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All posts by Brenda K. Marshall

Marshall_fig_1, Marshall_fig_2, Illustration by Megan Eckman

“In Which a Coffin Is a Bed But An Ox Is Not a Coffin,” by Brenda K. Marshall

fiction by Brenda K. Marshall

The winter of 1881 found Frances Bingham reluctantly arrang­ing for her move from the spacious comfort of her father­-in­-law’s bonanza farm on the Dakota prairie to her almost­ com­pleted new home six miles away in Fargo. The arrangement that had suited both Percy and Frances since she had joined him in Dakota three years earlier—in which Percy insisted that he would soon leave his job as a newspaperman for the Fargo Argus to make a new start back east, and Frances, in turn, rea­soned that it made no sense for her and their son, Houghton, to move to Percy’s two rooms above the Argus in the meantime—had come to an end with Percy’s newfound respectability as Fargo’s delegate to the upcoming Fifteenth General Assembly of Dakota Territory. A man with a promising political career, Percy now insisted, must have his own home in Fargo, and his wife must live in that home with him, and not with his sister and father-­in­-law nearby.