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- Ruby Author V.C Andrews
- V.C Andrews
- 19 November 2020
Download é E-book, or Kindle E-pub ¾ V.C Andrews V.C Andrews ¾ 9 Download Characters ì Ruby Author V.C Andrews ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Wide eyed Grandmere Catherine reached into her split oak basket and plucked out one of her bottles of holy water She opened it carefully and turned to me Take the lantern and lead me around the house she said Every cistern every pot with water in it needs a drop or two of the holy water Ruby Make sure we dont miss a one she warned I nodded my legs trembling and we began our foray In the darkness an owl hooted but when we turned the corner of the house I heard something slither through the grass My heart was thumping so hard I thought Id drop the lantern Would the evil spirit do something to try to stop us As if to answer my uestion something cool and wet slipped past me in the darkness and just grazed my left cheek I gasped aloud Grandmere Catherine turned to reassure me The spirit is hiding in a cistern or a pot It has to hide in water Dont be afraid she coached and then stopped by a cistern used to gather rainwater from the roof of the Rodrigueses house She opened her bottle and tipped it so as to spill only a drop or two into it and then closed her eyes and mumbled a prayer We did the same thing at every barrel and every pot until we circled the house and returned to the front where Mr Rodrigues Theresa and the other two children waited in anticipation Im sorry Mrs Landry Mr Rodrigues said but Theresas just told me the children have an old gumbo pot out back Its surely got some rainwater in it from the downpour late this afternoon Show me Grandmere ordered Theresa who nodded and led the way She was so nervous she couldnt find it at first Weve got to find it Grandmere Catherine warned Theresa began to cry Take your time Theresa I told her and sueezed her arm gently to reassure her She sucked in a deep breath and nodded Then she bit down on her lower lip and concentrated until she remembered the exact location and took us to it Grandmere knelt down and dropped the holy water in whispering her prayer as she did so Perhaps it was my overworked imagination perhaps not but I thought I saw something pale gray something that resembled a baby fly up and away I smothered a cry afraid I would frighten Theresa evenGrandmere Catherine stood up and we returned to the house to offer our final condolences She set a totem of the Virgin Mary at the front door and told Mr Rodrigues to be sure it remained there for forty days and forty nights She gave him another one and told him to put it at the foot of his and his wifes bed and leave it there just as long Then we started back to our own home Do you think you chased it off Grandmere I asked when we were sufficiently away from the house and none of the Rodrigues family would hear Yes she said Then she turned to me and added I wish I had the power to chase away the evil spirit that dwells in your grandpere as easily If I thought it would do any good Id bathe him in holy water Goodness knows he could use the washing anyway I smiled but my eyes soon filled with tears as well For as long as I could remember Grandpere Jack had lived apart from us lived in his trappers shack in the swamp Most of the time Grandmere Catherine had only bad things to say about him and refused to set eyes on him whenever he did come around but sometimes her voice got softer her eyes warmer and she would wish he would do this or that to help himself or change his ways She didnt like me to go poling a pirogue through the swamps to visit him God forbid you turn over that flimsy canoe or fall out Hed probably be too soaked with whiskey to hear your cries for help and then there are the snakes and gators to contend with Ruby He aint worth the effort of the journey shed mutter but she never stopped me and even though she pretended not to care or want to know about him I noticed she always managed to listen when I described one of my visits to Grandpere How many nights had I sat by my window and looked up at the moon peeking between two clouds and wished and prayed that somehow we could be a family I had no mother and no father but only Grandmere Catherine who had been and still was a mother to me Grandmere always said Grandpere could barely care for himself much less substitute as a father for me Still I dreamed If they were together againif we were all together in our house we would be like a normal family Perhaps then Grandpere Jack wouldnt drink and gamble All of my friends at school had regular families with brothers and sisters and two parents to come home to and love But my mother lay buried in the cemetery a half mile away and my fathermy father was a blank face with no name a stranger who had come passing through the bayou and met my mother at a fais dodo a Cajun dance According to Grandmere Catherine the love they made so wildly and carefree that night resulted in my birth What hurt me beside my mothers tragic death was the realization that somewhere out there lived a man who never knew he had a daughter had me We would never