Adam tied up the back of his wagon. Standing beside his horse, in the still of the main road, he closed his eyes. He tilted his head back and took a deep breath. On a breeze from the south the scent of freshly baked bread reached out to him.

Broke Bakery was familiar to everyone in part because it was owned by Obadiah Broke. It was even more famous for its magical bread and the beautiful woman who baked it.

Every morning Virginia Baker could be seen behind the front window in the opening procedures of creating her wonderful bread. For many men, it was a morning show. Farmers found all sorts of reasons to go out of their way in their daily travails so they would be passing by that window at the exact time the lovely girl was bent over the wooden slab, her peach-colored smock hoisted up to her knees to obtain freedom of movement and her long, plaited brown hair tied back, to watch her kneading and rolling and pounding the dough with her flour-covered hands.

She was standing at the window when she saw Adam approaching from Shrenkers. She dropped the ball of dough she was working on into the dough box and rushed to the back room. She slapped the flour from her hands. She untied her hair and fluffed it out and straightened the hem of her smock. The front door creaked open. She took a deep breath and entered.

“Adam!” she said in a surprised voice.


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