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       Ryan's Hand, p.23

           Leila Meacham
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  “I don’t know. He seemed to know about you. And you look like him… a little.”

  Another presence had entered the barn. They all turned to see their father standing in the doorway. He cleared his throat. “Nathan,” he said, his voice heavy with sadness, “when the milkin’s done, you better come to the house. Randolph, you and Lily stay here.”

  “But I have homework,” Randolph protested.

  “It can wait,” Leon said as he turned to go. “Drink the milk for your supper.”

  The milking completed and Daisy back in her stall, Nathan left the barn, followed by the anxious gazes of his brother and sister. Dusk had completely fallen, cold and biting. His father had stopped halfway to the house to wait for him. Nathan noticed the circus clown had scrambled back into the carriage. “What’s going on, Dad?” he said.

  His father suddenly bent forward and pressed his hands to his face.

  “Dad! What in blazes—?” Was his father crying? “What’s the matter? What’s happened?”

  A tall figure stepped out of the house onto the porch. He paused, then came down the steps toward them, the light from the house at his back. He was richly dressed in an overcoat of fine wool and carried himself with an air of authority. He was a handsome man in a lean, wolfish sort of way, in his forties, Nathan guessed. “I am what’s happened,” he said.

  Nathan looked him up and down. “Who are you?” he demanded, the question bored into the man’s sea-green eyes, so like his own. He would not have dared, but he wanted to put his arm protectively around his father’s bent shoulders.

  “I am your father,” the man said.

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  Title Page



  A Letter to My Friends, Fans, Readers of My Later-in-Life Novels, and Newcomers to the Books of Leila Meacham

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  About the Author

  Also by Leila Meacham

  Acclaim for the Novels of Leila Meacham

  An Excerpt from Titans

  The Books of Leila Meacham



  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

  Copyright © 1984 by Leila J. Meacham

  Author letter copyright © 2016 by Leila Meacham

  Excerpt from Titans copyright © 2016 by Leila Meacham

  Cover design by Laura Klynestra

  Cover photo by Laura Stolfi/Stocksy

  Cover copyright © 2016 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  Hachette Book Group supports the right to free expression and the value of copyright. The purpose of copyright is to encourage writers and artists to produce the creative works that enrich our culture.

  The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book without permission is a theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like permission to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), please contact [email protected] Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.

  Grand Central Publishing

  Hachette Book Group

  1290 Avenue of the Americas

  New York, NY 10104

  Originally published in hardcover in 1984 by the Walker Publishing Company, Inc., New York, New York.

  First Grand Central Publishing Edition: July 2016

  Grand Central Publishing is a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  The Grand Central Publishing name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher.

  The Hachette Speakers Bureau provides a wide range of authors for speaking events. To find out more, go to or call (866) 376-6591.

  Permission to quote lines from “MacArthur Park” by Jimmy Webb graciously granted by Warner Bros. Music. © 1968 Canopy Music, all rights reserved, used by permission of Warner Bros. Music.

  Library of Congress Control Number: 2016934480

  ISBNs: 978-1-4555-4130-0 (trade pbk.), 978-1-4555-4133-1 (library edition hardcover), 978-1-4555-4131-7 (ebook)




  Leila Meacham, Ryan's Hand



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