The Runaway Wife
The winter of 1814 was reluctant to give way to spring. In March its icy trademarks remained stamped upon the hills and the squalls that snaked across the river, broad as a lake below the Kincardine crossings, were of sleet not rain. Between flurries, however, the sky cleared to a huge, washed-blue sheet that stretched taut as gauze above the distant estuary and made the lands that penned the Forth seem hard and new and clean.
Elspeth Patterson no longer cared where she was. She had no notion where the cart would finally trundle to a halt, in which hamlet on which headland she would be obliged to spend the night, to find food and shelter for herself and her child. She knew only that she was travelling again, moving on again, riding further and further from the place that she had once called home.
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