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Then Dale’s deep faith and gentle love begin to change her self-centered family, and a hope starts to build in her heart that love truly can triumph over all.
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All Through the Night
By Grace L. Hill
Howard BooksCopyright © 2006 Grace L. Hill
All right reserved.
Dale Huntley finished labeling and tying the last of the packages. The expressman had promised to call for them before ten o'clock. She gave a quick glance at the clock, and finding it was only half-past nine she sat back with a sigh of relief and closed her eyes for just a second.
It had been a hard time and she had not stopped for a moment to think of herself or her own feelings. But now, were all the little nagging duties accomplished that Grandmother had left for her to do before the relatives should arrive? With her eyes still closed she went swiftly down the list that was keen in her mind.
"Put all personal gifts, jewelry, heirlooms, private letters in the safety-deposit box in the bank." That had been done last week while Grandmother was still alive and alert to all that was going on about her, intent on leaving her world all in order for her going, interested in each item as if it were a game she was playing.
"You know," she told Dale with one of her old-time twinkles that gave her such an endearing look, "those cousins of yours that have been anything but cousinly in their actions, are liable to turn up as soon as they hear that I am gone, and they'll do their best to search out anything that could possibly be interesting to them, and make your life miserable if they think you want it, so it is best not to have anything around to maketrouble for you."
Grandmother was always so thoughtful for everybody.
But she must not think about that now. This was going to be a hard day and she would not be able to go through with it if she gave way to tears at this stage. At any moment those relatives might arrive -- the telegram had said Tuesday -- and she must not have traces of tears on her face. Oh, of course, tears were natural when one had lost a dear one, but she was in a position where she must be more than just another relative. She must carry out Grandmother's plans. She must meet the cousins quietly, and with some measure of poise. That would be the only way to offset any arrogance, and desire to manage, on their part.
Dale had not seen these relatives for years. Not since she was a small child, too young to be noticed by them. Young enough to be calmly swept aside for the pretty spoiled cousin, Corliss, who had to have everything her little heart desired, even if it upset everybody else in the house. Corliss had taken great delight in making Dale the butt of all her tantrums. It was natural, therefore, that Dale did not look forward to the reunion with pleasure. Still, she told herself, perhaps she was not being fair in feeling this way. After all it was a good many years ago, and Corliss had been only a baby then, some months younger than herself. There was a good chance that through the years Corliss might have changed, and would perhaps be a charming young woman by this time. It might even be quite possible that they could be friends. Though from her Grandmother's description of her when she last saw her, Dale did not think so. Grandmother had at times given little word-sketches of her grandniece, witty and sarcastic, but altogether good-natured. However, these sketches were most evidently given in the way of warning lest Dale be taken unawares, and thereby lose out.
It was for that reason that Dale was really dreading the arrival of these unknown relatives, and had carried out the little details of Grandmother's plans most meticulously, schooling herself to a calmness which she was far from feeling. Not until these relatives were come and gone could she relax, and give attention to her own personal plans. By that time perhaps she would be used to the fact that the dear grandmother was gone and that henceforth she was utterly on her own.
She was interrupted in her troubled thoughts by the sound of the doorbell.
Hastily assuming her habitual quiet demeanor she hurried to the door, giving a worried glance toward the little stack of packages waiting for the expressman. Oh, if only this was he instead of the dreaded relatives. Then she opened the door, and glimpsed with relief the express car standing on the curb
"Oh, you've come, Mr. Martin! I'm so glad! I do want to get these packages off on the first train."
The expressman grinned.
"I told ya I'd come, didn't I? I always keep my word when I can. Especially in a case like this where there's a funeral. I always like to help out. Especially when it's an old friend like 'Grandma Huntley.' I know she ain't here, and can't see but somehow I think where she is she'll know."
Dale's face lighted tenderly.
"Yes, I think she will," she said softly.
The old expressman got out a grubby handkerchief and blew his nose violently, then turned on his grin again:
"Okay!" he said getting into alert again. "Where's yer packages?"
"Oh, yes. Right here by the dining-room door. All of them."
"And you want these here things all prepaid, you said, didn't you? Okay. You can stop by the office and settle the bill when you come downtown again. I'll have 'em weighed and be ready for you."
