It was but an hour after dawn, and already someone was calling. A maid hurried to the door, and after a quick peek through the eye hole, opened the door to let in her former master, Doctor Grifton. She was unsure whether to treat him as a household member or as a guest, but when he hung his coat on the guest’s coat rack, she scuttled off to inform her mistress. Evelyn was still in bed, but when Jonathan’s name was mentioned, she was a bit quicker in getting ready, and after a few moments was descending down the stair.
“Only one night and you’re back?” Evelyn asked, raising one eyebrow.
“She ran off. I was wondering if you would have some suggestions so…you know…”
“I’ll try. Although I have no idea why you would think that I’m going to help you, considering that you left me yesterday.”
“So would you help me?”
“I said I’ll try. Where would you be when I have the girl to deliver?”
“Down at the harbour. Thank you so much, honey.”
He stood, bowed, and left. She changed into a comfortable blue cotton gown, and ordered a carriage.
“Once around the city, please. And don’t forget all the nooks and alleys as well.”
“Sorry, ma’am, but my carriage doesn’t travel to places like that of the scum of the alleyways.”
“Fine, a horse then if you please.”
She found Catalina in an alley on the other side of the city. Sliding down gracefully from the horse’s back, she called out to her husband’s sweetheart. Catalina looked up, and blinked. Evelyn signalled with her fingers for Catalina to come closer, for she thought that Catalina couldn’t hear her clearly. Catalina came over, her face full of surprise.
“What brought you here, Evelyn?”
“Jonathan came a-begging this morning at my door. He wants you back, and I said I would help to look. Now jump on quick, I don’t want to be seen around this part of the city.”
“No. I’m not coming whatever he said. Magic him again, Evelyn. I don’t want to ruin your family. And he was such a bastard for leaving.”
“You’re coming back with me. He doesn’t want me, he wants you.”
“Well, too bad,” she said, swaying slightly, “I’m not com…”
Catalina collapsed; her body limped like a rag doll on the cobbled lane. Evelyn sighed, and bent down to drag Catalina up to her feet. Catalina fell over again, so Evelyn lifted her onto the horse, and jumped on herself. She rode back astride instead of the lady side-saddle, and folks stared at her all the way back. Servants helped carry Catalina up the stair into the spare bedroom, where she was laid on a four-poster bed.
“Urgh! What the heck was that?”
“A mix of herbs.”
“Was it supposed to cure me or something?”
“No, it supposed to wake you up. Work like magic, didn’t it?” Evelyn grinned.
“Wait, how am I here?”
“You fainted. You were refusing to come and to see Jonathan ever again.”
“Well,” she said stubbornly, “I’m still refusing. That was not any way to treat a person.”
“You’ve said that a lot. So what exactly do you plan to do?”
“I would like you to magic him again like that time, not enough so that he’ll forget me, but enough so that I’m nothing more than a sister. I want to stay here, work, save up, and later on establish a school, for girls. And I wish you would forgive me for coming back.”
Evelyn slapped her, and then drew her in for a hug. “You idiot, don’t you ever think for your own good at all? You always put others first. But thank you, for choosing not to ruin my family. I’ll do as you asked. And here’s funding for your big project. Come back any time, Jonathan will be willing to teach you. And you’re welcome here anyway, sister.”
“I can’t accept this money. It’s not right. I’ll work for it by myself; after all it will be worth the effort.”
“No, take it. At least take enough to pay for your rent and food for a few months.”
“Thank you, dear sister.”