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>18. Propagation Texas was abloom in May. Bluebonnets, black-eyed Susans, and Indian paintbrushes covered the fields and roadsides , and Camille’s herbs thrived in a splendid array of color and aroma. On Eveline’s last visit, she told Camille she would like to put in a small herb garden off her own back porch, so Camille and Coral worked side by side propagating some of Eveline’s favorites in hopes to produce a healthy set of seedlings in time for fall. Coral took cuttings of lavender, rosemary,tarragon,and nasturtium,placing each gently in her apron as she moved about the garden.Andrew was practicing pulling himself up to his feet in his play yard and howling at the birds that landed on the trellis. Coral looked over at him and smiled.“He’ll be too big for that play crib soon.” Camille loosened a long strand of oregano from the bush and gently pulled off the middle leaves. “I’m afraid you’re right,” she sighed as she watched a blackbird fly up into the air and scold Andrew back. She used a hand spade to dig a shallow hole and, laying the bare part of the stem into the ground, spread the dark loam over it and molded a rift of soil to support the underside of the stem end. “We can divide some Coralbell stems now,” she said as she leveled a stem of dill.“We’ll plant them in pots for you to take home.” Coral’s eyes shone.Andrew plopped down on his bottom and pulled himself up again.He shook the play yard poles and growled.“Shall I get him?” she asked. 157 “He’s fine. He’s just practicing his inborn sense of male dominion,” Camille assured her with a short laugh. “I guess there’s no stopping that.” Coral stood and arranged the contents of her apron.“I’ll go in and put these in water.” Camille leveled sprouts of parsley, caraway, and dill before she heard a high-pitched scream from the play yard. As she spun around, she saw Coral run from the kitchen shouting, “Hold it there! Hold on, I got you!” Andrew had worked himself over the side of the play yard and hung teetering on his belly, his head falling toward the cement porch. Camille screamed as Coral bent to catch the sobbing child, who had fallen below her knee level. She heaved him up into her arms and held him to her breast. By the time Camille got to the screen porch and took him in her arms, she realized how weak her knees were. She collapsed into a chair and rocked the child furiously. Coral gave him a nervous pat on the head.“I’ll get us something cold to drink,” she said as she went back into the kitchen. Camille pulled off her gloves and smoothed tears from Andrew’s red cheeks.“There, there, now.What am I going to do if you won’t stay in your play crib?” Coral returned with a pitcher of ice water and poured a drink for Andrew.Camille held the cup to his mouth. “I can’t think what might have happened had you not been here, Coral.”As Camille took up her glass, she noticed a thin stream of blood behind Coral across the porch floor.“Oh, dear,” she whispered. “What is it?” Coral recognized the new horror on Camille’s face and turned to follow her stare.“Oh, Lord!” she gasped and sank into a chair. Camille stood.“All right.We will remain calm.” “Oh, my dear, dear Lord!” Coral’s face went blank. “Calm.”Camille forced a steady syllable.“We will get you 158 Comfort and Mirth into the divan.” Holding Andrew with one arm, she helped Coral to her feet with the other and slowly led her inside. “Oh, my sweet Lord, please . . .” Coral wailed as Camille helped her through the kitchen. She stopped short and let out a wail of pain; her knees sagged under her. “To the divan,” Camille repeated.“Just a little farther.” “Maybe the divan isn’t such a good idea,” Coral wailed. “Maybe I better see if I can get up to the bathroom.” “No, we need your feet off the floor.”With her resolve, Camille sensed a rush of renewed strength. She led her to the parlor and, setting Andrew down, helped Coral onto the divan.“Stay here,” she ordered.“I’m going to get help...


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MARC Record
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