Stolen Honey

Stolen Honey by Nancy Means Wright Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Stolen Honey by Nancy Means Wright Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nancy Means Wright
Tags: Mystery
captured by the—the Abenaki people,” she said. “In a Massachusetts raid. Her name was Elizabeth Jackson. Her daughter who was also captured, was separated from her. The daughter married an Abenaki man and even when she later had the chance refused to come home. My mother has a journal Elizabeth wrote later in life.”
    The teacher looked interested. Her lips parted in an 0. “I’d love to read that,” she said. “Is it published anywhere?”
    “Oh, no, my mother just has it.”
    “So you want to trace that history? Know more about your ancestors? The Abenaki side, I mean? You’d have to study the Indians of the period, as well. That is, if you want to bring in the capture, and then the reasons why the daughter refused to come home. You could use the journal for part of your research.”
    Ms. Wimmet seemed excited now; she looked as though she would really like to know about the journal. “But your paper is for a sociology class. You’ll have to focus on the structure of the world your ancestor lived in, the structure of the Abenaki society. Where was she taken to? St. Francis? I know many of the captives were.”
    “Odanak,” Donna said, using the Indian word for the St. Francis Reservation that was just north of Vermont, in Canada. Her grandfather could help her with some of that history. He had come originally from Odanak. He still had relatives there on the reservation. You had to be at least one-quarter Abenaki to live there.
    The teacher was leaning on the desk now, her elbows like lavender wings. Her violet eyes bore into Donna’s. “I think this will be an absolutely fascinating paper. I’ll learn from it, too. You see, I’ve been interested myself in, well, the Abenaki culture. Not just the Abenaki, but the Franco-American connection. There has been a lot of intermarriage, I know. I have French-Canadian blood myself.”
    “Really? But you don’t look—”
    “It’s the Scandinavian in me, on my grandmother’s side, some recessive gene. Strange the way genes work.” She was smiling at Donna now, like she really cared about Donna, like she wanted Donna to write a really good paper. Then she looked back at her computer, as though she longed to get back to the paper she was writing, the one she was calling “controversial.”
    It seemed the interview was over. Donna stood up. “Well, then,” she said, “I’ll get going on it. And if you want to read the whole of my ancestor’s journal—I’m sure my mother would be glad to have you read it.”
    The teacher sounded interested, like she might really come up and read it. “Where do you live?” she asked.
    When Donna told her, she cried, “Oh! Where Leroy Boulanger works? I knew he had something to do with bees. I keep meaning to go up and see him. He’s a cousin—on my mother’s side.” Her mother’s sister had married a Boulanger, she explained, then divorced him. Leroy was the child of that brief marriage, and her only cousin. “A bit of a black sheep, my mother used to say.” She laughed a little as she said this. The distance between a college teacher and Leroy Boulanger was vast. Donna had to smile, too. Leroy wasn’t dumb, but he certainly wasn’t a college type.
    Anyway, Donna was feeling at peace for the first time since Saturday night. She felt as though things might work out after all. Ms. Wimmet was on her side. She stood up, too. They were both smiling. Shep Noble had said there was something “funny” about the teacher—Donna had no idea what he’d meant. And she didn’t care. She liked Ms. Wimmet.
    Outside in the corridor. Donna drew a deep breath and hurried to the main door. She would have to ride her bike home today, her mother needed the pickup. Leroy was always willing to come when “,he called, but she didn’t want to see Leroy, even if he was Ms. Wimmet’s cousin. She didn’t like the way he’d been looking at her since that awful night. He acted like he was her guardian; he was far too possessive.

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