The Cure for His Stubborn Soul – Extended Epilogue

Golden Creek
June 1900

“Give Mama a kiss.” Annie hugged her little girl. “So you’re sure you can keep her
here tonight, Daisy?”

“Of course. I love having her here. The boys do too. She’s such a help to me,
aren’t you love?” Daisy stroked the three-year-old’s red curls so like her own.

“Thank you. Jon and I are having dinner out tonight.”

“What’s the occasion?”

“It’s our fourth wedding anniversary!”

“Oh, I’m such a bad sister! I completely forgot.”

“Do you think I’d expect you to remember it when you’re so busy all the time? Why, if you didn’t take care of Bonnie in the daytime, I’d have to give up the shop. With you working at home and staying with the babies, I can run the shop, although I am going to need to get someone new to help out. With so many new people still coming into town each day, I’m sure to find someone. Now, should I bring the young ladies here to meet you, or do you want to bring the kids to the
shop and meet them there?”

“Oh no, Annie. You do as you see fit. I have perfect, and I sincerely mean perfect, trust in your observations and perceptions. If it weren’t for you, I would have found myself ruined by Paul McGowan.”

“Don’t say that, Daisy.”

“It’s true. I’d heard the rumors about him. I knew you were spying on him.”

“You did?”

“Yes, I saw you in the bar one night, all done up under your long black veil.

You looked too elegant to be in such a place. That’s how I came to see you. Just that once. The night I told Paul you were going west, and I could stay in Philadelphia if we married. I blamed you, Annie, and I’m sorry. It was wrong of me.”

“You were young. Do you see it now?”

“I do. And because you didn’t give up on me, because you took my unkind words and actions, I now have the best life. I’m madly in love with Stewart. I love my children, your daughter, you and Jon. We’re so blessed. I’m so happy you forced me to come out here with you!” Daisy joked, and then began to cry.

“Daisy! What is it?”

“I’m just so happy, is all. I didn’t think true happiness would ever find me.”

“Well, it has, Daisy. And you deserve every drop of it.”

** *** **

“I love it, Jon.” Annie squeezed her husband’s hand and gazed at the new sign over her shop. “I can’t wait till Daisy sees it, although I don’t know how much longer she’s going to be working here. With her and Stewart’s two and our little Bonnie, she has her hands full.”

“I’d say you have your hands full too, dear.” Jon smiled.

“I do. But in a different way.” Annie’s hand rested on her belly, and she briefly rested her head against her husband’s arm.

“I’ll definitely need to hire a girl from town, or somewhere else to help me in the shop. That shouldn’t be too hard considering we get more young women coming into Golden Creek all the time. As usual, some are passing through, but some stay. They all need work, though. That never changes.”

The couple walked into the dress shop. When the little bar next to the former mining supply company closed down, Jon had bought the entire three-story building. The whole place had been outfitted as a dress shop on the main floor, changing rooms and a little sitting room on the second floor, and offices on the third. The third floor held the office for the Golden Creek General Store and Mining Supply, which now had three locations in town. The building that Marcus had, Jon’s building, and Jim Banks’ building.

Marcus and Jon had finally bought Banks out and installed Stewart at that store. Since that location was at the north end of town, Stewart had built a home for Daisy a few blocks from the store. The original idea had been to expand the dress shop location as well, but then the babies started coming.

Daisy had married Stewart on her eighteenth birthday and nine months later had given birth to Stewart Jr. who they called Junior. The four-year-old helped his mother in caring for his three-year-old cousin Bonnie and his baby brother, Jon who was just eighteen months.

The children were beautiful and healthy babies, and Daisy was in her element caring for them. She had told Annie that she could always go back to dressmaking; she was having too much fun being an auntie and a mom.

Annie, for her part, loved being a mother as well. Her daughter had become the center of her world, but she had another fire that burned within her as well.

And that was to be a career woman. With her sister, she could do that while Daisy tended to the kids and worked on pattern sketches at home.

Life was grand, and Annie had never been happier. She’d never even considered that it was possible to be as happy as she’d found herself to be.

The new shop, next door to Jon’s building, was even finer than Aunt Bonnie’s had been. While her aunt’s dress shop had catered to some of Philadelphia’s elite, the sisters had always gone to the homes of the women to fit them. Their maids would pick up the finished garments neatly packed in long boxes or brown paper.

