A Time for Mercy by John Grisham

A Time for Mercy by John Grisham

Author:John Grisham [Grisham, John]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Thriller
ISBN: 9780385545969
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Published: 2020-10-12T16:00:00+00:00

Because it was a special occasion, Hanna insisted on sleeping with her parents. They read Christmas stories until well past ten, with at least two breaks every half hour so she could sprint to the den and make sure Santa had not somehow sneaked into the house. She chattered and wiggled with usual nervous anticipation until she inadvertently grew still. When Jake awoke at sunrise, she was wedged under her mother, both of them sound asleep. But with a gentle “I think Santa Claus has been here,” his girls sprang to life. Hanna dashed to the tree and squealed with amazement at the glorious loot Santa had left her. Jake made the coffee while Carla took photos. They opened gifts and laughed with Hanna as the wrappings and boxes piled up. What on earth was better than being a seven-year-old on Christmas morning? When the excitement began to wane, Jake stepped away and eased outside. In a small utility room next to the carport, he retrieved another package, a large square box wrapped in green paper with a large red bow. From inside, the puppy whimpered. It had been a long night, for both of them.

“Look what I found,” he announced as he sat the box on the floor next to Hanna.

“What is it, Daddy?” Hanna asked, immediately suspicious. From inside, the frazzled puppy made not a sound.

“Open it,” Carla said, and Hanna began ripping paper. Jake unfolded the top of the box, and Hanna looked inside. Sadie met her gaze with sad, tired eyes that seemed to say, “Get me outta here.”

They would pretend Sadie came from the North Pole; in fact, she came from the county’s rescue shelter, where, for $37, Jake bought her with all shots included and some future spaying thrown in. With hints of pedigree not even remotely possible, her handlers could not speculate on her size or temperament. One thought she had “a lot of terrier,” while another disagreed sharply and said, “There’s gotta be some schnauzer in there somewhere.” Her mother had been found dead in a ditch, and she and her five siblings had been rescued at the age of about one month.

Hanna lifted her gently, cradled her, cuddled her, squeezed her next to her chest, and of course the dog began licking her face. She looked at her parents in speechless amazement, her beautiful eyes moist, her voice unable to work.

Jake said, “Santa called her Sadie, but you can choose any name you want.”

Santa was a miracle worker, but at that moment all other gifts and toys he’d left behind were instantly forgotten. Hanna finally said, “Sadie’s perfect.”

Within an hour, the dog had taken over, as all three humans followed her around, making sure she got whatever she wanted.


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