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By Carol Shields

To her neighbours, Mary Swann used to be an easy, hard-working farm spouse; her gentle poems are chanced on purely after she is brutally murdered. The unusual, evocative verses allure the eye of an earnestly self-absorbed feminist student, a pompous literary biographer, a virginal small-town librarian, and a curmudgeonly retired newspaper editor. yet as curiosity raises, all strains of Swann's life - her workstation, the 1st draft of her paintings, even her photo - mysteriously vanish.

In fixing the puzzle of Swann's disappearing legacy, Carol Shields explores the bigger mysteries of the character of paintings, in addition to the strong forces that encourage us all.

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The sheriff rubbed his chin and glanced around at the brush and the river. 0pt PgVar ——— Normal Page PgEnds: TEX [21], (21) BOOKCOMP, Inc. — University of Oklahoma Press / Page 21 / Printer proof / Black Silk Handkerchief / Birchfield 22 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 D. L. BIRCHFIELD and was waiting around for her clothes to get dry. ” “Yeah. ” “Well, maybe she was still a little too drunk and she wandered too far away from that brush over there.

The sale of that ranch had happened so suddenly, after a night of drinking, and then he’d died so soon afterward, that anything requiring much forethought or afterthought didn’t seem likely. But the slim hope that Billington had paid gift taxes was all Hom-Astubby could cling to. Hom-Astubby’s attorneys hadn’t had any luck finding out what Billington might have done, if anything, about gift taxes. The Billington estate was tied up in court, the subject of several lawsuits, and the attorneys for the estate were slow in communicating with everyone.

Got a big ole baconwrapped filet mignon that’ll melt in your mouth. But it’s pretty expensive and it gets a little loud on Saturday night. That’s when the younguns pretty much take over the place. Mama Garcia’s, in town, has got great Mexican food. Nobody can cook like Beryl Garcia. That’s Harry’s favorite place. ” “I love that food,” Hom-Astubby said. ” He watched the sheriff drive away, staring at the Notre Dame football decal on his back window. Hom-Astubby had never noticed before, but the little Irishman in the decal was smiling, a distinctly smug and mischievous little smile.

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