1850 Pair-a-Dice in the Mother Lode of California
Smiling cynically, Angel saw on one corner a man preaching salvation while on the other his brother, hat in hand, fleeced the godforsaken. Everywhere she looked, there were desperate men, exiled from home and family, seeking escape from the purgatory forged by their own decaying hopes for a future.
These same fools sought solace where they were most assured of finding none-from her.
The things that happen to little Sarah in the prologue was horrific. I imagine she is wondering where God is, why her dad didn’t want her, why God and her mom hadn’t protected her with Cloe.
Where was God when mom died? How could God let such a little innocent child of 8 become Dukes new property?
How do we reconcile God’s character as it is revealed in Scripture with the fact that horrible things happen to the innocent?
From 8 to 18 we can only imagine what a life Sarah endured. We get a quick glimpse of a lover who helped her escape the likes of Duke but only to soon lose hope and was on her own again.
Along and with no hope. Angel hated her life. She hated Pair-a-Dice, Duchess, Magowan, and she even hated her own wretched helplessness. Most of all she hated men and the relentless quest for pleasure.
She remember the words Cloe spoke to her about God’s Truth,
“All men want to do is use you. When you give them your heart, they tear it to shreds.”
An even stronger force than the hatred that feasted on her was the weariness that sucked her soul dry.
At eighteen, she was tired of living and resigned to fact that nothing would ever change. She wondered why she was even born.
For this she was born, take it or leave it. God’s Truth. Only way out was to kill herself.
Her courage failed her over and over.
No hope for Angel,
“I don’t look back, and I don’t look forward and now doesn’t exist”
“Lord, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind.”
I don’t think Angel had Michael in her mind either. But Michael knew he was going to marry that girl anyway. It was God’s Will for Michael.
All Angel knew was that this is all there was to life and if Magowan had his way her life would be over sooner than later. All Michael knew was that God had provide a wife for him. They were both in disbelief.
“I’m not here for sex.” Michael told Angel
“No? You’re her for Bible Study”
Little did she know God was at work with Michael and Angel answering prayers!
It is clear in our story that Michael and Angel both heard God and Satan speaking to them. How do you distinguish between the two voices that call you?
The only way I can silence Satan is with Gods’ Word in my heart and in my mind and in my soul daily, sometime minute by minute.
God was answering Michael Hosea’s prayers. Only not the way Michael had planned. Angel was not the wife he had prayed for. Consider the Jews and their fervent prayers for a Messiah-and how that prayer was answered through Jesus. Was He what they expected?
Angel was listening to Satan. He had managed to wipe all her hopes and dreams away. Michael was hearing God clearly but was not convinced He was right. Could God really want This Woman as his wife?
Angel was angered over the name Mara Michael gave her. He didn’t know her and what her life was like. How dare he assume things?
“You just came on one of my bad nights” Angel justified her anger but more than anger was stirring up in her.
What was it about this stubborn man that just wanted to talk? He stirred up emotions she had buried.
He spoke of a new life, one with hope. Not for her.
Hope was torment; Hope was an enemy. And this man was a thorn in her side.
Night after night Michael returned, Angel treating him like all the rest. She knew he was no different.
Or was he? Hosea’s personal questions echoed in her mind. What was keeping her here? Why didn’t she just walk out the door?
Angel decided to leave after all. But on her own with her own Gold she had made, but she had to convince Duchess and Magowan to let her leave. They were not so easily convinced and Angel soon found out the wrath of Magowan was her way out of this life. Push him far enough and he will end it all for her and she won’t need any courage. He will kill her quickly and this life will all be over shortly.
After the fourth blow, all Angel heard was the beast roaring in her ears.