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Chapter One

June 1946



“Jason, come on. Let’s go.” Janet Lewis called out to her son.

“I’m coming. Will you give me a minute?” he shouted back, even though he had to know he was treading on thin ice with her.

He was being obstinate again. The schoolteacher in her knew he was at a crucial age, treading the delicate balance between childhood and adolescence. The mother in her knew he needed a father. It had been a little over two years since his dad was killed during the invasion of France. His grandfather was a good role model to be sure, but as with most grandparents, his tendency was to spoil rather than to discipline.

“Jason, I’m running out of patience.” She stopped to check her appearance in the hall tree mirror and ran her fingers through her dark blonde curls. “The train leaves at ten-fifteen. Your grandfather is here to take us to the station.”

Going over her mental checklist, she walked down the narrow hallway that ran the length of her house, and made one last inspection of her small kitchen. The stove and water heater had been turned off. The iron was unplugged and put away. She had turned the water off under the sink, so the annoying drip of the faucet could not turn into anything disastrous by month’s end. She would not be able to afford a plumber until fall when she received her first paycheck of the new school year.

Afraid Jason was going to cause them to miss their train, she grew more agitated. “Jason. I’m not telling you again. It’s time to go.”

The youngster came bounding down the hall dragging his duffle bag behind him. He was growing to look very much like his father, she realized. He had those same piercing blue eyes, and when he was not brooding, he even possessed a touch of his father’s charming personality.

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