Frandsen had taken the car and driven all night across the state of North Dakota. Even if we had known he was coming we could not have prepared for his arrival. His was an inspired late-night journey, as they usually were, and he arrived at our farmhouse outside of Hibbing just as we were sitting down to breakfast. Dad caught sight of his big brown Packard in the window above the kitchen table. He sighed, set down his coffee cup and started buttoning up his shirt sleeves. We three girls sat at the table and tried to look supportive of our father, but we knew he didn’t have a chance against Frandsen. Our uncle had the panache of a circus ringmaster and the duende of a traveling patent medicine promoter. Whatever Frandsen wanted, Frandsen would get out of Dad before the eggs had grown cold.

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