Madame's Daughter by C.K. Crigger
Jacoba and Charlie DeGroot come west intent on homesteading on the newly opened Coeur d’ Alene Indian Reservation. Providing Charlie’s name is drawn in the land lottery, that is. But on sign-up day, a head-on collision between two trains nearly derails their plans. While Charlie is dreadfully injured, a man appears out of nowhere and saves Jacoba.
Friction between the newlyweds arises when Jacoba’s name is drawn in the lottery instead of Charlie’s. During the winter, as Charlie heals, Jacoba labors to make ends meet. When at last Charlie can function, he moves to the homestead by himself while Jacoba stays behind to work and keep money coming in.
But is Charlie really working for the benefit of them both? That is the question that plagues Jacoba. On a visit to the homestead, she discovers nothing has been accomplished. No cabin built, no land cleared, an expensive team of horses neglected. It’s when she decides to move to the site herself that matters come to a head. Her husband has changed, and not for the better.
Now there’s a question Jacoba has to ask herself. “Is this piece of ground worth dying for?”