Her clothes were stained with dirt and blood, her blouse ripped above her waist to reveal a long, shallow gash and bruised skin either side.
Cole raised the blanket higher, inadvertantly hiding the girl's face from her grandmother, and an anguished cry erupted from the old woman
"No! Don't take my child away from me, not now!" And for the first time since Anna Cody was carried into the house and laid on the bed the old woman sobbed, her tears pouring out her agony and dread into her hands, her bent frame shaking and shuddering with every helpless wail.