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Taylor had repeatedly told Amanda how precious time was and that it was not to be wasted on frivolous matters, yet here she was doing nothing to improve her mind. And also, Taylor had told her what awful people the citizens of Kingman were. Hadn't they ostracized her mother? They didn't like the Cauldens and she was better off not associating with them. Yet here she was, standing behind Dr. Montgomery and nodding in recognition to passing people, some of whom knew her name. " Dr. Montgomery said in an angry tone to her when she mentioned returning to the ranch.

So he had kept his love for her to himself but he had bound her to him so she couldn't get away, and someday, when the idea didn't frighten him so much, he planned to marry her. Right now he feared that if he married her, she might change, she might become his drunken, fat, stupid mother. He looked at his watch again. 2:18. Still no sign of her. He hated allowing her to go out with that barbarian Montgomery but he had no choice. Montgomery could cause a great deal of trouble on the ranch and he needed to be kept away, and Amanda was the only one available to do it.

He had given her a schedule this morning and she was to return by noon, so why was she over two hours late? He looked at his watch again. 2:14. Still no sign of the car. Damn her! he thought. Damn her for making him feel like this. He cursed her and he cursed himself for caring so much. He'd sworn long ago that he'd never love another woman—women were too untrustworthy. They said they loved you and then they deserted you. As he stared out the window he seemed to be transported back to his childhood when he used to stand by the window and wait for his mother to come home.

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