30 A Christmas Tale

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"...I was born in London, you know? A really fine place it was and it still is, I believe. Haven't visited for quite a long time. My father, Mr Adam Scott was a man of an elegant stature. He was tall and a little plump. His brown hair was always combed to the side in a very fashionable manner, his eyes were green, just like mine and like you, my dearest Eliza. Your grandfather was a man of huge respect. He was a merchant back in his times but then there occurred great losses in his business and he drowned, first in drinks and then in a lake. His body was later found after quite a search. There were stones in his pockets.

"My mother, Eleanor Bailey Scott, was quite the opposite of my father. She was a round, active lady and wasn't gifted with an attractive face but her smile, her smile had owned my father's heart. She was short and stout but had a kind look that always tinkled in her eyes, her blue eyes. Her features were blunt and you might think of her as the average English woman of her times. Your grandmother was greatly devastated after my father's death, she loved her beloved husband, the ring that you wear William? It was given to my father by my mother. She adored him and the loss of him made her distant and she didn't even take notice when Andrea, my sister, her youngest, fell sick. She didn't get the treatment she needed because we were short of money and two months later, the weather was sunny and bright, very contrary to the fact that I was attending my sister's funeral.

"We were now poorer than ever for mother was getting sick herself and couldn't work anymore, so the responsibility to pay our rent was brought down on my shoulders. I was seven, an illiterate boy who was in search of work and one day while doing that, I landed upon the feet of Charles Jones.

"Ah!! I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was sitting near an antique shop, waiting for someone to pity me and throw some coins. People did, and I took them, stopping them to say a small thanks but ended up returning their coins for my ego wouldn't allow me to take it, even though I needed them desperately. I had my best clothes on, which were the only pair I owned then, the colours were fading but one could easily say that they were the finest piece of linen once. You see, being poor hadn't made me get rid of my manners and my onlookers were rather impressed by my behaviour and it was then that Mr Charles Jones stood out of the crowd. He was a tall and handsome man, at around the age of thirty, his blond hair was cut short and he had a gentle smile on his moustached mouth. He came towards me and knelt to my height.

"He asked me who I was and my dear children, I have to say, I was very talkative at that time, not like what you see in front of you now. So, I talked. I was nervous but I talked and talked until I had told him the entire story. He showed me sympathy and asked me to show him to my shelter. I did. I took him to my old house which consisted of one room with a bed and kitchen stove, smaller than what you have now, my dear William.

"As soon as Mr Charles saw my mother, he gave a soft gasp and the moment she looked at him, she did the same. They both didn't say anything and instead threw themselves in each other's arms and my mother cried, she cried while I stood confused.

"This man, Charles was my mother's foster brother, one her family was kind enough to take. My mother lost her parents at the age of fifteen, their wealth dying with them, long before she married my father and unknown to him, she was in a relationship with her foster brother. They split when Charles went to pursue his career with the funds his parents left him and my mother was left broken, until my father showed up at her rented house, the rent of which was paid by Charles.

"Charles was overwhelmed when he came back and found my mother gone. She hadn't left her address and he searched for her everywhere, until he saw me and found my features resembling his beloved foster sister. He introduced himself to me after having shared my mother's grief. He asked me and my mother to come with him and just like that, we were in his house and I was admitted to one of the finest schools to get my education.

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