set eyes on each other never exchange a word We wouldnt even see each others shadows or silhouettes like two fishing boats passing in the night When I was a little girl I invented a game the Daddy Game I would study myself in the mirror and then try to imagine my facial characteristics on a man I would sit at my drawing table and sketch his face Conjuring the rest of him was harder Sometimes I made him very tall as tall as Grandpere Jack and sometimes just an inch or so taller than I was He was always a well built muscular man I decided long ago that he must have been good looking and very charming to have won my mothers heart so uickly Some of the drawings became watercolor paintings In one of them I set my imaginary father in a fais dodo hall leaning against a wall smiling because he had first set eyes on my mother He looked sexy and dangerous just the way he must have looked to draw my beautiful mother to him In another painting I had him walking down a road but turned to wave good bye I always thought there was a promise in his face in that picture the promise of return Most of my paintings had a man in them that in my imagination was my father He was either on a shrimp boat or poling a pirogue through one of the canals or across one of the ponds Grandmere Catherine knew why the man was in my pictures I saw how sad it made her but I couldnt help myself Lately she had urged me to paint swamp animals and birdsoften than people On weekends we would put some of my paintings out with our woven blankets sheets and towels our split oak baskets and palmetto hats Grandmere would also put out her jars of herbal cures for headaches insomnia and coughs Sometimes we had a pickled snake or a large bullfrog in a jar because the tourists who drove by and stopped loved to buy them Many loved to eat Grandmeres gumbo or jambalaya She would ladle out small bowls of it and they would sit at the benches and tables in front of our house and enjoy a real Cajun lunch All in all I suppose my life in the bayou wasnt as bad as the lives some motherless and fatherless children led Grandmere Catherine and I didnt have many worldly goods but we had our small safe home and we were able to get by with our loom work and handicrafts From time to time although admittedly not often enough Grandpere Jack would drop by to give us part of what he made trapping muskrats which was the main way he earned a living these days Grandmere Catherine was too proud or too angry at him to accept it gracefully Either I would take it or Grandpere would just leave it on the kitchen table I dont expect no thanks from her he would mutter to me but at least she could acknowledge Im here leaving her the damn money Its hard earned it is he would declare in a loud voice on the galerie steps Grandmere Catherine would say nothing in reply but usually keep on doing whatever she was doing inside Thank you Grandpere I would tell him Ah I dont want your thanks Its not your thanks Im asking for Ruby I just want someone to know I aint dead and buried or swallowed by a gator Someone to at least have the decency to look at me he often moaned still loud enough for Grandmere to hear Sometimes she appeared in the doorway if he said something that got to her Decency she cried from behind the screen door Did I hear you Jack Landry talk of decency AhGrandpere Jack waved his long arm in her direction and turned away to return to the swamp Wait Grandpere I cried running after him Wait For what You aint seen stubborn until youve seen a Cajun woman with her mind made up Theres nothin to wait for he declared and walked on his hip boots sucking through the spongelike grass and earth Usually he wore his red coat which was a cross between a vest and a firemans raincoat with huge sewn in pockets that circled around behind from two sides They had slit openings and were called rat pockets for that was where he put his muskrats Whenever he charged off in anger his long stark white hair would fly up and around his head and look like white flames He was a dark skinned man The Landrys were said to have Indian blood But he had emerald green eyes that twinkled with an impish charm when he was sober and in a good mood Tall and lanky and strong enough to wrestle with a gator Grandpere Jack was something of a legend in the bayou Few men lived off the swamp as well as he did But Grandmere Catherine was down on the Landrys and often brought me to tears when she cursed the day shed married Grandpere Let it be a lesson to you Ruby she told me one day A lesson as to how the heart can trick and confuse the mind The heart wants what the heart wants But before you give yourself to a man be sure you have a good idea as to where hes going to take you Sometimes the best way to see the future is to look at the past Grandmere advised I should have listened to what everyone told me about the Landrys Theyre so full of bad bloodtheyve been bad since the first Landrys settled here It wasnt long before signs were posted in these parts saying No Landrys Allowed Hows that for bad and hows that for listening to your young heart instead of older wisdom But surely you must have loved Grandpere once You must have seen