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of their own, but nature was cruel, and for whatever reason they remained barren. It had to have been some measure of fate, then, that led the couple to stumble upon a young girl in the midst of a torrential spring downpour as they traversed a pass through the Vosges Mountains.


Ina was only six at the time, dressed only in sopping wet rags, hugging her knees and shivering beneath a small granite outcropping. Marie wouldn't have spotted her but for a scatter of broken-off rhododendron branches. The tiny girl had piled them in front of the overhang of rock before the rain had begun, and the clumps of leaves and hand-sized soft pink flowers had been nearly all washed away once the water started pouring over the ledge in streams.

Ina still remembered her first sight of the people...

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