On Christmas night she decided what she would do, but it was unbearable to even think of leaving him, of living without him. She wanted to stay and forget the look in his eyes when he held Benjamin Michael. She wanted to cling to him and bask in the happiness he gave her.
He had sacrificed pride to love her. How could she discard his love. If she stayed, Michael would remain faithful until he died, and that would be the end to him. She couldn’t let that be.
When she heard John say how the town had grown and that Michael was going to go to town soon, she made her plans to go. First one last night with Michael had to be special. She asked him to take her up the hill to the top of the ridge and look at the stars.
Michael knew there was a strange uneasiness in the pit of his stomach. something was wrong.
“I’ll do anything for you Michael” she said after repeating what she had heard him read in the bible once. “you shall have no other gods before me”. She looked at him. “None but you Michael Hosea.”
As she danced for him he knew. “Amanda, why are you doing this?” “God, why are you doing this to me again? Do you give only to take away?”
“Let her go, beloved. Give her to me…. Michael, beloved. Would you have her hang on her cross forever?” “Lord if I let her go will I ever get her back?” No answer came.
“What are you doing here?” Angel was shocked when Miriam came through the door, explaining Michael had stopped by on his way to town to say that today was a good day to visit Amanda.
Angel told Miriam her plans, Miriam heartbroken pleaded with Angel but to no good. Angel told Miriam she knew that she loved Michael and she wanted them to be together.
“You said you loved him, Miriam, Then love him. And give him the children I can’t.”
When Paul and Michael returned home, Miriam was waiting at Paul’s home to tell Michael Amanda had left on the Stagecoach. But Michael said he wasn’t going to look for her this time. Miriam sobbing Michael consoled her. Paul felt a strong jealousy arise in him.
Wasn’t this what he wanted? Michael and Miriam together and Angel gone? So why was it he had never felt so alone in his life? He could look on them holding each other even if this had been his plan. It hurt too much. He turned his horse away and left them alone.