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By Nigel Featherstone

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Home. Home was anywhere over east. He knew that now. He telephoned Ruth within minutes of arriving at Main House. He didn’t know if he would catch her, but he did want to talk with her, to hear her voice. Familiarity, along with sameness, was part of that desire called stability. Rather abruptly, Ruth answered the call. She said she was in a right royal flap, frantically tidying up a few loose ends before she and her husband were to fly to Europe first thing the next morning. She managed to throw in a comment about the fact that the wedding’s wine list hadn’t yet been resolved.

He knew he wouldn’t ask about the journal his mother kept. It felt like he’d seen her naked. 48 remnants Of course, there were other homes for the Granvilles. Mulliondale was another. Mitchell had only one memory of the place, a thousand-acre farm north of Orange. He was still a young boy, about 12 or 13 years old, and was inside a hayshed with Jeanette Scattergood — she was the only daughter of the widow who ran the farm next to theirs. Kittens had been born in a hayshed, and Jeanette and Mitchell were investigating.

He’s challenging me. Do I accept? What should I do? Really what’s the right decision here, where’s the wisdom? He walked around the house from room to room like an animal in a cage, returning every half an hour or so to the kitchen to again read that page, as if proving to himself that those thirteen words actually existed. Thirteen? Any significance? Was there a hidden meaning somewhere? Was he not picking up on a subtle sub-text? And then, while standing at the living room window, seeing Fricka shivering in the midday cold, the lawns 24 remnants and the bench soaking up whatever warmth the day offered, he made his decision in a bright flash of thought.

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