“The meal was delicious, Mairi. I’ve been thinking about something and I
think I’m ready to tell you what’s going on. I wanted to tell you many
times, but didn’t think it was the right time,” Johnny said.
“You think now is the right time?” Mairi wiped her hands on a tea towel and
sat down on the couch next to him. “Now you’ve got me curious.”
“Mairi, my name isn’t really Johnny and Jimmy isn’t really my brother.
Neither is Jesse.”
She stood up and went to the window, pulling the curtains back and looking
into the starlit sky. “You’re name isn’t Johnny? I suppose you’re not from
London either. Who are you then?” She turned back to face him. “You know, I
sensed there was something strange going on here.”
“Come and sit by me. I’ve got a lot to explain,” Johnny said.
Mairi sat and folded her hands in her lap. J
Johnny reached over and took one in his. “Mairi, my name is Alroy Cathmore.
Jimmy’s name is Cowan and Jesse’s name is Pond. It’s a complicated story.
I’m not sure where to begin.”
“Why not start at the beginning, Alroy.”
“Call me Johnny. I like the way it sounds when you say it.”
“All right, Johnny. Go ahead. I’m listening.”
An hour later Mairi stood up. “What you’re telling me is unbelievable. You
mean my Fiona has been traveling around in the world by magic, encountering
all sorts of dangerous traps and spells and there’s someone evil out there
trying to harm us?
The front door burst open. Jesse followed Fiona into the house. She ran to
give her mother a hug. “Mum, Jesse brought me home from Uncle Angus’s
“That was nice of you, Cowan,” Mairi said.
Fiona pulled back. “You know his name is Cowan?” She looked at Johnny.
“I told her everything,” Johnny said.
“Well, young lady. You’ve got some explaining to do. Did you just return
from some adventure? Look at your face. You’ve got a suntan.” Her mum led
her to the couch and they both sat down.
“Callum, Elspet and I have been in the Seychelles.”
“Where?” Mairi stared at her daughter.
“The Seychelles. They’re islands off the coats of Africa in the Indian
Ocean,” Fiona said.
“You’ve been to Africa?” Mairi flopped back on the couch. “This is all too
“Did you get the pearl?” Johnny shrugged his shoulders and smiled when Mairi
glared at him.
“Yes and it’s in the orb. Uncle Angus knows who the bad guy is. His name is
Drayton Steele and he’s here in Inveralba. Jimmy and Jack, Artur, are going
with Uncle Angus to Castle Athdara. They want you and Jesse to go there too
when you leave here,” Fiona said.
“Artur’s here now. That’s grand,” Johnny said.
“You’re not going anywhere without me.” Mairi
grabbed her cardigan. “Fiona, change into something warm. You’re not in the
Seychelles any more. We’re going with you, no arguments, and when we get
home, Fiona and I are going to have a nice, long talk and then I’ll deal
with all of you.”
Johnny stood. “I wish you’d stay here.”
“No. We’re going. If my daughter and I are direct descendants of this King
what’s his name, we both have the right to know everything and to be
involved,” Mairi said.
“His name is King Kegan and I understand.” Johnny took Mairi’s hand. “I’m
sorry I had to deceive you, Mairi. I…I…I won’t lie to you again.” He lifted
her hand to his lips.
She fell into his arms and he held her for several minutes.
“Mum! Must you hug in front of me? Save that for later! I’m ready. Let’s go
find Uncle Angus and the others,” Fiona said.
An embarrassed Mairi pulled away from Johnny. “Did Elspet and Callum get
home safely?” She was concerned. “Do their parents know any of this?”
“They are home safe and sound. No, their parents don’t know anything and its
best that it continues that way. No harm will come to Elspet or the lad.
They are part of this though,” Jesse said.
“We’ll have to wait and see about that.” Mairi slipped the cardigan on her
shoulders and locked the door behind them.