The shop had been pretty, but it had been cramped. Annie’s sewing machine and work area had been in the back of the shop, while Daisy’s had been set up in the front corner. There’d always been fabric scraps littering the floor, pincushion, ribbons, measures, bits of lace and every other possible item a dress shop housed were found in doubles and threes on every surface.

In this new shop, the light was perfect. There was so much room to do everything. And most frontier town women, even if they had money, didn’t have the dressmaker, the hairdresser, or the haberdasher come to their houses. Things were more casual in the west, and Annie thrived in the atmosphere.

Her shop brought just enough glamour to the ladies of Golden Creek, a population that had grown substantially in the five years since Daisy and Annie had stepped off the train in their adopted hometown. Her life had become one she barely recognized, so happy had she become with her husband and child and her business. And she had another reason to be especially happy.

“Jon, this is so wonderful. I’m speechless with happiness. You never stop coming up with ideas to surprise me.”

“You told me once that you like surprises. I like to give them to you. I reckon we’re a match made in Heaven, dear.”

“Well, I have a surprise for you, too.”

“You do? Tell me. A new vest? You know I’m partial to the striped satin you got in about a month ago.”

“I didn’t know that, but now that I do, you’ll have your new vest, darling. It’s something I can make at home.”

“Oh? OK. It makes no difference to me where you sew my things!” He grinned from ear to ear.

“Yes. I’ll be staying home more. After I hire a girl or two.”

“Two?”

“Well, Daisy isn’t going to come back to the shop, darling. And I find that I’ll be taking a short leave of absence, myself.”

“You are? But why? I thought you love being in the shop.”

“I do. There’s only one thing I like better, and that’s being with my children.”

“Your children? But we have just …” His words stopped short. “Annie?”

Tears came to her eyes, and she nodded. “Yes,” she whispered.

Jon took her in his arms and held her tight. “When, dear?”

“Around Christmastime. Maybe our little one will ring in the New Year, only God knows.” Annie smiled. “I’m so happy, Jon. I love you; I love our little girl. I love my new shop. We are so blessed. I love my very life. I’m very grateful.”

“I love you, Annie.”

They were sharing a sweet moment when the bell over the shop door rang, and they turned toward it. A young woman walked into the shop looking all around.

She was dishevelled, very pretty, and looked tired. Clearly she had just come into town on the train.

Annie stepped back from Jon, but not before he told her in whispers to keep an eye on the girl. She might be up to no good. Annie smiled and reminded him that not so long ago he’d thought she, herself, was no good.

The girl stood inside the door. Her pale blonde hair was up in a bun on top of her head. Annie couldn’t help noticing that the girl’s dress, though simple, was beautifully made. Certainly she came from a place where she could afford to buy nice clothes.

She obviously hadn’t seen Annie and Jon because when Annie spoke to her the girl jumped.

“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to startle you. How can I help you?” Annie walked toward the door.

“Thank you, ma’am.” The girl curtsied in a charming way, and Annie recognized the girl’s accent as being Appalachian. Probably West Virginia.

“My name is Mary Smothers. I come from Moundsville.”

Annie nodded. She’d been right. “What brings you all the way to Colorado, Mary? Come and sit at this table with me, will you?”

“Yes’m.” The girl, who was about seventeen, followed Annie to the table.

Once they were seated, Annie folded her hands on the tabletop. “So?”

“I lived with my maw-maw since the age of ten, ma’am. I’m eighteen, and I’m looking for work. Maw-maw died six months ago. The bank came to take the farm because the taxes were behind. That was when the bank president told me there was a way to save the place.”

“Oh, Mary. I think I know what his offer was. He said if you married him, he wouldn’t take the farm? How awful for you.”

“No ma’am. He wanted me to be his … he was going to set me up in a house in town. Ma’am, he’s a married man, and he’s twenty-five! I’m acquainted with his wife!”

Annie gasped. “Why, the scoundrel. I’m so sorry, Mary.”

“I just need a dress … Mrs …?”

“You’ll have to excuse me. I’m Mrs. Balladeer.” Annie looked at Jon and smiled when she said it.

“It’s nice to meet you, Mrs. Balladeer. I need to purchase a dress. I have only what I’m wearing. This carpet bag I have is empty. You see, I fled Moundsville in the middle of the night. The bank president had men watching me in the day. He gave me gifts … clothing, books. I kept nothing. I wanted to keep two of the books, but I left everything he gave me. Everything I never wore or used, I left at the house. When the bank takes it back, they can take those baubles and things I never wanted.”

