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Wait For Me
Behind every great story is a story, a starting place. So it was with Wait for Me.
My father was a wanderer, and I am my father's daughter. He wandered the world in ships. I have wandered in planes and trains and automobiles and the occasional ship-but even more so, especially to places I didn't think I'd go, I travelled in my mind.
And so, in a way, the seed of this story began to sprout when a young man looked over the side of a ship at anchor off Pitcairn Island. This beautiful, lush and forbidden island lies close to the Tropic of Capricorn, close to French Polynesia, to the Marquesas Islands, and the Tuamotu Arch.
A mysterious place, a pirate kind of place.
No, I definitely don't think I'll go there, but my father did-or he went as close as the descendants of Fletcher Christian of the ill-fated ship, The Bounty, would allow. No stranger could go ashore. Some of those people, many by the name of Christian, rowed out to the big ship at anchor to trade. They offered handcrafts, mostly fashioned of wood.
And like my father, they were curious about the rest of the world and they coveted any new proof that there was, indeed, a great deal more beneath the skies than Pitcairn Island where no stranger had come, and no native ever left.
That was why, for a bar of soap and three pencils, my father became the owner of a wondrous piece of wood, a piece of wood I stroked and craved to own from childhood.
Two years ago, I finally told my father that I'd always admired his prize from Pitcairn-where giant ferns and palms nodded at a turquoise ocean and shy people lined the beach to stare at outsiders they would never meet.
Well, he gave me his cane from Pitcairn, the one he paid for with a bar of soap and three pencils. That cane is right here beside me. The handle is carved in the shape of a boot. You'll learn more about it in Wait For Me.
My father, Peter Lloyd-Worth, died suddenly a few weeks ago.
Here's how my story of Wait for Me begins...
It could not be him.
Silence in the workroom was shattered by the thud of booted feet.
Minerva Arbuckle stared, and took several steps backward.
If the tall, exceedingly solid and muscular man who stood before her was not Gray Falconer, then she was confronting his ghost-his tall, exceedingly solid, muscular ghost. And that ghost possessed Gray's dark curly hair and the ice-gray eyes that could become warmer than any might ever expect gray ice to become. And the ghost was also gifted with Gray's wide, generous mouth, and the dimpled grooves in his cheeks, and the intriguing indentation at the center of his chin. True, this...creature...looked older, but Gray would be older by four years than when he'd left Ballyfog for the West Indies. He was five years older than Minerva and would be almost thirty now.
"Minerva," the ghost said. "Oh, dearest Minerva."
Gray's softly deep and rumbly voice. She looked at his outstretched hands. Gray's large, long-fingered hands.
"Minerva, love of my life, I have come for you, just as I promised. You are as lovely
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