Here's a teaser to entice you....
The man who greeted her was fairly short in stature with gray sideburns and an upper lip and chin covered with stubble. He wore a dirty floppy-brimmed hat and his body was lean and muscular for an older man. His arms and face were dark and leathery from the sun. His clothes looked clean, though they were ripped in a few areas, but the distasteful smell that so many men had, was absent from this man.
“Howdy. What can I do for you, ma’am?’
Maddie jumped down from the wagon and approached the man. “Mr.?”
“Mr. Slim, I…”
“No Mr., just Slim.”
“Slim, I need to get a train ticket to Pennsylvania. The ticket was more than I had anticipated. I find I must sell my mule and wagon.”
The man stepped to one side looking passed her at the rickety wagon and old white mule. “Can’t use ‘em.” He turned to walk back into the livery, dismissing her.
“Sir, please!” She ran in front of him, blocking his way. “I have no family left and no place to turn. I’m supposed to go stay with cousins I’ve never met and I can’t even get there.” Tears welled up in her eyes and her lower lip quivered. Maddie swallowed a lump of emotion so she could speak. “Sal is all I have left in this world. I can’t just leave her uncared for.”
Surprise, or maybe fear, registered on the old man’s face. He held up his hands and took a step backwards. “Now, little lady, there ain’t no need to take on so. You need to calm yourself right down. Thing is I just ain’t got no money for that old bag of bones.”
Tears slipped from her eyes, making dirty paths down her cheeks from the dust of the night’s ride to Jamestown. She didn’t care. “Mr. ...I mean, Slim, you don’t have to pay me. Sal doesn’t have much time left on this earth and she doesn’t eat much. She wouldn’t be any bother at all.” The last few words were muttered as a fresh wave of tears fell.