By Janet Neubert Schultz

Maggie hates relocating from appealing better, Wisconsin, to dusty Hinckley, Minnesota, in 1894, till she nearly loses her kin to a woodland fireplace that sweeps throughout the city.

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Maggie touched the smooth finish on the new desks and looked around the room. Cupboards and bookshelves lined an inside wall. A large slate board spanned the front wall. Varnished hardwood floors, blue painted walls. Nice. “The boys always want the back seats,” said Mary. ” “So we can see their faces when they come in and see us all settled in the back row,” said Clara. She slid into 51 FIRESTORM a wooden seat and grinned at Maggie, tapping the seat beside her. Maggie slipped into it as Mary slid into the next one.

The only blight on our fair city is yonder gravel pit,” he scolded. The railroads had dug a deep hole getting gravel for roadbeds, and it was now filled with about three feet of dirty scummy water. ” the happy audience responded. “A few trees and grass would do more to improve this town than anything,” Maggie complained to Mary and Clara. She had seen that grimy hole before, smack in the middle of town. Definitely disgraceful. Mr. Brennan was next at the speaker’s stand, and Maggie pushed forward through the crowd to see and hear better.

Come in here and see me,” called Grandma Dunn from the next room. ” With a parting smile, Mary went out the front door. Maggie and Eddie walked into a large parlor, furnished with heavy black walnut furniture. Meager sunlight filtered through a big Boston fern that stood in a bay window hung with wine-red drapes. Tom came back through the kitchen door with a plate of cookies and followed them into the parlor. “Tom, come set those cookies on the settee and light the lamps,” Grandma Dunn called. She was short and plump, seated in a big rocker with her swollen feet up on a hassock.

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