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Her husband returned from his journey that very evening*--you know how it goes. He beheld her secret and said, "You have conceived a daughter. You will not know her. She will think herself an orphan, and you will leave her only a single box, in which you can place whatever you choose." They spoke very little after that day, though they never divorced. He sent his son away, to keep him out of harm's way until it was time for him to marry.

For the first time, the woman felt a consuming black hatred. She took in her dress another impossible inch, wrapped it around her slippers, and tucked them into the box. Then she sat down to write: "I tell you these things because I love you . . . "

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