Dale drew a breath of relief as she watched the truck drive away. Now, no matter when Aunt Blanche and Corliss came there wouldn't be anything for them to question about. Grandmother had made it quite plain that they would likely resent her giving anything away before they arrived, if there was any evidence about that it had been done.
So Dale was free now to go about the arrangements for the day and her undesired guests, realizing that she was going to have need of great patience and strength before this visitation was over.
Hattie was in the kitchen. Dear old Hattie, who loved Grandmother so much, and whose lifework from now on was merely to be transferred to the granddaughter whom Grandmother had loved so well.
Hattie had had experience in former years with the coming relatives, and would know how to deal with them. Grandmother had talked it all over with Hattie, and prepared her, made sure that she fully understood and could arrange an adjustable firmness, with courtesy, so that no clashing would be necessary. But when Dale came into the kitchen and found Hattie standing disconsolately looking out the window into the kitchen garden, the old woman said sorrowfully, "I dunno, I dunno, Miss Dale! Grandma said I was to be real sweet and polite, and not stir up no strife. But ef you had a-knowed them peoples the way I did, you'd know that wasn't just physicumly possible. I'd like to carry out your Gramma's wishes, an' I'm sure I'll do my best, but I know I can't really do it. I've tried before and it didn't work, and I don't seem to believe it'll work this time, but I'll do my best."
"Why, of course you will, Hattie. You'll be all right. And don't you worry about it. If they say anything you don't like just put it aside and don't think about it."
"Yes," sighed Hattie, "that's what Gramma advised me. She said I was to remember that the Lord was listening to me, and He would know what was going on, and would be expecting me to act to please Him, not them."
"That's right, Hattie," said Dale with a little tender smile on her sweet lips.
"Miss Dale, if-en that's so, and the Lord can watch an' see what I do, do you 'spose p'raps Gramma can see too? If I thought she would be watching I could do a great deal better."
"Why, yes, Hattie, perhaps she will be able to see. I think it would help us both to think of her watching, and I'm sure the Lord will care and will be watching, and be pleased if we do the right kindly thing."
"Okay, Miss Dale, I'll 'member that. I'll do my best to please the Lord, and her!"
It was a busy morning. There were orders to give, telephone calls to answer, telegrams and letters to read, and the dinner to plan for the possible guests that evening. There were callers to meet, old friends of Grandmother's to talk to, a hundred and one questions to answer. The minister came to talk over the arrangements that Grandmother had made with him. There were flowers to receive and arrange for keeping, and there were tender precious messages from friends. Everybody had loved Grandmother for years, and she was going to be greatly missed.
Then, suddenly, late in the afternoon, when the company dinner was beginning to send forth delicious odors, there was a stir in the street, and a taxi drew up at the door ostentatiously. They had come! The waiting was over.
Dale cast a quick look out the door, caught a glimpse of a golden-haired haughty girl with very red lips, and drew a deep breath to quiet the sudden thumping of her heart. She knew that it would not do to yield to excitement, for if she did there would be no poise, and no quiet dignity in her meeting with her guests, and she must remember what Grandmother had desired.
With another deep breath, and a lifting of her heart for help above, she went to the door, with the nearest to a real welcome in her eyes that she could summon. She came down the walk to the little old-fashioned white gate to meet them.
Aunt Blanche was having an argument with the taxi driver about the fare and didn't notice her at first, and Corliss, who was engaged in staring about at the neighborhood, did not at first see her either.
But finally the aunt finished her argument with a sharp bit of sarcasm and flung herself out to stand on the pavement and look around.
"Oh, is this you, Dale?" she said as she almost tripped over her niece. "Why, you've grown tall, haven't you? I expected to find you short and fat the way you used to be."
Dale had been prepared to greet her aunt with a brief kiss, but it appeared the aunt had made no provision for such a salutation so she contented herself with a brief handclasp, and turned to Corliss.
But Corliss was standing there staring at her. Apparently for some reason she was not at all what Corliss had expected, and it required some adjusting of her pre-conceived ideas to help her correlate the facts. It had not yet entered her mind that any form of definite greeting would be required between them, so Corliss took no notice of Dale's smile or the hand held out in greeting. She simply stared.
And behind her loomed a boy whom she knew must be Corliss' younger brother, Powelton. How cross he looked! Such frowning brows! She sensed on the boy's lips the grim distaste for the errand on which they had come. She tried to reassure him by smiling, but he only summoned a wicked grin.
