Lord, please forgive me for lying to a preacher, Destiny Murphy prayed as she stepped down off the train at the Portland depot.
Although her friend, Harriet, had been the one to point out the mail order bride advertisement in The Matrimonial Times which started all of this, the other woman had advised Destiny against her current foolhardy course of action after Destiny had revealed that she'd been somewhat less than honest in her correspondence with Reverend George Branson, the man who had placed the ad in search of a wife.
She hasn't lied outright in her letter, but there were several things that she'd failed to mention. And she wouldn't be able to hide it for long, since she hoped to convince her new husband to send for her three younger brothers shortly after the wedding and allow the boys to come live with them in the small town of Pine Bluff, Oregon. George Branson would want to know why Teddy, Henry, and James couldn't stay in New York, and she'd have to explain the reason that she feared to leave them there for much longer.
But she didn't want to think about that now. Besides praying—and she feared that the Lord might not be feeling too kindly toward her just now—there was nothing she could do to help her brothers for the time being. Not until she had married and had a chance to judge what manner of man her new husband was and determine the best way to approach him to guarantee his cooperation. She had to ensure that he would accede to her wishes—no, it was more than a wish or a hope. It was a necessity.
It seemed a rather daunting task to try to persuade a man she'd never met before today, who was little more than a stranger to her despite their plans to wed. But she would find a way to do it, for her brothers. And her parents, by extension. They wouldn't feel trapped in the tenements with no way out, if they didn't have the constant worry of providing food and a roof over the heads of their three young sons.
Destiny was determined that she would accomplish what she had come here to do. Because she had no other choice.