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Authors: Walter D. Edmonds

Drums Along the Mohawk (78 page)

BOOK: Drums Along the Mohawk
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“What did he want?” Gil’s face hardened. “If he wants to come back to settle, he better not try.”

“Oh no, he was looking for some news of his wife. She never turned up in Canada.”

“I remember. After they took him to Albany she went back to the store. But she’d gone from there when the militia went up—you remember, after we went to Little Stone Arabia Stockade.”

It seemed they couldn’t get away from it. Again and again, day after day, the years came back to them. Lana wasn’t thinking of the Wolff woman then—she was thinking of the winter night in the Schuyler hut when Gil brought home the half of a thin doe. All at once she realized that it wasn’t herself who had been responsible for that long dread between them, nor Gil. She wasn’t like that. She wished he had kissed her when he came in. She lifted her face and looked at him. He wasn’t looking at her.

Lana’s eyes filled suddenly with tears. Those years, they had entered not only herself, and Gil, and through them the children, they had become part of the land, even on this place, remote as it had been throughout the war—the birds of the air, she thought, the beasts of the field. “Man’s days are as grass.” Herself, Gil.

“Is Dad come back, Ma?”

Gilly’s narrow dark little face peering through the trap from the loft.… Joey still snoring on like a half-stifled little hedgepig.

“Yes, son. It’s Dad. Get back to bed. Me and your ma are going now.”

He laid his arm round Lana in the dark, leading her to the room they slept in. The baby was snuffling her breath in and out. As Lana started to unlace her short gown, she discovered the peacock’s feather still in her hand. She fumbled for the shelf beside the window and laid the feather on it.

She heard Gil getting down on the bed; the rustle of straw beneath the blankets. Beyond the window the faintly clinking cowbells moved along the brook.

“We’ve got this place,” she thought. “We’ve got the children. We’ve got each other. Nobody can take those things away. Not any more.”

BOOK: Drums Along the Mohawk
13.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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