Abigail's Story by Ann Burton

By Ann Burton

They have been ladies of conviction and braveness, whose tales motivate the devoted to this present day. Now, Signet launches ladies of the Bible, a compelling new sequence for fanatics of old fiction and romance. this is often the tale of Abigail... To settle her brother's playing debt, Abigail of Carmel convinces her boorish lord to marry her. Then exiled through him to the lifetime of a shepherdess, she grows to like David, the warrior son of Jesse, who will come face-to-face along with her husband in a mindless war-and break her hopes of peace.

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Example text

I, on the other hand, had learned much about it from other merchants as well as from those who passed through the market- ABIGAIL’S STORY 43 place. Knowledge I wished that I did not have, not on this night. ‘‘Cities like Hebron are only for those who kill by accident, if they can persuade the gatekeepers that they are truly innocent,’’ I told him. ’’ He gave the wheel a halfhearted push. ’’ I had often resented Rivai because my parents had indulged him so much, and because he had so much more freedom than I.

My father, Oren, hobbled in, leaning heavily on his crutch. Once my father had seemed like the strongest man in the world to me: tall, broad of shoulder, with long, tireless arms and clever, callused hands. Though he worked at the wheel every day, he held his back straight and his head high and proud. His were the eyes of a dreamer, deep brown and gentle, oh, so gentle. As a child I would tug at his thick, curly brown beard with my little hands whenever he carried me, until he would use it to tickle my neck and make me giggle.

I had been awake and working since before dawn, and had done more than he would in a week. I felt so tired my bones ached, and now the thought of eight maneh of gold ground like olive press stones atop my fatigue. For a moment I was tempted to throw the clay at my brother’s head. ’’ I put on one of my father’s woolen work aprons to protect my khiton, dropped a portion of clay on the reed bat covering the top of the wheel, and dipped my hands in the rainwater. Rivai sighed and bent to the wheel.

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