Prologue

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Dear Harry,

I wouldn't be writing to you were the situation not dire. My health is quickly failing me, and if our God is at all merciful, I will have already passed by the time you are reading this letter.

You may or may not know that after the fever swept through our area several years ago, I had taken in my cousin Frankie to raise as my own. Now that I am older and fallen ill, Frankie has nowhere to go.

Frankie will be arriving on the 2:00pm Saturday train. I apologize profusely, and you must know that I would not do this if I had any other options available. I am sending along what little money I have to help ease your financial burden. I know it isn't much.

I know you've been quite reclusive since....well....since what happened. Despite everything, time has passed and I'm certain you've grown into a fine young man. Your mother and I were the best of friends. There isn't a day I don't miss her. The years have flown by so quickly. It seems like only yesterday when we were neighbors, and you were a little boy trying to catch toads for supper.

I know you'll help me. My faith in you will see you through.

Fondly,

Johanna Tomlinson

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