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Authors: Lyn Cote

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Faith

BOOK: Faith
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PRAISE FOR THE QUAKER BRIDES SERIES

Blessing

“Anyone interested in a rich, deep story set in a volatile time in our history should look into reading this novel.”

NOVEL REVIEWS

“Entertaining and inspiring.”

ROMANTIC TIMES

“Can love grow between a Quakeress widow, whose passion is nurturing the abused, and a man of means, who’s striving for independence from his father? A relationship separated by the culture and values of 1848 explodes on the page in a story only Lyn Cote could pen.”

DIANN MILLS, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE FBI: HOUSTON SERIES

“Rich and rewarding!
Blessing
will captivate you from beginning to end. A unique and compelling plot and well-drawn characters will bring you back in history to Cincinnati, Ohio, where women’s rights were nonexistent and racial tension permeated the city. I couldn’t put this book down until I learned their fate. A must read!”

JUDITH MILLER, AUTHOR OF THE REFINED BY LOVE SERIES

Honor

“Strong in faith and determined to do what is right no matter the law, [Honor] is a spirited testament to the
strength a wife can offer her husband. The unfolding of their sweet romance is a joy to read.”

ROMANTIC TIMES

“With strong characters and compelling action . . . this story was highly engaging and is one I would gladly recommend to my family and friends.”

THE CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO

“Author Lyn Cote has carefully presented the situation of a period when women had little freedom and the Underground Railroad operated in secrecy. . . . I’m glad I met her heroine Honor, and I’ll be watching out for more [of her] historical romances.”

FRESH FICTION

“A wonderful story of a brave and strong woman,
Honor
is both a sweet romance and a lesson on the importance of doing what is right. The historical detail is fascinating, and the characters are rich and real. Highly recommended!”

GAYLE ROPER, AUTHOR OF
AN UNEXPECTED MATCH

“Cote skillfully and deftly combines period details with a touching, heart-warming love story in a thought-provoking tale that will have readers eager for the next book in the Quaker Brides series.”

MARTA PERRY, AUTHOR OF THE LOST SISTERS OF PLEASANT VALLEY SERIES

“In
Honor
, Lyn Cote has given her many faithful readers another story of suspense, surprise, and love that will hold their attention from beginning to end.”

IRENE BRAND, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF
LOVE FINDS YOU UNDER THE MISTLETOE

Visit Tyndale online at
www.tyndale.com
.

Visit Lyn Cote’s website at
www.lyncote.com
.

TYNDALE
and Tyndale’s quill logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Faith

Copyright © 2016 by Lyn Cote. All rights reserved.

Cover photograph of woman taken by Stephen Vosloo. Copyright © by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Cover photograph of tents copyright © Hank Shiffman/Shutterstock. All rights reserved.

Designed by Stephen Vosloo

Edited by Danika King

Published in association with the literary agency of Browne & Miller Literary Associates, LLC, 410 Michigan Avenue, Suite 460, Chicago, IL 60605.

Scripture quotations are taken from the
Holy Bible
, King James Version.

Faith
is a work of fiction. Where real people, events, establishments, organizations, or locales appear, they are used fictitiously. All other elements of the novel are drawn from the author’s imagination.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Cote, Lyn, author.

Title: Faith / Lyn Cote.

Description: Carol Stream, Illinois : Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2016. |

  Series: Quaker brides

Identifiers: LCCN 2015040599 | ISBN 9781414375632 (sc)

Subjects: | GSAFD: Love stories. | Christian fiction.

Classification: LCC PS3553.O76378 F35 2016 | DDC 813/.54
 
—dc23 LC record available at http://lccn.loc.gov/2015040599

Build: 2016-01-11 11:11:45

To all those who have lost loved ones who fought for all our freedoms.

CINCINNATI, OHIO

JULY 21, 1858

The sound of something shattering woke Faith Cathwell. She sprang from her bed in Frances Henry’s house. Scant moonlight defined the shapes of furniture. “Shiloh!” she called as she hurried toward the hall. “Is thee all right?”

