Chapter 11 The morning after the weird weekend

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Chapter 11 The morning after the weird weekend

Finding Big Dave and Mrs Stevenson ensconsed in the kitchen presiding over breakfast when you got up in the morning was enough to make anyone wish they had had a long lie. Much as Christopher liked both of them, he would never have dreamed of asking them to stay the night, and certainly not together, perish the thought squire. He wished people would stay in the pigeon holes where he had put them, and not hop around from one to another, bringing chaos and confusion in their wake. If only he could have assigned either Amaryllis or Simon to an appropriate pigeon-hole, he felt his life might have been quite a lot simpler at this point. But he just didn't think he had a suitable place to put them, since he had never met anyone like either of them, and had never even conjured them up in his imagination either.

Christopher slid into a chair and with a fairly good grace accepted an offer of dark brown tea from Mrs Stevenson. He doubted if he had the energy even to brew himself a cup after a restless night during which he re-lived the bee buzzing past and the determined shove between the shoulders several times. And he kept thinking there were spots of blood dotted over his hands, his shirt, his face, the banisters, the bathroom mirror, even now on the table in front of him. He rubbed at an imaginary spot just in front of his tea cup.

'There isn't any blood,' said Big Dave. 'Who do you think you are? - Lady Macbeth?'

He and Mrs Stevenson hadn't shown any surprise at Christopher's appearance the previous evening, and had helped him to decide to have a shower and put his clothes in the wash, not exactly bullying him into these decisions but not letting him do anything else. They had made him drink far too many cups of the extra strong tea, but with lots of sugar 'for the shock', and Big Dave had had to restrain Mrs Stevenson from personally supervising Christopher in the shower, a memory that made him cringe. He thought he might have to be eternally grateful to them, a burden he didn't much want to bear.

He noticed the parcel wasn't on the kitchen table.

'Have you posted it already?' he commented casually. 'I didn't know the Post Office was open this early.'

'We thought you'd taken it out to post,' said Mrs Stevenson - he didn't think he would ever be able to think of her as Jemima, no matter how many times she followed him into the shower.

'Has it gone?'

Oddly, Christopher's first reaction to the disappearance of the parcel of money was one of jubilation: he wouldn't have to deal with the money or any of the repercussions himself, it was now officially someone else's problem. Unfortunately just as it lumbered out of the starting blocks, this first comforting reaction was overtaken by a different, altogether more alarming one. What if Amaryllis had taken the parcel? No, rephrase that: Amaryllis must have taken the parcel. It was just the kind of thing she would do, entering the house in the middle of the night by the secret entrance, the location of which Christopher still couldn't quite pin down, and stealing the wrapped up wads of cash from right under their noses. She was probably on the way to the airport right now to fly off somewhere exotic and do something indescribably evil with the money.

No, wait a minute. She had probably been stopped on her way to the airport by a secret government organisation of which only two people in the country were aware, and taken to an abandoned mineshaft somewhere to moulder away until -

No. Wait another minute. Amaryllis had obviously swanned off with the money - not to do something dreadful, but to live in luxury for the rest of her life in a secret hiding place where nobody could track her down again. For at least two minutes Christopher could feel nothing apart from envy. He wasn't bothered one way or another about the luxury, but not being tracked down sounded like an extremely attractive option.

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