"Mother! Mother, where are you?"
Victoria heaved a deep sigh. "Nick, I'm not deaf," she scolded as she walked into the foyer. "Though I don't know why not with the way you shout every time you come into this house."
Nick ignored the rebuke, waving an envelope. "Guess who we just got a letter from." He handed it to his mother with a flourish.
Victoria read the return address. "I don't believe it."
"Don't believe what?" Heath tossed his hat on the hall table as he entered the house.
Victoria was still staring at the envelope. "It's a letter from Eugene."
"Eugene?" Heath shook his head in astonishment. "Boy howdy, I thought we'd lost him. Where's the letter from, anyway?"
"It's postmarked Cairo," Victoria told them as she opened the envelope and started reading.
"Cairo? Isn't that in Egypt?"
Victoria nodded at Nick's question. "Don't you remember? He wrote to us before he left England, saying he was putting medical school on hold to go with a new friend on a archeological expedition. Listen to this.
'Made some wonderful discoveries over here, but I miss you and all the family. I will be heading home soon. If the ship and trains are on schedule, look for me to arrive back in Stockton on October 27. Your loving son, Eugene'."
Heath raised and eyebrow. "Nick, isn't today October 27?" he asked.
"Hey, you're right!" Nick exclaimed. "That means Gene could be home today!"
A smile lit up Victoria's face. "And with Audra returning home from Denver tomorrow and Jarrod just back from San Francisco, the whole family will finally be together again!"