PART 1 CHAPTER 1 December 1894
Slumped on the toilet after her nausea subsided, Louise Morrissey pressed a wet handkerchief against her forehead and made no effort to stop the cool rivulets trickling down her wrist. She could hold her breath only so long; then the foul smell of the public comfort station above Anderson’s Seed and Feed assaulted her, and she reached for the atomizer of lavender water.
As Louise sprayed the cloying fragrance about the cramped room, she longed to be back in her own pristine water closet. Home. What was it she needed to tell Frank? Then she remembered. As she was leaving Riverview Inn, the hotel they owned and called home, a guest had stopped her to complain that his room was as cold and drafty as an old castle. Frank could be so exasperating. He had promised weeks before to seal the room’s ill-fitting storm window, but he frittered away hours in his workshop with their friend Yonder LaFontaine, tinkering—she stopped mid-thought and set down the atomizer. What did she care about the Inn, the thankless job of the innkeeper’s wife? Her future was with Doc.