An excerpt from The Seventh Trail;
Bisbee Saxton awoke to the smell of coffee and the sound of happy chatter. As he listened to the lively banter coming from the kitchen, he pulled the covers over his head. Marnin had stopped by for a visit.
Avonlea always seemed so cheerful when he came to call. It had not always been the case. In recent months, she had become more aware of how much she needed Marnin’s friendship. As a result of her time spent with the Master, she had loosened her grip on life. She had developed the ability to laugh at herself, which to Bisbee, was an endearing quality. She was softer, he thought. Not that she had ever been difficult, a bit fiery at times, but not difficult. The change was quite subtle, like the changing of the seasons.
Turning over on his side, Bisbee tried to go back to sleep, but as the conversation in the kitchen grew louder, he knew it was futile. Sitting up on the edge of his bed, he looked out over the white fields that lay at the base of Prospect Hill. An early snow had kissed the valley, giving the countryside a feeling of freshness. A single blue bird fluttered near his window, picking at the remaining blackberries that had not been touched by the frost. Struggling to his feet, he slipped on a robe and found his glasses. The morning had never been his friend.
Pulling his woolen socks out of the dresser, he heard three rapid thumps on the front door.
“Only Clarence Shuddleford knocks like that,” he mumbled.
“Good morning, Ms. Avonlea, can I have some eggs and bacon? Ha-ha.”
Clarence’s voice was unusual to say the least. High pitched and raspy, it reminded the clockmaker of the gears of a timepiece that needed to be discarded rather than oiled. Bisbee groaned.