“Don’t mind at all.” Roman pushed the screen door open. “Go right on in.”

When Abe disappeared into the house, Roman flopped into one of the wicker chairs that sat near the swing and fanned his damp face with the brim of his hat. “Sure has turned into a warm day, jah?”

Martin nodded. “That’s why Ruth went into the house to get something cold to drink. As soon as she comes back, we’ll take it to the workers.”

“It’s nice of you to want to help,” Roman said with a sly-looking smile. His brown eyes twinkled, as though he knew Martin’s secret.

Martin’s ears burned with embarrassment. Did Ruth’s dad know how much he cared for his daughter? Would Roman approve of his courting Ruth? He was tempted to ask but decided to bring up another subject instead. “Did you see that hammer fly off the roof a while ago?”

“Sure didn’t. Did anyone get hurt?”

“No, but the hammer almost hit Ruth.”

Roman’s dark bushy eyebrows drew together. “How’d it happen?”

“It was Luke’s hammer. He said it slipped out of his hand.”

“Humph! As much training as that fellow’s had using a hammer, he shouldn’t be losing his grip. That was just plain careless.” Roman’s eyes narrowed as he glanced at the place behind his house where the section of property he’d given Cleon lay. “I never invited Luke to this work frolic. If I’d had my way, he wouldn’t have come.”

“Who invited him?”

“Cleon. He invited Luke and his English boss, John Peterson. Guess he wanted all able-bodied carpenters to help so we could get the job done quicker.”

“Even so, if he knew you didn’t want Luke invited—”

“Since it’s Cleon and Grace’s house, I didn’t think I had the right to say who could help and who couldn’t.” The scowl on Roman’s face was enough to curdle fresh goat’s milk. “Now that I know one of my daughters could have been injured because of Luke’s carelessness, I have a right to say what’s on my mind.” He stood and pivoted toward the porch steps.

“Where are you going?”

“To send Luke Friesen home!”

© 2007 by Wanda E. Brunstetter
ISBN 978-1-59789-272-8
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted
in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher. Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, Ohio 44683,