“They’re sycamores. See how the bark forms a lacy pattern at the bottom? Back in the old days, they called it lacewood.” He turned and bounded up the steps while Katie ran her fingertips over the intricate design. “It’s beautiful,” she said, under her breath. “Lacewood.”
“Of course, another common name for the tree is ghostwood,” the sheriff quipped over his shoulder, as he searched through the keys. “But that wouldn’t make a very good name for a house, now would it?”
Katie lifted her eyes from the multi-colored bark at the bottom to the white limbs overhead. Even in broad daylight, the trees appeared ghostly, with budding branches reaching out like bony fingers.
Suppressing a shiver of apprehension, Katie turned to follow the sheriff. The stately pillars bookmarking the wide veranda, added a grace and charm to the otherwise run-down property. She put her hand on one of them as she walked by, causing the paint to fragment beneath her fingers and shower the ground.
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