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Women's History
A Woman's Place Is in the West, Part 3



A Woman's Place Is in the West, Part 3
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.44

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    charge-her, cottonwood, cubbyhole, epilogue, heartbroken, marshal, no-nonsense, now-Father, shoring, westward, withhold, exam, schooling, authority, homestead, based
     content words:    As Esther, But Father, Going West, South Dakota, In May, Wesley Grayson


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A Woman's Place Is in the West, Part 3
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     Esther opened her eyes. A face swam into view above her. It was a wonderful, comforting face. She knew it well. The face was filled with worry. If only she could remember whose face it was. She moved slightly and pain stabbed through her. She cried out.
 
2     The face spoke. "Lay still, little one. You'll be all right now. Be still." Esther loved the voice that went with the face. So tender, so soothing. She closed her eyes and slept.
 
3     The next day, Esther woke, troubled. She remembered clearly now—Father, the terror, her fall. She looked around and saw that she was lying in a strange bed. She jumped up in alarm. She must run...
 
4     Blackness rose up in her head and she slumped to the floor. Someone reached to catch her. That wonderful face again... As Esther fainted, she smiled. She remembered the face. It was Molly. Everything would be fine. Molly was here...

 
5     "It was the marshal that found you," Molly told Esther. "He was looking for our stepbrothers. His men were searching the brush and noticed fresh dirt around the old well. They found you at the bottom, covered with earth and brush. Over Father's objections, the marshal had you taken to town. The doctor told Seth. As soon as you could be moved, we picked you up and whisked you here."
 
6     "I'm so glad to be here, even if I did have to fall in the well to do it," Esther said.
 
7     Molly looked anxious. "I wish you could stay here, little one. But Father has guessed where you are. He is threatening to have us arrested for kidnapping. The judge tells Seth there is nothing he can do. The law says you are under Father's authority."
 
8     Esther's shoulders slumped. "You mean I have to go back there?" she whispered. "Surely Mother would allow me..."

Paragraphs 9 to 21:
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