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Authors: Carla Kelly

Tags: #new world, #santa fe, #mexico city, #spanish empire, #pueblo revolt, #1680

Daughter of Fortune

BOOK: Daughter of Fortune
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Daughter of



Carla Kelly





* * * * *




Camel Press on Smashwords




Copyright © 2013 Carla



Seattle, WA



Camel Press

PO Box 70515

Seattle, WA 98127


For more information go to:


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic
or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any
information storage and retrieval system, without permission in
writing from the publisher.


Originally Published in the United States of America
by Donald I. Fine, Inc., and in Canada by Fitzhenry &
Whiteside, Ltd.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters,
places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the
author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.


Cover design by Sabrina Sun

Photograph of Carla Kelly by Bryner Photography


Daughter of Fortune

Copyright © 2013 by Carla Kelly


ISBN: 978-1-60381-891-9 (Trade Paper)

ISBN: 978-1-60381-892-6 (eBook)


LOC Control Number: 2012941563


Produced in the United States of America



Smashwords License


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the author's work.



* * * * *



Dear Reader,


All my novels have a place in my heart, but the
first one is special. What I learned about writing novels, I
learned first with
Daughter of Fortune

Daughter of Fortune
started on a trip to
Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1982, scene of a Western Writers of
America conference where I received a second Spur Award for short
fiction. After years of writing short stories, I knew a novel was
in my future. It was closer than I thought.

As I enjoyed that remarkable, historic place, I
tried to recall the name of the Pueblo Indian who masterminded the
uprising that drove the Spanish out of New Mexico in 1680, and kept
them out for 13 years. I finally remembered his name, and there was
my novel.

I thought about the 1680 uprising all the way home.
In the next few weeks, the story came together in that odd way of
novels. In thinking of that chaotic time, I thought of Greta Linde,
a lady I met in Brooklyn, New York. In the perilous days before
World War II, Greta, the daughter of a wealthy Jewish merchant,
managed to escape Germany with nothing more than her fur coat. When
Greta reached New York City, grateful to be alive, her relatives
ignored her because she had not brought out any of the family

There was my story: an orphan from Mexico City who
survives a cholera epidemic and goes to Santa Fe to live with her
older sister, only to be shunned because the family fortune is
gone. Maria Espinosa is also the sole survivor of an Apache attack
near her journey’s end. Rejected by her sister, she must make her
own way. She meets the Masferrers, landowners with their own
secrets and sorrows. They become her family.

That’s how novelists work: one thing reminds them of
another, until a story emerges. When I wrote
Daughter of
I called it
I had children at home
and a full-time job. I began my pattern of rising early to write in
the furnace room. A writing instructor gave me great advice: “Sleep
fast.” I still do, even though the children are grown and the
furnace room became a real office.

Daughter of Fortune
also taught me that once
you sign the contract, it’s no longer your baby. If the publisher
changes the title, learn to grin and bear it. (I still think
is a better title.) That first book also taught
me how to write a novel. It never gets easy, but I know I can do it
because I’ve done it over and over.

Kindly enter this distant world of the Spanish
borderlands, where Apaches threatened, Pueblo Indians endured, and
Spaniards ruled—for a while.
Daughter of Fortune
little resemblance to my better-known Regency romances of ladies
and lords. After researching the terrors of the Pueblo uprising, I
decided to actually tone down the historic violence. My years as an
Indian Wars scholar have taught me that each side gave about as
good as it got.

Today, a son lives not far from the scene of this
story. I love New Mexico, too. Reader, take a deep breath of a
piñon campfire, watch the timeless Pueblo lifeways, revere the
sturdy, primitive saints carved by Indians, and give your attention
to this story of a woman who refused to die, the two brothers who
loved her, and a tough colony trying to survive in a brave New


Carla Kelly



* * * * *


Chapter 1
To Santa

“Maria, we pray for those who despitefully use

Until Father Efrain spoke, Maria hadn’t realized she
was crying. Hands clenched tight by her sides, she watched Carmen
de Sosa’s wagon lurch out of the rut. She sobbed, exhausted by the
effort to push the cart. She heard the embarrassed whispers of the
teamsters, but she could not stop the tears.

Like all men, eager to be away from tears they could
not understand, the muleteers and freighters hurried to catch up
with the wagons. Carmen de Sosa did not even look around at the
sound of Maria’s distress. With a kid-gloved hand, she patted her
hair and pulled her silk shawl higher on her shoulders, as if to
ward off such vulgar display.

Only Father Efrain remained with Maria. He was too
wise to say anything, or too weary, but after a small hesitation,
he rested his arm on her shoulder.

