We buried Ma and the boys down by the creek when the scarlet fever took them. It wuz jus' me an Pa for a lon' time. I turned suitors away 'cause Pa needed me. I weren't leavin' him for nothin'.
Pa always said a liar was worse than a thief cuz sometimes there's reason to steal but thar's ne'er a reason to lie.
Tonight while I's out, that good for nothin' neighbor came to jaw with Pa some. He told a pack of lies and Pa believed 'im!
Pa wuz waitin' when I come in, white as a ghost and mad as a wet hen. He had his double ought ready and gave me no choice. His voice shook and a tear rolled down his cheek but his aim and his intent wuz steady.
Said he'd heard I'd been sneakin' around seein' the new teacher and up to no good. I tried to tell him why I had been seein' Teacher but Pa di'na let me git a word in edge wise. He cocked that scatter gun and said, "Git outta this house, girl. I don't abide liars ner whores!"
I packed my few belongin's in a bed roll and saddled my old horse, Isaiah, and left without lookin' back.
"An eye for an eye..." the Bible said cuz I 'member all the words Ma read to us by lamp light. First I shot that no account neighbor for lying to Pa. Then I seen Teacher and tol' him. He hept me writ a letter to Pa about what I'd done and the why of it 'n ask Teacher to read it to Pa after he'd cooled down some.
I's a murderer and they hang people for that but I weren't no liar, ner a whore, ner a thief. I'd been learnin' to read so's I could read to Pa at night jes like Ma usta do.
Ole Isaiah and I headed west. I'd heard you could get lost out there.