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Sarah mounted Gracie and rode along the creek bank behind Uncle Ethan until the waters grew shallow enough to travel up the creek bed. Her heart quickened as she recognized the bend ahead. She urged Gracie up the bank, her thoughts going back to that first day they had seen the meadow beyond it, back before Stoney Creek even had a name.

There was their meadow, surrounded by a semicircle of trees and filled with wildflowers. And over there, on that rise, was the cab....

Sarah sucked in her breath. Where the two-room cabin had stood was a black, gaping hole surrounded by a few scattered chimney stones. To one side, the scorched twigs of Ma’s peach and apple trees struggled feebly to put on new green leaves.

Everything they had built—the barn, the corn crib, the animal pens—might never have been. Only those horrible ash-covered holes and some scattered poles that once had fenced them in from the wilderness remained to give a hint that the Hiram Moore family had ever settled there. Sarah felt tears sting her eyes and turned helplessly to Uncle Ethan as he rode up beside her.

“Where are they, Uncle Ethan?” Sarah choked out. “Where is my family?”

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