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During a recent trip, I brought a book with me that I hadn’t read in a long, long time. I figured it would be a good time to reacquaint myself with this old friend. I’ll tell you the well-known title a bit later – see if you can figure it out.

Almost immediately, I found the kind of humor I expected, but it came so quickly at me in the image of a lady wearing glasses more for style than need. As the author said, she could just as well as used oven lids as lenses on her glasses to satisfy her need for style. Funny!

And descriptions? The murder and the battle leading up to it were detailed in every way, pulling at every sense. It was dark, it was creepy, it was lethal – and all while our hero watched it come to pass. In other places, I could feel the weather as it happened because the descriptions were so vivid, and yet so concise.

Dialogue? I could hear the voices of the characters – some innocent, some craggy, some illiterate but heartfelt in the wisdom of their years. Idioms, literary references from Bible verses to Robin Hood and back again appeared throughout the book as the characters discussed matters at hand.

And there was love – pure, doting love. I read of total commitment from one character to the other, only to see it unravel, rebuild as one of lovers was absent for a time – and then joyous reunion. Hate, too, boiled out of other characters, finely tuned to a revengeful level. Joy, industriousness, and even trickery and tomfoolery appear in the pages.

The story line engages the reader – it is everyday life for its time, and rather universal, so the time period isn’t all that crucial. A little knowledge of history helps, but the story of our hero might as well have been you or me or someone else. Adventures abound – some swashbuckling, some truly dangerous – but adventurous nonetheless.

I finished the book and decided I’ll need to read more of this author. So, I have the next logical book ready to go on my bedstand. My next book? HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Mark Twain.

And yes, this one was TOM SAWYER. Never mind that its reputation is that of a boy’s tale – I enjoyed it as a sixty-six-year-old kid. I hope you have a book that you’ll dig out and find your joy in spending time with an old friend like I did.