"Coward." Mr. Fowler spat on the pavement.

The men turned back for the factory. Mrs. Fenton called out to her a moment later. Jewel waited, still sick at heart, but grateful.

"You sent Mr. Fowler out?" she asked.

"It was the only thing I knew to do."

Jewel squeezed her arm.

"Do you suppose he's been sacked?" Mrs. Fenton asked.

"I think so."

* * *

Mrs. Platt's aggrieved expression confirmed it was true when Jewel arrived to retrieve Becky. "Did ye hear?" she said, spotted hands worrying her frayed collar. "Mr. Dunstan's been sacked!"

Ironing her face of any expression, Jewel took Becky's hand. Thank you, Father!

Mrs. Platt's eyes narrowed. "Did you have aught to do with this?"

Jewel still needed her to tend Becky. Gently, she said, "I'm sorry you're displeased."

"You'll be, too, when they replace him with a heartless sot like Mr. Archer."

Jewel's lips tightened. As long as he leaves Becky be, I don't care if he has a walnut for a heart.

The Jewel of Gresham Green

Copyright © 2008 by Lawana Blackwell
Published by Bethany House Publishing, a division of Baker Publishing Group 
PO Box 6287 Grand Rapids MI 49516-6287

Used by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, except as provided for by USA copyright law.