Jud shook his head. Wande couldn't be as selfless as she claimed. No one was. No German was. He wouldn't tell her that the man who had jilted her so cruelly had asked hi mto give her a job. Or that her presence in his house disturbed his peace of mind.
"You've done more than be neighborly and bring a few meals. You've come in and taken over running the household, for a week. That's work."
She sighed. "I told you I would work for free."
"But you also said you wouldn't refuse pay if I insisted. And I do insist. You also need time off."
"But your mother…"
"We'll survive without you for an afternoon. The ranch hands take Saturday afternoon and evening off. Georg will be going into town to spend the night with your family. I want you to go with him. You'll come back on Sunday night."
Jud knew he was being high-handed, but he didn't dare negotiate with Wande. If he tried, he was in danger of agreeing to something, even if it wasn't in the best interest of either one of them.
"Very well. I will go home on Saturday and Sunday. I want to go to the kirche."
He looked into her eyes, and the longing there made him ache. Wande was only eighteen or nineteen, in a strange land—and with her hopes for future happiness dashed. Of course she would want to make friends with those of her own kind.
He pushed aside his desire to protect her, refusing to let it take root. Let her look for comfort among her own kind. She was German, an interloper—not a Texan, but one of a swarm of newcomers who wanted to take over Texas for their fatherland…
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