The night was cool as Johnny Lancer lay ill from a bullet in his back but
his first impression of Maura Talbot was one of warmth.
Warm hands tending to his wound, warm blankets placed over his wounded
body and sun-like warmth from her red hair in the lamplight.
impression was of a lilting accent unlike any he’d ever heard before. Her Irish brogue fell musically on his ears as he lay in bed
after the surgery. Maura had been
summoned to attend to the nursing after Dr. Sam Jenkins had done his best to
patch Johnny up.
He could sense
that there was sadness in her but also strength. Eventually he would learn just
how right he was. During the
duration of his recovery this woman would worm her way into his heart as well as
that of his brother. She
would become a mother figure to both young Lancers just as she had always been
for Teresa. They would love her and respect her and she, in turn, would love
them as she had loved her own sons – sons who would have been their
contemporaries. Three young men
who, as boys, might have been best of friends with Johnny and Scott had
circumstances been different.
Gentle yes. Sad perhaps. But also warm, strong, patient and loving…these were the first impressions that the Lancer boys had of Maura Talbot. And she would prove it to them over and over again.