something good in him I insisted I saw what I wanted to see she replied She was stubborn when it came to him but for reasons I still didnt understand That day I must have felt a streak of contrariness or bravery because I tried to probe at the past Grandmere why did he move away Was it just because of his drinking because I think he would stop if he lived with us again Her eyes cut sharply toward me No its not just because of his drinking She was uiet a moment Although thats good enough a reason Is it because of the way he gambles away his money Gambling aint the worse of it she snapped in a voice that said I should let the matter drop But for some reason I couldnt Then what is Grandmere What did he do that was so terrible Her face darkened and then softened a bit Its between him and me she said It aint for you to know Youre too young to understand it all Ruby If Grandpere Jack was meant to live with usthings would have been different she insisted and left me as confused and frustrated as ever Grandmere Catherine had such wisdom and such power Why couldnt she do something to make us a family again Why couldnt she forgive Grandpere and use her power to change him so that he could live with us onceWhy couldnt we be a real family No matter what Grandpere Jack told me and other people no matter how much he swore ranted and raved I knew he had to be a lonely man living by himself in the swamp Few people visited him and his home was really nothan a shack It sat six feet off the marsh on pilings He had a cistern to collect rainwater and butane lanterns for lights It had a wood heater for burning scrap lumber and driftwood At night he would sit on his galerie and play mournful tunes on his accordion and drink his rotgut whiskey He wasnt really happy and nei.
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Download é E-book, or Kindle E-pub ¾ V.C Andrews V.C Andrews ¾ 9 Download Characters ì Ruby Author V.C Andrews ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Ruby Grandmeres Powers A loud and desperate rapping on our screen door echoed through the house and drew both my and Grandmere Catherines attention from our work That night we were upstairs in the grenier the loom room weaving the cotton jaune into blankets we would sell at the stand in front of our house on weekends when the tourists came to the bayou I held my breath The knocking came again louder andfrantic Go down and see whos there Ruby Grandmere Catherine whispered loudly uickly And if its your Grandpere Jack soaked in that swamp whiskey again shut the door as fast as you can she added but something in the way her dark eyes widened said she knew this was someone else and something farfrightening and unpleasant A strong breeze had kicked up behind the thick layers of dark clouds that enclosed us like a shroud hiding the uarter moon and stars in the April Louisiana sky This year spring had beenlike summer The days and nights were so hot and humid I found mildew on my shoes in the morning At noon the sun made the goldenrod glisten and drove the gnats and flies into a frenzy to find cool shade On clear nights I could see where the swamps Golden Lady spiders had come out to erect their giant nets for their nightly catch of beetles and mosuitos We had stretched fabric over our windows that kept out the insects but let in whatever cool breeze came up from the Gulf I hurried down the stairs and through the narrow hallway that ran straight from the rear of the house to the front The sight of Theresa Rodriguess face with her nose against the screen stopped me in my tracks and turned my feet to lead She looked as white as a water lily her coffee black hair wild and her eyes full of terror Wheres your grandmere she cried frantically I called out to my grandmother and then stepped up to the door Theresa was a short stout girl three years older than I At eighteen she was the oldest of five children I knew her mother was about to have another Whats wrong Theresa I asked joining her on the galerie Is it your mother Immediately she burst into tears her heavy bosom heaving and falling with the sobs her face in her hands I looked back into the house in time to see Grandmere Catherine come down the stairs take one look at Theresa and cross herself Speak uickly child Grandmere Catherine demanded rushing up to the door My mamagave birthto a dead baby Theresa wailed Mon Dieu Grandmere Catherine said and crossed herself onceI felt it she muttered her eyes turned to me I recalled the moments during our weaving when she had raised her gaze and had seemed to listen to the sounds of the night The cry of a raccoon had sounded like the cry of a baby My father sent me to fetch you Theresa moaned through her tears Grandmere Catherine nodded and sueezed Theresas hand reassuringly Im coming right away Thank you Mrs Landry Thank you Theresa said and shot off the porch and into the night leaving me confused and frightened Grandmere Catherine was already gathering her things and filling a split oak basket uickly I went back inside What does Mr Rodrigues want Grandmere What can you do for them now When Grandmere was summoned at night it usually meant someone was very sick or in