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The youngest  of the Marcus girls had a very big voice. She was short and very slight. Her head did not even come up to Marticus’s shoulders but whenever she appeared in a room or a conversation she announced her presence in a way that quickly made you forget whoever else was around. She was much older than her years. She had always been that way. She was confident and demanding. She was loud. She had a harsh sense of humor and of all the Marcus children she was perhaps the most difficult and quarrelsome. Indeed sometimes Saint Marcus tried to think back to the days before she was born to see if it was true – as it sometimes seemed it might be – that the Marcus family got along smoothly and politely until she came along. They called her Barkus.


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