"I couldn't be here if it wasn't," she said.
It had to be the new baby.
I just want it to be healthy.
We must not be late.
But not a single person appeared to be in the room.
"Does it hurt to be invisible?" she asked.
When will supper be ready?
This might be the most difficult decision she would ever make.
It will be about the end of our adventures, I guess.
"To be sure," answered the Wizard.
There would be no selective reduction.
"Can one be calm in times like these if one has any feeling?" said Anna Pavlovna.
It is a custom in the South to build a small house near the homestead as an annex to be used on occasion.
She would soon be ready for Jonathan to ride.
"And we do not have to be so particular about our dress," remarked the man.
In most books, the I, or first person, is omitted; in this it will be retained; that, in respect to egotism, is the main difference.
Then there are the people who reason the future will be better.
This would be the only attempt they would make.
Alex was supposed to be sterile, but they had been wrong about that.
The Christmas tree could only be seen from the back of the house, but that didn't matter.
The roast will be ready in about 15 minutes.
College would start soon and she would be leaving anyway.
At least he didn't appear to be drunk.
At once the Mangaboos began piling up the rocks of glass again, and as the little man realized that they were all about to be entombed in the mountain he said to the children:
"It wouldn't be so bad," remarked the Wizard, gazing around him, "if we were obliged to live here always.
Two childish voices laughed merrily at this action, and Dorothy was sure they were in no danger among such light-hearted folks, even if those folks couldn't be seen.
But, except for these fleeting memories, if, indeed, they be memories, it all seems very unreal, like a nightmare.
Dancing with someone that tall was going to be... interesting.
"We must be nearly as high as the six colored suns, by this time," said Dorothy.
We who live here much prefer to be invisible; for we can still hug and kiss one another, and are quite safe from the bears.
When Dorothy gently touched her nose and ears and lips they seemed to be well and delicately formed.
"There's going to be trouble, I'm sure," remarked the horse.
If Alex felt the need to protect her from Gerald, maybe she shouldn't be dancing with him.
But the foes were too many to be repulsed for long.
"To be sure," said the other.
I'll be in the kitchen... when you get decent.
I know you must be tired, so I will let you rest.
Will this be your last baby?
Alex must be proud.
I'm the one who should be apologizing - for dragging you into this.
So far, she seemed to be his best source of information, anyway.
On the river, however, the adventurers seemed to be perfectly safe.
"That is true," agreed the Wizard, "and as the river seems to be flowing in the direction of the Pyramid Mountain it will be the easiest way for us to travel."
"Before," she said, knowing her face must be red.
For her, losing them was painful enough, but losing a mate - that would be agonizing.
In fact, she had made a different decision about it so many times that his head must be spinning.
It must be difficult for Alex to keep you happy.
Still, it could be a lot worse.
If he hadn't hid it from her all this time, it wouldn't be such a shock.
Most girls wanted to be a princess at some point in their youth, though she couldn't specifically remember that wish.
He looked to be about her age and his blond hair was neatly combed into a fashionable style.
I wish it to be so with all who live in my home.
Connie immediately assured her that the Giddon's wouldn't be shelling out the money if they didn't think she was earning it.
There used to be houses around here long time ago.
He might be irritating at times, but he was never boring.
He was only supposed to be investigating him.
Don't be too hard on Howard.
But if you could trust him this way and there was no electricity, would it still be love?
Felipa said it was supposed to be nice outside today.
You must be exhausted.
You must be too.
The children were inclined to be frightened by the sight of the small animal, which reminded them of the bears; but Dorothy reassured them by explaining that Eureka was a pet and could do no harm even if she wished to.
Once you have tried my goods I am sure you will never be without them.
So the piglets will be perfectly safe, hereafter, as far as I am concerned.
There was no sound to be heard anywhere throughout the country.
There's going to be trouble, and my sword isn't stout enough to cut up those wooden bodies--so I shall have to get out my revolvers.