Faith flung open her door. Stepped into the narrow passage between the two upstairs bedrooms. “Shiloh
 
—”

A hand clamped over her mouth. From behind, an arm encircled her waist. Tight.

Faith struggled, kicking backward. In vain. She could not break free from the strong arms that kept her silent and trapped.

Close to her ear, a harsh, low voice whispered in the blackness. “You got the other one ready?”

“Yeah. Now we’ll take care of this one.”

Faith struggled harder.
“Take care of this one”? Dear God, help.

A cloth doused with something sickly sweet was pressed
to her nose. She tried to turn away, but the man behind kept her pinned to him.
Help us, Lord. Help Shiloh. . . .

Faith sensed herself losing consciousness. She fought it, but she felt the strength draining from her limbs.
Dear God . . .

“Faith!” a voice shrilled. “Faith, what’s happened?”

Faith lifted her head with effort and blinked her eyes in the morning light. Woozy, she couldn’t speak or move.

Shiloh’s sister Honoree worked the knot in the cloth that bound Faith’s mouth. Finally she snatched it off. “How did this happen?”

Faith gagged, dry-mouthed and nauseated.

Honoree tugged at the ropes that bound Faith’s arms and legs to the small dining-room chair. When she managed to pull them away, she caught Faith as she fell forward.

Honoree helped Faith lean back in the chair. Then she ran up the stairs to the bedrooms, calling, sounding hysterical. “Shiloh! Shiloh!”

Faith rubbed her arms, bound for what must have been hours, her hands and fingers tingling with painful pins and needles. She couldn’t rise; her legs shook. She began crying, tears seeping, streaking down her face. How had she gotten into this situation? Why?

Honoree raced back down the stairs. Then to the kitchen. Faith heard the door to the garden open and slam.

Honoree returned to Faith. “Who did this?” She dropped to her knees. “Where’s Shiloh?”

Sobs welled up from deep within Faith. She could only shake her head.
I don’t know. I can’t think.

Honoree ran outside to the street. “Help! Police! Help!”

Faith rocked back and forth, rubbing her arms, powerless. What had happened last night? She tried to recall the memories. Her mind conjured strong, cruel arms and a chemical smell. And the men had said that they “got the other one ready.” What had they done with Shiloh?

She stared down at the black mourning dress she wore and whispered, “Patience.” The image of her twin, gone forever, flickered in her mind. At a gentle suggestion from her mother, Faith had come to stay with Shiloh. Shiloh worked as a maid for Frances Henry, a family friend’s mother-in-law, who was away from home. This visit to Shiloh was an effort to take Faith’s mind from her identical twin, buried just weeks ago. Her sweet sister Patience was gone. The other half of her had been sliced from her life. Had Shiloh been ripped away too?

Faith wept harder, slipping to the floor. Shards of icy fear exploded within as her mind failed to resist the conclusion forcing itself on her. She remembered the family stories about Shiloh’s mother, kidnapped years ago by slave catchers who intended to sell her back into slavery. Beautiful, freeborn Shiloh . . . kidnapped?
No, no . . .

WESTERN THEATER

MAY 1863

On the road toward Jackson, Mississippi, Colonel Devlin Knight glimpsed the gray riders heading straight toward them. “Charge!” Dev shouted. His men spurred their horses forward. The two forces clashed. Gunfire exploded around him.

Dev aimed and fired his pistol till it emptied. The Rebs crowded around him. No time to reload.

He whipped out his saber, slashing any Reb within reach. Black smoke obscured everything. Then, under a unique cockaded hat, a face he recognized appeared through the murky, choking cloud.

Jack?

Dev nearly suffered a saber thrust, but he parried. Threw
the Reb from his saddle. Dev plunged forward toward Jack. Was it him?

More troops surged from the rear and the skirmish expanded. Dev lost sight of the face. His saber weighed heavily. He kept his seat, twisting and turning, meeting enemy after enemy. His eyes streamed with tears from the powder. And the gunfire deafened him.

He fell back behind the front. Reloaded his pistol, then plunged again into the fray, the gray Confederate wave regrouping. Dev fought for his life. Had it been Jack? No time. A Reb wheeled his horse and headed straight for Dev.

