Novel Title: Treachery
Time Setting: 1897
Minimum Word Goal: 90,000
Location: various towns in central Texas
Main Characters: Edward Thorne, Adeline Welling
Edward was born the third son and twelfth child of fourteen to a farmer in central Texas. He was the only son his mother, who was his father's second wife, bore to his father, out of the five children she gave him. When Edward was four years old she died in childbirth, the child also dying not that long afterwards. His father never remarried.
His older siblings, especially his sisters, helped care for him and his other younger siblings as they grew up on the farm, where Edward had plans to stay and help his father, if not start a farm of his own someday.
He was sweet on one of the local girls in town and eventually they were engaged, with the whole town looking forward to the marriage. However, on a trip to Corpus Christi with her mother to visit her aunt who'd volunteered to make the wedding dress, his fiancée met the fiancé of one of her cousins and the two found they loved each other. They thus called off their engagements and married each other on the day she and Edward had been planning to marry.
Heartbroken and angry, Edward left his hometown, not wanting to be reminded of her in any way, and headed southward, where he got a job at a ranch near San Antonio and fell in love with one of the foreman's daughters. Soon they were making plans to marry.
One night, however, he returned to the ranch intoxicated after a night of drinking with his fellow hands. His fiancée, following in her mother's footsteps as a bastion of the temperance movement, was appalled and broke off the engagement despite his pleas and promises that he would control himself.
Furious at being rejected again, Edward quit his job promptly and has given San Antonio a wide berth since then as he travels around Texas, mostly working with people's problem horses because he's become renowned in his horsemanship skills, compared to his youth. He has no plans whatsoever to get married.
Born the youngest child to a wainwright and his wife in West Virginia, Adeline lived a normal childhood for the first six years of her life. Tragedy struck her family in her seventh year when her father and brothers were caught out in a blizzard while hunting and ended up freezing to death.
Her mother, distraught and heartbroken, moved with Adeline and her older sister to the town that her sister lived in. They lived there for a year before Adeline's mother fell ill and her aunt declared that sea air would aid the recovery, promptly moving them all to Indianola, Texas.
There Adeline's mother met a beguiling man who had extensive knowledge of Native medicines and they were married in rather short order. Adeline's mother was convinced she married an angel, Adeline and her sister, however, believed their mother married the Devil incarnate.
As nice as their stepfather was nice to their mother, he was unkind to them. For even the things that looked like they may have turned into mistakes he beat them both savagely, and it didn't matter how profusely they apologised.
At this time they were living in Victoria, Texas, and as they'd been brought up, Adeline and her sister attended the local church, doing their best not to let their stepfather's abuses be known. However, one day the pastor's wife asked Adeline's sister why her face was bruised and her sister tearfully confessed the abuses.
Their stepfather quickly uprooted the family to San Antonio, where Adeline and her sister were forbidden to attend church. However, Adeline's sister went to the police for help, but their stepfather again moved the family — this time by cover of night — to Del Rio.
There their stepfather forced himself upon Adeline's sister, who conceived and bore a child their stepfather paid the midwife to murder. Overcome with guilt, however, the midwife confessed to the police, who eventually tried and executed her while Adeline's stepfather moved the family into Mexico before going northward to El Paso.
Their stepfather then tried to sell Adeline's sister to a house of ill repute, but her sister ran away. Their stepfather, enraged, found Adeline's sister and bludgeoned her to death while Adeline was forced to watch — in hopes of dissuading her from running.
Adeline didn't try initially, but she couldn't bring herself to remain either, and so enlisted the help of a young man, but he tried to take advantage of her. She managed to escape him and is now determined to go alone and finally get free of this terrible man who has so deluded her mother, as well as murdered her beloved sister.
Next post will be on September 5 due to computer maintenance procedures required.