Chapter One (2)
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The rain had abated to a misting by the time they rounded the bend in the sand track that brought them into view of Leeds Point. Deborah usually felt a warm affection for the sight of the village she called home. But the weather and her worries had dampened that warmth. At that moment, the worker’s cottages seemed like squat, ugly things. The larger structures of the sawmill, the blacksmith’s forge, gristmill, and slaughterhouse hulked over the small cottages.

On a hill beyond the village proper loomed the mayor’s manor house. It sprawled across the low promontory, and reached up to the angry sky with chimneys and a central tower topped by a glass-enclosed widow’s walk. Deborah imagined herself scaling up to that platform, looking out over the seemingly endless expanse of dar...

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