“Materfamilias,” Gordon murmured.
She shot him an over-the-shoulder glance.
“I just meant watching you, I got a sudden flash of your mom. My first weekend out here Maggie explained about the clock, that it had been her grandmother’s, the first Johanna Hansford. That the women of the family always wind it, careful to feel for the resistance as the spring tightens. The kind of idle chat meant to make me feel at home and disguise the fact that every Lawrence on the premises was looking me over.” Gordon smiled and jazz piano filled the room. “The baton has passed.”
Johanna looked at the key in her hand before sliding it back in place, then tilted the clock, listening for the click of the pendulum.
Baton passing. “Well Materfamilias,” I said, “you may be just the person to get me through this current crisis.”
Lilly Drinkwater Covington, The Chick Palace
Three Dilemmas, Two friends and One Deserted Tree House
during a simmering summer on Lake Allamuchy