"O ver there!” Lazer shouted. “There’s the café!”

The officer slowed the car and turned into the long alley.

“Let’s get out over here,” Officer Maxwell said. “We’ll walk the alley on foot, and look for your daughter.”

Lazer and Toby were already opening the car doors. The other police car pulled up behind.

“Spread out, men!” Officer Maxwell ordered. “She’s somewhere here in this alley. We’ll find her.”

The Glenners walked together, their heads turning from side to side, in search of their daughter. The police turned over boxes and crates and looked behind garbage cans and piles of blackened snow. They inched their way deeper into the alley, then they heard a faint cry. Everyone stopped. Officer Maxwell turned his head in the direction of the cry and concentrated intently. “Over there!” He pointed.

The Glenners and the police officers rushed to the pile of crates near an old abandoned wagon, and began throwing the crates to the side. A frightened cat darted from behind a crate, leaving her newborn kittens behind. She watched from a safe distance as the search team shook their heads and continued on their way.

“False alarm,” Officer Maxwell said. “I’m terribly sorry. We’ll find her.”

They continued down the alley nearly reaching the end.

“Lazer!” Toby screamed suddenly. “There! Look!” Even before Lazer could see the pink blanket sticking out from behind heaps of murky snow, Toby was running to the bundle wrapped in the soiled pink blanket, and dropped to her knees.

“Leah’le! Oh, my Leah’le. Mommy’s here.” She pulled back the blanket and saw layers and layers of crumpled newspaper.

“No… NO!” She searched through the newspapers until her hands scraped against the ground below. “NO!”

Lazer was at her side, on his knees as well. The distraught parents clutched the blanket, and wept unabashedly. Officer Maxwell hit his fist powerfully into the palm of his other hand. Not again, he thought.

“What do you suppose is going to happen when we get to town, Ma?” Fay asked.

Her mother didn’t respond. She simply held her coat tightly around herself in an attempt to stay warm. The cold didn’t seem to be bothering Fay who prattled relentlessly.

“You think we’ll see Pa? He must have gone to town, don’t you think? That’s where Idy is, isn’t she?”

Mrs. Renard pressed her lips together into a thin, tight line.

Fay didn’t stop to breathe. “What do you suppose the town is like?” She held on to the sides of the wagon and looked out at the view. “It sure is nice out here, huh, Ma? More trees than I’ve ever seen.”

“You sure do yap a lot,” her mother retorted.

Fay seemed oblivious to her mother’s edginess. “I hope we get there real soon, Ma.” She scrambled over the tarp and supplies in the back of the wagon until she was near the driver’s seat. “You think we’ll be there soon, Mister?” she shouted to Mr. Matthews over the noise of the wheels and galloping horses.

“Get back here, Fay!” her mother hollered.

“Hey, Mister? How much longer?”

“Fay!” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 680)