Part Nineteen

    Willie opened the door and narrowed his eyes upon seeing Quentin. “Angelique’s not home, Quentin. She went t’talk to-” his eyes widened when Maggie moved from behindQuentin. “MAGGIE? You weren’t supposed to be here until later.”
Maggie smiled at his surprise and the evident still strong feeling Willie held for her. “I took an earlier bus. I simply couldn’t wait any longer to get home. You’re looking very well, Willie.”
“So are you,” Willie said, turning to accompany her into the house. “A little tired, maybe, but still as pretty as ever. Come on in-”
“Uh, Willie?” Quentin asked, still standing in the doorway.
Willie didn’t look away from Maggie. “Yeah, Quentin?”
“Am I included in the invitation?”
Willie grinned then, realizing that he had been ignoring the man. “Of course.”
Maggie sat down in the parlour, and looked up at Willie. “How did you know I
was coming back, Willie?”
“Mrs. Stoddard came over to talk to Angelique this morning about hiring you to
be Sarah’s governess.” He paused, frowning. “I guess Quentin told you about Barnabas being married and having a daughter-?”
All three heads turned toward the stair as the sound of a little girl singing “London Bridge” came down the stairs and entered the room.
Sarah clutched her doll tightly as she looked around. “I heard voices, Willie, and I thought Mother might be home. Hello, Quentin.”
“Hi there, princess,” Quentin said, going to the child. “There’s someone here who wants to meet you.” Sarah smiled at Maggie as she came farther into the room. “Sarah, this is Maggie Evans. Maggie, Miss Sarah Collins.”
Willie watched Maggie’s face carefully as she looked at the child. There was no
hint of recognition as she smiled. “Hello, Sarah.”
“I’m pleased to meet you, Miss Evans.”
“You’re a very pretty little girl,” Maggie said.
“Thank you.” She looked up at Willie. “May I go outside, Willie?”
“I - uh -”
Quentin jumped to Willie’s rescue. “How about if Maggie and I went with you,
Sarah? You see, Maggie’s been gone awhile, but she grew up around here -and she used to be David’s governess.”
Sarah’s eyes were wide. “Did you? Mother and Father are trying to find a
governess for me.”
“Have they found one?”
“I don’t think so. May I go out if Quentin and Miss Evans are with me, Willie?”
“Please let her, Willie,” Maggie said.
Quentin nodded in agreement. “We’ll keep a close eye on her. And I won’t let her get too tired.”
“All right. But don’t go far. Angelique will be back before too long.”
“We’ll keep a watch for her,” Maggie promised.
Once they were gone, Willie went to the telephone and dialed a number. “Mrs.
Davis, it’s Willie. Is Mrs. Collins still there?”

“I’ll meet Maggie at the bus and bring her out to the house,” Barnabas told
Angelique as they came from his office.
“Very well. Should I tell Sarah?”
“Not until after she meets Maggie,” he said.
“Mr. Collins - “
“Yes, Janet?”
“Willie Loomis is on the telephone -” Barnabas moved to take the receiver, only to stop as she finished. “For Mrs. Collins.”
Angelique smiled at his surprised expression and took the telephone. “Yes, Willie? . . .She’s - there? But - . . . Oh, I see. Has she met Sarah? . . .I’ll be home in a few minutes . . I will. Goodbye.” She hung up the telephone and moved across the room with Barnabas as he spoke quietly.
“Maggie’s at the Old House?” he asked.
“Apparently she arrived early and Quentin took her out there. She and Quentin
have taken Sarah out for some fresh air.”
“I’d go home with you, but I have a meeting in an hour- “
“I understand. I can handle this.”
He smiled at her. “Capably as always, I’m sure.” He took her elbow and looked at the receptionist. “I won’t be a moment, Janet. I’m just going to walk Mrs. Collins out to her car.”
“It was nice to meet you, Mrs. Collins.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Davis.” Outside, she said, “Willie sent a message for you.”
“He said you shouldn’t worry. That seeing Sarah hadn’t seemed to trigger
Maggie’s memory.”
“Not yet, at any rate.” He closed the door of her car, glancing across and down
the street. “Nicholas is at the Antique Shop window.”
“Then this is as good a time to start as any,” she said.

Nicholas had seen Angelique and Barnabas leave the shipyard office, watched as Angelique got into her car. Barnabas braced his hands on the window ledge as she shook her head vehemently. Barnabas was angry, and reached into the car as if to grab the keys from the ignition. His attempt was met by Angelique’s putting her foot on the gas and speeding away, leaving Barnabas barely enough time to step aside. He watched as the car turned the corner, then stalked back into the office.
“What’s so interesting out there, Nicholas?” Carolyn asked.
“Just signs of trouble in paradise, my dear,” he said.
Carolyn frowned. “Trouble in -” She joined him. “I don’t see anything.”
“You will. Are you ready to go to lunch now?”
“I am. Just let me lock up.”
Nicholas turned his attention back to the offices of the Collins Shipyard. This
might be easier than he had thought it would be. He smiled smugly.


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