Leon Kleinfelter clutched the telegram as he waited at the train depot in Snake Junction, Kansas. The paper had been read, folded, read again so many times that the print was now faded by sweat and oil. But, Leon knew every word by heart and had pinned his hope on those words.
Mary Lannahan. That was her name and she would be arriving today on the Noon train. A mail-order bride, picked from a list of names and basic descriptions, was going to be here and they would be married.
Leon knew only that she was twenty years old with red hair. She was “a solid, dependable worker” and could cook. Other than that, this mail-order bride was as a cloud, hard to describe and even harder to grasp.
The train’s whistle sounded and the billowing smoke signaled the train’s imminent arrival. Leon’s throat grew dry as prairie grass, as he grasped the wilted bouquet of wild flowers he had picked nearby. She’s here.
A blonde woman stepped onto the platform, clutching a paper that had been read, folded, and read so many times that it was faded. Solid and dependable Katrina saw Leon and his flowers, standing in front of his wagon. A lonely figure of a man, but Katrina saw the hope in his nervous smile and the beauty of the flowers. She smiled.
“Leon?” They both hesitated. “I’m Katrina….Mary could not come…so I came in her stead…I hope…”
Leon gave her the flowers, tipped his hat. “Katrina was my grandmother’s name….You are most welcome…”
Both smiling and shy, they walked to the church, where the preacher was waiting.
All names, places, situations in this post are purely fictional, and bear no resemblance to any person, living or dead.