Dale spoke pleasantly:
"You are Powelton, aren't you?" she said with real welcome in her voice. "I haven't seen you since you were a baby."
"Aw, ferget it!" said the insolent youth. "Just call me Pow. That's what I prefer."
"Now, Powelton!" reproached his mother. "You promised me -- "
"Yes, I know, Mom," said the boy, "but that was when you said there was going to be a lawyer here. You can't make anything out of this little dump, I'm telling ya!"
"Powelton! Be still! Driver, you can bring the luggage into the house."
"No ma'am, I can't! I ain't doing that no more. These is war times and I can't take the time to lug in suitcases. I put 'em on the sidewalk and you can lug 'em in yereself, ur let that spoiled boy o' yours do it. I gotta get back to the station. I'm overdue a'ready," and he started his car definitely.
"Oh, we can manage the luggage," said Dale pleasantly, gathering up three of the smaller bags. "Come on, boys and girls, each of you gather up a handful and we'll soon be all right."
The annoyed aunt stood in their midst and protested, but Dale had started on with her load of bags, and there was nothing for the rest to do but follow.
As they came up the steps to the white doorway the boy flicked his cap over the exquisite delicate lilies that were fastened to the doorbell.
"Why the weeds?" he said contemptuously, turning a sneering glance at Dale.
"Oh, please don't!" she said, planting herself in the way of a second thrust of the ruthless cap.
"Well of all silly customs," sneered the young man. "Mom, I wouldn't stand for that if I were you. Tying a whole flower garden on the house we're expected to stay in all night."
Dale took a deep breath and tried to summon a calm expression.
"Take the suitcases into the living room," she said quietly. "Put them right on the floor by the door and then we can easily sort them out for the different rooms."
"Okay!" said the lad disagreeably, and he dropped the luggage he was carrying and turned to walk into the living room and look around.
"Some dump!" he commented disagreeably, casting a contemptuous look at the old steel engravings, and ancestral portraits in high stocks with their hair combed in a roach. He gave a semblance of a kick toward the fine old polished mahogany sofa with its well-preserved haircloth upholstery.
But Dale paid no attention to him. She put down the bags she was carrying and hurried out to the walk to get more, though she noticed that nobody else was likeminded, for they were surging into the house and staring around.
"Heavens, Moms," said Corliss, "I don't see what you wanted of a shanty like this! It really wasn't worth coming all this way over for."
"No," said Powelton, "it wouldn't even make a good fire."
His mother cast a reproving look at him.
"You'll find it will sell for quite a tidy little sum," said his mother. "You see, I didn't come all this way over here without knowing plenty about the situation. I found there is a project on to build a large munition factory right in this neighborhood, and a few strings properly pulled can make it possible for this place to be included in the center of things. A little judicious maneuvering will bring us in a goodly sum if we hold out just long enough."
Dale coming in with the final load of bags happened to overhear this last announcement, although her aunt thought she had lowered her voice. But Dale put down the baggage with no more sign than a quick pressure of her pleasant lips into a straight line.
"Now," she said looking up at her aunt and endeavoring to speak pleasantly, "will you come upstairs, Aunt Blanche, and see what arrangements I have made for you? Perhaps Powelton will bring up the bags you want right away."
"Not I, my fair cousin," responded the boy. "I've carried just all the bags I'm going to carry today."
But Dale thought it best to ignore that remark. Let his mother deal with her boy. It wasn't her business. So she led the way upstairs.
A straight easy flight of broad low steps led to a landing in a wide bay window, overlooking a pleasant landscape. The sun was just setting, and the scene was very lovely. But Dale was in no humor to pause or to call her aunt's attention to the sky decked out in glory. She hurried up the stairs, trying to make her voice steady as she spoke.
"I thought you would like the old room where you used to be when you last visited here."
"Oh! Indeed! I really don't remember anything about it," said the aunt in a chilly voice. "I'll see what you have arranged and then take my choice. I'm rather particular about my surroundings."
Dale threw open the door at the head of the stairs, and indicated the room within.
"I hope you'll be quite comfortable here," she said as pleasantly as she could over the anger which made her voice tremble.
The aunt cast a cold look over the pretty room with its starched muslin ruffles, its delicate old-fashioned china, its polished mahogany.
