Spring 1962 • Vol. XXIV No. 2 Fiction |

The Picnickers

In their bedroom under the roof, where Jess and Eliza slept, the July morning was already warm at 5.30. Though he hadn't roused her when he got up, Eliza knew before she opened her eyes that her husband was no longer beside her. She awakened slowly, listening… "What do I expect to hear ?"' she asked herself sleepily. The answer brought her awake with a start: gunfire. She had been listening, even in her sleep, for gunfire. Why, on a farm in southern Indiana… Then she remembered, all at once, not piece by piece. The whole of the day before crowded her mind. Yesterday there had been gunfire… and she and Jess had listened with their very veins… not out of any fear for themselves but because their eldest was off with the Home Guard, every one of his Quaker principles thrown to the wind, trying to save Vernon from Morgan, the raider. As her memory of Josh and their fear for him came to her, Eliza threw back the already too warm sheet and hurried across the rag carpet to the w

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