Annabelle by Ruth Bornstein

By Ruth Bornstein

A lonely toy chimpanzee reveals event as she searches for her proprietor.

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She was just an ordinary girl, and things like this didn’t happen to ordinary people. “All the same, I think we should send for the doctor. ” “I didn’t have a concussion. ” Miss Fairbairn’s hands fluttered. “You’re shaking. ” It was all Abbie could do to sit still while Olivia fussed over her. She wanted to rush around the house and lock all the doors and windows. And even that wouldn’t be enough for her. She wanted to arm herself to the teeth so that she would never feel so helpless again. Much good that would do!

There was no candle lit, but impressions were assaulting all her senses. Her assailant was a big man, and his hands were cold. Though he spoke in the cultured accents of an English gentleman, he had calluses on the tips of his fingers. She could tell that he had entered her room by the window because the cold night air ruffled the muslin drapes and the pages of the book she kept on the table by her bed. Her heart was pounding so hard that she could hear each terrified beat. “I keep my money in the clothes press,” she choked out.

I said a lot of things in the heat of the moment. I’ve had a change of heart. ” That’s not how Abbie remembered it, not when she was honest with herself. She had been largely to blame for what had happened at customs. It had all started pleasantly enough. She’d answered the customs officers’ questions politely and truthfully. No, the books were not for personal use, she’d said. She’d acquired them to sell to her customers at home. The officers had looked impressed, and she couldn’t help boasting about how well she and Miss Fairbairn were doing with their fledgling business, or how much profit they would make when they sold the books.

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