Mississippi
A Tradition of Pride

"Did you say it was a tour? I'm sorry," he offered with a trace of curious confusion, "but I wasn't aware that your home was open to the public."

"It isn't, with the exception of Pilgrimage Week."

Lara escorted him down the hallway toward the study. She was strangely reluctant to let him linger in the house longer than it was necessary to deliver the papers he had brought.

"Pilgrimage. Is that a local festivity?"

"Various cities throughout the state and the South have what is referred to as a pilgrimage scheduled at various times of the year. It's an annual event of the Hattiesburg Historical Society, which arranges for private homes that are historically significant to be open to the public on a tour basis. Most of the tours are in the afternoon, but certain homes are viewed in the evening in what is referred to as a candlelight tour," Lara explained in a concise tone.

"Historically significant?" An eyebrow arched inquiringly.

"In our case, it's more than the unusual architecture of the house than famous personages or events. Generally the architecture of southern plantation homes is Greek Revival or colonial. Many homes are full of valuable antiques. Our appeal is mainly the heavy Spanish influence and the picturesque courtyard within the house walls."

"Doesn't it bother you to have a group of strangers parading through your home?" He closed the door, his gaze focusing curiously on her face.

"It's only once a year," she smiled coolly, "not an everyday occurrence. Besides, my father enjoys it." Lara glanced pointedly at the large mahogany desk nestled in front of filled bookshelves. A large chair covered in wine-colored leather was behind it. "You can put the papers on his desk."
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