Possessing Prudence
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Possessing Prudence


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82 pages

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The scenic seaport town of Mystic Port is steeped in history. Prudence Trivit, the town’s historian, is on a mission to find out the truth about her Great Aunt Alexandra Beaudicort, who was accused and found guilty of murdering her husband, the Mayor of Mystic Port, back in 1897. Prudence, known as Prudy, is certain of her great aunt’s innocence. A handsome young journalist, Dylan Monroe, is sent to Mystic Port to interview Prudy in advance of the town’s 250th anniversary celebration. Dylan immediately notices Prudy’s uncanny resemblance to her great aunt in the huge portrait of Alexandra that hangs in the museum. Stunned by her beauty and so intrigued by the story of Alexandra, Dylan falls for Prudy, and together they investigate to find out the truth. But uncovering the truth comes with some mishaps and mayhem. As the spirit of Alexandra points them in the right direction,the opposing spirits try to dissuade them.



Publié par
Date de parution 27 août 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781771456784
Langue English

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Possessing Prudence
By Betty Ann Harris
Digital ISBNs:
EPUB 9781771456784
Kindle 9781771456791
WEB PDF 9781771456807
Amazon Print 978-1-77362-232-3

Copyright 2015 Betty Ann Harris
Cover art by Michelle Lee
All rights reserved. Without limiting therights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publicationmay be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system,or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without theprior written permission of both the copyright owner and thepublisher of this book
* * *
For Diana, Holly and Lila
In Memory of Lilly
Mystic Port, a New England seaport town, wassettled in the late 1700’s by a group of French colonists who fledtheir beloved France during the horror of the French Revolution.America had already won their independence, and settlements werepopping up all over the coast of New England. These French settlersyearned for the religious freedom the colonists from America talkedabout.
A young French woman by the name of MoniqueLaurent, was given passage on the ship, Liberté,that was setting sail from Collioure in theSouth of France to America. It had taken her almost three monthsafter fleeing Paris to reach Collioure. Part of her journey hadbeen on foot, and part in a carriage owned by a wealthy courtesan,who suffered a massive coronary and died while trying to seduceMonique, a woman young enough to be his daughter. Claude Benoit’sdriver, Pierre DuPont, buried his boss by the side of the road andtook pity on poor Monique. He drove her the rest of the way toCollioure and gave her Benoit’s purse so she’d have enough money topay for her passage to America.
The voyage was dreadful. Poor Monique spentmost of her time below deck retching. Had this decision to sail toAmerica been a mistake? After all, she was a young woman travelingall alone.
Thankfully, a kind, young man on the shipnamed Jean-Claude Beaudicort, befriended Monique and quite possiblysaved her life. Monique, unable to take much food during the firstquarter of the trip, was weak and becoming despondent. Jean-Claudelooked after her and made sure she got enough water to drink. Hetook a clean handkerchief from his travel sac and put it in a smallbucket of water and wiped Monique’s brow. After two weeks ofJean-Claude caring for her, Monique was finally able to take somefood, and became strong enough to be escorted on short walks on thedeck with him in the mornings. The sea calmed and two long monthslater, the ship Liberté docked in BostonHarbor.
During the long voyage, Monique had fallen inlove with Jean-Claude, and he with her. They decided they would bemarried as soon as they were settled in America.
“See this place on the map, Monique? It’scalled Mystic and it’s about a day’s carriage ride from Boston.There are many French colonists there, including several of mycousins who fled France two years ago. They wrote to me and told meto make the trip. The settlers there are building a port, so thatfuture colonists can get there easily, and so that tradesmen canship their goods out. My cousin, Pierre, said the ground is fertileand farming is good.”
“It sounds like a great place to start ourlives together, Jean-Claude. I’m glad you will be reunited withyour family. Do you think we can afford to make the trip fromBoston to Mystic? I spent every piece of silver I’d saved to makethis voyage. I’m afraid I have nothing to offer.”
Jean-Claude lowered his voice and moved veryclose to Monique. “My mother, may she rest in peace, inherited theprofits from her late husband’s estate just before the revolutionin France started. She passed away last year and left everything tome, her only son. We are blessed, Monique. I want to have childrenwho will grow up in America and be free from tyranny and worship asthey please. I want the Beaudicort name to live on.”
“Indeed, we are blessed.”