"H'm!" said the woman, "I don't remember it. Have you anything else?"
Anger rolled up in a crimson wave from Dale's delicate throat and spread over her face, and for an instant she thought she was going to lose control of herself. She was being treated as if she were a servant in a rooming house. Then it suddenly came over her that Grandmother had drolly described what her daughter-in-law was like and given her a clue to just such actions, and she caught her breath and gave a little light laugh.
"Yes," she said brightly, "I thought the room next would be nice for Corliss."
"Which one? That next door?" asked Corliss sharply. "No, I won't have that. It hasn't but one window! I want that room down at the far end of the hall. It looks out to the street, and I'm sure it's much larger and sunnier." She turned and sped toward the room she had craved, and Dale caught her breath and cried out softly. "No! No, you couldn't have that. That is Grandmother's room."
"Nonsense!" said Corliss sharply, "what's that got to do with it? I say I want that room," and she hurried down the hall, her hand already on the doorknob before Dale could reach her, and she was only deterred from flinging open the door by the fact that it was locked.
"What's the meaning of this?" she almost screamed. "What right have you to lock the doors? I suppose you are keeping this room for yourself because it is the best room, obviously. Answer me! Why have you locked this door?"
Dale was by her side now, and her voice was low and sweet as she answered gently: "Because Grandmother is lying in there."
Corliss dropped the doorknob as if it had been something terribly hot. She turned frightened eyes on her cousin.
"What do you mean?" she almost screamed. "Do you mean that you have kept a dead person in the house and then let us come here to stay? Why how perfectly gruesome! I think that is ghastly! I couldn't think of staying in the house, going to sleep, with a dead person in the next room. I should go mad! Mother, are you going to allow this to go on? For I won't sleep here. I simply won't. Not with a dead woman in the house. You'll have to do something about it!"
Then Aunt Blanche came to the front.
"Dale, you don't mean that Grandmother's body has not been taken to the undertaker's yet? Why, I cannot understand such negligence. Who arranged all this anyway? Did you, a young girl, presume to do it?"
"No, Aunt Blanche, Grandmother made all the arrangements. She said she wanted to stay here till she was taken to her final resting place, and she sent for the undertaker herself and made all the arrangements."
"How horrible!" said the aunt. "Well, it's evident we shall have to get another undertaker, and have the body taken away at once. We can't let this go on. Corliss is a very nervous temperamental child. The doctor says she must not be excited unduly. Suppose you call up another undertaker and I will talk with him and have this thing fixed. We'll have the funeral in some funeral parlor. I somehow knew I should have come yesterday."
But Dale stood quite still and looked at her aunt.
"I'm sorry you feel that way, Aunt Blanche, but it will be impossible to change the arrangements."
"Nonsense! Leave it to me. I'll cancel the arrangements quick enough. I'll just tell the man we'll not pay him, and he'll get out quick enough."
"He is all paid, Aunt Blanche. Grandmother paid him herself. She wanted to save us from having any trouble at the end, she said."
The aunt turned a face of frozen indignation.
"All paid! How ridiculous! Grandmother must have been quite crazy at the end. She had no right to do this. I shall refuse to let this house be used for the service."
"I'm afraid you wouldn't have the right to do that, Aunt Blanche."
"Not have the right? What do you mean? The house will of course eventually be mine. I certainly have the right to do what I will with my own, and I do not intend to have any funeral here to spoil the sale of the house. You see I have found a purchaser for it already. Someone I met on the train, and he's coming here tomorrow morning to look the house over. We certainly can't let him see a funeral and dead people here. He would never want to buy it under those circumstances, so gruesome."
A wave of color flew up into Dale's cheeks, and then receded suddenly as she remembered her promises to her grandmother not to get angry in talking with her aunt, but to remember to take a deep breath and lift her heart in prayer when she felt tempted. Grandmother had been so anxious that all things should be done decently and in order, and she must have known, too, just what provocative things might be said. So Dale drew a deep breath with partly closed eyes for an instant, and a lifting of her heart to God for help.
"Why, the house isn't for sale, Aunt Blanche," she said quite sweetly, in a pleasant tone.
"What do you mean?" screamed the lady. "Do you mean to say that the house has already been sold and Grandmother was only renting it? I always understood that it was her own." But just then Corliss raised her voice from the foot of the stairs.