pain No matter what it was my stomach would tingle as if I had swallowed a dozen flies that buzzed around and around inside Get the butane lantern she ordered instead of answering I hurried to do so Unlike the frantic Theresa Rodrigues whose terror had lit her way through the darkness we would need the lantern to go from the front porch and over the marsh grass to the inky black gravel highway To Grandmere the overcast night sky carried an ominous meaning especially tonight As soon as we stepped out and she looked up she shook her head and muttered Not a good sign Behind us and beside us the swamp seemed to come alive with her dark words Frogs croaked night birds cawed and gators slithered over the cool mud At fifteen I was already two inches taller than Grandmere Catherine who was barely five feet four in her moccasins Diminutive in size she was still the strongest woman I knew for besides her wisdom and her grit she carried the powers of a Traiteur a treater she was a spiritual healer someone unafraid to do battle with evil no matter how dark or insidious that evil was Grandmere always seemed to have a solution always seemed to reach back in her bag of cure alls and rituals and manage to find the proper course of action It was something unwritten something handed down to her and whatever was not handed down she magically knew herself Grandmere was left handed which to all of us Cajuns meant she could have spiritual powers But I thought her power came from her dark onyx eyes She was never afraid of anything Legend had it that one night in the swamp she had come face to face with the Grim Reaper himself and shed stared down Deaths gaze until he realized she was no one to tangle with just yet People in the bayou came to her to cure their warts and their rheumatism She had her secret medicines for colds and coughs and was said even to know a way to prevent aging although she never used it because it would be against the natural order of things Nature was sacred to Grandmere Catherine She extracted all of her remedies from the plants and herbs the trees and animals that lived near or in the swamps Why are we going to the Rodrigues house Grandmere Isnt it too late Couchemal she muttered and mumbled a prayer under her breath The way she prayed made my spine tingle and despite the humidity gave me a chill I clenched my teeth together as hard as I could hoping they wouldnt chatter I was determined to be as fearless as Grandmere and most of the time I succeeded I guess that you are old enough for me to tell you she said so uietly I had to strain to hear A couchemal is an evil spirit that lurks about when an unbaptized baby dies If we dont drive it away it will haunt the family and bring them bad luck she said They should have called me as soon as Mrs Rodrigues started her birthing Especially on a night like this she added darkly In front of us the glow of the butane lantern made the shadows dance and wiggle to what Grandpere Jack called The Song of the Swamp a song not only made up of animal sounds but also the peculiar low whistle that sometimes emerged from the twisted limbs and dangling Spanish moss we Cajuns called Spanish Beard when a breeze traveled through I tried to stay as close to Grandmere as I could without knocking into her and my feet were moving as uickly as they could to keep up Grandmere was so fixed on our destination and on the astonishing task before us that she looked like she could walk through the pitch darkness In her split oak basket Grandmere carried a half dozen small totems of the Virgin Mary as well as a bottle of holy water and some assorted herbs and plants The prayers and incantations she carried in her head Grandmere I began I needed to hear the sound of my own voice uest ce English she corrected uickly Speak only in English Grandmere always insisted we speak English especially when we left the house even though our Cajun language was French Someday you will leave this bayou she predicted and you will live in a world that maybe looks down on our Cajun language and ways Why would I leave the bayou Grandmere I asked her And why would I stay with people who looked down on us You just will she replied in her usual cryptic manner You just will Grandmere I began again why would a spirit haunt the Rodrigueses anyway What have they done Theyve done nothing The baby was born dead It came in the body of the infant but the spirit was unbaptized and has no place to go so it will haunt them and bring them bad luck I looked back Night fell like a leaden curtain behind us pushing us forward When we made the turn I was happy to see the lighted windows of the Butes our closest neighbor The sight of it allowed me to pretend that everything was normal Have you done this many times before Grandmere I knew my grandmother was called to perform many rituals from blessing a new house to bringing luck to a shrimp or oyster fisherman Mothers of young brides unable to bear children called her to do whatever she could to make them fertile More often than not they became pregnant I knew of all these things but until tonight I had never heard of a couchemal Unfortunately many times she replied As did Traiteurs