Chapter 23

The tracker Stephen hired in the nearby village proved his worth. Within hours Stephen was caught up with Arthur and his posse. Shocked, surprised, and happy that Stephen was not dead, Arthur greeted him with the enthusiasm of a true friend who was relieved to discover he had not lost their friendship.

Although it was in the back of his mind, Stephen refrained from mentioning the fact that he knew Arthur intended to marry his wife.  He also did not broach the subject of the newborn baby. He had not had time to do the math where the infant was concerned, but since Elizabeth’s waiting maid was relatively certain he had not impregnated her before she ran away, he could only assume that Arthur did the deed immediately upon purchasing her. The dis-appearance of Paulette proved devastating for his friend and he felt the timing for such a discussion not correct. There would be time to sort out these matters once Paulette was found; hopefully unharmed.

Arthur sent a

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