Mr. Dickenson turned and called gently to his wife who was in the kitchen, “Laura Ann, fix these folks our best two rooms, one for the Jefferson couple an’ one for their companions.”
"We don’t want to put you out any, Mr. Dickenson,” offered Sunny. She meant because of her presence.
“Why of course not. We’re an Inn, ma’am. It is our business. But don’t you worry, our two best rooms are available and at no extra charge.”
Sunny saw the gleam in his eye and surmised that he was a cloistered and frustrated adventurer. He was happy with his lot, though in his youth he had surely longed to cross the next ridge and then the plains she now lived on . . . pushing on to the Rockies where she had once lived and hunted . . . and then to the desert of her birth and formation. He was a tavern keeper. Travelers came through, and he heard the stories. He longed to be Aaron: a man of daring adventure coming home now after several years with a loving, exotic native wife. Oh, the man loved his wife, but he had missed the sharp edge of life that the raw frontier of America had offered. Still he could get the occasional glimpse of it when interesting travelers passed through, and none more interesting than Jóhonaá of the Navajo had ever done that in Crossville, Tennessee. Suddenly Sunny felt so blessed, so blessed to have seen what she had seen and experienced all that she had. And she was only twenty-eight years old. She wasn’t done yet.