In San Francisco, the captain abandoned June on the dock. Joseph Kingman, who lived on Nob Hill, found June and placed her in his estate kitchen. Kingman’s son, Jake, worked as a sous chef and owned a fishing vessel, the Swordfish. In a holiday showdown for top chef, June’s pineapple upside-down cake with toasted macadamia crust won the competition.
“And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.”
—Genesis 27:41 KJV
On the island of Oahu, the captain’s bride insisted on selling a group of slaves, including June and Moose, to a pineapple plantation owner. She claimed the wedding dress that June had created made her look like a pineapple.
“And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.”
—Esther 5:11 KJV
“Jeb met with Farmer Jones and the mayor, but the meeting dissolved quickly. Farmer Jones flaunted his wealth and hinted of scandal during the battle in Jeb’s peach orchard. Jeb asked the mayor to make an honest investigation before forcing Jeb to sell his property. The mayor just kept asking if they had tasted his wife’s grape jam.”
“And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.”
—Nehemiah 6:11 KJV
“A sick soldier that had stayed at Jeb’s home during the war gave Jeb his field glasses, and one day, Jeb spotted Farmer Jones and a few others standing near the orchard’s property line, pointing and laughing. We dubbed the group the Straw Hat Gang.”
“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”
—Proverbs 26:22 KJV
“Cream taught me how to choose a ripe peach—when she was younger, she reached for the largest peach on the tree and took a big bite—so sour it curled her bangs, she said!” Montana laughed as he watched Susanna fry a batch of blueberry biscuits. They still had many more days on the trail to Orchard Valley. “But biggest isn’t always best. Cream told me to look for firm, tender fruit with a rosy blush.”
“Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.”
—Proverbs 20:17 KJV
“After discovering an ugly sign in the remnants of the burned barn, Jeb showed me a letter signed by several citizens accusing him of burning down his barn during the battle to get money. Several wounded Union soldiers hiding in the barn died.”
“But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?”
—Nehemiah 2:19 KJV
Susanna found it hard to imagine justice without breaking a commandment. If provided with an endless supply of blueberries, she could re-open the bakery, install that new stove, and build herself a luxury cabin.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
—Romans 12:19 KJV
Susanna remembered some of the messes she’d made in connecting with her beloved Sheriff Howie, June and the horses. She also remembered the sweet spirit of forgiveness and grace that brought healing. Not so with Frederic Bucannon, she told the Lord; yet she couldn’t seem to remember his wrongs without remembering hers.
“How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?”
—Psalm 13:2 KJV
Frederic Bucannon wanted to buy more land in Agate Beach owned by Susanna’s late husband—land Susanna hadn’t known about. In her morning prayers, Susanna raised the paper in her fist, questioning God’s wisdom in sending her yet another surprise test.
“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”
—Jude 1:11 KJV
No pies remained to tempt Susanna’s throwing arm as she signed her name in blue ink on the land purchase agreement. Careful to stay one step ahead of the law, Frederic Bucannon saw a prosperity in Susanna’s life that he thought he could buy.
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
—2 Timothy 2:3 KJV
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”
—Romans 5:3, 4 KJV