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Sarah took her cloak from its wooden peg at the back of the schoolroom and threw it around her. She knew the sound she had heard was not the wind and it was not her imagination. The children had heard it, too. Someone was out there calling for help.She unbarred the door, and the wind snatched it out of her hands and flung it against the wall. She saw two of the children running to shut it as she plunged into the snow. It was above her knees, and in seconds her moccasins and stockings were soaked. The cold air stung her nostrils and scraped its way into her lungs. Already, her body had begun to shake, in spite of the heavy cloak.She could see nothing except snow--falling from the sky, whirling in the wind, covering everything, drifting against the cabin and its wide stone chimney. She felt her way around the building by sliding her hand along its bark-covered logs. Without the wall to guide her, she could wander into the blinding fury of wind and snow and never find her way back. They would find her there, frozen solid, when the snow melted, she thought grimly, edging around the back corner of the building.Sarah gasped and stepped back. Had that big drift by the chimney moved? Suddenly she remembered the wildcat Trace had killed yesterday. Was there a second wildcat that had taken shelter near the warmth of the chimney? But wildcats do not call for help, she told herself. Had one of the Indians who attacked earlier crept back to make a second assault, using the English word "help" to lure her away from the protection of the schoolroom? Or did their unknown intruder hide there, waiting to...to what? And what could she do to protect herself and the children in her care?Was her dream of a school on Stoney Creek--and even her life--over almost before it began?

Fiction & Literature
July 7
Wanda Luttrell
Smashwords, Inc.

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