before me as far back as our days in the old country And did you always succeed in chasing away the evil spirit Always she replied with a tone of such confidence that I suddenly felt safe Grandmere Catherine and I lived alone in our toothpick legged house with its tin roof and recessed galerie We lived in Houma Louisiana which was in Terrebonne Parish Folks said the parish was only two hours away from New Orleans by car but I didnt know if that was true since I had never been to New Orleans I had never left the bayou Grandpere Jack had built our house himselfthan thirty years ago when he and Grandmere Catherine had first been married Like most Cajun homes our house was set on posts to keep us above the crawling animals and give us some protection from the floods and dampness Its walls were built out of cypress wood and its roof out of corrugated metal Whenever it rained the drops would tap our house like a drum The rare stranger to come to our house was sometimes bothered by it but we were as accustomed to the drumming as we were to the shrieks of the marsh hawks Where does the spirit go when we drive it away I asked Back to limbo where it can do good God fearing folks no harm she replied We Cajuns who were descendants of the Arcadians driven from Canada in the mid s believed in a spirituality that commingled Catholicism with pre Christian folklore We went to church and prayed to saints like Saint Medad but we clung to our superstitions and age old beliefs as firmly Some like Grandpere Jack clung to themHe was often involved in some activity to ward off bad luck and had an assortment of talismans like alligator teeth and dried deer ears to wear around his neck or carry on his belt at times Grandmere said no man in the bayou needed themthan he did The gravel road stretched and turned ahead but at the pace we were keeping the Rodrigueses cypress wood house now bleached a gray white patina soon loomed before us We heard the wailing coming from within and saw Mr Rodrigues on the front galerie holding Theresas four year old brother in his arms He sat in a split oak rocking chair and stared into the night as though he had already seen the evil spirit It chilled me even but I moved forward as uickly as Grandmere Catherine did The moment he set eyes on her his expression of sorrow and fear turned to one of hope It felt good to see how much Grandmere was respected Thanks for comin so fast Mrs Landry Thanks for comin he said and rose uickly Theresa he cried and Theresa emerged from the house to take her little brother from him He opened the door for my grandmother and after I set the lantern down I followed her inside Grandmere Catherine had been to the Rodrigueses house before and went directly to Mrs Rodriguess bedroom She lay there her eyes closed her face ashen her black hair spread out over the pillow Grandmere took her hand and Mrs Rodrigues looked up weakly Grandmere Catherine fixed her gaze on Mrs Rodrigues and stared hard as though searching for a sign Mrs Rodrigues struggled to raise herself Rest Delores Grandmere Catherine said I am here to help Yes Mrs Rodrigues said in a loud whisper She clutched Grandmeres wrist I felt it Catherine I felt its heartbeat start and stop and then I felt the couchemal slip away I felt it Rest Delores I will do what has to be done Grandmere Catherine promised She patted her hand and turned to me She nodded slightly and I followed her out to the galerie where Theresa and the other Rodrigues children waited.Free download Ruby Author V.C Andrews
Download é E-book, or Kindle E-pub ¾ V.C Andrews V.C Andrews ¾ 9 Download Characters ì Ruby Author V.C Andrews ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Ther was Grandmere Catherine Here we were returning from the Rodrigues home after chasing off an evil spirit and we couldnt chase off the evil spirits that dwelt in the shadows of our own home In my heart I thought Grandmere Catherine was like the shoemaker without any shoes She can do so much good for others but she seemed incapable of doing the same sort of things for herself Was that the destiny of a Traiteur A price she had to pay to have the power Would it be my destiny as well to help others but be unable to help myself The bayou was a world filled with many mysterious things Every journey into it revealed something surprising A secret until that moment not discovered But the secrets held in our own hearts were the secrets I longed to know the most Just before we reached home Grandmere Catherine said Theres someone at the house With a definite note of disapproval she added Its that Tate boy again Paul was sitting on the galerie steps playing his harmonica his motor scooter set against the cypress stump The moment he set eyes on our lantern he stopped playing and stood up to greet us Paul was the seventeen year old son of Octavious Tate one of the richest men in Houma The Tates owned a shrimp cannery and lived in a big house They had a pleasure boat and expensive cars Paul had two younger sisters Jeanne who was in my class at school and Toby who was two years younger Paul and I had known each other all our lives but just recently had begun to spendtime together I knew his