“Lady Chanestine has offered him twice that which he
gets here. One might say stealing him. Mother says Seth
fits perfectly in Hæmma’s position. What is she thinking.
The boy has barely any experience as a footman. He is only
sixteen. She wants him to be underbutler!”
Annabell is not sure she wishes to get in the middle of
Edward and his mother. “I am sorry Mother is not riding
“Said she is going to St. Domna Ebba with Archibald. I don’t think Archibald has ever been inside the church, I
pointed out. ‘He is getting wiser in his old age,’ her reply.”
After this outburst there is little chatter among the
three young people.
That is until Edward, having gotten out of bed somewhat excitably this morning, bursts forth again:
“She married you first. Can she marry me now!”
It is so unexpected.
Annabell starts to giggle. So does Emily.
Edward hadn’t expected such terseness.
“When were you thinking, Edward?”
“This week!” Edward replies.
“This week,” shrieks Annabell. “This week!”
“Can we narrow that down to a specific day,” Emily
“Emmmm! Let’s see. How about the Solstice?”
“That’s not this week!”
“A week on Thursday, I believe.”
“Are you serious?” Annabell looks at Edward then at
“Perfectly serious!” they say together.
The carriage inside is quite for some time, the horses
“I suppose we should tell Aunt Constance!”
“I think we must.”
“I suppose we should tell Uncle George!”
“If we don’t Aunt Constance will tell Uncle George.”
“What about your mother!”
“I think we should be firm.”
“Let us have a private ceremony at St. Domna Ebba. We can have a grander service later.”
“We should speak to Reverend Stanley this morning?
Æhelred should assist.”
“Do you think we should wait until after the service to
tell Uncle George and Aunt Constance. Then they won’t
have time to think.”
“We should have a party after the wedding breakfast.”
“You want a party?”
“Yes! Just a few of us younger ones.”
After the service, the decision disclosed, leaving no
doubt as to their firmness, the three hasten to the carriage.
“That party,” Edward says. “Where are you thinking
of having it?”
Annabell laughs. “Why the moors, where else?”
“The moors!” Both stare at her.
“Where on the moors, Annie?”
“By the stream, by the ruins. In church it was all I was
thinking about. I knew there was no other place. We can
set up marquees.”
Emily looks at her. “Because it is a place of power. The
“Yes! We are saying we are going to make firm our life
commitment, the three of us. The stones are a perfect place.
They seemed to call to me in church as if they wanted us
to own them. The three of us, and I think those who we
invite to the party.”
“Who have you planned to invite, Annie!”
“Tom and Lucy!”
“Jimmy and Nelly!”
“If we have Ruby, we have to invite Seth!”
“Ruby and Seth.”
No other names seem to come to them.
. . .
It is Monday afternoon, July 18, 1900. Miss Hooper
and her faithful companion Shapanzi have ventured into
the library because both have had their walk and both now
have nothing to do. Going to the library has become their
favourite pastime since the dreadful happenings.
Miss Hooper ruefully regrets her outburst with regard
to Miss Stanton. If it hadn’t been for her... But that has
to be placed aside now. The Master has gone.
No more recriminations, she did all she thought best.
No more thinking of it if she can allow.
“We have to go on, Shapanzi,” Miss Hooper touches
fondly the noble prince seated on the library table.
“All that has happened. I am not certain...”
Shapanzi looks up a her.
Miss Hooper becomes more firm. “We must solve that
which begins with our vision in the graveyard. Ezekiel,
Rachel, Caroline Mary, I am convinced are involved in a greater riddle.”
The noble son, whose mother is always carried in the
Empress Dowager’s elongated sleeve, gently licks her upon
“This is something Mr. Sherlock Holmes himself might
have difficulty. Indeed, something far beyond the realms of
the shire of Devon, beyond even London.”
Taking out two books from her rather large purse, she holds them up. “We
will proceed with these.”
One book has the title: Democracy An American Novel
The other is a small penny-blood: Horror on the Western Continents
. Miss Hooper has a partiality for penny bloods.
Library exploration has brought forth Mr. Trollope’s: The Way We Live Now
repeat reading for Miss Hooper, for Mr. Trollope has long
been a favourite.
Further study of two great works of Mr. Holmes: A Study in Scarlet
and The Sign of the Four
There has been very special interest in The Memoirs of
because the United States edition that this
library peculiarly has, is found to have excluded the story
The Adventure of the Cardboard Box
Miss Hooper noted immediately that this American book
she has found here in the library has earlier adventures of
Mr. Holmes that are not included in the volume she has back in
London. But why exclude The Adventure of the Cardboard
It is all quite a mystery.
Both Miss Hooper and Shapanzi believe that the United
States and the southern continent of America has something to do with the solution to this puzzle.
Such a fortunate occurrence that she has brought with her from Crouch End two American books.
Miss Hooper has a third volume in her purse: Keweland
Perusing the work before purchase, this work intrigued her
for this is a story about America and also here in England,
but this a hundred years into the future.
Miss Hooper has
already informed Shapanzi as soon as they have finished
reading the penny-blood, they will explore: Keweland
Friday the two read most of the Democracy An American
. An excellent moment for both when Baron Jacobi,
speaking to Senator Ratcliffe, two of the greatest of the
United States Washington society, states he regrets he: