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Sue Ellen kept her head down as she passed Annette's house to get to Mrs. Gilmore's. Annette sniffled, and tried to hide her tears, offering Sue Ellen a thin smile and a wave.

"Nice to see you, Sue Ellen."

Sue Ellen waved back, a quick little tip of her hand. She didn't want to seem too friendly and be forced to talk to her.

After running up the porch stairs of Mrs. Gilmore's house, Annette tapped on the door. If the old lady was baking, it was likely she was right on the other side, there was no sense in banging on it too loud.

Just as Sue Ellen suspected, the door popped open in less than a few seconds. Sue Ellen pretended to be startled and laughed.

Mrs. Gilmore pulled her into a hug. "Oh, Sue Ellen, it is so nice to have you visit! I wasn't sure you'd be able to with most of your family gone and all." She quickly cleared a place at the table that had been covered with cookie trays. "There you go. Have a seat."

Mrs. Gilmore made sure Sue Ellen was settled. After plating some cookies, she set them in front of the girl with a glass of milk.

Sue Ellen smiled. "Oh, my, Mrs. Gilmore. These look amazing!"

Mrs. Gilmore put a hand on either side of Sue Ellen's face. "You are so adorable. You remind me so much of my grandchildren, the poor dears. Well, no sense in dwelling on that. It won't do anyone any good." She patted Sue Ellen's puffy curls.

Sue Ellen frowned as Mrs. Gilmore turned to take another batch of cookies out of the oven. She didn't like having her face smushed, and she would've much rathered Mrs. Gilmore liked her for herself and not because of who she reminded the old lady of. Sue Ellen shrugged and bit into a chip laden cookie. I guess a girl like me can't be choosy. I have to take what I can get.

When Mrs. Gilmore turned back around, Sue Ellen had nothing but smiles for her.

Several cookies later as Sue Ellen patted her taut belly, someone knocked on the door.

Mrs. Gilmore brightened. "Oh, my! This is a busy day." She leaned toward Sue Ellen and half-whispered, "How much do you want to bet they smelled my cookies baking?"

Sue Ellen giggled. "Of course they did. What do you think brought me here?"

"Oh, you!" Mrs. Gilmore poked Sue Ellen's cheek on her way to the door. Sue Ellen rolled her eyes behind Mrs. Gilmore's back. But if that was the price one had to pay...

"Oh, look who it is Sue Ellen!"

The girl turned in her seat to see one of the watchmen, Travis, frowning at her. What is his problem? And who is he anyway? He's barely older than me.

"Should we give him a cookie?"

Sue Ellen quickly counted up what was left. "Sure. He works hard."

"He certainly does. Here, Travis, sit down and have a treat."

Travis hesitated. "Well, I can't stay, I just --"

Mrs. Gilmore fussed at him. "Only for a moment, just long enough for one." The old woman pushed at Travis until he gave up and sat in the chair. Once she had her second guest seated, Mrs. Gilmore sat and crossed her arms. "So if my cookies didn't bring you here, what did?"

Travis tipped his head toward Sue Ellen. "She did."

Sue Ellen looked hard at Travis. Why in the world would he come here for her?

"You came here for Sue Ellen?" Mrs. Gilmore asked.

"Yep. I was sent to fetch her. Seems she was supposed to be back at the Doc's a while ago."

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