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A Heart Divided by J. M. Snyder

By J. M. Snyder

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He could go back to his tent and find the mending kit he kept beneath his cot, and stitch Sam together again with nothing more than 50 A HEART DIVIDED common household thread and a thin, unsterilized needle. Give him the whiskey to dull the pain, and when he was finished, wrap the wound in the tattered cloth he’d used to store the biscuits. But the fear of infection kept him from pushing past Mendenhall out of the tent. “I’ll pay you for the supplies,” Andy whispered. At the surgeon’s frown, he dug into his haversack and fingered the money he had saved for the past three years.

What an ironic way to die—survive the battles only to be killed by his own men. Especially now, when he’d finally found Sam…he thought of the slip of wax back in his tent, a candle he’d wrapped so carefully earlier and stowed away beneath his cot, and wished he had it with him now. Then a sobering thought hit him. I told the men to tell Wiley if I didn’t return in a half hour. God, how long has it been already? He wondered if they’d send a party out for him this late. Knowing Wiley, he thought maybe they would.

Half a month’s pay, and I’ll throw in another dollar for your silence, as well. ” Mendenhall cleared his throat. ” he asked, staring openly at the money clenched in Andy’s fist. “If it’s stolen—” “It’s not,” Andy assured him. “I’ve saved it from my own pay. ” Mendenhall met Andy’s gaze, uncertainty flickering in the 51 A HEART DIVIDED depths of his doll-like eyes. But greed shone there, as well. Ten dollars was a small fortune in these troubled times. “Please,” Andy pleaded. “It’s your duty to heal, is it not?

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