"Mother, if you stand there and chew the rag with Dale any longer, you won't get anything done, and I simply won't stay in this house tonight the way things are. I feel as if I was about to faint this minute. Where is my medicine? I'm going to faint. I am! Come quick!" And Corliss slumped down on the stairs, and dropped her head back on the step above, rolling her eyes, and gasping for breath.
Her mother flew wildly down the stairs wafting back angry words to Dale: "There, see what you've done now! You'd better send for a doctor. These spells of hers are sometimes very serious. Powelton! Powelton! Where are you? Go out in the kitchen and get a pitcher of cold water, and a glass and spoon, and then look in my black bag for Corliss' medicine. Be quick about it too."
Corliss was presently restored to sufficient consciousness to talk again, and she began to whine at her mother.
"Moms, you've simply got to get things going. You can't have night coming down and all this funeral stuff around. I simply would die to be in a house with a dead body."
Then Dale stepped up quietly and spoke with dignity and sweetness.
"Corliss, if you would just come up into the room and see Grandmother, how sweet and pretty she looks, just like a saint lying there with the soft lace about her neck and her dear hands folded, and the loveliest smile on her gentle lips, you wouldn't feel this way."
But Dale's plea was interrupted by a most terrific scream of utter terror that must have been heard throughout the neighborhood.
"No! No! No! I won't! I won't ever see her. How perfectly horrid of you to say that. Take me out! Take me out of this house!"
This was followed by a quick exit to the front porch, and a flinging of the girl's body down in a chair, where she sat moaning and wailing in a tempest of hysterics.
Then her mother came back to the house to Dale.
"Dale, you'll have to tell me some place where I can take her until you can make other arrangements. Corliss will be a wreck unless we can get her out of here."
Dale with a quick uplifting breath, thought rapidly.
"Perhaps you would like to take her to the Inn," she said coolly. "I think they might have a room there. At least they would have a reception room where she could lie down on a couch till you could find a room that would do. I'm sorry I don't know of a boardinghouse that is not full to the brim with defense workers just now. Or, it might be one of the neighbors would let her lie down in the parlor till she gets control of herself. But certainly it is impossible to make any different arrangements here in the house. These are Grandmother's own arrangements and I intend to see that they are carried out. If Corliss cannot get used to the idea she might stay at the hotel, or down at the station till the service is over. Now, if you'll excuse me, Aunt Blanche, I think I'm needed in the kitchen. The dinner will be ready in about a half hour. Perhaps Corliss will feel better after she has had something to eat."
"No!" screamed Corliss, uncovering her sharp ears. "I'll not eat a mouthful in this house! I'm going to the hotel." But Dale went into the kitchen to face an indignant old servant.
"Leave her go to the hotel!" said Hattie furiously. "We don't want her screaming around here, desecratin' Gramma's house fer her when she ain't fairly out of it yet. We don't want 'em here. Let the whole kit of 'em go. We don't want to house 'em nor feed 'em nor nothin'."
"There, there, Hattie," said Dale. "Remember what Grandmother said."
"Yes, I know, only Miss Dale, it ain't fair fer you. You workin' an' slavin', to make ready fer 'em, an' then they make like this! It ain't reasonable."
"Yes, I know," said Dale wearily, "but it will soon be over and they'll be gone."
"Yeah?" said the old woman. "I wonder, will they?"
And then Dale could hear her aunt calling loudly for her and she went back into the living room to see what new trouble might have arisen.
She found her aunt most irate.
"Dale, what in the world was that you said about the house just as Corliss was taken ill? Did I understand you to say that you thought this house was not for sale? What did you mean by that?"
"I meant just what I said, Aunt Blanche," said Dale firmly. "The house is definitely not for sale."
"But how could you possibly know that?" asked the aunt sharply. "Grandmother didn't rent it, did she? I always understood that she was the full owner."
"No, Aunt Blanche, Grandmother did not own the house at all. It was just to be her home while she lived, but she had no ownership in it."
"Well, she did own the house once, I'm sure of that. I remember perfectly well. I think my husband engineered that. I think he paid part or perhaps it was the whole price for it. And of course it was to be mine after Grandmother was gone."
"I'm sorry, you have misunderstood, Aunt Blanche," said Dale quietly, "but that was not the case. Grandmother never owned the house, or even a part of it. The house is mine. My father bought it for me before he went away on business. Later, he was killed, and there was a proviso that Grandmother was always to have a home here as long as she lived. The house was left in trust for Grandmother and me until I should come of age, and that happened just a year ago you remember."
