Margaret busied herself with her knitting. When the dark green sweater was finished, she would send it, along with some other homemade treats, to Paul Jr. He could wear the sweater under his army uniform and be just a little warmer while he strove to make everyone safer.
At the rap of the door knocker, Coral, the family’s cat, leaped off the couch and trotted into another room. Margaret set her knitting aside.
She picked it up again hours later, long after the army men and then the Rev. Hauser had gone. She had done her work so well, but it had been fated to be wasted.
She took up her scissors and snipped the yarn close to the sweater. The ball dropped to the floor, and as she went toward her bedroom she kicked the yarn out of her way. She folded tissue paper around the unfinished sweater and packed it away in a shirt box.
The young man had been gone for months; he was out of Coral’s thoughts unless she walked past his bedroom and caught his scent. All she knew was that she had a new toy, and she played with it all night.
“Stay close, now, Philip,” Warner told his son. “It’s still a bit drizzly; you’ll want to stay under the umbrella.”
“It’s OK, Daddy,” Philip said. “I’ve got my hat on. And it’s not too wet out here.”
Warner just smiled down at his 6-year-old who was bouncing a little in place and taking in all the fascinating sights at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey. He glanced at the truck from the radio station and that nice Mr. Morrison whom Daddy had taken him to talk to as they waited.
As always, Philip held tightly to his favorite popgun. Both barrels were corked and ready in case of trouble. He wasn’t planning to shoot because the corks in the barrels weren’t attached to the gun with string. They had been, once, but that was a few hundred shots ago and his parents hadn’t yet put new strings on the corks. Eager as Philip was to take aim and let something have it, he knew it would be a nuisance out here.