In a stern but graceful, straight-back wooden chair, Ramona Darling sat next to the bed. Her frail hands lay in her lap, her fingers folded over a delicate, white-lace handkerchief. It looked whiter than it was against the full skirt of her dull-grey dress. When she raised it occasionally to stifle a sniffle, it looked whiter than it was against her sunbaked, weathered skin too. But it matched the frill around the front of her bonnet, the bulk of which matched the heavy dress.