Errol looked expectantly at the young Garlands,
waiting for their verdict.
“A good story,” said Madeline, very definite in her opinion.
“Story good,” confirmed Ellie.
“I liked the man with the hat,” said Ned judiciously.
Jeremiah smiled at him, saying nothing.
Errol nodded slowly. “I am pleased that you liked it. And
now – ”
The library door opened, and Errol’s mother came in,
followed by a woman he assumed to be Mrs. Garland. “There you children are!”
Mrs. Garland came over and picked up a very sleepy Madeline. “I do hope they
weren’t too much trouble for you.”
Errol inclined his head. “Not at all,
madam. Indeed, their company was a pleasure to have tonight.”
Mrs. Garland smiled at him and turned to his mother.
“Melisande, I really am afraid that we have to be going. Thank you for a most
His mother kissed Mrs. Garland’s cheek. “It was a pleasure
to see you, Helen, as always.”
Mrs. Garland shepherded the four children out of the room –
or almost four. Jeremiah stayed back and said, “Mr. Klarion,
that was a good story.”
Errol said, “Thank you, Jeremiah. I wasn’t sure if it would
be unhappy enough for you, since Sev – Stephen – ended up being happy in the
“Oh, it was unhappy enough.” Jeremiah gave him a very shrewd
look. “The real unhappy one was the man that Stephen knew when he was little
and went to see with Elizabeth, that second apparition – Edmund. The one who couldn’t remember anything. He’s the one who’s
Errol caught his breath.
Jeremiah continued, “But you know, I think he’ll be okay in
the end.” He gave Errol a secret smile and ran out of the room after Mrs.
Errol’s mother said softly, “That child –
” She shook her head. “Thank you for looking after them all, Errol.”
“They kept me entertained as much as I kept them
entertained.” Errol was still shaken, although he was trying hard not to show
“Errol.” He looked at his mother.
“‘Edmund’ really will be all right.” She gave him a slow, brilliant smile.
“I know,” said Errol. “It will just take time and a bit of
faith. That’s all.”
Isis followed the pair out of the
library, leaving the Yule log in the fireplace to burn down to nothing more
than another Christmas memory.