Chapter One
Prudence Trivit walked the all too familiarpath from her historic and majestic Victorian Queen Anne home tothe impressive Mystic Port Library where she worked. She imaginedherself as the beautiful heroine, Catherine, from the latesthistorical romance novel she was reading. Catherine, besides beinga stunning beauty, was intelligent, witty, and not at all shy.Prudence, known as Prudy by her family and the few close friendsshe had, was considered to be extremely intelligent. But that’s theonly similarity Prudy felt there was between Catherine andherself.
Prudy knew there were many people, especiallythose who didn’t really know her, who thought she was a just a geekand defined her as boring by nature. On more than one occasionshe’d witnessed a small group of townspeople, mostly some highschool girls, laughing and whispering about her when she walked by.They called her Prudy the prude. She would sometimes hear theirwhispers and snide remarks. Being on the sensitive side, of coursethis bothered Prudy. If only they would take the time to get toknow her and just give her half a chance, she was fairly certainthey’d like her. But as certain as Prudy was about them liking herif they just gave her a chance, she was also certain they’d nevergive her that chance.
In reality, Prudy was not a prude at all. Shewas a sensitive and passionate woman. But she longed to actuallylive a life that was full of exciting experiences. Maybe the typesof experiences the heroines often had in the books she read. Shedreamed of romance and adventure.
Prudy was the town librarian and historian,known for constantly having her head in a book. With readingglasses perched on her nose and her hair pulled tightly back, shelooked every part the proper librarian. Her dark gray, very plainlinen suit further accentuated her strait-laced appearance.
Her Aunt Magnolia, called Maggie by most,often suggested that Prudy let her hair down, wear her contactlenses, and dress a bit less conservatively. Maybe then she wouldappear more approachable. And once people got to know her theywould see the beauty within and the passionate heart shepossessed.
Deep in thought and not paying muchattention, Prudy stepped on a stone lying on the sidewalk. Her footrolled over and she almost fell. She desperately fought to keep herbalance. Two high school aged girls on the other side of the streetsnickered and then giggled out loud at her unfortunate mishap.Prudy ignored them and continued on her way. She didn’t have timeto deal with such petty and immature nonsense. Not today.
This particular morning she arrived early towork. Prudy wanted to prepare for her meeting with a reporter forthe Coastal Press, who would be eager to glean her knowledge of thetown of Mystic Port. This summer marked the town’s 250thanniversary, and a huge parade and celebrations would be takingplace over the Labor Day weekend.
Prudy fumbled through the numerous keys onher large, brass key ring until she found the right one to unlockthe massive front door to the old, Italianate mansion, which servedas the library and historical society headquarters, as well ashousing the museum for the quaint, old seaport town of Mystic Port.The historic mansion was huge and quite impressive, with a ballroomthat had original gasoliers and chandeliers, and an entire wall oforiginal French doors that let out to an expansive portico andgardens beyond.
As she fumbled to find the right key, Prudythought about her rather lonely life, wondering if she’d ever findsomeone who shared her interests, especially her passion forAmerican history. Or perhaps a well educated but attractive man whoenjoyed literature and reading as much as she did. She yearned tohave an in-depth conversation with someone about something otherthan the weather or sports, or the latest gossip from theentertainment industry.
Ironically, Prudy rather enjoyed sports or agood movie, but she wanted much more than that; maybe some romanceand excitement. Prudy decided right at that moment that she wasgoing to take her aunt’s advice, expand her horizons and improveher appearance and sense of style, or the lack thereof. And to getstarted, she’d check out the beauty and fashion magazines in thelibrary during her lunch hour.
As she organized things at her desk, Prudyglanced at her watch and realized she still had thirty minutesbefore she would open the library and before Mr. Monroe was due toarrive. The sudden ringing of the library phone startled her. Itwas quite unusual for someone to be calling the library, especiallybefore it opened. She hoped it was not an emergency or bad news.Anxiously she answered, “Good morning, Mystic Port Library, MissTrivit speaking.”
“Good morning, Miss Trivit. This is DylanMonroe from the Coastal Press.”
“Yes, Mr. Monroe, may I help you?”
“I was just stopping by the Brew Awhile topick up my morning cup of Joe, and wondered if you might like me topick up a cup for you as well. Do you drink coffee?”
Taken a bit off guard, Prudy answeredhesitantly in the affirmative. “Yes…please, a small black coffeewould be great, and thank you, Mr. Monroe.”
