Genre: MG historical fiction
Jane was better, less of a cough. There was no eye contact when I first got there. She seemed embarrassed by her illness and letting the drink get the better of her. She'd combed her hair and there was a shirt drying on the back of the chair.
"You know you don't need to be here. I'm getting up soon," she said.
"Cummings says to take another day. They rented a snake act"
"What, he brought in some family member?"
I laid out the fancy foods. I told Jane they were from Julia.
"A real lady, not like some. Tell her I inquired after her."
"You going back to the show?"
"I guess. Keep working. Save up for a ticket back." She was quiet for a moment, "I'm a Legend in her own time, remember, pony express rider and whatnot. After hearing them stories a few times, just mighta been the way it happened. Daisy, it's been a long time, and a lot of not-always-water has passed under the bridge. And Bill, Wild Bill Hickock, hell, might as well claim him too." She opened a food tin with her pocketknife and sniffed it.
"What you going to do next? They for sure can't stay on the road with a baby." She gave one of the pastries a squeeze to see what was inside. "They get sick, take cold, breaks your heart. They need an awful lot of stuff, small as they are."
I felt sure she was speaking from experience.