God, help me.

Darkness was easing in lazily, the western sky toward the Mississippi River blazing brilliant pink and gold. Dev slowed his horse and tried not to make a sound. He wanted no one to see him.

The skirmish had ended not even a half hour ago. After sending his unit back to camp, he was going in the wrong direction
 
—toward the Rebel lines, the enemy lines. The moans of the wounded drew him, led him.

An image from the past: Jack shoving Bellamy, cursing him; Dev stepping between them; the stunning blow . . . He shut out the past. No time.

He began picking his way around dead bodies till he came to where he thought he’d seen Jack fall. And his eyes had not deceived him. There Confederate Captain Jack Carroll lay, staring up at the sky. His horse was nibbling grass nearby.

Jack turned his gaze to Dev. “Come to finish the job, Yankee cousin?”

Only Jack would mock the hand that came to save him. “Yes.” Dev swung down from his horse. When he knelt beside Jack, he bit back a gasp. Both Jack’s arms were bleeding and one was splintered, the bone poking through the skin.

He whipped off the kerchief around his neck and tied it as a tourniquet around one of Jack’s arms, then pulled two handkerchiefs out of his pocket and secured them together for the other arm. “I’ve come to take you to the surgeons.”

“So they can chop off both my arms? No thank you, Dev. I’d rather be dead.”

“I don’t blame you,” Dev admitted. “But I’m taking you with me anyway. A good surgeon might be able to save one arm.”

“I don’t want your help.” Jack cursed him long and low.

“I’d never be able to face your father or my mother if I left you here like this.”
Or face myself.

After shoving Jack’s distinctive hat
 
—its side folded up and pinned with a miniature lone star flag
 
—into his jacket, Dev slid one arm under Jack’s shoulders, the other under his knees, and rose. Jack struggled, swore, and then passed out.

Just as well. Dev managed to sling him facedown over his saddle before he mounted the horse, grasped the reins, and turned away to head toward the Union lines.

“Stop where you stand,” a voice from the trees behind Dev barked.

Dev raised both hands. “I’m taking my cousin with me to get him medical help.”

“Your
cousin
, Yankee?”

“Yes, we’re from Maryland.”

“That man’s from Texas.”

“Yes, but he was born in Maryland on the Carroll Plantation ten miles from Baltimore.”

“So you do know him.”

“Yes. Now are you going to shoot me in the back or let me help my cousin?”

“So you’ll shoot at him but then return to help him?”

“That sums it up.” Dev choked on the irony of it, but he’d faced this over and over, meeting men he’d grown up with and taking aim at them.

An ominous silence hung over the three of them.

“Okay. But God help you if you do him harm.”

“God help me in any event.” But he doubted God would do any such thing. Dev headed toward his camp, expecting to be shot by a sniper or Rebel straggler at any moment.

He’d fought in the Mexican War nearly twenty years ago, and his goal then had been to serve with honor and survive. He didn’t think any man could expect to live through two wars. His lone objective now was to serve and, when the time came, to die with honor. That’s what kept him going.

When Dev neared the Union camp, he cut off his cousin’s gray military jacket and stuffed it, along with the cockaded hat, under his own jacket. He met the sentry, identified himself. But as he picked his way to his tent, he felt conspicuous, as if he’d be stopped at any moment. Fortunately, more than
one skirmish had taken place today, so the camp was busy with care for the injured.

His manservant, Armstrong, stepped out of Dev’s tent before he reached it. Armstrong always did this
 
—heard him coming and was ready and waiting for him.

“Help me get him inside,” Dev said, glad of his presence.

“It’s Master Jack,” Armstrong said in obvious surprise.

“Yes.”

Armstrong didn’t say another word, just helped carry the unconscious man into their tent. Then he looked at Dev, asking without words what he thought he was doing.

“I will turn him in,” Dev assured him, “but first I need to see if at least one of his arms can be saved.”

Armstrong gazed at the wounded man, obviously pondering. “The surgeons won’t think twice about cutting them both off for sure. But I heard about one of the nurses. They say she better than the doctors. Miss Faith Cathwell.”

