Young Hearts (Chapter 3, page 1 of 4)

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Chapter 3

The town's only boat was beached in a cove sheltered from the waves. Snow covered the boat so that David and some of the other boys had to dig the vessel out from the drifts. Afterwards, Wendell and Samantha inspected the boat to find it still in good condition.

The fishing boat was twenty feet long and usually took a crew of two. Since the vessel operated close to the shore, it relied solely on oars for power. "It shouldn't be hard to rig up a sail," Wendell said. "We just need to find a piece of wood big enough for a mast and a few bed sheets."

Wendell explained the size and shape needed for the mast. Samantha sent David and a party of boys out in search of a tree that could be sacrificed to meet their needs. She set Prudence and Rebecca to work on stitching a pair of sheets together for the sail. Molly started to jump up and down excitedly when Samantha came over to talk with Rebecca about the sail. "I want to help," Molly said. "I can help."

"I'm sure you can," Samantha said. She tried to think of something the little girl could do. "Why don't you run over to the pantry and help Aunt Phyllis pack the supplies we'll need?"

"Make sure you dress nice and warm first," Rebecca said.

Samantha pulled a hat over Molly's head of curls and then wet her finger to wipe a spot of dirt from the girl's freckled cheek. Molly giggled at this and then pointed to a spot on Samantha's face. "What's that red thing?" she asked.

"That's a pimple," Samantha said.

"What's a pimple?"

"It's something you'll get when you're old like me," Samantha said with a wink. "Come on, let's hurry up and go before your mom changes her mind."

She took Molly's hand and waved to Rebecca with the other as she left the cottage on the edge of town. At first she didn't understand why Rebecca insisted on her own house in which to raise the girl, but she'd come to see why in the last four years. Out here, away from the dormitories, Molly could have as close to a normal life as possible in Eternity. Living with only Rebecca also spared her from much of the teasing from the other girls about being the baby.

Samantha considered the wisdom of putting Molly in the care of Phyllis and Helena for the day. As Samantha knew from her own experience those two delighted in picking on anyone different. But Samantha didn't want the rambunctious little girl disturbing Prudence and Rebecca as they worked on the sail. They couldn't afford any delays in getting the boat ready.

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