“But I’m going on too much. I just need the dress, please. Maybe a skirt and
shirtwaist, but I don’t have much money.”

Annie had been studying the girl. She had a good feeling about her.

“Where are you headed, Mary?”

“As far from West Virginia as I can get.”

Annie laughed. “Well, this is Colorado. It’s pretty far. I reckon it’s far enough.”

“I reckon. But I know a girl who went out to San Francisco two years ago. She wrote to me once to tell me how nice it was there. Of course, I was taking care of Maw-maw.”

“I see, and how many times did your friend write to you?”

“Just the once. But she’s the only person I know outside of home.”

“Mary, what if I told you I could teach you how to make your own dress?”

“Oh, I know how to make my own clothes, Mrs. Balladeer.”

“You do?”

“Yes, I’ve sewn my own clothes since I was a little girl.”

“How did you learn?”

“I looked at my maw-maw’s dresses. I used to turn them for her. She told me that’s how they made their dresses last longer when she was a girl.”

“I’m familiar with the practice. Let me ask you, Mary, did you make the dress
you’re wearing?”

“I did.”

“Would you let me lift the hem to examine it and the seams in the skirt?”

“Of course. Why, Mrs. Balladeer? Why would you look at them? You know how to sew already.”

Annie smiled and examined the skirt of the dress. She looked at the bodice, the shoulders, the neckline, and she was amazed.

“Do you mean to tell me, Mary, that you sewed this dress without a pattern?”

“Oh no. I could never do something like that. I made a pattern.”

“You drew your own pattern?”

“Well, it’s taken from one of Maw-maw’s dresses.”

Annie was beside herself. The girl was very talented. In fact, with training, she believed Mary’s skill as a seamstress would surpass her own and Daisy’s.

“Mary, here’s my card.” Annie wrote something on the back of it. “I’d like you to take it to Mrs. Hudson’s Home for Ladies and Young Women. She will give you a room. It comes with supper in about an hour and breakfast in the morning. After breakfast tomorrow, I’d be happy to see you again and talk about a job for you.”

“On, Mrs. Balladeer. That’s so generous of you. Do you need someone to clean the shop?”

“No, Mary. I need another seamstress. You have a natural talent. I’d like to take you on as an apprentice.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Balladeer. Thank you, so much.”

“You’re very welcome. Will I see you here at nine o’clock tomorrow?”

“Yes, ma’am.” The girl stood and shook Annie’s hand, and Annie told her where Mrs. Hudson’s was.

After Mary was gone, Annie turned to Jon, grinning broadly. He came and sat at the table with her.

“What made you decide to talk to her, dear?”

“I knew she wasn’t any trouble just by looking at her. Yes, she was unkempt; she’d just gotten off the train. But did you see her work? The dress was machine made without a real pattern. She excels at it. I want to see her handwork, which I’ll teach her if she doesn’t know how, but I’m sure she knows something. She’ll need to learn draping although I have a feeling she’ll take to it readily. As my apprentice, she’ll learn all the fine sewing techniques my sister and I learned from our aunt, even if she doesn’t use them on a regular basis.

“What the women in Colorado want is vastly different from Philadelphia, and I reckon, Moundsville. But, that being said, I saw something of Daisy in Mary Smothers. And myself. It was only five years ago we were in a somewhat similar situation in that we were young, unmarried women in the west. Mrs. Hudson was so kind to us as well as Carlotta. We were sheltered. I want to do that for someone.

“Young Mary doesn’t have a soul, no one, in this whole wide world. I want to give her a chance, John. And I liked her immediately. She’s honest; I can tell. She’ll be a perfect fit here.”

“I have to tell you dear, if I haven’t told you already how much I love you and what a wonderful mother you are, let me tell you now. You’re going to take young Mary Smothers under your wing. If you trust her, so do I.”

“I knew I fell in love with you for a reason, Jon Balladeer.” Annie smiled. Her world was finally complete. She had her love, her family, and her business. She was blessed beyond measure.

