His first mistake was marrying her;
his second was falling in love.
How would you feel if you suddenly found yourself married to the wrong person? That’s what happened to Chase and Emily in The Cowboy Meets His Match.
Chase has to marry per his father’s will in order to keep the family ranch. Emily has just traveled to Texas from Boston as a mail-order-bride. After vows are exchanged and the bride’s veil removed, Chase realizes he’s married to the wrong woman. His new bride has no affinity for cattle and doesn’t even know how to ride a horse! He immediately demands an annulment, but as the following scene shows, that doesn’t work out the way he’d hoped.
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With a glance at the clerk, the judge drew a handkerchief out of his pocket and dabbed at his sweaty forehead. Replacing the handkerchief, he cleared his throat. “I’m sure this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.” The judge’s hollow laugh was met with scowls. Growing serious, he reached for a leather-bound book and thumbed through the pages.
“Ah, here we are,” he said, sounding relieved. “Annulment.” Adjusting his spectacles, he quickly scanned the page. “This should only take a few minutes. You just have to answer a few questions.” Finger holding his spot, he looked up and asked in all seriousness, “Why do you want an annulment?”
Chase reared back. “Why? Because I married the wrong woman, that’s why!”
“Yes, yes, yes, I know that.” The judge stabbed the page with his finger. “But that’s not listed here as legitimate grounds for annulment.”
The uncle jabbed the muzzle of his shotgun on the floor and placed both hands on the butt. “What are legitimate grounds?”
The judge’s finger moved down the page. “Bigamy, for one.” He looked up. “Are either of you married?”
“Yes, we’re married,” Chase said, his voice thick with impatience. “To each other!”
The uncle stared straight at Emily. “I think he’s asking if either one of you is married to someone else.”
Emily’s eyes flashed him a look of disdain. If it wasn’t for him and his veiled threats, neither she nor Chase would be in this predicament. “I’m not married. Or at least I wasn’t until a few minutes ago.”
The judge checked the book again. “Okay, forget that. Are either of you underage?” The judge had directed the question to her.
“I’m twenty-two,” Emily said.
“Twenty-six,” Chase said.
The judge’s finger moved down the page again. “Are either of you related to the other?”
Chase shook his head. “Absolutely not.”
The judge peered at them over the frame of his spectacles. “Are either of you”—he cleared his throat—“unable to consummate the marriage?”
Emily’s face flared, and Chase threw up his hands. “This is getting us nowhere.”
The judge held up the palm of a hand. “Now hold on. There’s more.” He glanced at the uncle’s shotgun. “Were either of you coerced into the marriage?”
Emily felt a flicker of hope, but before she had a chance to answer in the affirmative, the door flew open. A man stormed into the chambers with a bride in tow, and he looked fit to be tied.
The uncle stepped in front of the new arrivals, his shotgun raised in a threatening pose. The newly arrived bride gasped and fell back.
“Sorry, Royce,” the uncle said. “You’re too late. The will said the first one married will have full ownership of the ranch.” He tossed a nod at Emily. “Meet Mrs. Chase McKnight, your new sister-in-law.”