis true,” Miriam interceded quickly. “Amos…well, his betrothed was killed in a skirmish between Indians and our covered wagons. He—he will learn to forgive.”
            “Jah,” Amos whispered finally, dropping his gaze.
            William Christy turned back to his patient and Miriam was amazed to see that already her husband’s color looked more normal. She pressed her hands together and began to pray softly, tears coming to her eyes.
            “’Tis not to cry over, milady, for I wager this man will be up and about and trouble soon enough by the size of him.”
            “Ye are kind,” Miriam choked. “Please, will you take some tea with us?”
            “Only if I brew it,” William Christie inclined his head. “I am particular about my tea.”
            Daniel came to himself in inches, painfully crawling back from near death to new life by the stranger’s hands he’d began to recognize. Then Miriam’s face would be above his, pale but hopeful, and he longed for the strength to take her in his arms. He’d drifted lazily in his fever at times, thinking of her golden hair unbound and flowing, covering his chest and arms…and then the bleak cold would drive away warmer thoughts until he swallowed a vile brew which seemed to bring him strange peace…
            And then there was the cold day that he brought himself to sit up. Miriam heard Amos tell her husband about the strange young man who befriended Indians and who came to bring herbs to heal him. They were surprised to learn he was son of the British colonel who’d taken charge over the Virginia militia who’d arrived at Christmas.  They had ceased to see young Christy after his kindness and Miriam thought she might sew a shirt for their friend, if she could only find him about. But Mrs. Rousch, clasping her new baby Noela, informed them that William had gone to scout whether their homes might be safe enough to return to soon.
            But, for now, she was thankful to Gott for Daniel’s renewed strength and for the lopsided grin he wore when he drew her close.
            “No more Amisch snow, my love,” he teased.
            She shook her head and cuddled closer to him. “Nee…but let us see if we might recall last year’s gifts of Epiphany.” Her words were a husky whisper which brought the response she’d longed for from him.

Next week Part 10, by Dina Sleiman, continues our anthology.


  1. Harsh winter, harsh sickness. How hard for this young couple. I am eager to hear more! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

    1. We are coming to an end of our serial anthology and it has been so much fun Kathleen!!!

  2. LOVE this chapter! I was totally caught up in this story that was both excruciating and romantic, all in one. Bravo, Kelly!

    1. Kelly really pulls on the heartstrings and writes a taut storyline even for a chapter!!!

  3. I can't believe I don't have this book! I have hundreds of Amish books. On my way to Amazon to get this one. Thanks!
    Susan in NC

    1. Susan, This is Kelly's contribution to this serial anthology. It is a chapter only and is not part of a book!

  4. I couldn't find the above book at Amazon. Can anybody help me? Thanks.

    1. Susan, see my comment above! You must be a die hard Kelly Long fan like I am!!!

  5. Oh my, this was truly enthralling, Kelly! I couldn't stop reading! I was SO happy when William Christy came to their rescue; I was feeling every bit of that ice bath...brrrr
    Excellent job, Kelly, thank you so much for participating!

    1. William has been known to dunk people in ice cold water but he's opposed to snow treatments for fever, Debbie! And I bet he just found a good stash of herbs while out scouting!

  6. Very nice, Kelly. I felt so cold with all the ice, I had to make myself some tea.

    1. Brrrrr, when I read it, I felt chilly, too, Janet! So glad Kelly joined us on this anthology!!!

  7. Wow, this was so compelling, Kelly. Thanks for another 'installment'. What a story this has been!

    Happy New Year, ladies!

    thank you for your gift to us all.

    1. Deb, I just saw your smiling face over on Seekerville!!! We have Dina's story next.

  8. In the 1940s when I was a small child, I had very high fever with pneumonia and was in the hospital. They couldn't get my fever to break so they placed me in a tub of ice and had my mother help hold me down. I don't recall it, but I remember Mom's story of the ordeal and her pain and mine of the ice treatment. They, of course, did not have antibiotics but they did treat with sulpher which didn't really do much.

    Aren't we thankful today that such is not needed. But chilling the body when the fever is so high does work.

    1. I have a character in a novella I am working on who has to have some rapid cooling too but he doesn't get the snow treatment--brrrrr......!!!

  9. Hi Kelly--

    You made Daniel and Miriam so true-to-life as they went through a difficult trial; yet they also shared loving and intimate moments. You are truly a weaver of lovely words and stories--Beautifully done! (And right now I can share Daniel's plight even in a small way as I'm laid up with bronchitis. :)

  10. Well done, Kelly. I have a book I use for research that's entitled, The Indian Doctor. It's a pamphlet, really, about 30 pages of the natural medicines cures that Indians used. Many colonists owed their lives to the knowledge that Indians unlocked thousands of years ago.

    1. Sounds cool, Susan! Where did you get it?

    2. I attend lots of Rev War re-enactments, so I'm not sure. All of the ones I've gone to have book vendors. One of the neatest things I purchased is "Weapons of the Pirates." It's a 14x16 piece of parchment paper with pictures and an explanation about all the weapons that pirates used. There's also a picture of Edward Teach -- Blackbeard. The paper folds up to fit a business size envelope. Lots of information packed into one document that cost $1.95. I also purchased a Dover Coloring Book, American Sailing Ships -- 45 pages of drawings and descriptions of all kinds of ships of over a 200-year span of time. I love these gems of info and call them my treasures.

  11. WOW! How good this was when the young man came with the Indian remedy. Can't imagine the ice treatment over and over. Reminds me of having to bathe my sweet 2 yr. old baby in ice water once because of a fever that wouldn't go down. Doctor's orders. I can sill hear that sweet baby begging no mommy, no mommy. Broke my heart but worked. I know she wondered why her mommy was being mean. These stories are so interesting. I won't be ready when they end. Thanks. Carrie, I tho't this was to go through January. Loved it all. You girls are terrific! GOD bless each of you.


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