“To change our tune for a moment, Mrs.Balladere, how do you feel about having dinner at that new restaurant near our house. The one that the Italian couple opened. Marcus said they’re very nice people, and the Gervasis have raved about the food. Lina and Ciro are from the same town in Italy as Marcus’ in-laws. Apparently, it’s a festive spot, and we have much to celebrate tonight. We’re going to be mama and daddy for the second time and you have your new shop assistant.
The supply company is doing well. Life is good, Annie. Better than I ever dreamed it could or would be. And it’s all due to you.”

She gazed at her husband lovingly. “I imagine we’re co-conspirators, darling.”

“I imagine we are, Annie.” Jon opened the door, and they stepped out onto the road that had many more shops and buildings on it than five years previously.

They headed toward the new restaurant and their home. Annie sent a prayer of thanks to James Balladeer and Aunt Bonnie for beginning the love story that she and Jon were living.

THE END


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116 thoughts on “The Cure for His Stubborn Soul – Extended Epilogue”

    1. What a blessing this story is. From her aunts letter, to moving to a new town. The struggles, to finding love. Passing on good deeds to others. Thank you Carol for another wonderful story.

      1. What a wonderful story ! I enjoyed it so much ! All I can say is God Bless You and your Wonderful story ! So please keep writing !

    2. What a wonderful novel! I really enjoyed the mystery of the letter which was never read as well as how protective Annie was of Daisy. Good read through and through!

    3. I enjoyed this story a lot. I loved the characters and how different the two sisters were. I also loved the happy ending.

    4. Another one of your beautiful stories. Jon and Annie are now my favorite characters of which there are already many. Thanks for your amazing work.

    5. Every time I can I read,your. Books. Are GREAT.The stories are fantastic keep up the great work Jeweledwards. Five stars!

    6. I have been blessed with your story with the dress makers. As usual you have woven travel, adventure and characters into a spell binding book. My Mother was a seamstress!!! Thank God I learned from her.

    7. Thank you, Carol for a delightful historical romance. The plot, the characters, just enough suspense and refreshing love story. Already anticipating your next sweet romance.

    8. A very well written story. I loved the way Annie always had such brilliant ideas, and they worked out so well. The way Annie took care of her sister Daisy was so heart warming. Loved the story line.

    9. I look forward to reading each and every book you write. Annie’s character was strong and Jon was the perfect mate to encourage her and love her uniqueness in the west.

    10. Thank you so much for writing this wonderful book. I enjoyed the courage of the two young ladies as they made a new life for themselves after their aunt died. Annie had so much courage to embrace a new life far away from all they knew and to protect her younger sister. I agree with all the other readers that it’s a fantastic story!

    11. I really enjoyed your book. It’s always nice to see how family works together even in rough times. The extended episode wrapsit up with a bow on top.

    12. Carol Colyer you amaze me each time I complete your books. Annie and Jon were amazing and I would laugh at how they were getting upset with one another each time they were in each other’s company. Thank you Carol for another wonderful book.

    13. Another wonderful book! The story line was spell binding as well as the characters. You never disappoint!

    14. A cure for a stubern soul

      Great story too reed enjoyed everything about the story intresting intresting and could not stop reading very intresting story .

    15. Great story from beginning to the end full of great things well worth reading with out giving things away .

    16. Thank you for giving us a very good story about life in early America! You combined the good and bad of those years. I am also a seamstress and went to college for fashion design and interior design.

    17. Thank you for such an amazing story. While it shows the evil in the world, it also displays the good. I admire an author that can develop such a beautiful story without lacing it with vulgarity. Thank you and God bless you!

    18. I enjoyed the book very much. I like to read historical romance books and this one was a pleasure to read with some action and sweet romance combined.

  1. Carol, you have written another charming story of the West. The sisters Annie and Daisy were among many travelling out west in search of a new beginning. They faced quite a few setbacks before Annie’s tenacity paid off with happy endings for them both.
    There were few muddles in the story. The timing of the dinner the girls had with Jon was confused.
    I had some happy reading thankyou.

    1. I really enjoy reading your books. Your characters seem so down to earth with their everyday living and problems.

  2. This is a great story of letting go of the past and moving into the future with new people and hope for the future. It also show us how to look at a person’s character and not outward appearance. Good job Carol.

  3. This is a very good story and is well written life has its trials but things happen when they are supposed too.
    Keep up the good work

  4. The most important thing I look for in a good read are characters I really like. Annie, Daisy, Jon and Marcus are fantastic main characters and the rest of your people are likable and unique as well. This story held my interest from start to finish. Good book!

