Image of frontier woman in her kitchen pulled from internet.
“Are you havin’ more trouble?”
“I’m afraid it might come early.”
“Well, ain’t nothin’ to be done about that. Just don’t overdo yourself and maybe it will hold.” Emma reassured her.
“That’s not what I mean. I think I was carrying this baby when I come here.” Anya studied her lap.
“Well, Joe knowed you was a widow. You don’t look too far along. You been here long enough it might be Joe’s.”
“It ain’t. Joe ain’t never touched me. That’s why I ain’t told him about the baby. It cain’t be his. I wish I would just lose it! I don’t want to Joe to put me out over this baby. Our life is just starting to be good.” Anya cried softly.
“Anya. I know you a good woman the way you look after Joe and them young’uns. Joe is a good man. You are gonna have to talk to him about this. Times is real hard out here. They ain’t a town fer miles. Good folks don’t just happen by. You an’ Joe might have a chance. I ‘spect Joe’s already suspicions ‘bout that baby. I knowed you was in the family way the minute I seen you. Rufus saw it, too. The Lord has done joined you together and you don’t need to be parted, not without trying. You’re a’thinkin’ Joe ain’t gonna want you with this baby comin’. You’re a figurin’ you gonna lose him anyway. Joe’s a good man. Even if it turns out he don’t want you with this baby, you need to talk to him. He’s showed you kindness all this time. He ain’t gonna grind you under his foot like a snake even if he don’t want you. The two of you can figure out somethin’. Joe ain’t never had nobody to care about him before and that means a lot.”
Even if Emma was wrong, her kindness eased Anya’s fears.
“I just don’t want to put no more on Joe.” She explained.
“Then don’t leave his feelings out of this. Let’s get them dumplings started. The menfolk is gonna be hungry.” Emma was a good woman.