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.‘‘What happened, Josiah?’’ she asked.‘‘Today or yesterday?’’‘‘So you’ve been in trouble more than once this week?’’‘‘Nothin’ much to worry ’bout,’’ the boy replied.Hannah shook her head.‘‘He’s a rascal, is all.’’Sarah didn’t press the matter.‘‘Is your teacher attentive to each of you?’’Josiah turned, frowning quizzically.‘‘Ach, she’s always watchin’ over us.’’‘‘Jah, she is,’’ Hannah confirmed it.‘‘Didja think differently?’’ Josiah asked.Sarah shrugged off the question, saying no more.She was relieved to hear that their teacher had been vigilant and hoped young Lydia would be the same.Getting up, she went to make the hot cocoa Lydia would have already prepared and served by now had she been here.Lydia waited patiently while Miriam set a dessert plate in front of her, eager to get on with the reason why she’d come.‘‘Something’s a-botherin’ you, child.I can see it all over your face,’’ Miriam said, sitting across from her at the table.Lydia had come for a completely different purpose—not to confide her concerns ’bout Levi’s and her courtship or lack thereof.‘‘I’ve heard.well, there’s talk that you know something—’ bout Mamma’s plans for our future,’’ she began.Miriam poured a glass of milk, raising her eyebrows and making a great heaving sound as she sighed.‘‘Before we go any further, I must say that your dear mamma had some strong opinions ’bout what she wanted for you and your sisters and brothers, come her death.’’Lydia listened, eager for more.‘‘She talked to you ’bout that?’’‘‘Jah, she did.’’That was a surprise.Why hadn’t Mamma confided in her closest friend, Susie Lapp? This made no sense at all.‘‘You may not know much ’bout your mamma’s last wishes,’’ Miriam continued.‘‘I know she loved us with all her heart.’’The older woman nodded, her eyes blinkin’ to beat the band.‘‘Jah, so there’s a gut reason why she wanted her fancy sister to come to Amish country.’’‘‘Maybe so Aunt Sarah would go Plain on her own accord, ain’t so?’’Chuckling, Miriam placed a hand on her ample bosom.‘‘Oh my, no.I’d say that was the last thing on your mamma’s mind.’’Seemed to Lydia that the woman was talkin’ in circles—riddles, really.‘‘I don’t understand,’’ she said softly.A mysterious, almost angelic look passed over Miriam’s face.‘‘Sometimes it’s best if we sit back and let the Good Lord work in His own way and time.’’Well, Lydia wasn’t one to argue with that.She’d heard it aplenty from Mamma.Had seen for herself God’s hand at work when a good portion of patience was applied to a situation.The smooth, creamy texture of Miriam’s pie felt wonderful on her tongue.‘‘Mm-m, this is awful gut,’’ Lydia said, changing the subject.‘‘Glad ya like it.Take some home with you—for the others.’’She finished up her dessert and milk, sayin’ a quick good-bye and headed out to the horse and buggy, several pieces of pie in tow.All the while she wondered what it was that Mamma had confided in tight-lipped Miriam.And what did the Lord have to work out anyhow?Chapter Twenty-FourLong after evening prayers and Bible reading, Sarah sat in her room, concocting an appropriate reply to Bryan’s morning email.She had deliberately refrained from dashing off a quick response.Had learned from past business mistakes to think through every point before committing the conclusion to paper—or computer screen, as the case may be.Bryan,Good to hear from you.I’ve thought about your most recent message all day, and I really don’t know how to respond.I guess I hope this is just one of your many one-liners.or was it two?I’ll give you a call when you’re rational.SarahFeeling dreadful, as if she might be coming down with a sore throat or worse, Sarah took a warm bath and rubbed her neck and chest with Vicks VapoRub, hoping to soothe her symptoms.Lydia had insisted that she try some chamomile tea after supper.But Sarah was adamant about doing things her way.By Saturday morning, Sarah’s throat was swollen and her temperature had soared.She wouldn’t be traveling home anytime this weekend.Besides, there was the matter of acquiring foster parents for her sister’s children.Certainly, she could not leave here until she accomplished what she had come to do.Sarah succumbed to Lydia’s pleas and sipped the herbal brew her niece brought on a tray first thing in the morning.‘‘I’m praying you’ll feel better soon,’’ Lydia said, standing near the doorway.‘‘I can bring you more tea when you’re ready.more water, too.’’She nodded, unable to squeak out a reply of thanks.This was what she got for walking with the children in the bitter wind three days ago.Sampling the tea again, she took a longer drink this time, wondering how Ivy had gotten hooked up with herbs.Their dad had been big on them, enjoyed growing several different varieties in a small garden plot just off the back porch.But his interest had flourished long after Ivy married and moved to Bridgeport [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]