I was cold all the time, and I dressed as a man would, abandoning hoop skirts and delicate linen for a pair of rough breeches I'd sewn from a wool blanket. Whenever I rode Fire Eater, or worked in the barn, I wore them and an old greatcoat of my grandfather's--much to dismay of Hosa, who gave me a glinty-eyed look and shook his head in disgust whenever he saw me.
"You are mad," he said this morning as I stood with my backside high in the air, holding Fire Eater's bent foreleg in my arms and digging at a stone in his hoof. "You'd be took to jail, we be in Charlestown."
"Well, it's a good thing we're not in Charlestown," I said, working the wooden pick. Fire Eater swung his big head around, snorting.
"I know," I told the horse. "But it'll soon be over with."
"Dressed a man, talkin' to beasts,: Hosa grumbled, his lyrical voice lightning the complaint. He broke the ice in the water trough with an ax. "You too fine a lady for dis, now--you be temptin' de devil wid dat look."
The stone flew out and hit the stall door. I straightened, looked down at myself and frowned I did look a boy with the fitted gray breeches and black greatcoat of Grandfather's that hung past my knees, the hugely cuffed sleeves flapping with each move. But in this frigid weather, I honestly didn't care. There were no society ladies to frown at and gossip over my improper garb, no Grandfather to send me back to my dressing rooms, insisting I change.
"I'd rather be ugly as a toad than freeze to death," I said. "On a morning like this I'd be out the door two steps and have the hem of my skirts dripping--by noon they'd be frozen."
Hosa rolled his eyes and hung the ax on a nail.
"Besides, I grumbled, hanging the pick on the nail beside it and walking to take Fire Eater's lead, "hoop skirts are nonsensical on the frontier. The air gets underneath, and it's literally freezing."
Hosa held both hands in the air and backed away, and I could swear I saw his dark cheeks turn a shade of deep berry. "Dat's it," he said. "I don' wan' be hearin' no more 'bout what's up no skirts." He turned and headed to the other end of the barn, shaking his curly head.
"Madwoman," I heard him mutter as he left.
Just FYI, this is just one of many cute scenes in this historical set in the 1700s. It's filled with action, adventure, romance...everything that makes a book enjoyable, and I'm only half way through it. I can't wait to see how it ends, but I dread having it end because it's kept me so entertained. I'm sure you'll feel the same. You can preorder a copy on Amazon.