  5. I enjoyed the story. I’m sucker for a good story of romance and recovering from chalenges. Looking for more to come.

  6. I enjoyed reading this story. I was dying to read the letter, but I understood their decision also! An entertaining different story. Thank you.

  7. I lied this book including the extended epilogue. This was a delightful book I liked the story line completely . It had a lot of trusts and teens which kept you I detest I give it 5 stars .

  8. I liked this a lot I wrote a review and half of it was gone. Several weeks ago I fell and broke my glasses and can’t get them repaired until everything get up and running again. So I read alot. I don’t see as well thru these old glasses. I didn’t realize that the words were replaced with different word because of misspelled words. I give this a5+ star rating.Loved the book.

  9. This was a very clean western love adventure story. Two sisters who were orphaned as young girls were brought up by their Aunt who loved them and taught them the occupation of master sewers. When the Aunt dies the girls go to Colorado to hand deliver a letter as a last request from their Aunt. When the girls get there they quickly become envolved in all kinds of adventures. A nice read.

  10. I enjoyed this book with interesting situations and the characters were amazing. The relationship between the characters was great. This is an great story.

  11. Fun story…kept my intetest….however, many places of confusion, with time, names, and comments of fire destroying businesses, long before the fire took place ! Really need good proofreader ! I was frustrated many times ! I proofread for friend, so always notice these missing words, out of context comments. Found myself going back several pages many times trying to figure out what was right !

    1. Thank you for your comment, my dear Elaine. Glad that you enjoyed the book! I really appreciate your kind and honest feedback! It’s always welcome, as it helps me become better and better. I’ll check with my editor about these.

  12. Second chances are wonderful. Loved this story and only the ,”She” word inserted throughout the story in error, kept it from being the best yet. Love your unique style.

  13. The story was good ,I like it when the ladies can do something besides ride horses and cook.

  14. I thoroughly loved these stories. These would make an interesting series. The letter the Aunt left was intriguing. But I wish the story line had allowed the reading of the letter which could have led to a new story line for expansion into another book in the series. I would also like to hear the story of the new character from the KY. I love a sweet story with no sex or in you face violence. Excellent read! Good job!

  15. I was caught up from the beginning. The people seem so real and the story was very believable. I felt at home with Aunt Bonnie. What a selfless soul. I felt myself grow into the new community of Golden Creek. There was so much against Annie and Daisy at first, but with determination and a strong will as well as wonderful friends they became successful in business and love. Thank you for another comforting read.

  16. Excellent,and I recommend this to all my friends and family who also enjoy a good clean story that really holds one’s interest to the very end. Thank you for writing such as this!

  17. Once again very enjoyable and the extended epilogue always adds that little bit extra.
    One thing I did notice in the book before some paragraphs there is a wee typo ,it began She===== which was out of context with the rest of the sentence

  18. Carol,I really enjoy reading your stories, somehow you feel connected to the characters, very interesting and clean western love sories.

  19. I’m a 90 year old male that reads Weastern’s but found myself with out a Western to read. By chance I found your book and in desperation read it.

    I like your books, guess they are really Western but without focus on guns, ranch wars, and shoot outs.
    I’ll read all of your books as I do with authors I like.

    1. Thank you so much dear Charles for this heartwarming comment! I am truly glad you came across my book and enjoyed it as much! I hope you will find the rest of them equally enjoyable and will be great company for this winter’s evenings! 😊📚

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It was very well planned out and the characters were easy to keep up with. Sometimes writers have so many characters that it is hard to remember what role they play in the particular story. I liked Annie’s determination/dedication, her talents/abilities regarding such, and her business-minded persona. Thanks for a great and entertaining read.

  21. I truly enjoyed this book I found Annie to be very brave and clever with a generous will to help others and solve so many problems keep up the really good work

    1. Thank you kindly dear Gerline! 🥰 I am glad you enjoyed it! I will consider your suggestion but until then you can enjoy one of my other stories! 🌺

  22. A lovely little story with mystery, adventure and love. Who could ask for anything more!! This is the first of your books that I read but will not be the last.

  23. I liked that this story was from a town perspective. Most western romances are on the ranch or farm. The characters were all so kind and respective of each other, even though Jon and Annie didn’t hit it off in the beginning. A blessing in disguise was proven true. Great writing Carol.

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