“Please, call me Dylan. And may I call youPrudence?”
“Uh...my friends call me Prudy.”
“Very well, Prudy. I’ll see you soon.”
Prudy slowly lowered the phone, placing itgently down on its receiver. She wondered about this Dylan Monroe,as she was not used to someone being so courteous to her,especially a person of the male persuasion, and a perfect stranger.Prudy imagined what Mr. Monroe would think of her once he met herin person. Too bad she hadn’t thought of the makeover idea just abit sooner. Glancing at her watch, she decided she had a fewminutes to go to the ladies’ room and put on some lip-gloss andmaybe some blush and a touch of mascara. As she opened the door tothe ladies’ room, she found herself actually anticipating hermeeting with Mr. Monroe. A twinge of excitement settled in the pitof her stomach.
Standing in front of the single mirror thathung on the drab gray wall, she rooted around the bottom of herpurse until she found the one tube of tinted lip saver she carriedwith her, in case her lips got chapped. She applied it to her lips.Then she found her makeup case and put on some blush and mascara.As she glanced in the mirror, she was still dismayed with her primlibrarian appearance. She pulled the collar of her plain white,silk blouse to sit over the neckline of her suit jacket, as she hadseen done in a fashion magazine. Peering at herself again, she wasalmost satisfied, except for one thing: those glasses. She reallyonly needed them for reading, but had gotten in the habit of justleaving them on all the time. She removed them and put them in herpocket, just in case she’d need them to read something during themeeting. As she turned to leave the ladies room, she took one lastglance in the mirror and at her hair pulled so tightly back. Itmade her look harsh and older than her actual years. In onedecisive movement, she untethered it and let it down. Doing so gaveher a sense of freedom. She combed her fingers through her long,dark hair. Yes, this was much better.
Glancing at her vintage watch again, shedecided she’d better get out there and put the “open” sign on thefront door and unlock it. The library was due to open and Mr.Monroe to arrive in less than ten minutes. She quickly left theladies’ room and made her way through the library and museum roomsto the front door, unlocked it and stepped outside into the freshmorning air. As she hung the “open” sign on the front door, a man’svoice called to her.
“Excuse me, miss. I’m looking for the libraryand Prudy Trivit.”
Prudy turned to face the most handsome manshe’d ever seen. Tall and broad-shouldered, with a pair of cool,hazel eyes, this fine specimen of manhood was holding two cups ofcoffee in his hands and staring right at her. She gulped as sherealized this man had to be Dylan Monroe.
“I’m Prudy Trivit.”
“Oh, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Prudy.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Dylan. And thanks forbringing me my morning coffee. I’m assuming one of those is mine?”Prudy said with a smile, amazing herself with how cool she wascoming off; not showing any of the nervousness she would havethought she’d normally have displayed under the circumstances ofmeeting such a well-mannered and attractive man.
“Oh, yes, of course. Here you are,” Dylansaid as he carefully handed her the cup of coffee. “Be careful tohold it by the insulated cover so you don’t burn yourself. Thecoffee is really hot.”
“Thanks.” Their hands touched ever soslightly as Prudy took the cup from him, and a twinge ofelectricity seemed to pass between them. “Let’s go into the librarywhere we can sit down and talk.”
Dylan opened the door for her and followedher inside. He looked around at the ornate, interior wood moldingsand colorful stained glass windows that bejeweled the huge foyer ofthe mansion that housed the Mystic Port Museum and Library.
“How lucky you are to work in such a grandand historic mansion. Your specialty is history, isn’t it?”
“Yes, American and French history andliterature. You’re right. There is quite an interesting historywithin these walls. Like they say…if walls could talk.”
As they proceeded through the museum to thelibrary, Prudy pointed out paintings and items of historicalsignificance. She stopped in front of a massive portrait of abeautiful, young woman with striking dark hair and magnificent blueeyes. The stunning, young woman was holding an elegant fan in frontof her, obscuring her mouth. But one could tell from the gleam inher eyes that she was smiling. The stunningly beautiful woman waswearing a magnificent gold satin gown. Next to her portrait wasanother painting of the same woman. This painting featured hersitting on a bench in front of a fireplace, and the fan was not inthe picture so you could see her entire face. The beautiful womanseemed to be gazing at someone.
“That is my great Aunt Alexandra Beaudicort,wife of the mayor of Mystic Port back in the late eighteenhundreds.”
