Mrs Carter was about to have her fourth child. One week in the middle of July the baby was expected, and at three o'clock in the morning on the Saturday of that exact week Baby Boy Carter III was born. Carla met her friends in the shed that afternoon.

"Rosie! Jessie! Guess what!"

"Is it the baby?" asked Jessica eagerly.


"How's your mum?"

"Fine and quite delighted."

"Girl or boy?"

"It's a boy."

"That's a shame. You were hoping for a girl."

"What's his name?"

"Steven, like Daddy. He'll probably be called Little Steve. Dad's always Stevie (or Dad, or course), so the new baby will be different."

"What does he look like? Is he brown-haired like the rest of you?"

"He's got straight normal-looking hair like David, but lighter. Well, he hasn't much, I'll admit."

Carla had long curly hair like Mrs Carter; a shining brown chestnut with strands of the coppery colour crowning her mother's head.

"Are you satisfied with him?"

"Yes and no. Yes because he's my baby brother. No because he's a baby and I'll have to help with him."

They laughed. Jessica, who loved babies, wanted to know a dozen more things, but Rosetta was more interested in the meanings of his names. They were all quite thrilled, though none as much as Carla, who had regained her sunny spirits that day. They had been absent for some while, but perhaps that was due to the heat, or the stress of the pending atmosphere in her family.

Finally they knew all they wanted to know, and Carla, who was tired of the questions, turned to the subject of the sale, which would take place within the next week, the end of term.

The End

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