The only moment Harrison felt he didn’t know his grandfather was as the man lay dying, turned on one side to ease his last breaths. It was past midnight in the small farmhouse just outside Wilmington, Illinois, and Harrison had taken what everyone expected was the last shift of watching John Ulysses Miller as he died from old age and failing lungs.
“Harrison,” his grandfather told him, “I need you to hold onto this.” He pressed into his grandson’s palm the ring he’d worn for as long as anyone could remember: a broad silver ring with a bright blue stone. The stone’s facets shimmered in the light from the oil lamp that stood vigil at the bedside, burning now for six days straight.
“What’s so special about it?” Harrison asked, but his grandfather shook his head, as always.
“You don’t need to know. Just keep it safe. A young woman, Katie, will come for it."