"Help me with your sisters, would you, Henry?"
I picked up the nearest girl and announced very pointedly to my new mother, "Ill take Elizabeth." She was as heavy as a badger. It is a curious feeling to hold an infant one is not planning to steal; the very young convey a pleasant softness.
The girls mother stopped and stared at me, and for a beat, she looked puzzled and uncertain. "How did you know that was Elizabeth? Youve never been able to tell them apart."
"Thats easy, Mom. Elizabeth has two dimples when she smiles and her names longer, and Mary has just one."
"Arent you the clever one?" She picked up Mary and headed off downstairs.
Excerpted from The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue, Copyright © 2006 by Keith Donohue. Excerpted by permission of Nan A. Talese, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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