There are the people who hope the future will be better.
In this book, I maintain the future will be without ignorance, disease, hunger, poverty, and war, and I support those assertions with history, data, and reason.
As the nation grew, so did what came to be called the American Dream.
No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof.
Can one be well while suffering morally?
At this point, abandoning the two fertilized eggs might be a worse sin.
To be fair, his father hadn't made things any better by offering money to Alex and not his sister.
He was getting to be quite a handsome young man.
Would he be disappointed that Lori got it?
That might be true, but there was no point in working at becoming a spendthrift simply because he had money.
There was shopping and packing to be done before they left on vacation.
As busy as she was, time had to be set aside for play with Destiny.
He thought it would be fun for the man to tell the woman.
Nothing could be gained by dwelling on such thoughts.
They should be doing an ultrasound in a couple of weeks.
It will be so much fun to work on it with Jonathan and Destiny.
The unknown can be worse than reality, and she had no idea what to expect on the flight.
Aside from packing, there was also decorating to be done.
The neighbors couldn't see into any of their windows, and they were far enough off the main road that the only traffic would be people coming to see them.
We'll have to be careful about that with the new baby.
"How long will you be with us?" he asked.
It would be dreadful to eat these dear little things.
"How did they happen to be so little?" asked Dorothy.
"But won't they be veg'table, like everything else here?" asked the kitten.
"Why, there seems to be no night at all in this country," Zeb replied.
Those colored suns are exactly in the same place they were when we came, and if there is no sunset there can be no night.
"Oh, you cannot go away, of course; so you must be destroyed," was the answer.
Then our country will be rid of all its unwelcome visitors.
Some of the Mangaboos fell down and had to be dragged from the fire, and all were so withered that it would be necessary to plant them at once.
"Don't be rough!" he would call out, if Eureka knocked over one of the round, fat piglets with her paw; but the pigs never minded, and enjoyed the sport very greatly.
But never mind; be brave, my friends, and I will go and tell our masters where you are, and get them to come to your rescue.
"The Valley of Voe is certainly a charming place," resumed the Wizard; "but we cannot be contented in any other land than our own, for long."
Our greatest Champion, Overman-Anu, once climbed the spiral stairway and fought nine days with the Gargoyles before he could escape them and come back; but he could never be induced to describe the dreadful creatures, and soon afterward a bear caught him and ate him up.
"But we would be drowned!" exclaimed the girl.
Once a little fish swam too near the surface, and the kitten grabbed it in her mouth and ate it up as quick as a wink; but Dorothy cautioned her to be careful what she ate in this valley of enchantments, and no more fishes were careless enough to swim within reach.
His boney legs moved so fast they could scarcely be seen, and the Wizard clung fast to the seat and yelled "Whoa!" at the top of his voice.
If I should squeeze one, there wouldn't be anything left of it.
In the open space between the clouds and the black, bubbling sea far beneath, could be seen an occasional strange bird winging its way swiftly through the air.
I just thought it would be fun for the man to tell the wife this for once.
No doubt he didn't like being reminded that her dream could only be achieved by unnatural methods.
I've been picked over six years, but our family is known to be especially long lived.
Alfonso looked to be a year or so older than Jonathan.
Carmen glanced around the table, but everyone seemed to be more amused than disturbed... everyone but Señor Medena.
This new baby... it will not be too much?
How long is this going to be your dirty little secret?
Having a baby was something they should be excited about - talking about to others.
She'll be closer to her age.
You do realize that if it's a girl, we're going to be unevenly matched.
Felipa will be punished for her part in the incident.
Their differences couldn't be merely heritage.
There had to be more.
Felipa, do not be long.
She doesn't have any reason to be jealous of me.
Maybe Alex wanted to be in control because he had been dominated all his life.
It wasn't as if he had to be there every living minute of his life.
How sad that she would be too proud to have fun.
I guess because the only one who should be looking at it is my husband.
He will be pleased.
