Chapter One: The Real-Estate Man
The sweet old farmhouse burrowed into the upward slope of the land so deeply that you could enter either its bottom or middle floor at ground level. Its window trim was delicate and the lights in its sash were a bubbly amethyst. Its rooftree seemed to sway a little against the sky, and the massive chimney that rose out of it tilted a fraction to the south. Where the white paint was flecking off on the siding, there showed beneath it the faint blush of what must once have been a rich, dense red.
In front of it, rising and spreading along the whole length of the house, was the largest lilac tree that...