“You don’t say. She’s stunning, Prudy. I candefinitely see the resemblance of you to her. It’s in theeyes.”
“I’ll most definitely take that as acompliment.”
“Beaudicort. That’s French, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it’s French. Her ancestors, and minecame from France just about the time right after the AmericanRevolution ended.”
“That’s interesting. I would think mostEuropeans would have been on the side of England.”
“Not the case with the French. They valuedfreedom as much as we red-blooded Americans, thus the FrenchRevolution. For example, just take the Marquis de Lafayette, forinstance, who actually helped George Washington and joined theContinental Army at the young age of seventeen. He could have doneanything he wanted, as he was of nobility. But he chose to come toAmerica and help us fight for our freedom.”
“I can tell I’m a bit out of my league,Prudy. I’m afraid my knowledge of American history is somewhatlimited.”
Prudy smiled at him. “Well, I’ve beenstudying it for years. It’s something I’ve always taken an interestin. I’m sure you’re a much better journalist than I could ever hopeto be.”
They finally reached the library afterstopping to look at several other works of art. They then sat downat a huge, wooden carved library table.
“You don’t mind if I record our interview, doyou, Prudy?” Dylan asked as he pulled a small recorder from hisjacket pocket.
“No, I don’t mind at all. Just don’t let mehear what you’ve recorded. I so dislike hearing my own voice.”
“Everyone says that,” Dylan said as he smiledat Prudy. “But you have a very nice voice, actually.”
Prudy smiled shyly.
Dylan turned on the recorder and startedasking questions. “I’m intrigued by this Beaudicort woman. Can youtell me more about her?”
“Yes, well, Samuel Beaudicort was the mayorof Mystic Port in the eighteen nineties. His bride, Alexandra, wasactually in charge of his mayoral campaign. It was unusual for awoman prior to women’s suffrage to hold a position of suchimportance, and to have been successful in getting her husbandelected.”
“Are you saying she was a woman ahead of hertime?”
“Yes, I guess I am. From what I’ve been toldand from what I’ve read about her, she was one of those women whowanted to have it all: a loving marriage, successful career,children, and she had an extreme interest in politics.”
“That’s quite interesting. She must have hada very full life.”
“Well, she did have one child, a son namedSimon. Unfortunately, before she had a chance to have any morechildren, her husband, the mayor, died suddenly while in office.Devastated as she was to have lost her husband at such an earlyage, leaving her a widow at twenty-four, she carried on displayinggrace and great strength. She wanted to take her husband’s place asmayor, but she was unable to do so.”
“Do you mean because she was a woman?”
“I’m not sure if she could have become mayoror not. I rather doubt it. But she wasn’t given the chance, becausesomething happened that changed her life forever.” Prudy paused foreffect.
Dylan appeared most intrigued. “Please,continue, what happened?”
“Alexandra was arrested for the murder of herhusband.”
“Murder, how?”
“Mayor Beaudicort, Alexandra’s husband,collapsed after eating lunch in his office with his wife—food shebrought for him to eat.”
“What was the cause of death?”
“They said he suffered from sudden heartfailure.”
“And how could they blame Alexandra forthat?”
“They found leaves and flower petals from thedigitalis plant in the salad Alexandra had brought for him as partof his lunch, and even found some chewed up leaves in his mouththat he was unable to swallow once the digitalis took affect.”
“Digitalis? Is that the drug that’s derivedfrom the foxglove plant that’s now used as a heart medication?”
“Yes, but it wasn’t manufactured as a druguntil the twentieth century. In the late eighteen hundreds, Indianswere the only ones using digitalis as a drug. It’s veryunpredictable, the dosage given of extreme importance. The rightamount assists the function of the heart, but too much can causethe heart to slow down dramatically, or even stop functioning.
“So the mayor suffered heart failure becauseof the digitalis in the foxglove plant he was served in hissalad?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“What was the date of the mayor’s death, forthe record?”
“I’ll have to look that up for you. I have acopy of Mayor Beaudicort’s obituary right here with these papers.”Prudy shuffled through the papers until she found the record shewas looking for.
“Here it is. Samuel Beaudicort died on June15, 1897.”
“So they accused his wife of murderinghim?”
“Yes, they did. Alexandra swore she loved herhusband and her defense was that she hadn’t actually prepared thesalad.”
“Who did?”
