For the Want of Courage

Bridal Veil Falls, Utah | Google Maps

It was where they were to be married. Not at the falls per se, but at the chapel down the ridge. Her in winter wool with a frost of lace upon her neck and sleeves, and him in a fine-tailored frock coat. At least that was how he had always pictured it. But it was not to be.

She had her head turned by a fella out a St. Louis and married him afore two years’ time. And he knew her his whole life.

Knew ‘of’ her at least. And she up and left. It weren’t fair. She was supposed to wait. Wait long enough for him to ask her hand. Long enough for him to pay a call. Long enough for him to work up the nerve to tip his hat—at the very least. He had a lot of working up to do.

But still, it weren’t fair.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.


  1. Great voice in this, at once both crushed and bemused. Modern people are unaware of the isolation that fused to be part of life when people traveled. Letters might take months or years, if they reached you at all. Waiting was a part of life, as was disappointment. You capture it well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed this, Karen. I can so picture the poor befuddled guy, that she probably never even noticed…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dale. He is pretty clueless for sure. Thanks for reading!


  3. Funny, slightly pitiful guy, complaining that she broke the rules. All’s fair, pardner!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think he’s complaining about something he had some power to change himself! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad she chose her own husband. Love the story telling voice – makes real the inhibitions of that time. Her ‘winter wool’ & ‘a frost of lace’ is just perfect.


  5. Faint heart never won fair never won fair lady, and this lad is as faint as they come! I agree with Josh, the voice is great – at once hurt and bemused at his love’s refusal to wait (seemingly forever) for him to muster the courage to ask for her hand.
    Josh makes a good point about the time delay in past times. I always remember reading Austen and other readers of her time and being bemused at how long courtship could take – the girls would be waiting around for six months between visits from their beaus and still be expected to remain as keen as ever. I doubt any teen would stay that enamoured for that long these days.
    Great writing.


  6. peterkirsch

    Love it. Great indirect characterization and exposition. You tell a lot without stating it.
    Nicely done!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.