The rest of us will be along soon.
According to the invitation, the party will be held in the main entrance near the Christmas tree.
Alex was ten times the man Señor Medena would ever be.
For some reason it crossed her mind that he would be fun to know.
Other than the one time he had lost his temper with her, she had never known him to be anything but gentle.
"Alex seems to be doing well," he said after a long pause.
He didn't seem to be prompting her.
In any case, there was nothing that couldn't wait to be discussed at home.
They would be there tomorrow night, so there was no point in making the remaining vacation time unpleasant.
Wasn't he allowed to be human?
She put a hand to her mouth and glanced around for something to be sick in.
They must be in Tulsa.
It felt so good to be home.
At the moment, all she wanted was to be snuggled close.
"It's good to be home," he whispered, "with the people who mean the most to me."
Her breath must be atrocious.
He must be exhausted.
I know you're not going to be right 100% of the time.
They were home now - everything was going to be better.
Alex and Jonathan wanted to help decorate, but there were some basic things that could be done.
And if so, would they be able to fit three people comfortably in the front seat?
No wonder he thought she didn't want to be burdened with the details.
In fact, if she confronted him now and then, he might be more inclined to volunteer information before she found out about it.
"I hopped things would be different when we got back home - that we would stop all this bickering," he said crisply.
Supper will be ready in ten minutes.
If that Alex returned to his roots, there was no reason she couldn't be at his side.
Alex was secretive and he did like to be in control.
He wasn't involved in anything illegal and you have no reason to be concerned about spending any of the money he acquired.
Considering the information Katie had just disclosed, it wasn't surprising that he wanted to be in control - or that he had chosen a wife who asked few questions.
Alex will be home soon and I have to get supper on.
On the other hand, how could Alex be a positive influence if his Uncle truly felt that way?
Wouldn't it be wounded knowing he had been used to their advantage?
Since his current office was directly across from their bedroom, it seemed a better place for babies that Alex said could be born early.
Well, I do need to freshen up, but I'll be back.
If you don't get some sleep when you go home, you won't be able to relieve me tonight.
Of course - and he wanted to be there as much as she did.
They both couldn't be there all the time.
She has to talk to father about it and she will call back later this morning to let me know when she will be here.
Thanks, I know we can count on you, Katie, but I think she'll be more comfortable staying at our house.
Jonathan would be home soon so she started supper.
I'll be leaving early tomorrow morning to relieve Carmen, so I'll drop you off at Katie's.
That would be a big help.
Covers needed to be put on the electrical outlets and the windows still held their tags.
This antibiotic seems to be working better than the previous one.
He'll be back later.
The doctor will be in to talk to you in a few minutes.
They said she'd be sleepy because of the medicine, so I'll try to sleep while she is asleep.
If he was coming down with a cold, he needed rest - and Destiny didn't need to be exposed to it.
Oh my, you shouldn't be inside the tent with her.
If you panic, she will be frightened.
She needs to be loved... touched.
"Mommy will be right here," Carmen said as she gently pulled away.
He certainly had Destiny's approval - and the admiration appeared to be mutual.
"I told her I would be here," Carmen said.
If he was on the road, he didn't need to be distracted.
The congestion must be breaking up.
"Don't be angry, honey," she said.
Please don't be this way, Alex.
I don't want to be in the middle of your feud.
If he was in bed under the current circumstances, he must be sicker than he was letting on.
Still, Alex might be getting worse.
After he recovered from the stabbing, the Doctor said he had scar tissue and would be susceptible to pneumonia in the injured lung.
She couldn't be with Destiny and Alex at the same time.
Alex would be upset, but what could she do?
On the other hand, Alex needed to be in a position where he was forced to actually talk to his father.
At best, Alex would be courteous to him.
If it's something we simply can't afford, that's one thing, but we should be encouraging things like this, Alex.
The odds must be astronomical.
You want to be pregnant.
I'll be home in a few minutes.
