By Mary Daheim

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Mrs. ’s. Who else? ” Judith and Renie exchanged swift glances. ” asked Judith. The housekeeper snorted. “Dumb question. The old Toad figures she’ll get everything when Boo kicks off. ” At the stove, Zoe lifted the lid from a pot and forked out a mouthful of new potatoes. “Boo’s so lazy he lets Mrs. G. do anything she wants. He has no spunk. ” “You got that right,” huffed the housekeeper. “When Mrs. G. showed up this afternoon, she said the masons had been screwing off. I told her to tell the master.

I fixed him up with some ointment. ” “They’re dangerous,” Renie declared, closing up one of the boxes. ” Judith gave Renie a sidelong look.

The older woman had seated herself behind a large, uncluttered desk made of Philippine mahogany. Judith observed that it was the wood of choice for Major Manor. The paneling in the den, along with that of the other rooms she’d just seen, was done in the same rich brown wood. Judith pulled up a side chair, noting that the original radiators still stood in the den. A pair of leaded windows flanked the bookcase behind the desk. Unlike the old leather-bound volumes that were crammed into the shelves along the other walls, the books on these shelves—which were not fronted by glass—appeared to be popular reading.

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