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 Retribution - Sequel to LHOTP The Bully Boys

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New Pioneer
New Pioneer

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PostSubject: Retribution - Sequel to LHOTP The Bully Boys    Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:29 pm

I have a new Little House on the Prairie fan fiction. It is novel length, so I am not going to post the whole thing here as the post size is limited and it would take many, many posts. What follows is a teaser for the story which you can find archived at fanfiction.net and An Archive of Our Own, as well as on the Bonanza Boomers list under the fan fiction section in Michael's Little House, a subforum.



Summary: When the men of Walnut Grove marched the Galender brothers out of town they thought the bully boys were gone for good. One day the Reverend Alden comes knocking on the Ingalls' door to tell them otherwise - the Galender brothers have not forgotten or forgiven. They blame Charles for all their woes and it is their intention to make him pay.

41, 971 words
Eight Chapters and epilogue
Rated PG-13 or M for adult themes and violence


Chapter One

A knock on the front door of the house brought Caroline Ingalls’ head up from her sewing. She laid the shift she was mending down on the hearth and rose and went to answer it. It was early Saturday afternoon, not the usual time for callers. The girls were at the Edwards. Charles was working extra at Hansen’s Mill. They had a big order to fill and he’d told her he would be late. She hadn’t argued since, as usual, they needed the money. Every now and then she would sit and wonder what it would be like to have extra money, not enough, but more than enough. Why, the dresses she would buy for her girls, and the presents! Laura and Carrie would have one of those fancy china dolls each from the catalog, and she’d buy Mary the most beautiful hat and coat. And Charles? Maybe a brand new fiddle made in France! It was sin, of course, to think that way. The Reverend Robert Alden would be the first one to tell her that, though she didn’t need him too. She knew it well enough herself. She might not have extra money, but she had the things money couldn’t buy – beautiful, loving, caring children and a fine, strong protector and provider in Charles.

She loved them all so.

Caroline placed a hand on the latch and called out, “Who’s there?”

“It’s the Reverend Alden, Caroline. May I come in?”

She smiled as she turned the key and went to lift the latch. When she was alone, Charles wanted her to lock the door. While she thought it was a little silly – after all, what was there in Walnut Grove to fear? – at the same time it made her feel even more deeply loved.

‘I don’t know what I’d do if something happened to you,’ Charles had told her just that morning as he went off to work at the mill.

She felt the same about him.

Realizing she was still standing there, holding onto the latch, Caroline replied, “Of course. Just a second.”

When the door opened, the reverend doffed his hat and asked, “Is everything all right?”

Caroline shrugged. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me today, Reverend. I can’t keep my head about me. My mind was wandering – ”

“Like a lost sheep?”

She smiled and nodded. “It’s a good thing I have a Heavenly shepherd watching out for me.”

“As well as your earthly shepherd.”

She knew he meant Charles. “I’m very blessed,” she said with a shy smile. As he stepped in the door, she remarked, “There. See! I’m forgetting my manners too! Would you like some tea? Or maybe some coffee? I can put on a pot.”

“Some tea would be lovely.”

“Why don’t you take a seat at the table and I’ll put the water on.”

A few minutes later the water was heated and the tea was steeping in the pot. Caroline sat down at the opposite end of the table from the reverend. She’d brought over some bread and jam as well. As she spread the preserved fruit on the piece she had chosen, she asked, “So what brings you to our place?”

The older man drew a deep breath. “The Galenders.”

Caroline almost dropped the knife. Her hands began to shake. “The Galenders?”

“I’m sorry,” he said, laying his bread on the plate she had provided. “I shouldn’t have mentioned it. I need to speak to Charles first, it’s just that...well....”

She understood immediately. The minister was worried about her husband’s quick temper. “You’re afraid Charles might do something rash.”

He nodded.

She waited, but when he wasn’t forthcoming, asked, “What have they done? The Galenders?”

“It’s not so much what they’ve done, but what they’ve threatened to do.” He looked at her and then shook his head. “No, no. I should speak with Charles about this first. Since it’s Saturday, I’d hoped you would both be here and that maybe your presence would temper his reaction. I remember now Charles is at the mill, isn’t he?” When she nodded ‘yes’, he rose to go. “I’ll be on my way then.”

“You haven’t had your tea,” she said, hoping she could persuade him both to stay and to tell her whatever news it was he had. “Or your bread.”

The older man pursed his lips. “I seem to have lost my appetite. I’ll just take the bread with me for later, if that’s all right.”

“I’ll put the tea in something too. You can bring it back later.”

“Thank you.” The reverend paused and then added, “I’m sorry, Caroline, for needlessly upsetting you. I’ll speak to Charles, and then I’m sure he will fill you in.” As he reached the door, he stopped and looked back. “Please don’t worry. It may be nothing more than rumor.”

She stood out front of the house, watching as the reverend’s buggy diminished in size and then vanished into the distance, wondering what it was that the minister was afraid Charles would overreact to, and that he felt he couldn’t tell her. ‘Something they’ve threatened to do’, he’d said. Caroline wrapped her arms around her midriff. She couldn’t think of anything that had frightened her as much as the encounter she had with the Galender brothers and what they had done to Charles because of it. Like the reverend, she liked to believe there was good in all men, but that belief had been challenged by the Galenders who had come into Walnut Grove with the intent of lying, cheating, and stealing to get what they wanted – and not caring who they hurt in the doing of it.

Caroline shivered. She’d never forget what Charles looked like when Isaiah brought him into the house after he’d gone off to confront them for laying their hands on her. The beating had been severe – so severe she asked Doctor Baker about it and pressed him when he hesitated. He had hemmed and hawed, but finally admitted that something other than fists had to have been used to inflict that much damage. Most likely, a wrist-thick branch.

They could have killed him!

She had thought with the Galenders leaving Walnut Grove that they were gone from their lives, but it seemed now that might have been wishful thinking. Whatever it was the reverend knew, she hoped it was – as he said – only rumor. Rumors often had lives of their own and died when exposed to the truth.

The Good Lord willing, this was one of those times.


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