“She accused her housekeeper, a woman by thename of Amelia Sanderson, of the murder and told the authoritiesthat Amelia had prepared the mayor’s lunch that day, and that she,Alexandra, had merely taken it to him.”
“Didn’t they believe Alexandra?”
“Amelia, the housekeeper, told the police shehad prepared the mayor’s lunch that day, but not the salad. Yousee, Alexandra was an avid gardener, always growing things, pruningand watering her plants and taking good care of her gardens.Foxgloves were among her favorites. When they investigated, severalof the foxglove plants had tears in the leaves and had flowersplucked off. Amelia swore she didn’t even know what a foxgloveplant looked like. She told them she wouldn’t know the differencebetween a daisy and a snapdragon. I guess they believed her becausethey arrested Alexandra.”
Chapter Two
Dylan switched off the recorder, took a deepbreath, and then released it slowly.
“This is a very interesting story, and I cantell this interview with you is going to require a lot more timethan I initially thought. How about we take a break and get anothercup of coffee?”
“That sounds like a good idea, Dylan, but Ican’t leave the library until my assistant comes in at ten, whichis in about fifteen minutes. But we can take another walk aroundthe museum, if you’d like to stretch your legs.”
“Yes, I’d like to take another look at theportrait of Alexandra.”
“Why Mr. Monroe, I do believe you have acrush on my dear departed aunt. Could that be?”
“Perhaps. I am intrigued with the story andmesmerized by the painting, but more so with the undeniablesimilarities between you and her.”
“I think you should wait to decide how youreally feel about her, until after you’ve heard the rest of thestory. You may be falling for a suspected murderer, Dylan.”
“I’m shaking in my boots,” Dylan said with agrin.
They both rose from their seats at thelibrary table and walked towards the museum. Just outside thedoorway, both Prudy and Dylan stopped dead in their tracks. A coldpocket of air blew out from the museum and they could hear whatsounded like a strong wind blowing through the room. Loose papersand debris were being pushed out towards them, the wind blowingPrudy’s hair all about, strands in her face, making it hard for herto see.
“What the hell?” Dylan yelled as he movedtowards the museum, but was sidelined when a pencil tore throughthe air and hit him square in the forehead. “Ouch!”
“Are you alright, Dylan?” Prudy yelled withpanic in her voice.
“Yes, but it just missed my eyes,” he yelledback. “It looks like someone must have come in and left the dooropen, but I didn’t realize it was supposed to be stormy thismorning.”
“Me either,” Prudy shouted back loudly sohe’d be able to hear her above the din. “Can you get in there andshut the door to the outside?”
“Yes, I think so. You stay here, Prudy.”
“Be careful.”
“Don’t worry. It’s just a storm and somewind.”
Dylan made his way into the museum, and assoon as he got through the open doorway and stepped into the room,the wind totally stopped blowing. Papers and debris seemed to hangin mid air, and then suddenly plummeted to the floor. Out of thecorner of his eye Dylan could see what appeared to be the outlineof a shimmering figure as it dissipated into the air. “What thehell?” He rationalized that it must have been the light from aprism, as sunlight suddenly streamed in the glass window. He knewsomething quite strange had just happened, as the front door wasnot even open. Where had all that wind come from?
“Dylan?” Prudy slowly entered the room.“Thanks for shutting the door. I wonder who came in and left itopen? Maybe Tina who was carrying a box of books or something, andthen she went back outside to get more boxes.”
Just then the door opened and in walked Tina,the library assistant. She stopped dead in her tracks and starred,first at Dylan, then at Prudy, and back at Dylan again.
“Tina, did you just drive here through thatawful storm?”
Snapping her gum like a high school dramaqueen, Tina replied, “Ah, what storm, Pru?”
Dylan and Prudy shot bewildered glances ateach other.
“Prudy, aren’t you going to introduce me toyour friend?”
“Oh, sorry, the storm frazzled my nerves.Dylan Monroe, this is Tina Thomas, my assistant.”
Dylan extended his hand to Tina, whooptimistically shook it and smiled broadly. Tina, only nineteen anda bit immature, was taken with Dylan’s good looks. She then turnedto stare at Prudy again and said, “New hairstyle you got there,Pru?”
“Oh…no,” Prudy said, laughing nervously, “No,when you left the door open and the wind from the storm cametearing through into the library, it made a mess of my hair.”
“Have you two been drinking orsomething?”