parents werent happy about it Pauls father hadthan one run in with Grandpere Jack and disliked the Landrys Everything all right Ruby Paul asked uickly as we drew closer He wore a light blue cotton polo shirt khaki pants and leather boots laced tightly beneath them Tonight he looked taller and wider to me and older too Grandmere and I went to see the Rodrigues family Mrs Rodriguess baby was born dead I told him Oh thats horrible Paul said softly Of all the boys I knew at school Paul seemed the most sincere and the most mature although one of the shyest He was certainly one of the handsomest with his cerulean blue eyes and thick chatin hair which was what the Cajuns called brown mixed with blond Good evening Mrs Landry he said to Grandmere Catherine She flashed her gaze on him with that look of suspicion she had ever since the first time Paul had walked me home from school Now that he was coming aroundoften she was scrutinizing him evenclosely which was something I found embarrassing Paul seemed a little amused but a little afraid of her as well Most folks believed in Grandmeres prophetic and mystical powers Evening she said slowly Might be a downpour yet tonight she predicted You shouldnt be motoring about with that flimsy thing Yes maam Paul said Grandmere Catherine shifted her eyes to me We got to finish the weavin we started she reminded me Yes Grandmere Ill be right along She looked at Paul again and then went inside Is your grandmother very upset about losing the Rodrigues baby he asked She wasnt called to help deliver it I replied and I told him why she had been summoned and what we had done He listened with interest and then shook his head My father doesnt believe in any of that He says superstitions and folklore are what keeps the Cajuns backward and makes other folks think were ignorant But I dont agree he added uickly Grandmere Catherine is far from ignorant I added not hiding my indignation Its ignorant not to take precautions against evil spirits and bad luck Paul nodded Did yousee anything he asked I felt it fly by my face I said placing my hand on my cheek It touched me here And then I thought I saw it leave Paul released a low whistle You must have been very brave he said Only because I was with Grandmere Catherine I confessed I wish I had gotten here earlier and been with youto make sure nothing bad happened to you he added I felt myself blush at his desire to protect me Im all right but Im glad its over I admitted Paul laughed In the dim illumination of our galerie light his face looked softer his eyes even warmer We hadnt done muchthan hold hands and kiss a half dozen times only twice on the lips but the memory of those kisses made my heart flutter now when I looked at him and stood so closely to him The breeze gently brushed aside some strands of hair that had fallen over his forehead Behind the house the water from the swamps lapped against the shore and a night bird flapped its wings above us invisible against the dark sky I was disappointed when I came by and you werent home he said I was just about to leave when I saw the light of your lantern Im glad you waited I replied and his smile widened But I cant invite you in because Grandmere wants us to finish the blankets well put up for sale tomorrow She thinks well be busy this weekend and shes usually right She always remembers which weekends were busier than others the year before No one has a better memory for those things I added I got to work in the cannery all day tomorrow but maybe I can come by tomorrow night after dinner and we can walk to town to get a cup of crushed ice Paul suggested Id like that I said Paul stepped closer to me and fixed his gaze on my face We drank each other in for a moment before he worked up enough courage to say what he really had come to say What I really want to do is take you to the fais dodo next Saturday night he declared uickly I had never been out on a real date before Just the thought of it filled me with excitement Most girls my age would be going to the fais dodo with their families and dance with boys they met there but to be picked up and escorted and to dance only with Paul all night that sent my mind reeling Ill have to ask Grandmere Catherine I said uickly adding but Id like that very much Good Well he said backing up toward his motor scooter I guess I better be going before that downpour comes He didnt take his eyes off me as he stepped away and he caught his heel on a root It sat him down firmly Are you all right I cried rushing to him He laughed embarrassed Im fine except for a wet rear end he added and laughed He reached up to take my hand and stand and when he did we were only inches apart Slowly a millimeter at a time our lips drew closer and closer until they met It was a short kiss but a firmer andconfident one on both our parts I had gone up on my toes to bring my lips to his and my breasts grazed his chest The unexpected contact with the electricity of our kiss sent a wave of warm pleasant excitement down my spine Ruby he said bursting with emotion now Youre the prettiest and nicest girl in the whole bayou Oh no Im not Paul I cant be There are so many prettier girls girls who have