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Vi was deeply frightened. Sinking down at the base of the old tree, she began to cry. 'Where am I? Oh, please help me, Jesus!' She continued to sob and pray, and somewhere in her mind, she remembered what her dear Mamma once told her: 'If you are ever lost, stay where you are, and Mamma and Papa will find you. Call out to guide out steps.' Huddled on the ground, she cried out, 'Help me, Papa! Help me, Mamma! Please find me!' Returning to the South after the end of the Civil War, Elsie and her family look forward to the new peace. But Elsie, her husband, and their five young children discover that their beloved homeland bears terrible wounds. The war has left anger and bitterness in its wake. Old resentments are revived. Secret forces gather, and violence is a constant threat. No one is safe from men who attack their innocent victims under the cover of darkness. When Elsie and her loved ones became the targets of hate-filled words and actions, will their faith be strong enough to protect them from harm? In Elsie's Tender Mercies---the seventh book in the Elsie Dinsmore: A Life of Faith series---the Travillas and Dinsmores find their Christian faith and love challenged as never before. Their trust will be betrayed, and they will be asked to open forgiving hearts to friend and foe alike. Adapted from the 19th century novels of Martha Finley, Elsie's Tender Mercies is certain to thrill readers with its story of one brave family facing the battle of their lives.
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CHAPTER 1 Party Plans The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. PSALM 126:3 Eddie Travilla's face was scrunched into a quizzical expression. 'I've thunk and I've thunk, Papa, and I just can't remember,' the little boy said. Edward Travilla struggled not to laugh. 'You've thought and you've thought,' he corrected gently, 'and still you can't remember. But it was a day very important to your life, Son.' 'I 'member Missy's birthday and my birthday and Vi's birthday and the day Harold and Herbert were born.' Eddie's eyes brightened. 'Is that it, Papa? Is it the twins' birthday?' he asked excitedly. 'No, Son, their birthday is not until next spring.' Eddie's face fell again. 'It's not yet Christmas and not the Fourth of July,' he said as his brow wrinkled in concentration. 'And it can't be Bruno's birthday. That's a very important day, but we wouldn't have a big party for Bruno. We wouldn't have a party for our dog, would we?' 'No, we probably wouldn't,' Edward agreed. 'It's understandable that you don't remember the day we are going to celebrate. It happened before you were born. Shall I tell you what it was?' With a big sigh of relief, Eddie replied, 'Please do, Papa. I've thunk---thought so hard I've worn my brain out.' At this Edward did laugh, and he lifted his son onto his lap. 'Your brain is much too good to be worn out by a little thinking. But now, let me solve this mystery for you. The day we are going to celebrate happened ten years ago. It was one of the most important days of my life, and one of the happiest. Everyone I knew was gathered at The Oaks, and your grandmother Rose had decorated the house with white roses and evergreens. I can still remember the wonderful smell of those flowers.' 'Was Mamma there, too?' Eddie asked. 'Indeed she was, Son. She was the center of attention.' Edward's voice had softened as the image of his wife formed in his memory. 'She was wearing the most beautiful gown of white satin and lace. She had flowers in her hair, silk orange blossoms as I recall, and a veil of the finest silk net. She carried a bouquet of white roses, and she looked just like a princess.' Eddie had begun to squirm with excitement. 'I know now, Papa!' he exclaimed. 'It was Mamma in the picture of your wedding!' Edward gave the boy a hug and declared, 'That's it, Son. You've solved the mystery with just a few hints.' Eddie beamed and his little chest swelled with pride. 'Then our party is for your wedding,' he said with satisfaction. 'It will be your mother's and my anniversary,' Edward explained. 'Do you remember when we attended your grandparents' anniversary dinner at The Oaks?' Eddie nodded. 'Well, this will be a similar evening,' his father continued. 'Your mother and I have been married for ten years, and we have been blessed in each one of those years. God has given us five splendid children, and you and your sisters and brothers have each made us even happier than we were on our wedding day. So we want to share our good fortune and our thanks to our Heavenly Father with all our friends and loved ones. And that is why your mother and Aunt Chloe and all the servants are working so hard on this party.' 'What was that word, Papa? Anna...anna...' 'Anniversary, my boy. An anniversary is the day that marks every year that passes after an important event.' 'An-ni-ver-sary,' Eddie said slowly so that he would remember the word. 'Will I be able to come?' he asked anxiously. 'Oh, yes, my boy. Your mother and I have agreed that you and Missy will be allowed a late evening for the party. Even Vi and the twins are invited.' 'But they can't stay up late, can they?' 'No, for they are very young, and we don't want them overly excited,' Edward said in a man-to-man tone. ''Course not, Papa,' Eddie replied seriously. 'They're too little for all the 'citement, and they'll cry. But Missy and me know how to be good at a party.' 'And I know that I can count on your good behavior, Son. That's why you may stay up until nine o'clock that night.' Eddie was amazed, for he had never been allowed so late a bedtime before, not even on Christmas Eve. 'I'll be very good for you, Papa. I promise,' he said in a whisper. A few minutes later the bell for breakfast rang out. Edward and Eddie, who were having their chat in the sitting room of Ion, hurried to join the family in the dining room. The twins, born the previous spring, had already been fed and were in the nursery, but everyone else was present. Edward hurried to help his wife to her seat at the head of the table, and Missy---now nine and so like her mother in appearance that strangers sometimes mistook them for older and younger sisters---took her chair. Eddie sat opposite her, and Violet, a vivacious three-year-old, sat in her high chair between Eddie and their mother. Edward sat down last, and the table was immediately silent as all heads were bowed and little hands were clasped. In words both simple and heartfelt, Edward asked God's blessing on the food and gave thanks for the bounty that they were about to receive. When the prayer was finished, a servant began passing the dishes from person to person. Following the customs she had learned from her own father, Elsie filled Vi's plate with warm stewed apples and gave the little girl a slice of fresh bread and a piece of golden cheese. Each of the children also received a glass of milk, and in addition to their fruit and bread, Missy and Eddie were given a poached egg---a recent addition to their breakfast menu. As the family ate, they conversed about plans for the coming day. Missy and Eddie quite naturally were anxious to know about the plans for the upcoming party.
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Book Description Mission City Press, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Adapted. Seller Inventory # DADAX1928749070
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