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Authors: Cathy Marie; Hake

Brides of Texas

BOOK: Brides of Texas
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To Love Mercy ©
2006 by Cathy Marie Hake
To Walk Humbly ©
2006 by Cathy Marie Hake
To Do Justice
© 2006 by Cathy Marie Hake

ISBN 978-1-63409-669-0

Ebook Editions:
Adobe Digital Edition (.epub) 978-1-63409-824-3
Kindle and MobiPocket Edition (.prc) 978-1-63409-825-0

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher.

Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.

Published by Barbour Books, an imprint of Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, Ohio 44683,
www.barbourbooks.com

Our mission is to publish and distribute inspirational products offering exceptional value and biblical encouragement to the masses
.

Printed in the United States of America.

Dear Reader,

Have you ever read something that sticks in your mind? My freshman year in high school I set out to read the entire Bible. Not just any Bible would do. I chose the Bible my daddy gave me many years previously on the Sunday I accepted Jesus into my heart—a black leather, red-letter, King James Version. Having grown up in a God-fearing, churchgoing home, I knew most of the stories in the Bible. Or so I thought. Then I embarked on an incredible journey for myself.

I was seeking to find what God wanted of me. Books have been written on what God wants. Sermons and songs address the matter. But my journey was to discover on an intensely personal basis what God willed of and for me. Micah 6:8 jumped off the page. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the L
ORD
require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

Years—okay, decades—have passed, yet that verse still resonates with me. When I was asked to write this book, I prayed about it. In that year, I had three surgeries, a major car accident, and had to put my beloved dog to sleep. Through it all, I’ve clung to the knowledge that this verse isn’t one-sided. God is the final arbiter of justice, even if I do not see the results here and now. He continually covers me with His tender mercies, and I never walk alone because He is with me.

I hope you enjoy reading about the Gregor brothers. Each received a gift and a piece of advice from their father, Micah. Their heavenly Father uses that to open their hearts to some very special Texas brides.

Love,
Cathy Marie

Table of Contents

To Love Mercy

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

To Walk Humbly

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

To Do Justice

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Epilogue

To Love
M
ERCY
Prologue
April 3, 1892
Aboard the
Anchoria
in the Atlantic

Y
ou’ll stay together?”

Robert Gregor curled his hand around his father’s. “Aye, Da. You’ve my word on it.”

“Dinna be grieving, boy-o. ’Twas my wish to see you to the New World. As for me, my destination’s heaven. God and your mama will welcome me with open arms.”

The ship rolled gently, and sorrow as deep as the Atlantic washed over Robert. It didn’t come as a sudden shock but as a swell, carrying him from the security he’d known and leaving him adrift.
Not yet. Please not yet
. “We’ll see land in another day.”

“That you will.” His father had a way of putting together words to intensify their meanings. He’d done it now, and Robert felt the tide of life shift in those moments.

“Rob?” Duncan looked down from the upper bunk. His black hair stood up boyishly, making him look only half his age.

“Go fetch Christopher.” Robert knew his eldest brother would be pacing the deck. A restless man, Chris avoided situations where he’d bare his emotions or soul to others. Had it just been the four of them, he’d have stayed, but the ship teemed with hundreds of folks with nothing better to do than mind everyone else’s business. Christopher left the crowded steerage compartment round about midnight, grief ravaging his features.

Lord Almighty, must You take Da yet
? Robert knew the answer. As a doctor, he’d witnessed births and deaths aplenty. Powerless to do anything but give comfort, he smoothed back Da’s thinning gray hair. “Save your breath, Da. The others’ll be here soon, and they deserve to hear your love.”

Minutes later, Christopher shouldered past the neighboring berths and knelt by the bunk. Duncan came to a halt behind him and rested a warm, calloused hand on his shoulder. Robert saw the tension in their jaws, the sheen of tears in their eyes. The Gregors were stoic with others, but among themselves, they always loved, laughed, and wept unabashedly—except for now. Time grew short, and Robert knew his brothers’ hearts were breaking, as was his, yet they both stayed strong for Da’s sake. A man ought to slip from this world and into God’s arms with the peace of knowing those he left behind would fare well.

“I’ve been blessed to have ye, lads.” Da drew in another breath. “Stay close to the Almighty so we’ll meet again at heaven’s gate.”

Each of them gave that promise without reservation.

Da squeezed Rob’s hand. “My da’s watch—to Chris.” He stared at his eldest and whispered, “Time is a gift, dinna waste it.”

Christopher nodded solemnly.

“Bible—I’m wanting Duncan to hae it. He’s a man of deep thoughts and quiet truths fit to soothe the soul.”

“I’ll treasure it, Da.” Duncan bent closer. “I’ll have a son and read to him as you read to us. He’ll know the Word of God, and Da—I’ll name him after you.”

A smile chased across Da’s features.
Aye, Da’d been right
, Robert observed.
Duncan just spoke words that gave comfort
.

Da then turned his head. “Robert—”

Rob leaned down and looked steadily into his father’s eyes. “You already gave me my gift, Da. I know what you sacrificed for me.” The compensation Da received for the arm he lost while working in the zinc mine had paid for Robert’s medical schooling.

Da smiled. “Mama’s ring. I kept it for ye, Son. Caring for bodies makes a doctor close off his heart so he doesn’t have to feel the pain. Dinna do that. Take a chance at love.”

Within the hour, it was all over. Rob wrapped Da; Christopher pushed everyone away and cradled his lifeless form up to the deck; Duncan carried the Bible. During the voyage, they’d assisted with other burials, but this was different. All three of them stood in a sorrowful knot as Chris prayed.

The
Anchoria
’s captain made a motion as he somberly said, “Lord, we commend the body of Micah Gregor to You and commit his mortal body to the deep until the day of Your return.”

It was over. Those who had come up to pay their respects murmured their condolences, then wandered off to leave the brothers some privacy.

Duncan opened the Bible. The ribbon marker was set in the book of Micah. He cleared his throat and read in an unsteady voice made thick with tears, “ ‘He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?’ ”

Christopher nodded solemnly. “Da did those things.”

Rob wrapped his arms about his brothers’ shoulders. “Aye, and we will, too, in his honor.”

Chapter
1
Ellis Island

T
he Gregor brothers stood shoulder to shoulder along the ship’s rail as the
Anchoria
cut through the choppy waters. The copper Statue of Liberty towered over their vessel, but her long-awaited welcome felt empty since Da wasn’t beside them to see the grand sight.

Duncan nudged Rob. “I’m thinking she has the biggest feet I’ve ever seen.”

His joke lightened the tension. All three brothers chuckled. It made sense that Duncan would notice such a detail, him being a cobbler.

All about them, folks craned to see the sight. Mamas clutched their children close, and men stood a bit taller. Freedom. Opportunity. They’d scrimped, saved, sacrificed, and some nearly starved to come to America. Seeing Liberty did something—they’d gotten here…Didn’t that mean other dreams and hopes could come true, too?

“Ellis Island,” a sailor announced through a megaphone. “First-class passengers, please remain aboard. We will assist you with all your needs. Second class and steerage, gather your belongings and prepare to disembark.”

“Remember what I told you,” Robert murmured to his brothers. He shot a meaningful look at a woman coughing into her handkerchief. Americans didn’t want diseased immigrants flooding their land. Processing newcomers through this facility allowed officials to turn back those they determined might be sickly. Robert had known that fact full well, but Da refused to listen. He’d insisted on making the voyage.

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