"How ridiculous! That's a pretty story for you to concoct out of whole cloth. I suppose the real truth of the matter is that you coaxed Grandmother into signing some papers and giving the house over to you, but a thing like that will be easily broken. And of course it will not be hard to prove that your father never had any money before he went to war. He was a sort of a ne'er-do-well, as I understand it, and couldn't have bought a house if he wanted to. As for you, you were only a babe in arms when he went away. I don't believe that even Grandmother could have helped to get up a story like this, much as she disliked me."
Dale summoned her utmost dignity.
"Aunt Blanche, don't you think perhaps we had better leave this decision until after dinner? Hattie has just told me that the dinner is all ready to be served, and I'm sure you must be hungry. If Corliss doesn't care to eat in the house would she like to have a tray brought out to the side porch? It is pretty well shaded with vines and nobody would be likely to see her, and wouldn't it be well for us to sit down now and postpone this discussion until tomorrow after the service? You know a little later the friends and neighbors will be coming in to see Grandmother, and we wouldn't want to be eating then."
"Oh, for Heaven's sake! Is that going to happen, too? I think we better go over to the hotel right away. This certainly is a queer reception you are giving us."
"I'm sorry, Aunt Blanche. We have a nice dinner, and surely you must be hungry!"
And just then Hattie swung the kitchen door open letting in a delicious smell of roasted chicken. Powelton arrived in the doorway and sighted two plump delectable lemon meringue pies on the sideboard.
"Oh gee!" he said. "Let's stay, Mom. I'm clean holler, and if you don't stay I'll stage a scene too, and then see where you'll be!"
So Dale seated her recalcitrant guests about the table that had been stretched to its fullest extent for the occasion, and there was a sort of armed truce while they ate.
But Dale felt as if she scarcely could swallow a bite as she sat trying to be sweet and pleasant, and not think of what was going to happen next. Perhaps she should have insisted that they go to the hotel. But she wasn't entirely sure there were rooms there, and certainly the neighbors would think it very queer that Grandmother's relatives would be sent off to a hotel. Still what would they think if a public argument about the house, and the funeral in general should be staged that evening in their presence? Well, she couldn't help it. What had to come must come. But she prayed in her heart:
"Dear Lord, please take over, for I can't do anything about it myself."
So they were presently served, the visiting aunt under protest, though she was hungry. She sat down with a face like Nemesis, as if she were yielding much in so doing, and snapped out her sentences as if she were a seamstress biting off threads.
Outside on the pretty white porch sat the petted unhappy Corliss, accepting ungraciously the plate of tempting dinner, surveying it with dissatisfaction, and tasting each separate article tentatively, with a nose all ready to turn up, and lips all ready to curl in scorn. But after the first taste she gobbled it all down in a trice and called out for more.
But before anyone heard her outcries, her roving glance suddenly lighted on the lovely spray of lilies that was fastened so gracefully to the doorbell, and she arose from her improvised dinner table with a clatter that rattled all the dishes. She flung down her knife and fork and spoon noisily to the floor, she pranced angrily over to the front door, where her frantic fingers wrenched the beautiful flowers from their moorings, then snatching them up she marched into the dining room.
"So you thought I'd eat my dinner beside a lot of funeral flowers, did you? Well, I won't, and that's flat!" she finished and flung the lovely blossoms across the room.
There was an instant of utter silence while the angry girl stood surveying them frowningly, and then Dale arose from her seat and slid quickly over to pick up the flowers and vanish into the kitchen to discover how much damage had been done. These flowers were sent by Grandmother's close friend, Mrs. Marshall, the lady who lived in the finest house on the hill above the town, and had her own conservatories and wonderful gardens. They must go back in place and must not be missed for a moment by the neighbors or anybody in town.
Dale found that fortunately the blossoms were reinforced by wire about their stems, and had not been badly broken by their rough treatment. She straightened them carefully, and going out the back door went around to the front and put the lilies back in place again. Then just as she fastened the last bit of wire, and felt that the flowers were going to be all right after
Excerpted from All Through the Night by Grace L. Hill Copyright © 2006 by Grace L. Hill. Excerpted by permission.
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