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31 December 2015     —     Girl of the Blue Ridge

       For a long instant they waited thus, gazing into each other's eyes. Then slowly
Daniel McEwen dropped on one knee close to her and touched the bundle of blue gingham.
       "What yeh got thar?" he said in a hushed voice.
       He could see her heart beating with frightened thumps, a rapid palpitation
through her thin dress and in the pulse of her slender neck.
       She managed to utter one word, her voice only a whisper.
       He spoke gently. "Won't yeh 'low me to look at hit?"
       She hesitated. "Yeh won't... won't tech 'im?"
       "Ah never did hu't a creeter in my life... ef Ah knowed hit."
       Reassured, she tremblingly laid the bundle on her knees and turned back
the rag in which it was wrapped. There lay a naked new-born baby, beautifully formed—
its queer wrinkled little face working to utter a cry at being roused from sleep.
[More to come — most likely.]