Tremaine's True Love

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Book: Tremaine's True Love Read Online Free PDF
Author: Grace Burrowes
Michael end its misery. But what could a mother do, when she had neither claws nor a full complement of teeth and her newborn was threatened by the elements and by a creature at least twice her size?
    “You won’t kill him, will you?” Nita was enough of a countrywoman to know that death was sometimes a mercy, and yet she regarded death as an enemy.
    “Of course not. This is valuable livestock.” Mr. St. Michael passed Nita the lamb, who weighed less than some of Susannah’s books. “If you would tuck him against my belly?”
    Mr. St. Michael had undone his clothing right down to his skin and held it all open so Nita could put the wet, frigid lamb into his shirt, against his bare abdomen.
    “Now do up a few buttons,” he directed. “Enough to hold the lamb against me, not enough to smother him.”
    Nita had to remove her gloves to comply, and while she applauded Mr. St. Michael’s quick thinking, the notion of a half-frozen lamb cuddling against his bare skin nearly had her shivering.
    The ewe stamped her hoof again and let go a bleat that surely held indignation and dismay. She advanced a few steps, as if to charge her offspring’s captor, but stopped short and stamped again.
    “I’ve got him,” Mr. St. Michael said to the mother sheep. He moved closer so the ewe could sniff at his shirt. “Your little lad will be safe, as long as he keeps breathing, and now I’ve got you too.”
    Like a predator striking, Mr. St. Michael scooped the ewe onto his shoulders.
    After some halfhearted flailing, the ewe allowed it, though she had little choice when Mr. St. Michael had all four legs in a firm grip.
    He had the entire situation in a firm grip, and Nita was abruptly glad she’d volunteered to show Mr. St. Michael this herd.
    “Now what, sir?”
    “To the gate, which you will have to open for us.”
    Their progress was businesslike, Mr. St. Michael slowed not one bit by seven stone of mother sheep across his shoulders. By the time Nita led him through the gate, George had emerged from the cottage and was hurrying down the path.
    “Are you reaving sheep, St. Michael, or have you tired of that fine coat you’re wearing?” George asked.
    “The coat can be cleaned easily enough,” Mr. St. Michael said. “We found an early lamb, and he needs shelter from the elements.”
    George was, in some ways, Nita’s favorite brother. He often grasped matters his older siblings had to have explained to them, but the whereabouts of the lamb eluded him.
    “The lamb is inside Mr. St. Michael’s shirt, to keep warm,” Nita said. “Where is Mr. Kinser?”
    “He’s snug by his fire and complaining of a chest cold,” George said. “The lambing pens are in the byre behind the cottage.”
    Nita mentally added Mr. Kinser to her week’s list of patients to treat by correspondence. A chest cold was simple enough—mustard plaster for the chest, a toddy for comfort—but if ignored, could rapidly become lung fever.
    Nita followed George and Mr. St. Michael up the hill to a low stone building set into the slope of the land. While the granite walls provided shelter from the wind, the cold within was still considerable.
    “Can a lamb possibly thrive in here?” Nita asked.
    “Lambs are tough, though he needs to nurse,” Mr. St. Michael said, which blunt reply inspired George to inspect the whitewashed stonework. “He’ll also need a thick bed of straw.”
    Mr. St. Michael set the ewe down inside a wooden pen tucked against the back wall. She started up a repetitive baaing that ripped at Nita’s nerves.
    “She wants her baby,” Nita said. Was desperate for him.
    “She shall have him,” Mr. St. Michael replied, “just as soon as the chambermaids have tended to the linens.” He took up a hay fork and pitched a quantity of straw into the pen, his movements practiced and easy. “Mr. Haddonfield, if you could tell your shepherd it’s time to move his earliest ewes in here, their presence will add to the warmth and safety of
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