“Then I realized I loved you. That was awful."
"Awful!"
"Loving you and knowing I couldn't have you was tearing me apart. Though I knew nothing would pardon me in your eyes, I had to do what I could to make sure you'd always have your family to take care of you. That's why I sent the telegram to Washington, asking for the authority to grant amnesty to your brothers and your pa.
"I saved your family because I loved you, darlin', not because of what they could do to help me. True, they made the job easier, but I would have managed one way or another.
"As for the wedding, your pa just provded me with the excuse to ignore the consequences and take what I wanted most in the world-you. I should have told you everything then. But I was selfish, Willow,and I feared I'd lose you once you knew the truth.
"I guess I was hoping that once you were legally mine you'd give the two of us a chance.I even began telling myself that the amnesty deal would soften your opinion of me. When a man loves a woman as much as I love you, he reaches for almost any excuse to make himself believe he can win her over.”


Charlotte McPherren, Song of the Willow
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Song of the Willow Song of the Willow by Charlotte McPherren
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