By Anne Perry
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Extra resources for A Christmas Promise (The Christmas Stories, Book 7)
He must have been wearing those velvet slippers. “I …,” she began. “I …” He waited. He was tall and lean and his hair was very black, with just a few streaks of white in it at the sides. His skin was coppery dark, his nose high-bridged and aquiline. She drew in a deep breath. “I need ’elp,” she admitted. This was not a man you lied to. “An’ Mr. ” Mr. Balthasar smiled with a definite trace of amusement. ” She blinked. “You seem to know something of me,” he explained. ” “Oh. I’m Gracie Phipps. I live in ’eneage Street.
Now all the streets looked frighteningly the same, narrow and uneven. Here and there cobbles were broken or missing, gutters swollen with the previous night’s rain and the refuse from unknown numbers of houses. Alleys threaded off to either side, some little more than the width of a man’s outstretched arms, the house eaves almost meeting overhead. The strip of sky above was no more than a jagged crack. Gutters dripped, and most hung with ice. Some of the blackened chimneys belched smoke. Everyone was busy on errands of one sort or another, pushing carts of vegetables, bales of cloth, kegs of ale—rickety wheels catching the curbs.
Mr. Balthasar listened without interrupting, nodding now and then. “…so I think as Jimmy Quick in’t tellin’ the truth,” she said finally. “Cos it don’t make no sense. ” “No,” Mr. Balthasar agreed, and his face was very grim. “I can see that she isn’t. But I fear that you are right. Several people may not be telling the truth. ” Gracie gulped. The room with its crowded shelves and endless assortment of treasures seemed smaller than before, closer to her, the walls crowding in. It was oddly silent, as if the street outside were miles away.
A Christmas Promise (The Christmas Stories, Book 7) by Anne Perry