151 pages
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Glorious Prodigal (House of Winslow Book #24) , livre ebook

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151 pages
English

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Description

When Leah Freeman attends the Fourth of July celebration, she falls in love with the dashing Stuart Winslow, a gifted musician. Despite warnings about his character--and her own misgivings--Leah accepts Stuart's proposal and marries him. Soon Stuart falls back into his old ways, and Leah's love for him is severely tested when he winds up in Tucker Penitentiary.The years in prison take their toll on Stuart until he finally faces up to the truth about his deplorable life. Though he yearns for forgiveness and reconciliation, Stuart faces the possibility that Leah may never be able to trust or love him again.When a man bent on revenge confronts his family, Stuart is forced into a difficult choice that could cost him dearly. Amid the turmoil that swirls about them, Stuart and Leah must learn the secret of true love.(House of Winslow Book 24)

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Publié par
Date de parution 01 juin 2006
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781441270498
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0202€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

© 2000 by Gilbert Morris
Published by Bethany House Publishers
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55438
www.bethanyhouse.com
Bethany House Publishers is a division of
Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
Ebook edition created 2011
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher and copyright owners. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.
ISBN 978-1-4412-7049-8
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Cover illustration by Dan Thornberg
Cover design by Josh Madison
To
Esther Gardner, my Canadian friend
We all need companions on our pilgrim way, and your friendship has been a blessing to me.
CONTENTS
Cover
Title Page
Copyright Page
Dedication
PART ONE
1903–1912
1. After the Ball Is Over
2. “What We Have Is Forever!”
3. First Anniversary
4. Cracks in a Marriage
5. “The Walls Came Tumbling Down”
6. The Verdict
7. Number 6736
PART TWO
1916–1917
8. An Old Debt
9. A Table in the Wilderness
10.Valley of Decision
11. Tom Winslow Gets Some Answers
12. Ancient History

PART THREE
1917
13. Homecoming
14. “I’ve Always Loved Him!”
15. A Surprising Proposal
16. An Old Song
17. A New Arrangement
18. “Will You Have Him Back As Your Husband?”
PART FOUR
1917
19. Seize the Day
20. “I Need You!”
21. A Woman Scorned
22. “You’re a Coward, Winslow!”
23. A Matter of Fate
24. Leah’s Song

