In Her Inheritance
Philadelphia in 1880
"This is the best chance I'll ever get," Jessica Whitmore declared. "I'm nineteen years of age now, and it's time I stopped being a burden on your parents."
"They love you like a second daughter, which is what you've become to them since your parents died," her best friend Sarah Moore, sitting beside her on her bed, insisted.
Jessica smiled. "I know," she said softly. "But this letter offers me a place to live, and I can make a new life there. Thanks to my parents' estate, I'm not penniless. I can live on that until I can find some employment."
Sarah dropped her shoulders in defeat. "But Texas is so far away. Aren't you afraid to travel on your own?"
"My dearest Sarah, that's what I am--on my own. Until the attorney wrote of this unexpected inheritance, I had no notion that my mother's best friend would include me in her will. All I knew was that I was named after her. When she visited, I used to call her Aunt Jessie."
"But couldn't the attorney just sell the house and send you the funds?"
"No, I am to share ownership of Jessie's house with a Mr. Tanner Brand." Sarah frowned. "When I must present myself in person for the reading of the will, I'll meet him. The attorney assures me that Mr. Brand is highly thought of."
"There's no way around it then?"
"The morning after your wedding, I board the train for Chicago. From there I find my way to Dripping Rock, Texas."
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