ALEXANDRA WAS AT the kitchen table absorbed in culinary rites. Jean Louise tiptoed past her to no avail. “Come look here.” Alexandra stepped back from the table and revealed several cut-glass platters stacked three-deep with delicate sandwiches. “Is that Atticus’s dinner?” “No,...

An absurd verse vibrated in Jean Louise’s memory. Where had she read it? By right Divine, my dear Augusta, We’ve had another awful buster; Ten thousand Frenchmen sent below. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. She wondered where Hester had picked up her information. She...

“AUNTY,” SAID JEAN Louise, when they had cleared away the rubble of the morning’s devastation, “if you don’t want the car I’m going around to Uncle Jack’s.” “All I want’s a nap. Don’t you want some dinner?” “No ma’am. Uncle Jack’ll give me a sandwich...

Her uncle scratched his ear. “You no doubt, somewhere along the line, have had certain historical facts and nuances placed in front of you—” “Uncle Jack, don’t hand me that kind of talk now—fightin’ the War has nothing to do with it.” “On the contrary, it has a...

Jean Louise looked blankly at her uncle. “Has it never occurred to you—have you never, somewhere along the line, received vibrations to the effect—that this territory was a separate nation? No matter what its political bonds, a nation with its own people, existing within a...