About the Author

CHAPTER ONE
After the Ball Is Over
Directly overhead the sun sent down blistering waves of heat on the backyard where two young women had exited from a white two-story house. The scorching heat waves had burned all the crops to a crisp and seared the Ozarks, turning everything green-gray and dead. Summer was at its height, and July brought only more dry weather. It had not rained in weeks, and now the small Arkansas town of Lewisville was gasping for relief.
“It’s hot enough to melt the brass hinges off the door!” said Ellie Mason, a young woman with a florid complexion and expressive blue eyes. Her face was flushed with the heat as she turned to her companion. “I don’t know if it’s worth all this trouble getting ready just for a dance.”
Leah Freeman smiled at her friend’s remark. “You know you wouldn’t miss a Fourth of July dance for anything, Ellie. Now let’s wash our hair.”
“I’ll bake out here in this heat. You don’t sunburn like I do.”
“We can sit in the shade of the tree,” Leah said. “You bring some chairs out while I get the water.” Moving over to a wooden forty-gallon barrel that sat just under the eaves, Leah lifted the lid and peered carefully down into the interior. The water from the well was hard and would not work up a lather at all, so she was grateful for the rainwater that was carefully stored for washing. Dipping the galvanized bucket into the water, she noticed the water was warm, as if it had been heated on the stove. It was that hot a day. Moving back to the table under the towering apple tree, she carefully filled a large basin and then set the bucket down.
“I’ll do you first,” Ellie said, plopping two cane-bottomed chairs on the ground. Leah sat down and Ellie placed the wealth of hair in the basin supported by a low table. Removing the wrapper from a bar of soap, Ellie chatted as she worked up a lather. “I ordered this new soap from Sears. It’s called Ricco Toilet Soap.” Looking at the wrapper, she read, “ ‘A nicely perfumed soap for complexion and hair.’ It seems they could make a soap just for hair, don’t it, Leah?”
“You’d think so.”
“Well, I got it at a bargain. Seven cents a cake,” she said as she lathered Leah’s hair, which was the color of dark honey with reddish glints. “I bought some perfume, too. Rose geranium in a stoppered bottle. It cost twenty-five cents. I hated to pay that much.”
“You ought to stop spending all your money on mail-order houses.”
Ellie dug her fingertips into Leah’s scalp, ignoring the young woman’s protests. “You’re a fine one to talk! I hear you spent a week’s pay, or maybe two, on that outfit you’re wearing to the dance tonight.”
The two young women spoke amiably, laughing at times, as they spoke of the Fourth of July dance to be held at the armory. The two had become friends quickly, for both of them were rather lonely. They roomed at Mrs. Helen Gates’s boardinghouse. Neither had family in the area, so they spent a great deal of time together. Ellie did most of the talking as she rinsed Leah’s hair twice. Then Leah rose and wrapped the towel around her head, saying, “Now let me do you.”
The process was repeated, and when Ellie’s hair was done, the two sat down on chairs and spread their hair out to dry. As Leah had said, there was no point in sitting out in the direct rays, for the stifling heat was enough to dry their hair even as they sat in the shade.
They both had grown drowsy when suddenly an explosion practically under their chairs brought them up, screaming.
“I see you, Billy Funderberg!” Ellie yelled. “I’m going to tell your mother on you!”
A young boy no more than ten with a freckled face and a broad grin laughed. He lit another firecracker and threw it toward the two women. It fizzled and went off with a resounding bang, and then Ellie ran after him. She returned after he had disappeared and plumped herself down in the chair, muttering, “Kids are incorrigible these days.”
“I expect they’re about the same as we were,” Leah said.
“I was never a rotten kid like that Billy Funderberg.”
The two settled down, and finally Ellie felt her hair. “I’m almost dry. Hey, are you excited about your beau? I would be. He’s some catch.”
“Mott’s all right,” Leah said casually as she ran her hand over her hair. “I’m about dry, too. I guess we can go in now.”
She thought briefly of Mott Castleton, whom she had known only for two weeks. He was a lawyer with a practice in Fort Smith, which was only a short drive from Lewisville. Leah had met him when he had visited the office of her employer on a legal matter and she had accepted his invitation for a date. The dance tonight would be their third date, and she smiled at Ellie’s obvious envy. “Maybe we ought to trade dates tonight.”
“In a flat minute!”
“I thought you liked Ace.”
“Sure I like Ace. Everybody likes him. Tell you what,” she said, rising and beginning to gather up the towels and soap. “You’d better turn on the old charm, kiddo, if you want to snag yourself a husband.”
“You know I won’t do that. I hardly know him yet.”
“You’d better!” Ellie stopped and leaned forward, her eyes intense. “A girl’s got to think about herself these days. All this stuff about a woman having a career that’s ridiculous. Men run the world, and we’ve got to run them if we’re going to get anywhere. Grab him while you can, Leah. What with him being a lawyer, he’s a real catch!”
“Don’t be silly!”
Ellie had gathered all the materials up in her right hand and picked up the chair with her left. She was a strong and active young woman, but rather cynical. Her blue eyes reflected this as she said with some vigor, “You know what your trouble is? You’re too romantic. Mott Castleton’s not exciting enough for you. What you want is some white knight to come charging up on a white horse to save you from a dragon. You’ve been reading too many romances.”
“Don’t be foolish, Ellie!” Leah flushed slightly and, picking up the other chair, said, “Come on. Let’s go inside.”
As they walked back toward the boardinghouse, Leah asked, “What about you and Ace?”
“Why, he’s a lot of fun. But he’s not the marrying kind.” Ellie laughed as they mounted the steps. “Better say a prayer for me that he doesn’t get me drunk and ruin me.”
“That’s easy. Don’t drink.”
“At a Fourth of July dance! Who are you kidding?” As they entered the boardinghouse, Ellie changed the subject, as she often did. “Say, tomorrow let’s get our fellas to take us to that new motion picture. There’s a new one out called The Great Train Robbery. I hear it’s great. It lasts a whole ten minutes!”
****
The chief reason why Leah had chosen Mrs. Gates’s boardinghouse over two others was the upstairs bathroom. The house was old, and the room had originally been a large bedroom, some twelve feet square, but Mrs. Gates’s husband had converted it into a bathroom and installed all the plumbing himself. Two large windows admitted sunlight and a breeze. The wallpaper was beige with tiny blue violets, and directly over the huge bathtub with the claw feet was a calendar, a gift from Brown’s Funeral Parlor. The picture revealed two small children being prevented from stepping to their death by a radiant angel. As Leah settled herself down into the tepid water, she smiled, thinking of how Mrs. Gates must have garnered an armful of the calendars, for she had put one in every room of the boardinghouse. The date on the calendar was small 1903 and Leah studied the two angelic-looking children. “I don’t think there were ever two children that sweet,” Leah said, smiling.
The bath was a luxury, and although the water was hard, she had managed to work up a lather. She had been amazed at the size of the tub, for it was over six feet long. During the mountain winters she knew it would be freezing to the touch. From outside she could hear the sounds coming from the ball field only a few blocks away. The local team, the Blue Jays, had taken on a semiprofessional team, and it seemed that everyone in the county had come to watch. She heard a roar and knew a hometown favorite must have done something marvelous to the baseball perhaps a home run.
Finally she sat up, rinsed off, and pulled the plug. She watched the water swirl around in a miniature maelstrom, then disappear.

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