“Aye, Sir. Tell me something Sir. If I may be so bold. What was it you found in the paper which gave you such an excitement? If I may ask.”
“Was but a clock, Stemmons. A bloody clock.”
Stemmons felt a disappointment. He had anticipated telling his wife, but upon returning home that evening, he would have nothing of interest to tell her. It was just a clock?
Mr. Weatherspoon had been so giddy with excitement that he thought, something of more importance than a clock. “It’s a good clock, I’ll warrant,” he replied.
“Good!” Elijah retorted. “Anything but good. It’s been me bane. Me ruin. Would I’d never seen it.”
“It’s an unfortunate clock indeed,” the waiter agreed. “Unfortunate indeed.”
What's Inside The Books
“Do you know one of the ways you know when you love someone? That is when it is more. When you are, to use the common term, in love. Do you know what that is?”
“Tell me, Mum, for you know, I am really ignorant in the ways of love.”
“When you desire the company and companionship of someone so strongly that when you are not with them, there is an emptiness in your heart. An ache which can only be filled by having that person in your life and being with them. And it is, when you are unhappy when you are apart.
“That’s what it means. And I’ll speak no more of it. But rather let you ponder my words. Oh yes, and one more thing.”
“What is that?” Sarah asked.
“In all matters of importance, and especially in areas of confusion and uncertainty in your life, seek God’s counsel. Seek Him in prayer and by the faithful reading of His Word. But more than just reading, ponder and seek for it to be illuminated for you. God is the source of wisdom. And don’t forget that.”
“Mum, sometimes I feel that you are preaching to me,” Sarah replied.
“Well, if that is the making of the bread, then let it be baked.”
(From 'An Empty Quiet Place')
“You promised to tell me about the other Martha,” Hannah begged.
“Oh yes,” the old woman replied. A deep yawn took what seemed to be a full minute to clear. She removed her hand from before her mouth and smiled. “Mary and Martha were sisters. Did I mention that?”
“Aye, you did,” Hannah said to herself, but not out loud.
“Jesus came to visit them one day, as he often did when he passed that way. They were good friends. And they had a brother. Did I mention that they did? His name was Lazarus.” She grew silent as though recounting to herself some aspect of the story.
“You know, I don’t think Lazarus lived with them. Or maybe he was working that day and not at home. But Martha was busy in the kitchen preparing supper. So maybe they expected Lazarus home later. Goodness. I wonder if Lazarus was married. Where was his wife that day?
“But, it only mentions the two sisters in this story. Mary and Martha.”
Hannah wondered if she would ever hear the rest of the story. How the old lady did ramble, and…
“I’m thirsty again, Dearie. Do you mind?"
Once again, Hannah provided Martha with a glass of iced water and a straw.
“I think I will sleep now, Dearie,” the old woman said in a quiet voice. “Tell me, what is your name again?”
(From 'When Love Finds Hannah')
On the front porch of the Vandergriff home, they prepared to say their good nights. Sarah, came near to Bryan. “Good to see you again,” she whispered, close to him as her hand touched his. “Let’s spend some time together soon. Just like old times.”
She was close enough to him to smell the perfume in her hair. It caused that familiar feeling to well up within him. Then, unannounced, she threw her arms around his neck, and drew her body close against him. And she placed a kiss on his cheek. But it was for only a moment. She did not allow the embrace to linger, but drew away, and with a “good night” she withdrew into the house.
Bryan stood transfixed. He relished the feeling of the embrace. But he knew that it was nothing more than a casual gesture from her. Or worse. A tease. Sarah had been like that. Letting him hold her hand one day and the next, pretending that he was of no account to her. Building hope within him today. And tomorrow, dashing that hope to the ground.
“It was good to see Bryan again,” Rachael stated matter of factually, though her meaning was more than that. Sarah did not reply.
“He looks good. Don’t you think?” she continued.
“He does, Mum.”
Rachael turned to face her daughter. “Why don’t you give him a chance, Dear? He’s got the makings of a good man.”
“We’ve discussed this before, Mum. He is a nice chap. A good one too. And I feel that he’s one of my best chums. If not the best. But he’s simply not my type. For romance, that is.”
