Appendix F Hum/111

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Date Submitted: 11/25/2012 07:12 PM

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Twenty Years Ago New Orleans

Sarah Richards stood in the middle of her bedroom trying to console her infant who was wailing at the top of her tiny lungs. Yes, she knew what pain was, and wanted to cry out as much as her baby was carrying on right now. Instead, silent tears slid down the sides of her face as she turned her chin up to the ceiling and shut her eyes. How, Lord, was a preacher's wife supposed to deal with the fact that her husband was having an affair? For months she'd denied the obvious. But now her husband's lies regarding his whereabouts had been found out. He'd even violated the sanctity of their home by bringing this woman to their bed—their marital bed. Evidence, in the form of the marriage-violator's perfume and blood, still clung to the sheets. She'd only been gone an hour on a church errand her husband had contrived for her to do. One hour, and now this? Sarah covered her mouth and turned away, hastening from the sight and stench of the filth, taking her baby girl to lay her in her crib. With her hands trembling, she left the screaming infant, whose wails

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intensified as she turned away from her. Shame burned through her. How could she call the church elders, or talk to Mother Stone about something like this? How did a preacher's wife, the first lady of the church, force her lips to say that her husband, the Reverend Richards, had lost his natural black mind? Amid the now hiccupping bleats from the nursery, Sarah became very still as she heard movement in the small clapboard house below her. There were two voices. One soft, seductive; the other was that of her husband. He'd brought this whore back to his home again! Once was not enough? Did he think she was so foolish as to run another church errand to...