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Chapter 12: Ruthie meets 'caring person'

By Helen Marley

Illustrated by Horne Worley

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WINSTON, N.C., 1910 — A few weeks later, the weather had turned cold. Winter had come on a wind that was wild. It had shaken the last leaves from the oak and apple trees and blown them across the yard into a pile against the house. The rain was coming down heavy now as Helen made her way up the back steps, one hand on the rail and the other one tight to a little hand. The child with her was smaller than Moddy. She was trying to climb the steps with shoes unhooked and many sizes too large.

“Come on. Come with me,” Helen said as they finally made it to the top. They crossed the porch and came into the kitchen out of the storm. There they stood. Helen enjoyed the warmth and light of her own kitchen, while the little girl looked around her with wide eyes at the unfamiliar surroundings. “You are welcome here, Ruthie,” Helen said as she took off her own coat and hung it on the hook near the door.

Hearing the door slam and footsteps in the kitchen, Mother called from the sitting room, “I'm glad you're home.” She began talking as she came down the hall. “I was worried when it got dark so early. This storm made it seem later than it is.”

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart