Lilly's Wedding Quilt - By Kelly Long


In researching this novel I discovered the fact that Amish communities differ from one to another from both simple to larger-life activities. For example, there are dialectal differences in the spelling of such words as “dawdi” house, which may also be spelled “doddy” or daudi,” depending on the region in question. In addition, praying aloud at the dinner table may also, at times, be a voiced prayer when there is a particular praise offered.

The Amish man who was my main source of information, the truly forthright and dry-humored Dan Miller, told me that it would be difficult to find two Amish communities exactly alike. While all may share basic beliefs in the Lord, family, and work ethics, diversity still exists.

It is a lesson to me as an Englischer that though the Amish may appear to live “the simple life,” their differences provide a rich culture for both fact and fiction, and it is my honor to represent some small threads of their ways of life.

—Kelly Long



In the moment between heartbeats he heard the ominous report of a gun, then lurched forward from a burst of blinding pain. He groaned aloud and stared down at the dark sleeve of his left arm in the moonlit winter night. He tightened his muscular thighs against the horse. Stay on. Stay on. The voice seemed both his own and that of a fading echo. He wavered, then concentrated on the saddle horn, the reins, and the lead of the other horse behind him. Primal and metallic, the smell of his own blood mingled in his senses with the distancing shouts of the shooter, and he managed a grim smile. He was now, among supposedly other intriguing things, a horse thief …


Lilly Lapp was late. Of course, in the whole scheme of things, no one was bound to notice a missing schoolteacher from the ceremony. Not that her job wasn’t deeply valued, but she knew that the eyes of all the Old Order Amish Community pressed into the King family’s largest barn would be torn between watching two things—the wedding of the season and the face of the man who was not the groom.

She adjusted herself on the hard buggy seat and gave a brisk slap of the reins in an attempt to encourage her horse, Ruler, who plowed along with disinterest through the bleak cold of the late November day. She wished she’d remembered her gloves, but the visit by the Englisch police officer had thrown her normally practical frame of mind and she’d left home in an uncollected hurry. A wounded horse thief hiding in the area, indeed.

Fortunately, her mother had still been asleep when the officer had arrived. Lilly was sure that her widowed mamm would not have given him permission to search the barn and the outbuildings. But Lilly felt that it was her duty to cooperate with the authorities, no matter how strange their notions may be. She just could not believe that any of her own community would ever steal a horse from an Englisch farm, not when there were so many horses available as part of everyday life. Besides, it was wrong. Though, of course, there was always the possibility that someone could have done this. The Amish were certainly not perfect. Still … she could not imagine it.

She felt that Ruler might be picking up speed when the first crystalline drop of icy rain hit her cheek through the open front of the buggy. Soon it was pouring, a thick deluge that struck with all the intensity of a thousand miniature knives. Ruler began to toss at the reins, and Lilly swallowed, nervous at his behavior. She knew she had to get him into shelter of some kind, but the wedding home was still a good two miles away.

She blinked as the rain slanted, pelting into the buggy and soaking her dark cape. Ruler had given in to the onslaught and stopped stock-still along the side of the road. There was no help for it; she’d have to get out and lead him to shelter. From what she could gather, they were somewhere near Deacon Zook’s property. The shifting wind moved the fog and revealed the reassuring bulk of an outlying barn. She slipped from the buggy, quaking from the cold, as she went to the horse’s head and unhitched him, grabbing the reins. She reasoned that the storm would soon pass and the buggy would be all right along the roadside. She pulled,