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Authors: Thomas H. Cook

Breakheart Hill (38 page)

BOOK: Breakheart Hill
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But as to what Miss Channing considered happiness, that I could not have said. I knew only that a strange energy surrounded her, a vibrancy and engagement that was almost physical, and that whatever happiness she might later find in life would have to answer to it.

“Well, we should be going now,” my father said. He nodded toward the two leather valises in my hands. “Put those down, Henry.”

I did as I was told, and joined my father at the door.

“Well, good night, then, Miss Channing,” he said as he opened it.

“Good night, Mr. Griswald,” she said. “And thank you for everything.”

Seconds later we were in the car again, backing onto Plymouth Road. Through the cords of rain that ran down the windshield as we pulled away, I could see Miss Channing standing at the threshold of the cottage, her face so quiet and luminous as she waved good-bye that I have often chosen to recall her as she was that first night rather than as she appeared at our last meeting, her hair clipped and matted, her skin lusterless, the air around her thick with a dank and deathly smell.

BOOK: Breakheart Hill
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