In the evening, when her father came home, Amelia was sitting in the parlor.
“Daddy, we need to talk.”
He sighed and slid into the rocking chair. “Amelia, I know you think you’re smitten with this outlaw, but you’ll get over it. Once I get him outta my town, you’ll forget about him eventually.”
“I’m not just smitten with him. I’m in love with him. I will never forget about him. Daddy, you have to let him go. He is innocent. Just because he rides with the Brody gang doesn’t mean he does the things they do.”
“Amelia, a man don’t ride with the likes of the Brody gang if he ain’t like them. Men surround themselves with others of like minds.”
“Daddy, you’re wrong about Cade. He’s with the Brody gang because he didn’t have anyone else. His mama died and his daddy became a drunk. Cade was just fifteen.”
“Is that the story he told you? Honey, he’d tell you anything to have his way with you. I was going out of my mind when I couldn’t find you this afternoon. You know better than to go traipsing off alone with a man, especially a man like Cade Jeffries.”
“Cade would never hurt me. He loves me. He’s been nothing but a gentleman. Please, Daddy, let him go.”
“I can’t do that, Amelia. He may not have kidnapped you, but he is wanted for his actions with the Brody gang. Tomorrow one of my deputies is leaving for Pine River to see about getting a judge to come here to Cain’s Ford. Then Cade’ll stand trial and we’ll see what happens.”
“Did you talk to Cade? If you’d just talk to him, you’d see he’s an honorable man.”
“That word’s not even in his vocabulary. There are plenty of decent men in this town who are interested in courting you. Why don’t you spend some time with one of them, like Joshua Taylor. He’s got himself a nice ranch outside of town and a good head on his shoulders. He’d make a fine husband for you.”
“Daddy, I don’t love Joshua Taylor! I love Cade Jeffries!”
Amelia stormed out of the parlor.