When quiet finally came, all Ulbreck could hear was a gentle cooing inside the blanket on his lap. Fumbling for the utility light he carried in his pocket, Ulbreck lit it and looked down at the bundle he was holding.
A tiny baby with a wisp of blond hair gurgled at him.
“Hello,” Ulbreck said, not knowing what else to say.
The infant cooed.
The bearded man appeared at Ulbreck’s side. Lit from below by the portable light, he looked kindly—and not at all fatigued by what he had just done. “Thank you,” he said, taking the child back. Starting to rise, he paused. “Do you know the way to the Lars homestead?” he asked.
Ulbreck scratched his beard. “Well, now, there’s four or five ways to get there. Let me think of the best way to describe it—”
“Never mind,” the man replied. “I’ll find it myself.” He and the child disappeared into the darkness.
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