Authors: Al Lacy
OTHER BOOKS BY AL LACY
Angel of Mercy series:
A Promise for Breanna
Captive Set Free
A Dream Fulfilled
Suffer the Little Children
Whither Thou Goest
Not by Might
Things Not Seen
Far Above Rubies
Journeys of the Stranger series:
Tears of the Sun
Circle of Fire
Battles of Destiny (Civil War series):
(Battle of First Bull Run)
A Heart Divided
(Battle of Mobile Bay)
A Promise Unbroken
(Battle of Rich Mountain)
(Battle of Shiloh)
Joy from Ashes
(Battle of Fredericksburg)
Season of Valor
(Battle of Gettysburg)
Wings of the Wind
(Battle of Antietam)
Turn of Glory
(Battle of Chancellorsville)
Hannah of Fort Bridger series (coauthored with JoAnna Lacy):
Under the Distant Sky
Consider the Lilies
No Place for Fear
Pillow of Stone
The Perfect Gift
Touch of Compassion
Beyond the Valley
Mail Order Bride series (coauthored with JoAnna Lacy):
Secrets of the Heart
A Time to Love
Blessed Are the Merciful
Ransom of Love
Until the Daybreak
This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogues are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
A MEASURE OF GRACE
published by Multnomah Publishers, Inc.
© 2001 by ALJO Productions
Scripture quotations are from:
The Holy Bible
, King James Version
is a trademark of Multnomah Publishers, Inc.,
and is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The colophon is a trademark of Multnomah Publishers, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without prior written permission.
MULTNOMAH PUBLISHERS, INC. • POST OFFICE BOX 1720•SISTERS, OREGON
Library of Congress Catalogining-in-Publication Data
Lacy, Al. A measure of grace / by Al and JoAnna Lacy. p.cm.
1. Mail order brides-Fiction. 2. Women pioneers-Fiction. 3. Idaho–Fiction. I. Lacy, JoAnna. II. Title.
PS3562.A256 M43 2001 813’.54–dc21 2001003825
Congratulations to Brittney Ann Hinson of Ashford, Alabama, for submitting the winning entries in the Mail Order Bride contest. These letters and newspaper ad are found in this book as if written by the hopeful groom and his potential mail order bride
With great pleasure, we affectionately dedicate this book to our author representative
You are one of the reasons we find so much joy in writing for Multnomah Publishers!
We love you, Chad
Al and JoAnna
that the mail order business, also called direct mail marketing, “is a method of merchandising in which the seller’s offer is made through mass mailing of a circular or catalog, or advertisement placed in a newspaper or magazine, in which the buyer places his order by mail.”
goes on to say that “mail order operations have been known in the United States in one form or another since colonial days but not until the latter half of the nineteenth century did they assume a significant role in domestic trade.”
Thus the mail order market was known when the big gold rush took place in this country in the 1840s and 1850s. At that time prospectors, merchants, and adventurers raced from the east to the newly discovered goldfields in the west. One of the most famous was the California Gold Rush in 1848–49, when discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill, near Sacramento, brought more than 40,000 men to California. Though few struck it rich, their presence stimulated economic growth, the lure of which brought even more men to the west.
The married men who had come to seek their fortunes sent for their wives and children, desiring to stay and make their home there. Most of the gold rush men were single and also desired to stay in the west, but there were about two hundred men for every single woman. Being familiar with the mail order concept, they began advertising in eastern newspapers for women to come west and marry them. Thus was born the “mail order bride.”
Women by the hundreds began answering the ads. Often when
men and their prospective brides corresponded, they agreed to send no photographs; they would accept each other by the spirit of the letters rather than on a physical basis. Others, of course, did exchange photographs.
The mail order bride movement accelerated after the Civil War ended in April 1865, when men went west by the thousands to make their fortunes on the frontier. Many of the marriages turned out well, while others were disappointing and ended in desertion by one or the other of the mates, or by divorce.
In the Mail Order Bride fiction series, we tell stories intended to grip the heart of the reader, bring some smiles, and maybe wring out a few tears. As always, we weave in the gospel of Jesus Christ and run threads of Bible truth that apply to our lives today.
ARK THUNDERHEADS WERE PROWLING
like beasts of prey over the jagged Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho, driven southward by a stiff wind on a late spring morning in 1864.
Residents of the small town called Elkton—which was located just two miles from the southern Sawtooth foothills—were moving about the town, keeping their wary eyes on the approaching storm.
Lydia Carpenter stepped out the door of her modest white clapboard house, noting the unmistakable smell of rain in the air. When she felt a blast of wind buffet her, she realized it was blowing harder than she had thought. Pausing on the front porch, Lydia reached up, grasped the ribbons of her straw hat, and secured it more tightly under her chin.
Taking a deep breath of the moist air, she stepped off the porch, bent her head into the wind, and headed for Main Street. In less than five minutes, Lydia reached Main, turned right, and headed toward the center of Elkton’s business district, which was four blocks in length.
On the northeast corner of Main and Second Streets stood the Elkton General Store, which Lydia and her husband, Art, had owned for just over ten years.
Lydia always enjoyed her walk to the store, and though she found herself wishing the wind was not quite so strong, she was fond of rainy days and springtime. She wore a contented smile as she moved briskly along the boardwalk, greeting people as she went.