By John Jakes
The Kent family members Chronicles proceed as abolitionist Jeptha Kent and his sons locate themselves on contrary aspects of the Civil battle.
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She sighed. “Sometimes you'll be damned exasperating, have you learnt that? ” No solution. She sat up, so bodily weary her fingers ached while she clasped them round her knees. “I’d stay up until subsequent Christmas that will help you dispose of that ill-tempered glance you had all night. ” Silence. made up our minds, she placed her naked ft at the carpet and walked during the darkish to mild the gasoline. The flame hissed within the etched bowl of cobalt glass, filling the apparent yet cozy bed room with a watery, sea-blue mild. She became again, approximately to talk. Jephtha used to be sitting up, the sheet tucked up round his waist. He reached for a cracked dish he stored at the bedside desk for his cigars. His hand shook. He didn’t examine her, his faded eyes looked as if it would stare at not anything. strains furrowed his brow. Alarmed, Molly waited. She’d entertained a fleeting concept that he may need a kiss; the heat of hands round his neck; maybe even lovemaking—affection. immediately she learned she was once unsuitable. Jephtha knocked ash into the dish, even as spilling a few onto the desk, which confirmed darkish spots—burns—left by way of different cigars. He clamped the cigar among his enamel and saved looking at her; via her. She spotted the glisten of sweat on his shoulders; his brow; his hairless chest— God above! she inspiration. He’s afraid. He’s terrified. “Jephtha, what on earth’s the problem? Is all of it the turmoil on the town? i do know individuals are asserting we’ll be invaded. Is that what’s frightening you? ” She nonetheless didn’t think it. “No, it has not anything to do with the war—” He puffed at the cigar. “Well, certain it does. In a fashion. ” “What do you suggest? ” The phrases appeared to tear out of him: “It has to do with my boys. ” “You imagine they’ll be struggling with for the opposite aspect? ” “I don’t comprehend. ” one other puff. “I need to discover. ” back her intuition advised her to maintain quiet. provide him time. He’ll let you know. then you definitely may help. “Molly, you keep in mind what I stated approximately determining up a tip in Willard’s bar? ” “About a few kind of demonstration on the Canterbury the following day evening? definite. ” Jephtha’s lengthy black hair shone within the gaslight. “The big name carried a listing of the artists at the invoice. One—one of them’s Edward Lamont. ” “Lamont! You suggest your wife’s husband is the following in—? ” “I desire to hell you’d cease calling her my spouse! ” He jammed the stub of the cigar into the dish and stood up. bare, he walked to the some distance part of the room, raking a hand via his hair. “I’m sorry,” she acknowledged. “That’s a daft mistake. I make it too frequently. ” Jephtha grew to become. difficult and lean as he was—and along with his nakedness revealing him to be a well-endowed man—there was once nonetheless a helpless, childlike caliber approximately him simply now. whilst he spoke back, his voice was once faint: “If Lamont’s in Washington, I count on Fan may be with him. ” He stalked again to the bedside, rummaged in a drawer for an additional cigar, struck a sulphurous-smelling fit at the part of the desk. The fit left a mark. Molly frowned yet acknowledged not anything. He lit the cigar, blew the fit out from the nook of his mouth, dropped it—missing the dish via part an inch—and sat down at the mattress.