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  • Susan Stoderl

Prairie Dust, A Historical Novel in Serial Form, Chapter 2, Part 4

Barbed wire on field of wheat
Historical Fiction in Serial Form

Another birth terrified Flora. Her last experience had been in a hospital forty-seven miles from Blue Springs. Flora had lost several babies through difficult births. Jim thought Flora might have better luck with an experienced doctor at a hospital. The nurse placed the chloroformed cloth over her nose and mouth. The baby boy’s head was too large. Fresh out of school, the inexperienced doctor used forceps incorrectly. The baby didn’t have a chance because of significant damage to his

head and brain. Flora vowed never again. 

Mr. James Colsten

RR 3, Vernon, Colorado

Friday Night, June 12, 1908

My Dearest Flora,

I received your June 3rd letter and am surprised and heartened by your wonderful news. You have faced many sorrows before in this womanly duty, but I firmly believe God will grant us a healthy child this time. 

You needn’t fear moving here. I promise the small metropolis of Wray offers many things that will please you. It boasts a population of about one thousand and has many fine stores, a mill, and an opera house. There are two highly regarded, experienced doctors here. Also, you’ll be happy that saloons became illegal in 1903!

Last Sunday I attended the M.E. Sabbath School. They have a new church that was built just five years ago. The W.C.T.U. is very active. All the prominent ladies of the area are members and I’m sure you’ll be president in no time. There’s also an Epworth League for the boys. The service is at 11:00 a.m., with another meeting on Sunday evening. They have a brand new organ and a decent choir, though it lacks your lovely voice. Despite lacking beauty and tunability, they make up for it with enthusiasm. The new preacher seems to be a nice young man—very good with the young ones. 

We will build the new soddie fit for you at the beginning of October and have it ready within two weeks. I promise you that you’ll have an enviable home before the next harvest. 

Your expectant husband, 

James Colsten


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