expensive clothes and expensive jewelry and I dont care if they have the biggest diamonds and dresses from Paris Nothing could make them prettier than you he blurted out I knew he wouldnt have had the courage to say these things if we werent standing in the shadows and I couldnt see him as clearly I was sure his face was crimson Ruby my grandmother called from a window I dont want to stay up all night finishing this Im coming Grandmere Good night Paul I said and then I leaned forward to peck him on the lips oncebefore I turned and left him standing in the dark I heard him start his motor scooter and drive off and then I hurried up to the grenier to help Grandmere Catherine For a long moment she didnt speak She worked and kept her eyes fixed on the loom Then she shifted her gaze to me and pursed her lips the way she often did when she was thinking deeply The Tate boys been coming around to see you a great deal lately hasnt he Yes Grandmere And what do his parents think of that she asked cutting right to the heart of things as always I dont know Grandmere I said looking down I think you do Ruby Paul likes me and I like him I said uickly What his parents think isnt important Hes grown a great deal this year hes a man And youre no longer a little girl Ruby Youve grown too I see the way you two look at each other I know that look too well and what it can lead to she added It wont lead to anything bad Pauls the nicest boy in school I insisted She nodded but kept her dark eyes on me Stop making me feel naughty Grandmere I havent done anything to make you ashamed of me Not yet she said but you got Landry in you and the blood has a way of corrupting I seen it in your mother I dont want to see it in you My chin began to uiver Im not saying these things to hurt you child Im saying them to prevent your being hurt she said reaching out to put her hand over mine Cant I love someone purely and nicely Grandmere Or am I cursed because of Grandpere Jacks blood in my veins What about your blood Wont it give me the wisdom I need to keep myself from getting in trouble I demanded She shook her head and smiled It didnt prevent me from getting in trouble Im afraid I married him and lived with him once she said and then sighed But you might be right you might be stronger and wiser in some ways Youre certainly a lot brighter than I was when I was your age and fartalented Why your drawings and paintings Oh no Grandmere Im Yes you are Ruby Youre talented Someday someone will see that talent and offer you a lot of money for it she prophesied I just dont want you to do anything to ruin your chance to get out of here child to rise above the swamp and the bayou Is it so bad here Grandmere It is for you child But why Grandmere It just is she said and began her weaving again again leaving me stranded in a sea of mystery Paul has asked me to go with him to the fais dodo a week from Saturday I want to go with him very much Grandmere I added Will his parents let him do that she asked uickly I dont know Paul thinks so I guess Can we invite him to dinner Sunday night Grandmere Can we I never turned anyone away from my dinner table Grandmere said but dont plan on going to the dance I know the Tate family and I dont want to see you hurt Oh I wont be Grandmere I said nearly bouncing in my seat with excitement Then Paul can come to dinner I said I wouldnt throw him out she replied Oh Grandmere thank you Thank you I threw my arms around her She shook her head If we go on like this well be working all night Ruby she said but kissed my cheek My little Ruby my darling girl growing into a woman so uickly I better not blink or Ill miss it she said We hugged again and then went back to work my hands moving with a new energy my heart filled with a new joy despite Grandmere Catherines ominous warningsAn innocent bayou girl lost to New Orleans One of the most popular storytellers of all time VC Andrews Flowers in the Attic My Sweet Audrina layers psychological suspense with sheer terror in this provocative first book of the classic Landry Family seriesEven in the heart of the bayou innocence cant last forever The only family Ruby Landry has ever known are her loving guardian Grandmere Catherine a Cajun spiritual healer and her drunken Grandpere Jack Although thinking about her dead mother and mysterious father sometimes makes her feel as sad and solemn as the wind sighing through the Spanish moss Ruby is grateful for what she has Her life is filled with hope and promise especially when her attraction to handsome Paul Tate blossoms into a wonderful love affair But Pauls wealthy parents forbid him to associate with a poor Landry and Grandmere urges Ruby to focus on her dream of becoming a great painter An uncertain future looms A shocking scheme of blackmail and deception comes to light when Ruby sees her father for the first time in a faded photograph Stunned and devastated when Grandmere dies soon after she is left to seek out an explanation on her own Finding her father in his massive New Orleans mansion Ruby is uickly subjected to his world of lies tormentand madness Still she clings to her memories of Paulfor only true love might be able to save her no.