Laura raced from the balcony into her father’s bedroom. There, by his bed, she saw Dr. Ellerby consoling her mother’s sobbing frame. Ruth looked up as Laura entered the room. “Oh, Laura, your father…” The words died on her lips as Laura helped her mother up and assisted her from her husband’s room into her bedroom.
The doctor motioned to Laura as she returned from her mother’s room.
“What’s wrong with Father?” Laura asked.
“He was feeling fine while we were playing chess and then he passed out. He must have had a heart attack. I’m so sorry. I doubt he will live through the night. But he’s coherent and insists that he talk to you.”
Laura quietly entered the room and knelt by her father. She pressed her hand into his shaking hand and whispered, “Father, I’m here.”
Edward’s eyes opened, and he said, “Laura, I have something I must tell you.” She saw shadows of pain in his gray eyes as he spoke with difficulty. “I’ve done a terrible thing.”
Laura patted his shoulder and urged him
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