I linger at the hawthorn tree and beg you not to follow; I know who may be waiting under the enchanted canopy. I long for their rescue from this dark, wicked world and for the whispers in the earth to beckon me home, where I will finally belong.    

Lina then saw Mr. von Essen sitting by the mill pond as he read from a small book. When she smiled, raising a hand in greeting, he tipped his hat and stood up from the grass. “Miss Evangeline,” he greeted her. “Our new schoolmaster, Mr. von Essen,” she gave a small curtsy in reply as [...]