I am very excited to present to you the next chapter in the 1929 Series—Purling Road: Season Three. A release date will be announced very shortly. For now, I wanted to show you this fantastic cover designed by The Thatchery, and I've also included a sneak peak; the very first page of Season Three, Episode One "A Dark Place"
It's been a long time coming and I thank you for your patience.
Purling Road: The Complete Third Season
Episode One "A Dark Place"
Maura took the steps slowly, glancing toward the sky. The looming brick building had a cold feel to its design. She didn’t like it. The Massachusetts Asylum for Feeble Minds and Lunatics wasn’t a place she wanted to visit. An urgent grunt from the infant in her arms made her look down.
“There, lil Brigid.” She stroked the infants’ cheek, then gave her a pinky to suck on. She glanced up, hearing a shriek from somewhere deep inside the asylum.
It was a crisp October afternoon, overcast with a constant breeze, shuffling crimson leaves along the sidewalk and rippling her skirt. She continued up the steps. The baby settled and released Maura’s finger from her mouth. She flipped the edge of the blanket up, shielding the baby’s face from a sudden gust.
She held her close in the crook of her arm and pulled the heavy wooden door open.
She smelled cleanser, heard moaning from one direction and sounds of a scuffle from the other.
She steeled herself and continued on. Approaching a desk, she cleared her throat and spoke as quietly as she could.
“Excuse me, I’m here to see David, please. He’s expecting me.”
A young woman looked up and smiled. “If you’d like to have a seat, I’ll send him out as soon as he’s available.”
Maura nodded and, clutching the infant ever tighter, went to find a chair in the large, open foyer.
It wasn’t half bad, all considering. Tables and chairs, little vases of wilted flowers. It appeared they tried to make it a comfortable and welcoming place.
At least out here where the families waited. She looked down and Brigid was silent, staring at her with sparkling blue eyes.
“Everything is going to be alright,” Maura whispered. The baby only blinked.
She crossed her legs, bouncing one impatiently.
There were others waiting and Maura looked at them closer.
Across from her, an older couple sat huddled, his frail arm around her bony shoulder. They stared blankly. Broken souls if she’d ever seen them. Standing near the front door, a finely dressed woman stood tall, wringing hands in front of her. She stared a hole into the far wall, her face pensive.
Maura wondered who they were here to see and why. From what she understood, the asylum’s swelling numbers accounted for all manner of disorders now. No longer a home for those born afflicted, they now attempted to help everything from addiction to drink and drug to depressive episodes. And in more than one case, a person completely out of luck and resources would pretend ill for a warm bed and three meals.
Her head whipped around and she saw David. He smiled, but it was sad.
Maura gathered up the baby and walked toward him. He didn’t move, his eyes set on the bundle in her arms and his smile became sincere.
Maura pulled back the blanket.
“She’s beautiful,” he said, swiping his large hand across the fine hair on her head.
He stepped aside and held out his hand.
“Let’s go somewhere more private to talk,” David said, lowering his voice.
Maura nodded, tears filling her eyes. She prayed for good news as she lifted the baby to her shoulder. “Let’s go talk to yer mama, shall we?”
To Be Continued...
M. L. Gardner is the bestselling author of the 1929 series. Gardner is frugal to a fault, preserving the old ways of living by canning, cooking from scratch, and woodworking. Nostalgic stories from her grandmother’s life during the Great Depression inspired Gardner to write the 1929 series—as well as her own research into the Roarin’ Twenties. She has authored eight books, two novellas, one book of short stories and a serial. Gardner is married with three kids and three cats. She resides in northern Utah. Find the first book in her epic series here.