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Prologue



A guiltie conscience is a worme that bites and neuer ceaseth.


Nicholas Ling, Politeuphuia, 1597



September 1864


Cape Cod, Massachusetts


It’s going to be a bad one.” Dr. Greaves said it so quietly that Nell, sitting across from him in the Hewitts’ glossy black brougham, almost didn’t hear him.

Nell squeaked an end of her paisley shawl across the foggy side window. Trees writhed against a purpling sky as they rumbled past; raindrops spattered the glass. “The storm, do you mean? Or...” She eyed the flat mahogany surgical kit on the seat next to him, the cracked leather doctor’s satchel by his feet.

The delivery,” he said. “And the storm. Both.” Lightning fluttered across his face, making him look, for one jolting moment, strangely old. She’d never thought of him that way, despite being half his age. Cyril Greaves remained lean in his middle years, and was taking his time in turning gray. And then there were those benevolent eyes, that ready smile.

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