Blessed are the Merciful

OTHER BOOKS BY AL LACY

Angel of Mercy series:

A Promise for Breanna
(Book One)

Faithful Heart
(Book Two)

Captive Set Free
(Book Three)

A Dream Fulfilled
(Book Four)

Suffer the Little Children
(Book Five)

Whither Thou Goest
(Book Six)

Final Justice
(Book Seven)

Not by Might
(Book Eight)

Things Not Seen
(Book Nine)

Far Above Rubies
(Book Ten)

Journeys of the Stranger series:

Legacy
(Book One)

Silent Abduction
(Book Two)

Blizzard
(Book Three)

Tears of the Sun
(Book Four)

Circle of Fire
(Book Five)

Quiet Thunder
(Book Six)

Snow Ghost
(Book Seven)

Battles of Destiny (Civil War series):

Beloved Enemy
(Battle of First Bull Run)

A Heart Divided
(Battle of Mobile Bay)

A Promise Unbroken
(Battle of Rich Mountain)

Shadowed Memories
(Battle of Shiloh)

Joy from Ashes
(Battle of Fredericksburg)

Season of Valor
(Battle of Gettysburg)

Wings of the Wind
(Battle of Antietam)

Turn of Glory
(Battle of Chancellorsville)

Hannah of Fort Bridger series (coauthored with JoAnna Lacy):

Under the Distant Sky
(Book One)

Consider the Lilies
(Book Two)

No Place for Fear
(Book Three)

Pillow of Stone
(Book Four)

The Perfect Gift
(Book Five)

Touch of Compassion
(Book Six)

Beyond the Valley
(Book Seven)

Damascus Journey
(Book Eight)

Mail Order Bride series (coauthored with JoAnna Lacy):

Secrets of the Heart
(Book One)

A Time to Love
(Book Two)

Tender Flame
(Book Three)

Blessed Are the Merciful
(Book Four)

Ransom of Love
(Book Five)

Until the Daybreak
(Book Six)

Sincerely Yours
(Book Seven)

A Measure of Grace
(Book Eight)

So Little Time
(Book Nine)

This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogues are products of the authors’ imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL
Mail Order Bride Series #4
Published by Multnomah Publishers, Inc.

© 1999 by ALJO Productions, Inc.

Multnomah
is a trademark of Multnomah Publishers, Inc., and is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The colophon is a trademark of Multnomah Publishers, Inc.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without prior written permission.

For information:
MULTNOMAH PUBLISHERS, INC.
POST OFFICE BOX 1720
SISTERS, OREGON 97759

      Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:
Lacy, Al.
    Blessed are the merciful / by Al and JoAnna Lacy.
         p. cm.—(Mail order bride series: #4)
    eISBN: 978-0-307-81440-1
    I. Lacy, JoAnna. II. Title. III. Series: Lacy, Al. Mail order bride series: no. 4.
PS3562.A256B55 1999
    813′.54—dc21                                                       99-34878

v3.1

This book is dedicated to Ken Ruettgers
,
our dear friend and Christian brother
.
We think the Green Bay Packers should have retired
#75 when you left the team to enter a new field of endeavor
.
We praise the Lord that He put you with Multnomah Publishers
to be a helper to the authors
.
Thank you for doing such a great job!
We love you, Ken. God bless you!
Al and JoAnna

P
HILEMON 25

Contents

T
HE
E
NCYCLOPEDIA
B
RITANNICA REPORTS
that the mail order business, also called direct mail marketing, “is a method of merchandising in which the seller’s offer is made through mass mailing of a circular or catalog, or advertisement placed in a newspaper or magazine, and in which the buyer places his order by mail.”

Britannica goes on to say that “mail order operations have been known in the United States in one form or another since colonial days but not until the latter half of the nineteenth century did they assume a significant role in domestic trade.”

Thus the mail order market was known when the big gold rush took place in this country in the 1840s and 1850s. At that time prospectors, merchants, and adventurers raced from the East to the newly discovered gold fields in the West. One of the most famous was the California Gold Rush in 1848–49, when discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill, near Sacramento, brought more than 40,000 men to California. Though few struck it rich, their presence stimulated economic growth, the lure of which brought even more men to the West.

The married men who had come to seek their fortunes sent for their wives and children, desiring to stay and make their home there. Most of the gold rush men were single and also desired to stay in the West, but there were about two hundred men for every single woman. Being familiar with the mail order concept, they began advertising in eastern newspapers for women to come west and marry them. Thus was born the name “mail order bride.”

Women by the hundreds began answering the ads. Often when men and their prospective brides corresponded, they agreed to send
no photographs; they would accept each other by the spirit of the letters rather than on a physical basis. Others, of course, did exchange photographs.

The mail order bride movement accelerated after the Civil War ended in April 1865, when men went west by the thousands to make their fortunes on the Frontier. Many of the marriages turned out well, while others were disappointing and ended in desertion by one or the other of the mates, or by divorce.

In the Mail Order Bride fiction series, we tell stories intended to grip the heart of the reader, bring some smiles, and maybe wring out a few tears. As always, we weave in the gospel of Jesus Christ and run threads of Bible truth that apply to our lives today.

A
T MIDMORNING ON
M
ONDAY
, A
PRIL
10, 1865, Wanda Perkins left her two-story house in Boston’s affluent Beacon Hill neighborhood, humming a nameless tune. She glanced toward the Charles River, blinking at the brilliant sunlight reflecting off its rippling surface.

As she headed up the street, she gave her parasol a little twirl. She and George had dreamed of living on Beacon Hill since he had become a senior vice president of the Massachusetts Bank and Trust Company four years ago, shortly after the Civil War began. It had been only three weeks now since they had purchased their prestigious home—an accomplishment few people in their thirties who had started married life with little money could claim.

Wanda smiled when she saw Geraldine Winkler standing in her yard, twirling her own parasol. Geraldine waved and angled across the sweeping lawn that was beginning to show some green after winter’s long months.

Wanda greeted her and fell into step beside her.

“Are you as excited as I am?” Geraldine asked, her eyes flashing.

“Probably more so. At least you were brought up in a neighborhood like this. I’m breathless just thinking about having tea with a member of the family who owns Boston Clothiers!”

“Well, I don’t know Elizabeth any better than you do, but I’ve been told by my neighbors that she’s down to earth.”

“Mm-hmm. I’ve been told the same thing. And she’s proven it by inviting us to tea to welcome us to the neighborhood.” Wanda paused, then said, “They tell me Elizabeth has a live-in maid.”

“That’s what I hear. And a gardener who lives in a small house behind the big one.”

“Oh. I didn’t know about the gardener. George said just the other night that when he gets his promised raise in salary this fall, we’ll hire a maid.”

“That’s wonderful! Clyde and I have discussed it, but I think we’re probably a year or so away from that. We used most of his inheritance from his father’s estate to buy the house.”

They turned the corner and looked toward the Burke house at the far end of the block. It was much larger than either of their homes and had half again as much yard. They hastened their steps and soon turned into the Burke yard and headed for the wide wraparound porch. They could see the gardener working near the rear of the house, cultivating a flower bed for spring planting.

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