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[American Story] 【整理】SENEWS-2007-1229-FEATURE

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The little house shook. Everybody stopped short, even the trucks and the earthmover. Rafe Yardley drove his blue car slowly through the crowd, stopped and climbed out. He held up a paper.

"Judge Martin Klein signed a court order this morning," he said, "nothing can be done to this house until Judge Klein has a hearing about it. The town officials will meet after the New Year holiday. There are enough votes so Bright Hill will be named as a historic house."

Jacob Samuels looked at the sad little house with its now broken windows and fallen stones. "Now I have to buy it back," he said, "but I do not have enough money."

"We have some saved," said Rafe as he looked toward Chantal. Then Mrs. Shen stepped forward, "We have some extra too, Mr. Samuels. You will take and my husband can help with the work." All over the little hill, people began to speak up offering money and willing hands to work, even one of the workmen. Church bells far off played ''Joy to The World''.

Rafe stepped to his open car. ''The people of France make a wonderful drink called champagne.'' He smiled. "I was saving this for New Year's Eve, but December 29th is close enough." Rafe opened some bottles and passed them into the crowd. The church bells far away played ''Should Old Friendships be Forgot''.

Then, Rafe turned to Jacob Samuels, held a bottle high and said in a loud voice, "Here's to Jacob Samuels and all the people of the Bright Hill community. You are the spirit of the real America." And the voices of the Yardley family, and the Shen family, and the Kummar family, and the voices of all the people who came to Bright Hill from all around the world rose up to meet the bells with happy shouts and bright song.
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