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"Are you telling me this ranch is not ours?"

Mavis Engstrom shook her head, wishing for a way to erase the anger she could read on her son's face. "No, that is not what I am saying. I said the ranch belongs to Cassie Lockwood too."

"How can this be? You've never mentioned it before." Ransom's jaw snapped off anything else he was going to say.

"No, I haven't, and that is my fault, but I couldn't see any sense in worrying about something that might never happen." Mavis scrubbed her sweaty hands down the sides of her full apron. "This is a long story, so I'll put supper on the table and then we can talk."

"This better be good," Ransom muttered as he grabbed the canvas wood carrier and stomped out to the front porch to bring in wood for the fireplace.

Mavis crossed to the front window, wishing she'd been able to convince Cassie Lockwood to stay longer. Cassie Lockwood, the daughter of Adam Lockwood. What a wonderful surprise. But Cassie and her guide, Chief, had elected to return to their camp closer to town. Amazing how she had recognized in the old Indian the young man who had guided her not-yet-husband, Ivar Engstrom, and his new partner, Adam Lockwood, in their search for both gold and land. What a long story she had to tell. Where to begin?
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