Mail-Order Husband:The Millionaire's Debt

By: Rebecca Tilley



“Hello Ms. Haynes,” Mr. Gantry spoke in a voice that was familiar to Daphne, but the meanness was gone from it.

“Hello Mr. Gantry,” she said almost as a question. “How can I help you this evening? I am working on getting out of the house. I will be gone by sundown, I promise.”

“That won’t be necessary, Ms. Haynes.” Mr. Albertson stepped forward stretching his hand out to shake hers. “It appears the bank has made a mistake and you will no longer need to vacate the premises today, or ever I suppose.” He motioned for Mr. Gantry to come forward. Mr. Gantry rushed to the man’s side reaching into his breast pocket to pull out the deed to the farm. “Here is the deed to the land, Ms. Haynes. I trust you will find it is all in order.”

Daphne looked at the paper in disbelief as she took it from Mr. Gantry’s outstretched hand. She handed it to Micah who had a broad smile on his face. He nodded, “Everything appears to be in order gentlemen, but I am confused. You were prepared to take this property at sundown when you suddenly realized the bank made a mistake? Aren’t you two the bank in this scenario? Didn’t you two make a mistake?”

Daphne had never heard anyone talk to the bankers this way before. They had the whole town under their thumb with overpriced mortgages and scare tactics. Micah had nothing to fear from these men, however. He owed them nothing and they were threatening someone he loved. Daphne was impressed and glad he was there.

“Well, yes sir.” Mr. Albertson looked uncomfortable as he made this admission.

“Why didn’t you say that then? We made a mistake.”

“I am sorry. Ms. Haynes, we made a mistake in foreclosing on you early. Will you forgive us?”

“I suppose so. I am glad to have my farm back.”

“Thank you, Ms. Haynes,” Mr. Albertson said.

“Yes, thank you,” Mr. Gantry added. “We best be on our way I suppose.”

The two men turned to leave when Micah stopped them. “Was there anything else gentlemen?” They knew he was referring to the candlesticks and stopped dead in their tracks. Mr. Gantry was hoping he may have forgotten about them, because he was unable to get them back.

“Well, you see, I was unable to get the candlesticks.”

“Hmmm. Unacceptable. You see I said I wanted the candlesticks back, and I didn’t want to see you here without them. Yet, here you are, and no candlesticks.”

Mr. Gantry was squirming; racking his brain for an answer that may get him out of trouble. “I’m sorry sir. I tried my hardest, and I didn’t want to miss the deadline you had set. You said you wanted us here in an hour.”

“With the candlesticks,” Micah interrupted. “What should we do about this, Daph?”

“I think we ought to let them off the hook. I already have all that I need.” She leaned into him and gave him a kiss. “I’ll be happy without the candlesticks.”

“You boys are lucky. I am not nearly as forgiving about these sorts of things as Ms. Haynes is. As far as I am concerned, you folks stole those from her when you sold ‘em; and that is what I told the marshal this afternoon when I talked to him about the board’s actions. He promised to look into it right away. You boys are fortunate you were only following orders. Looks as if all you’re going to lose is your jobs.”

His last words fell like a hammer on the men’s ears. “You have no authority to make such a decision,” Mr. Gantry said indignantly. “Just because you have two million dollars in the bank doesn’t mean you control the place.”

“You’re right, Mr. Gantry, but I think this does.” He removed his hat and pulled a document from the band and handed it to Mr. Gantry. “You see Lonny, when I left you this afternoon I bought the bank. It is now the newest member of The Dawkins Company, a company which I own.”

Daphne was trying to take all of this in. She knew Micah had some money; after all he was coming to pay off her farm; but two million dollars, plus enough left over to buy a bank? How much did he have, and why had he come to help her out. Certainly he could have had his pick of women back in Texas; he didn’t need a poor widow in Colorado. She snapped the paper out of Mr. Gantry’s hand and looked it over. As she scanned the document her eye caught the signature line, “Jonathan Dawkins” clear as day. Her jaw nearly hit the ground.

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