“See there, you tore your dress,” he said finally,
when her sobs turned to hiccups. “But as it appears to be a seam,”
he continued smoothly when Maria began to cry again, “you can mend

Maria wiped her nose on her sleeve and felt the rip
in the fabric. It had given way when she was pushing the wagon,
struggling to free it from the rut. Six months ago she would have
been mortified if strangers had seen her with even an ankle
showing. Now when the seam gave way, she felt only a helpless fury
that such a woman as Carmen de Sosa had the power to command, and
she only to follow.

“Father,” she said, “do you realize that we could
have pushed all day and she never would have considered getting out
to lighten the load?”

Her anger was bringing tears again. “I could have
fallen under the wheel and she would only have clucked her

As Father Efrain opened his mouth to speak, she
turned on him. “And don’t tell me to turn the other cheek! I have
turned so many times in the last six months that I am dizzy!”

He let her cry then, drawing her close to him as she
sobbed. “
,” he murmured, “when was the last time
you cried?”

Her voice was muffled against his habit. “When I
closed Papa’s eyes. When the lawyers came. When I closed Mama’s
eyes. I cannot recall.” She wiped her eyes on the hem of her skirt.
, Father, soon the wagons will be out of sight over
that rise.”

He laughed. “Maria, Maria, are you still such a city
, do you think we cannot follow this
wretched trail and catch up with them?”

She could not share his levity. “Oh, Father,” she
whispered, “I am weary with this journey.”

They started after the wagons, picking their way
carefully around the rocks and holes of El Camino Real—the King’s
Highway—that they had followed for half a year from Mexico City.
They had set out in August of 1679. It was now February of

“You, Padre,” Maria commanded, mimicking Carmen de
Sosa in an attempt to match the priest’s levity, “I cannot decide
whether to beat my servant or snub Maria some more. Which should it

Father Efrain did not join in her mockery. “Maria
Espinosa de la Garza,” he said softly, “pray for her.”

Maria was silent. She hadn’t the heart to tell this
priest that if there was a God, He had no use for those fallen from
grace, as they surely must be. She shaded her eyes with her hand,
looking about her for some sign of grace in this barren land they
traveled through. There was none that she could see, no evidence
that God had ever given New Mexico a second thought after the
Creation. She didn’t know why she looked anymore. God had withdrawn
His grace from her as surely as He had withdrawn it from the land
around. But still she searched for it, thinking such rejection
scarcely fair.

Father Efrain seemed to know what she was thinking.
“God loves you, my child, and He does know where we are.”

They were in sight of the last wagon by then, or at
least the dust of it. Unconsciously, Maria slowed her pace, sick of
the sight of the lumbering freight wagons.

Father Efrain did not try to hurry her. “Soon we
will be in Santa Fe, and you will be with your sister again. All
will be well.”

“Will it?” she asked out loud, thinking of Carmen de
Sosa. “Or will my sister, like Señora de Sosa, decide that because
I am poor now, I have no worth?”

But the fear went deeper than that. Maria did not
belong anywhere. She thought again of Carmen de Sosa and wiped the
tears from her eyes. Her own father had called Carmen’s family
pretentious mushrooms. Before the Espinosa fortune had fallen with
a crash that was heard from the silver mines of Mexico to the
Spanish Main, Maria never would have given Carmen and her family
the merest nod. And now Maria had nothing but the dress she stood
in, while Carmen had the power to order her to help push a wagon
out of a rut.

She is just the bride of a toadying government
official, thought Maria, someone my Papa would have ignored only a
year ago.

But if Maria did not belong in the world of wealth
and position any longer, neither did she belong with the teamsters
and muleteers, rough men who could not read or write but only look
down on those poorer still. Nor did she belong with Father Efrain,
who walked with a light step toward a future of exhausting labor
with the Indians. Religious fervor no longer burned in Maria. It
had been extinguished by the shattering changes in her life.

But Father Efrain was speaking to her. “Maria, you
still have the jewels.”

Yes, she had the jewels, trinkets really, mere
baubles that she had rescued from the little cask by Mama’s bed as
her mother lay dead, killed by cholera and the shame of misfortune.
Even as the creditors and clerks had scavenged the rooms below,
pinging the crystal and counting forks, Maria had calmly poured the
contents of the little jewel box down the front of her dress and
later hidden the shining pile under her pillow.

She had parted with a brooch here and a ring there,
seeing to Papa and Mama’s funerals—small affairs, really. By then
the town had been emptied of the wealthy who had fled the cholera.
Another pin had earned her a month’s lodging at the convent where
she had been educated as a child. A gold button had been sufficient
to send a letter on its interminable way north with a courier
heading to Santa Fe, a letter much agonized over to a sister she
scarcely remembered. And then a handful of silver chain links had
bought her minor membership on the next mission supply caravan
leaving for the colony of New Mexico. Only a little jewelry
remained, but surely it would sweeten her reunion with the sister
she had not seen in fourteen years, since Maria herself had been
only a year in age and the sister a bride setting out on a new

BOOK: Daughter of Fortune
4.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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