Prudy, rather perturbed at Tina’s commentquite abruptly said, “Of course not!”
Dylan interjected. “Well, we were drinkingcoffee.”
“And what’s this storm and wind you keeptalking about?”
Dylan interrupted, “Prudy, the door wasn’topen when I came in here.”
“Tina, did you come in before, leave the dooropen, and just come back in?”
“Okay, this is a joke, right? You’re playingwith me now, right?”
“No, this is not a joke and is all ratherstrange. I want to understand what’s going on. Tina, seriously now,wasn’t there a storm with strong winds that ended just a fewminutes ago?”
“Seriously, no. There was no wind, no rain,not even cloudy really.”
Prudy was stunned. “And you just got here forthe first time when you came in a minute ago?”
“Yes, I just got here, walked in, and to behonest, I thought I caught you two in the middle of something, whatwith your hair down and all disheveled, papers everywhere on thefloor, and Dylan here looking like the cat who swallowed thecanary.”
Dylan snapped to his defense. “This look istotal bewilderment at what just happened here.”
“What did just happen here?”
Prudy combed her fingers through her hair,walked over to the door and peered through the side windows,totally astonished with the fact that the weather was fair, not acloud in the sky. “I’m not sure what happened here, but I will tellyou this; something definitely did happen, something verystrange.”
Tiny snapped her gum again. “And you say thatbecause why?”
Prudy explained the scenario to Tina, whotried to keep herself from laughing out loud because she assumedPrudy was just telling her this crazy made up story to conceal thefact she and Dylan had in fact been fooling around.
“Well, I guess I better clean up this mess,”Tina said with a definite note of sarcasm in her voice.
“Yes, thanks. Dylan and I are going to theBrew Awhile for some coffee.”
“Okay, drive carefully, and beware of suddenstorms and bad weather,” Tina replied sarcastically.
Dylan opened the door for Prudy and theystepped out into the bright sunshine of a beautiful, late summerday.
“Prudy, something supernatural just happenedin there.”
“Supernatural, you mean like ghosts orsomething?”
“Well how else would you explain whathappened? I saw something strange when I first walked into themuseum room.
“Strange? What did you see?”
“I’m not sure exactly. It was like this formthat looked something like ice crystals floating in the air, andwhen I looked directly at it, it disappeared. It seemed todissipate into thin air. I thought it was sunlight streaming inthrough rain and clouds outside, but obviously there was no rain,no wind, and no storm.”
Prudy’s voice stuck in her throat as shetried to make some sense of the situation. “I can’t explain it. Ithought maybe I was dreaming and that I’d wake up at anymoment.”
Dylan opened the passenger door of his carand Prudy got in. He then walked around the back of the car and gotin the driver’s side.
Prudy opened the visor mirror and looked atherself. “Goodness, I look like a goblin myself.”
Dylan smiled at her. “A very attractivegoblin.”
Prudy pulled a brush from her purse andquickly pulled it through her hair, then reapplied her lip saver.Both of them were still thinking about what had happened, and atfirst, neither spoke as they drove into the center of town andparked near the historic town square.
Dylan put the car in park and turned off theignition, but made no attempt to get out of the car…instead, hejust sat there, deep in thought. He noticed that Prudy glanced athim but she said nothing either. She too was obviously deep inthought, trying to make some sense of it all.
He finally broke the silence. “I’m stillfreaked out, and you?”
“Oh yes, most definitely. Yes, freaked out iswhat I am.”
“What should we do about what happened,Prudy?”
“Do? Well, we could pretend it didn’t happen,just accept it as some strange phenomenon, one of thoseunexplainable things that happen sometimes, or we couldinvestigate,” she said, with the raise of one eyebrow and atwinkling in her eyes.
Dylan tried to determine from the expressionon Prudy’s face, and the inflection that had been in her voice,which of the aforementioned routes Prudy probably wanted totake.
“My Aunt Maggie, who is also descended fromAlexandra, by the way, is a bit psychic, and she believes inghosts.”
“So you think what I saw was a ghost?”
“I didn’t say that. If you had just seen thatapparition, or whatever it was, and none of the other things hadhappened, I would think it was just some weird formation of dustparticles appearing in the sunlight or something. But all the otherthings that happened; the wind and intense cold I felt, well itadds up to something supernatural, that’s for sure.”
“So what happens next?”
“Let’s go get that coffee.”

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