The Hired Man

Excerpt from The Hired Man
by Lynna Banning
Harlequin Historicals, October 2017

Im sorry, Cord. Really sorry.

For what?

For everything. Im sorry about Tom and for being so weak after the pneumonia, and Im sorry about your wife. Im sorry you saw my apple trees in bloom on your way to California. Im sorry you stopped.

He sucked in a breath and held it, eyeing the daisy things hed laid on the quilt beside her. Then he exhaled in one long, slow stream. Eleanor, Im sorry about Tom, and about you being sick. But Im not sorry about your apple trees, and Im sure as hell not sorry I stopped at your farm.
Author's Note:
My mother was raised on a ranch in Oregon, and she always spoke fondly of the hired men who came to help out. She remembered them as kindly, usually unmarried men who moved from ranch to ranch in the summertime. She recalled one hired man in particular, by the name of Frank, who came every summer to help with the harvest; he shared his cookies with her after supper and made her corncob dolls to play with.