The Secret Sins of Lizzy Barton

by Lizbeth Dusseau

A Pink Flamingo Ebook Publication

Copyright © 2006 Lizbeth Dusseau

All rights reserved

ISBN 13: 978-1-934349-43-4

ISBN 10: 1-934349-43-7

Smashwords Edition

Chapter One

Necessary Choices

An unusually cold, portentous breeze blew through Lizzy’s hair as she made her way toward town. She walked briskly, putting a comfortable distance between Harkin Manor and her fast retreating form. Her destination was less than two miles across the meadow, along a well-worn path, where wildflowers bloomed in great abundance on this late spring morning. Normally on such a day she would find relief from her myriad of duties in the Harkin household and enjoy the fresh air, the sunshine and the verdant green of the surrounding countryside. But not today. While attempting to set her mind at ease and enjoy the walk, Lizzy couldn’t help but worry over another confrontation with Mr. McGreevy, the shopkeeper she would be visiting on behalf of Mrs. Harkin. With her anxiety mounting she clutched her sweater a little tighter to her chest and proceeded head bowed against the increasing wind, methodically putting one foot in front of the other until she reached the shopkeeper’s door.

The bell rang when she moved inside the bustling establishment. Determined not to be daunted by her task, she took a deep cleansing breath, greeting Mr. McGreevy with a smile, while at the same time being thankful for the half dozen customers browsing through his wares. Perhaps today wouldn’t be like the last time.

“Ah, Lizzy!” the man’s eyebrows raised with interest as he spoke, his eyes reflecting back a light that was both devious and cruel, although not at all unexpected. He immediately excused himself from Mrs. Bridges and moved her way.

“This note from Mrs. Harkin,” Lizzy said, handing him the envelope. This was the only purpose for her visit, and she would have been happy to leave straightaway, since she didn’t need a reply for her mistress. She bowed politely, smiling, “I really need to be off.”

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