“Do you really know what your type is? Or what you’re really looking for in a man? I’m sorry, Dear. It’s really not my business.
“But on the other hand, your welfare and your happiness are my business. There are good men and then there are other men. I pray that you know the difference. And don’t have to learn it the hard way.”
“Mum, you raised me right. I know the difference.”
“I pray that is true,” her mother replied. “And if my raisin’ means anything to you, stop treating Bryan like trash.”
“What do you mean? I’m not treating him like trash. When have I treated him badly?”
“You just did. Out there on the front porch. You did.”
(From 'An Empty Quiet Place')
“It’s hopeless, Doctor Forth,” the nurse sighed. “Doctor Throckmorton, and you know how good a doctor he is, feels that the condition is hopeless. He has gone off shift. But if you like, I can summon him to talk to you and give you his opinion.”
“That won’t be necessary right now, Agnes,” Anna replied. “I’ll go have a look myself. Come with me.”
She arose from her desk and with the patient’s file in hand, with Agnes tagging behind, she walked quickly to the Infant Critical Care Unit.
t did not take her long to reach the same conclusion as the previous physician. The child was dying.
She left the bedside and hurried to the waiting room down the hall where sat a young man and woman. There was no one else in the room at that time so she knew…
The woman looked to be about twenty-two. With a pale complexion now even whiter than was healthy, she stared ahead with hollow eyes, the likes of which Anna had seen before. And they always spoke the same message.
The young mother was beyond the ability to shed tears. That was the state of mind, Anna in her professional experience saw. It cut her deeply in her heart. All of the tears the young mother had to shed; she already had shed. She had no more tears left.
The young man, obviously the father, had a frightened look on his face which caused his black eyes to dart about the room, seeing things which only his tormented mind could see.
(from 'A Ship Called Abigail')
“Do you think that she was left alone at the alter?” she asked as the two of them sat on the swing on the front porch later that evening. Sally had downed outer apparel suitable to ward against the cold. Jonathon was already so dressed, for shortly he would depart for his own flat.
Supper was concluded and both of her parents had retired to their own retreats for the remainder of the evening. Jonathon would shortly say his farewell for the evening. But for now, they sat in the darkness not minding the cold. And the swing moved back and forth in the peaceful way swings are purposed to do.
“Why do you ask that question?” he asked. “Perhaps she had a happy wedding, and she and her husband lived a long happy life together. Why would you think otherwise?”
She paused before answering. “I’m not sure why I think so, but I think it was an unhappy affair. The dress seems unhappy.”
“How can a dress seem unhappy?” he asked. “Tis but a garment. A piece of cloth. I don’t understand how you can imagine such a thing.”
But she was a woman, and women have a strange ability to sense things which a man cannot sense. And he knew her well enough to know that.
(from 'Miss Penny's Wedding Dress')
“What will our house look like?” she asked as both of her hands were now buried deep in a bowl of newly mixed flour and water, mixing it into bread dough.
“I don’t know for sure,” he answered. “I know that it will be pretty. Both on the inside and on the outside. Maybe it will be painted white. Or maybe not. I don’t know.”
“Purple, maybe?” she asked. “I like the colour purple. What do you think, my Love?”
“No!” he exclaimed. He did not know if she was taunting him with that colour suggestion, or if perhaps she was serious. He did not want to hurt her feelings, if her suggestion had been made in sincerity. “Do you think purple is a good colour for a house?”
“I don’t know. I have never seen a purple house,” she answered.
“Let’s decide on the colour later,” he suggested. “It will be pretty,” she mused. “Many rooms, perhaps?”
“Not too many. Many rooms means many to clean and to decorate.”
“But if we have many babies…” she said, with the promise in her words.
“We have to start with one,” he said. “How many do you want?”
“With you, many. Many babies.” And then she laughed. “But we will start with one."
He leaned across the table and kissed her. “I really do love you,” he stated. “I'm happy I married you.”
“And I too am happy you married me,” she answered, kissing him again. “But now we must bake the bread. And I think we need more than bread for dinner today. Aye?”
(from 'Voyage of Abigail')