Here is another installment. I am bout 42000 words into it. We're only about 3/4 of the way through the story, if even that far.
Please keep in mind, I am NOT EDITING ANYTHING until at least December. November is for writing. December is for fixing any messes I may have left behind.
They reached the oxen, who had been, thankfully, left where Anna and Issy parked them the day before. They had been watered and fed by the local tavern owner, for a nominal fee. Bryce looked them over, and over again. He took each one out, watched it move to check for signs of lameness, tested it to see how well it would respond to commands. He must have taken at least an hour looking over the oxen. Victoria had had enough after about ten minutes and went to the tavern to sit and wait. Anna and Issy stayed behind as if their presence would make the oxen perform better.
"Ok, I like them. I will offer you one-hundred-fifty for the pair, and the yokes."
"No deal," Issy responded, to the shock and amazement of Bryce, Anna and even herself. "No, these are young oxen, they are healthy, and as you can see for yourself, they are responsive. We paid dearly for them, and will not accept anything less than two hundred fifty for the pair. I believe you would agree that is a fair price for this pair, plus the yokes."
Anna stood, speechless, at the boldness with which her friend took on this adversary. She would have been delighted with the one-fifty, but clearly Issy had other plans.
"I am sure you are not the only person in this city to have use of a team of oxen. If that is the best you can do, sir, we will gladly take our business elsewhere."
Bryce was likewise stunned, but also exhilarated. It was the chase of the deal that excited him most, and the thought that he could help out this woman made him more likely to relent to her demands than he would have otherwise. He would negotiate with her, but knew in the end he would give her nearly all she asked for. There had to be a little 'win' on his end, he thought.
"Well, now, let's not be hasty. I'll make it one-seventy-five."
"Two twenty five."
"Two hundred even, and not a penny more."
"Deal." Issy extended her hand to shake on the deal, as she had seen Thomas to on so many occasions. Mr. Milner took her hand in his, and was shocked at what a firm grasp she had, especially for such a small and smooth hand. He held on to her hand for perhaps a moment longer than was necessary, and forced himself to look her straight in the eye, despite the fluttering he felt under his own skin as her hand rested in his.