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The Foundling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 12

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She turned and went. He heard the door close behind her. Slipping a small knife from his boot, he turned back to the bundle, using the blade’s tip to lift the cloth’s corner. Staring at him from within the folds of the blanket was a child. The infant had short red hair and a face that seemed too big for its head. Its stared at him with deep green eyes as Stan looked it over. He stood abruptly, calling for Lorri. When she came out, she, too, stared. After a long moment, she turned to Stan.

Lorri opened her mouth as though to protest, but nodded, retreating to the kitchen.

Stan stepped out into the cold night. He closed the door, then spun to face the bundle.  Whatever it was, Ranger stood sniffing, whining eagerly. The dog’s nose shifted the cloth, and something moved. Faster than thought, Stan knelt, knife unsheathed from his boot, blade ready.

The cloth fell, freed by the dog’s movement. No – Stan watched more closely. It wasn’t Ranger; whatever was inside was moving, too. Ranger tensed suddenly, growling softly.

An infant looked back at Stan. Stan backed up, in surprise as much as disgust. The child had short red hair and wide green eyes. Its

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