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“Yes. My brother should be here in an hour or so.”
“Good. Good,” he said, clasping his hands together. “Everything’s working out fine.”
Then he nodded toward the door. “Ellen will show you to your room.”
“Thanks for everything, Mr. Grainger,” Myra said holding her hand out to her new employer.
He shook her hand. “Please, call me Ned.”
“All right,” she said with a trace of hesitancy. “Ned.”
As she followed Ellen upstairs and along the various hallways in the mansion, Myra
noticed the many doorways on her left and her right and wondered what could be in all those
“I’m sure I’ll get lost in this house,” Myra ventured.
“You’ll get used to it soon enough,” Ellen said without looking back. “They all do.”
“What’s in that room?” Myra asked, pointing to one of the rooms, one that caught her
attention because of the ornate carvings in the wood of the door.
Ellen stiffened visibly. “Nothing,” she said too sharply. “Nothing of importance.”
She hurried her steps until she led Myra to her room.
“Oh my,” Myra sighed. Before her was a spacious bedroom. The large windows had
been opened wide and the curtains billowed into the room. A sliding glass door opened on
to a private balcony.
Myra stepped through the room and out onto the balcony. The fresh, sweet fragrance
of the flowers wafted up from the garden below. “Those are my flowers,” Ellen said, standing
beside her. Myra got the distinct impression that she wasn’t supposed to go near the garden.
“I have work to do in the kitchen,” she added. “But you’re free to get acquainted with the
Myra stepped out onto the emerald lawn and walked among the trees, shrubs, and
flowers. It was the most beautiful place she’d ever seen– yet she felt strangely uncomfortable.
She tried to shake off the feeling. “It’s all new, that’s all,” she told herself. In the near distance,
she could see the blue of Casco Bay and, beyond that, the line of the Atlantic Ocean.
She breathed in the ocean breeze. As she exhaled slowly, she knew she’d done the
right thing in coming here. Not just the Grainger house but the town itself. It had been some-
thing of a romantic notion of Myra’s, a “private pilgrimage” she’d called it. Her mother hailed
from here as much as her more celebrated ancestor– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
In fact, he was the main reason she was there. As she strolled through the trees behind
the Grainger house, she recited the words to “The Song of Hiawatha.” Suddenly, a log she
didn’t notice loomed before her, startling her. Sidestepping it, she slipped and landed against
a tree, hurting her shoulder.