Chapter One Only

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CHAPTER ONE

"I'll not kneel and confess to a sin I did not commit!"

KatieAnn Mast's adamant cry echoed in the small room. Heat rushed into her cheeks and burned her eyes. Great! Blazing red cheeks and eyes that spark fire. That'll make a good impression. Not stomping her foot required a strong, concentrated effort. She looked from Bishop John to her mamm and then down at her sturdy, black shoes.

"KatieAnn, all things can be forgiven, you know," Bishop John began. "The Bible says if we confess our sins, the Lord is faithful and will forgive our sins."

"You believe that, jah?" Mamm practically whispered.

"Of course I believe that, but Mamm, I didn't do anything wrong."

"The money and watch were found in your bag. Deborah, of course, will not press charges. It's not our way. She's happy everything was returned." The bishop stroked his beard.

"I did not take the money or the watch. I do not steal."

"KatieAnn, the money and watch were found in your bag."

Did the man think she hadn't heard him the first time?

"If you just ask for forgiveness, all will be well, and there will be no danger of the bann." Mamm's eyes pleaded with her as they filled with tears.

"I'll be shunned for something I didn't even do?" KatieAnn was horrified. This was her family. These were her people. Wouldn't they give her the benefit of the doubt? They had known her all her life. "I thought we were innocent until proven guilty."

"The evidence is pretty strong." Bishop John yanked at the hairs of his beard.

KatieAnn expected him to pluck his chin bald. "I'll tell you like I told Deborah." She forced herself to stay calm when she wanted to shout. "I don't know how the deposit bag and watch got into my bag. I did not put them there. I've taken the deposit to the bank for Deborah many times and never stole the money. And what would I want with an Englischer's watch?"

"You did like pretty jewelry during your rumspringa."

KatieAnn couldn't believe her mamm brought that up. "That was two years ago, Mamm. I've been a baptized church member for two years now. Besides, liking jewelry doesn't mean I'd steal it!"

"Please, KatieAnn, I don't want to lose you." Mamm was on the verge of an all-out crying jag.

"The Lord Gott wants you to do the right thing." The bishop focused a stern gaze on her.

"Does the Lord Gott want me to lie? That's what I would be doing if I said I stole those things. Then I'd have to kneel before the church to ask forgiveness for lying." She hoped she didn't sound too disrespectful. That would not help her case in the least.

"Think on these things, KatieAnn." The bishop's admonishing frown drew his dark, bushy eyebrows together in a unibrow. Like a wooly worm had crawled across his forehead and died there. KatieAnn stifled a laugh that would surely kumm out as hysterical. That would never do at such a time as this.

"This week is an off Sunday, so you have until next Sunday's church meeting to make a decision. Maybe you can talk some sense into her, Ida." With that the bishop turned and strode from the kitchen.

Mamm sank onto a sturdy oak chair and dropped her head into rough, work-worn hands. "This can't be." The sobs began.

KatieAnn knelt and wrapped her arms around her mamm's shaking shoulders. "It will be all right, Mamm. Somehow this will all work out."

Plain Truth by Susan Lantz Simpson (Chapter One Only)Where stories live. Discover now