How could he be so calm about it?
They can be downright cantankerous.
He said he would be gone for two days, but didn't say why he was going.
It's nothing you want to be involved in, Carmen.
"Is it something you want to be involved in?" she asked.
She was the country bumpkin that he had to drag everywhere or be accused of being insensitive.
I want to be able to focus on solving this problem, not worrying about what might be said or done to you.
If I would be in danger, then so would you.
So that was why he didn't want her to be involved.
How could a man with four million in the bank be in financial danger?
I don't want you to lose anything, but you know I'd want to be with you even if we didn't have a dime to our name.
I know, sweetheart, and that is a comfort, but it won't be that bad.
It shouldn't be any surprise, since that was what suffered when he had been troubled in the past.
Besides, Destiny would be there to assist with creating the required amount of restraint.
I'll be right back.
Seducing him was something she thought would be difficult, but it was actually enjoyable.
Alex continued to be preoccupied with his problem - whatever it was.
He's always been secretive, and whenever I ask him, he just tells me it's something I don't want to be involved in.
On the other hand, if he lost them, she would be sharing the loss of lifestyle.
Maybe it was good for them - I don't know, but I don't think it's going to be good for you - or Alex.
In any case, Alex might not be happy with her old-fashioned ideas.
I want to be part of this - whatever it is.
I knew you'd be upset and there is nothing you can do... nothing I can do.
Would there be a point at which she stopped being surprised by his family?
More important, would there ever be a time when he stopped hiding things from her?
He must be devastated.
Probably because he didn't know how to handle the situation - and Alex always wanted to be in control.
A person couldn't be in control all the time - right all the time.
I want to be a part of your life.
It wasn't something she was looking forward to, but it might be helpful.
If she focused on the past, he would be encouraged to hide things in the future.
You think the boy might not be mine?
You'd just be needlessly concerned.
I would have thought a gender oriented decision would upset you, but you seem to be on his side.
But you would be.
In any case, she would never be a social fit.
"That was the doctor," he called as he got close enough to be heard.
They needed to gain a little weight before they would be released from the hospital, though.
Carmen had assumed breast feeding would be a natural thing, but as Matthew lay fussing in her arms, it seemed a major obstacle.
I didn't know it would be like this.
He had an idea of how his father felt, fearing he would have to watch his little boy grow and not being able to be the provider.
The sooner he started, the sooner it would be out of the way.
I would like small children to be there.
I have let her do this, but now I tell her she must be respectful.
If he lived to be a hundred he'd never understand women.
Carmen thought she wanted him to make the decisions, but she wanted to be involved with the process.
He'd like to believe in good and the happy-ever-after, but that innocence could never be retrieved.
Hopefully her family would be in the restaurant now – safe from any flooding on the highway.
Allen couldn't be rejected, so he belittled her intelligence, the close relationship with her family and accused her of cheating on him.
Mom always said lost time couldn't be replaced.
How embarrassing it must be for him.
It would be so disappointing for them.
Don't be so rigid.
Connie should be here any minute.
They wouldn't all be there unless something terrible had happened.
You must be mistaken.
They should be home any minute.
It couldn't be real, and yet... she remembered the train whistle and the ghostly voice of Nick.
"She'll be alright," Connie said.
I'm going to be sick.
But I want to be with them.
It was something she had been told often, but never expected to be asked.
Howard insisted this had to be done right now.
I could be a room mate – help you with the bills and pay rent.
Maybe a vacation would be good right now, but don't go back there.
And I will be for a very long time.
I didn't mean to be so disrespectful.
And I'm glad I could be there when you needed me.
Just remember, I'll always be there – whenever you need me.
Lisa thanked her for all the help and assured her that she would be fine.
She sat up and reached for her robe, wondering who might be visiting at this time in the morning.
If you put me in jail again, when I get out there won't be a safe place for you.
All this attention from Howard could be due to a guilty conscience.
