Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin

By Lynn Austin

Booklet 1 within the Refiner's hearth sequence. The daughter of a prosperous slave-holding relatives from Richmond, Virginia, Caroline Fletcher is raised in a tradition that believes slavery is God-ordained and biblically appropriate. yet upon awakening to the cruelty and injustice it encompasses, Caroline's eyes are opened for the 1st time to the boys and girls who've cared tirelessly for her. Her trip of adulthood and religion will draw her into the abolitionist circulate, the place she is faced with the dangers and sacrifices her ideals entail.

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But in spite of the rain and his fatigue, Daddy looked pleased to see me. He smiled the familiar, cockeyed smile that I loved so much, making one arched eyebrow and one side of his mustache lift in amusement. 舠Well, now! Nobody told me that we had company! 舡 He bowed like a gentleman and kissed my fingers. I covered my mouth with my other hand and giggled. 舡 舠No! This can舗t be my little Caroline. 舡 I danced from foot to foot, waiting for Gilbert to take Daddy舗s coat, my stomach writhing in an agony of nerves.

I舗d waited until she sat down on my bed, then I舗d wrapped my arms around her and hugged her for a long, long time. I could tell by the way she hugged me back that she had missed me, too. I remembered what Esther said and didn舗t ask Tessie any questions about Grady. Tessie never once mentioned her son, either. Everything seemed the same舒except Grady was gone, and Tessie no longer sang or hummed to herself. Now Tessie took advantage of my shock after her bitter words about my mother to finish buttoning me into my uniform bodice.

Downstairs, the chimes of the hall clock announced the hour. She paused, counting each stroke舒ten . . eleven . . twelve. Midnight. Caroline had lain in bed for more than two hours, whispering urgent, tearful prayers for all the people she loved. But she felt no relief after bringing her concerns to the Lord. She舗d pleaded especially for Charles, for Jonathan and Josiah, and for her father and Robert, begging God to keep them alive and safe throughout this long, dark night. And she舗d prayed that her foolish mistakes and failures would not bring them harm.

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