Preview of Spellbound

“To span all time, defy the dark; We, as one, will ne’er be part. ‘Tis me for thee and thou for me; Be blessed for all eternity. As I wish, so shall it be…’

Clarissa had convinced herself to keep faith that the spell she chanted before Charles left for war was more than simple tomfoolery. To believe that she, herself, would read these words at some point in the future, or that someone who had assumed her spirit would, heartened her.

If nothing else, the children would have something to pass on to their own children so they would know all about their grandparents. When this war was over, she’d take the children to New Orleans to visit her father and Grandmama. She’d have Blue Eagle teach them the ways of his people, just as he had taught her.

Her childhood friend, Ava, had taken over Mr. Muelker’s bakery. Soo Lei had run off to California when gold was discovered in 1849 and hadn’t been heard from since. She was only thirteen years old. Clarissa couldn’t imagine her daughter leaving home so young.

It was nearing the end of November but the sun had warmed the river bank just enough so Clarissa could write in her journal without her fingers cramping from the cold. Here she freed herself of worry, freed herself of concern and dreamt of Charles’ return.

Laying down her pen, Clarissa closed her eyes to envision Charles as he came to her. Arms flung wide to receive her loving body next to his. Joyous laughter mingled with tears.

Her surrealistic reunion suddenly faded as Clarissa realized all was not as it should be. The distant rumble of wagon wheels, shots and shouting invaded the deceptive peacefulness of the valley.

Rolling from the hammock, Clarissa dropped her journal and started up the incline just as Breezie huffed to meet her with a panicked cry.

‘Dem Yankees, Miz Clarry! Dem Yankees is cummin. We’z gots to hide!’ ”

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