“A nurse? A woman nurse? Better than the doctors?”

“They say her patients mostly survive. Not all, but enough where some notice the difference.”

“And you know this because . . . ?”

Armstrong looked him in the eye. “You know why, sir.”

You found out in case I’m wounded.
Dev gripped his servant’s shoulder. “How can I find Miss Cathwell?”

“She tall with blonde hair. And if what I heard is true, she’ll be in the thick of things near the camp hospital.”

Dev nodded, turned to go, and then glanced over his shoulder. “Check his pockets in case he still has weapons on him. Keep him here.”

“Yes, sir.”

His man’s response was polite, but underneath it Dev read the unspoken question:
What are you doing harboring an enemy soldier? Even if he is your cousin.

“Miss Cathwell? Are you Miss Faith Cathwell?”

Just outside the hospital tent, Dev found the woman Armstrong had described and whom three different Sanitary Commission soldiers had directed him to. Surrounded by wounded men lying in neat rows, she was kneeling over a patient, facing away from Dev. She appeared slender and was dressed in dark gray with a modest white cap over her hair, a white bonnet hanging down her back.

At his question, she didn’t look up from her place on the ground but continued her work. “Yes, I am Faith Cathwell. What does thee need?”

A Quaker? He recoiled mentally, then paused, watching her care for a corporal.

She’d cut off the soldier’s sleeve to expose his wound. She loosened the crude tourniquet above it. Blood oozed out. Rinsing the rag in a basin of water, she swabbed the wound, cleaning away the gunpowder and dried gore.

What possessed a young woman to do such . . . disgusting, unladylike work? Yet her movements were deft and sure and gentle. His tension eased. “Miss Cathwell, I’m Colonel Devlin Knight. I
 
—”

“This isn’t the time or place for social calls,” barked a doctor standing inside the hospital tent at an operating table.

The man’s scathing tone shocked Dev with its rudeness. He straightened up with a snap, ready to put the man in his place.

Miss Cathwell looked up. “Dr. Dyson, is it wise to insult a colonel? He outranks thee.” Her tone was pleasant with an edge of wryness. Then she glanced at Dev.

Miss Cathwell’s appearance startled him. He’d not expected such a lovely woman to be here doing this lowly work. She had the pale skin of a lady. Her hair was flaxen, and the largest, greenest eyes he’d ever seen dominated her face. Now they considered him with a seriousness that gave him confidence he was doing right in seeking her out.

The colonel leaned close to her ear. “I need help for a wounded soldier. A friend.”

She started to respond but paused to gaze at him, assessing. But her hands and nimble fingers continued searching the wounded corporal for, he supposed, any other wounds.

From the corner of his eye, Dev glimpsed Dyson turning away from the patient on the operating table. While the patient was being carried to another tent, Dyson moved between the nurse and Dev. “What do you want, Colonel? I’m the surgeon in this tent.”

“My business is with Miss Cathwell,” Dev said, straightening and giving full rein to his years of experience in intimidating subordinate officers.

Miss Cathwell rose. “Dr. Dyson, I believe thy next patient is ready for thy . . . attention.”

Two Sanitary Commission soldiers lifted the wounded corporal the lady had been nursing. They carried him unconscious across the tent.

The doctor glared at both of them.

Dev did not like the man’s attitude, but perhaps the doctor had good reason to disdain Miss Cathwell. Certainly
everything he’d heard about Quakers marked them as troublemakers. They’d stoked the fire that had ignited this war.

The disgruntled doctor moved away, muttering epithets.

Turning, Dev found that the lady stood nearly as tall as he, and she was regarding him intently.

“Please, I need to get on with my work,” she said for his ears only. “How may I help thee?”

He struggled only a moment with caution, with his guilt. He lowered his voice and asked, “Will you come to my tent?” He motioned and gave her directions. “My wounded friend is there.”

Calling Jack a friend was an outright lie, but since Dev had already aided and abetted the enemy by bringing him back here, he felt he had no choice but to continue the deception.

BOOK: Faith
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