She should be looking for a replacement vehicle, but having another car in the garage would only be a reminder that there was no one left to drive it.
It might be a good idea to tell Len or Howard about it.
Wildlife hid behind that wall of green, but it was too late in the day for them to be hopping out on the road.
Nothing could be gained by remaining still.
It would be dark by the time they got the car off the edge of the cliff.
Yeah, you could get to it, but it would take a while, and you'd be subjecting yourself to thorns, ticks, snakes and about ten miles of the roughest country you can imagine.
You'll be safe from me there.
Fayetteville is long distance, but I'll be glad to pay you for the call as soon as I get my things.
You must be starving.
I'd be glad to help you with supper.
This must be your daughter.
I be in fust gwade tomowow.
It ached in places there couldn't be muscles.
"Maybe I was supposed to be with them," she thought, not realizing she spoke aloud.
"You said maybe you were supposed to be with them," he reminded her.
Would this friend be a boy?
I must be boring you to death.
You must be the daughter who...
She had always been a recluse at heart, often declining a social outing with her friends so that she could be alone with a book or her writing.
The windows in the car would be broken, and everything would get soaked.
The car was a loss anyway, but her purse and clothes would be ruined.
The money would dry, and her clothes could be washed.
The car would be replaced by the insurance that was meant to replace her parents' car.
Directing Connie to the house would be difficult, but Lisa could wait at the end of the drive.
Surely it couldn't be as bad as Giddon had indicated.
"It's going to be a beautiful day," Sarah said as she turned her attention back to her food.
If you'll just point the way, I'll be glad to go by myself.
Again she had allowed herself to be put in a precarious situation.
Not that she would be any safer letting go.
Maybe he thought the stick would be useless.
It must be nice having your land so close to the park.
It could be a way to get her to put it down.
The stored tears continued to flow and the sobs wracked her body, robbing it of the ability to speak – barely allowing a breath to be drawn.
The battery in the lantern might be dead or the fall might have broken it.
It felt good to be off her feet, even if only momentarily and in such a manner.
Better would be a long time coming, but she felt more in control of her emotions.
You seemed to be enjoying it when I carried you across the creek.
Connie and Howard would be at work right now and wouldn't be home until 5:00 pm.
By now, he had to be desperate to get rid of her.
I'll be glad to pay you for all you've done.
He could hardly be blamed if he chose to make her walk home.
The braids had to be untangled in order to shampoo the mud from her hair.
Sarah silently watched her son with what appeared to be amused interest.
No. I guess I'd be upset, too, if someone barged into my life that way.
It never occurred to her that he might be embarrassed when he found out.
When you're only going to work for the summer, you can't be too picky.
The place was quiet and secluded, and Sarah would be a sweet person to work for.
Still, working for Giddon would be a challenge.
Living in that house and using the pool would be like a summer vacation, not a job.
It would be an excellent opportunity to get out of this house with its unpleasant memories.
On the other hand, putting up with his volatile moods wouldn't be exactly easy.
It was ridiculous... and exciting... bold and impulsive - everything she didn't want to be.
Maybe Connie wouldn't be at home.
No, it's no one my family knew but I think the change will be good for me.
I'll be over there in a few minutes so you can show me what needs to be taken care of while you're gone.
His mother lives there with him, so it's not like we'd be all alone out there.
If you absolutely insist on doing this, at least leave me instructions on how to get there... and a phone number where you can be reached.
Well, it's good that you're getting to be yourself again.
His features were too rugged to be described with such a word.
Rephrasing the question would be nothing more than a distraction.
If she knew I was hiring you as a companion, she'd be embarrassed.
I don't want her to be stuck with the responsibility of my child.
Somehow I get the idea that you will find it harder to be idle than working.
Sarah couldn't understand her desire to be alone, but she accepted it.
Don't be wandering off alone.
It should be ready now.
Sure. We'll be in after a little bit.
And that would be...?
Would she ever be able to watch a normal family scene without feeling the agony of her loss?
