A Sister’s Secret
- Wednesday, December 05, 2007
But one day when a group of Amish kids came into the restaurant, Grace spoke to them in German-Dutch, and Gary overheard their conversation. He questioned her about it later, and she finally admitted that she was from Holmes County, Ohio, and had been born and raised Amish. Gary had made light of it at first, but later, as his quick temper and impulsive ways began to surface, he started making fun of Grace, calling her a dumb Dutch girl who didn’t know what she wanted or where she belonged.
When Wade came along and swept Grace off her feet with his boyish charm and witty humor, she’d finally gotten up the courage to break up with Gary. He didn’t take to the idea of her dating one of his friends and had threatened to get even with her. Had he come to Holmes County to make good on that threat?
“Wh–what are you doing here, Gary?” Her voice sounded raspy, almost a whisper, and her hands shook as she held her arms rigidly at her side.
“Came here on business. I’m a freelance photographer and reporter now.” He jiggled his eyebrows. “Sure didn’t expect to see you, though.”
Grace heard the rhythmic clip-clop of horse’s hooves and spotted her sister’s buggy coming down the street. “I–I’ve got to go.” The last thing she needed was for Ruth to see her talking to Gary. Her sister would no doubt ply her with a bunch of questions Grace wasn’t prepared to answer.
Gary lifted his camera, and before Grace had a chance to turn her head, he snapped a picture. “See you around, Gracie.”
She gave a curt nod and hurried away.
Ruth squinted as she looked out the front window of the buggy. What was Grace doing in the restaurant parking lot, talking to an English man with a camera?
She guided the horse to the curb, and a few minutes later, Grace climbed into the buggy, looking real flustered. “H–how was your interview?” she panted.
“It went fine. I got the job.”
“That’s good. Glad to hear it.”
“Who was that man with the camera?” Ruth asked as she pulled slowly away from the curb and into the flow of traffic.
Grace’s face turned red as she shrugged. “Just … uh … someone taking pictures of Amish buggies.”
“It looked like you were talking to him.”
“Jah, I said a few words.”
“Were you upset because he was trying to take your picture?”
“Some of the English tourists that come to Berlin and the other towns in Holmes County don’t seem to mind snapping pictures without our permission. Either they don’t realize we’re opposed to having our pictures taken, or they just don’t care.” Ruth wrinkled her nose. “I feel such aeryer when they do that.”
Not even Ruth’s comment about feeling vexed provoked a response from Grace.
“Guess it’s best if we just look the other way and try to ignore their cameras.”
As Ruth halted the horse at the second stoplight in town, she reached across the seat and touched Grace’s arm. “Are you okay? You look like you’re worried about something.”
“Just tired from being on my feet at the restaurant all day.”
“You sure? That frown you’re wearing makes me think you’re more than tired.”
“I’ll be fine once we get home.” Grace smiled, although the expression seemed forced. “Tell me about the bakeshop. What will you be doing there?”
Ruth held her breath as the smell of manure from a nearby dairy farm wafted through the buggy. “Mostly waiting on customers while Karen and Jake Clemons bake in the other room,” she said, clucking to the horse to get him moving again when the light turned green. “Some days, I’ll be working by myself, and others, I’ll be with my friend Sadie Esh.”
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