Be back after a while.
"Why else would he be here?" she cut in.
From now on, she would be sure she had her beach robe by the pool when she swam, just in case someone came by... especially Giddon.
You need to be careful around men.
Well... Yancey, maybe you're the one I should be careful about.
There might be a thousand explanations for what she had witnessed, but only one came to mind.
Why else would he be so concerned about her excursions in the woods?
What other reason would there be for telling his daughter not to discuss his occupation?
As strong as he was, it would be useless to resist.
I may be footing the bill, but you're working for Mom, not me.
Why do I get the feeling it's the bears that should be concerned?
Giddon was obviously watching her, so calling on her telephone might be tipping her hand.
He used to be a pretty good mechanic.
Standing at the mailbox, it occurred to her that the red flag would be exactly that for Yancey.
They had talked in front of her, so it couldn't be what she thought.
The conversation obviously upset Yancey, but he didn't seem to be concerned that a stranger was listening.
Suit yourself, but personally, I think it would be good for you to get out a little.
She searched around for a landmark that could be seen over the trees, but nothing was tall enough.
It was hard to tell, but there were no trees ahead, so it must be the clearing.
At any rate, Giddon would be back soon.
Every step must be in the right direction.
For a moment she contemplated silence, but what would be the point?
"It doesn't appear to be broken," he concluded in a monotone, "But we should take you to a doctor, just to be sure."
Didn't I tell you it was dangerous to be alone?
His hands might be soft, but he was capable of dealing with whatever came in his direction.
It'll be all right.
Everything was going to be all right.
By tomorrow I'll be fine.
There was some question that he might not be able to keep his own child?
Of course, it would be simple to say she died in childbirth.
Sarah was his mother, so he would be respectful, and if he wasn't she could always walk away.
It would be different with his wife.
In any case, Yancey didn't seem to be all that determined to avoid a relationship.
There could be a number of reasons that Sarah would welcome her as a daughter-in-law, not the least of which was the goings-on down that path.
Dropping it now would be like losing another friend.
Those eyes would be mocking her, or maybe filled with fear.
The window was barely large enough for her to pass through, but she might be able to get out that way.
She carried a chair to a spot that wouldn't be visible on a course from the path to the door, and sat down.
But if he saw her swollen eyes he'd be asking all kinds of questions.
When will you be able to take me to get my car?
And now she had put herself in a position where she would be alone with him in the car.
You don't have any reason to be afraid of me.
I'll be alright once I get my car.
It would be the perfect opportunity.
Alright. We'll do it your way... but be careful.
Mom will be back soon.
Today would probably be the last time she would see her.
He must be pacing.
She'll be going to college next month.
She'll be leaving then.
What was it he said that day in the mountains... a body could be lost in those hills forever?
It was hard to believe sweet little Sarah would be involved with anything so sinister.
Who would be calling her on his phone again?
We just turned off the highway, so we'll be there pretty soon.
If she was wrong about him... but how could she be?
No, Connie wouldn't be smiling.
How was I to know you would be so inquisitive?
There must be a fortune right here in this building.
I'm not sure, but I think it's going to be fun finding out.
Maybe it would be wise to separate the two at times.
I figured he'd be upset because I was still working on it.
Now, if I was trying to hide my identity, the last thing I would want her to do would be to file a police report while she was living under my roof.
I could understand why he would be chasing her, but if I'd have known she'd go for a guy older than me...
I was shocked at how harsh reality can be.
Charcoal gray eyes studied her critically from a face too rugged to be handsome.
Apparently Julia considered her to be some kind of competition.
Otherwise we'd be doomed to spinstership.
According to my mother, I should be married by now.
He wasn't trying to be rude; he was merely fending off an uncomfortable subject.
Why was it suddenly so important to be attractive?
At least it would be quiet.
But then, I got to thinking how nice it would be if you went along.
Neither of them is working today, and I'm sure they'd be delighted to join you.