SPOT Fans: Here’s part two of the holiday double-post! Enjoy!
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Edward had continued on the same street, and saw nothing but houses. Maybe if I turn somewhere? He opted for the right turn this time, and continued past several streets of houses before he found himself amongst buildings that held something else, though he wasn’t sure what. They towered over him with long columns and curlicues, but no one seemed to be in them as the sun began to glint off of their windows.
This must be the sort of place Father went to do business, he thought, though he wasn’t certain what Father’s business had been. It wasn’t part of his coaching towards becoming the new “head of household”. That thought reminded him, with a pang of guilt, of his place at the breakfast table, and how he wouldn’t be there to preside as his mother wished him to. But this is more important. I have to find Eudora.
With that thought, he started looking for people in earnest. He had walked a long way now, a lot farther than he would normally, even if he had been escorted. They rarely left the house, and when they did, it was almost always via carriage. The long country walks they used to take at their summer home ended after Father passed.
The first person he came across was a boy not much older than himself standing next to an enormous stack of newspapers. He had yet to begin selling his wares. Edward took out Eudora’s picture and walked up to the boy.
“Hello,” Edward said.
“Allo…you the new boy?” the paperboy asked, eyeing Edward suspiciously from under the brim of his cap.
“Um, I’m uh…new around here,” Edward said.
“Right then, you can stay off my turf. Find your own corner.”
“I was wondering if you might have seen my sister,” Edward said, holding up the picture.
“Why on earth should I have seen her? She’s your sister,” the paperboy pointed out dismissively. “Now off with you; I’ve papers to sell. Don’t you try to take any of my customers neither.”
“I won’t, um, sorry,” Edward said, but the boy was ignoring him to arrange his papers.
Edward continued down the block, and came across a courtyard leading up to a magnificent domed building that he recognized from his tutor’s lessons as the Thorthrope courthouse. He paused a moment, then turned his steps to the large building. Surely a place of law was a good place to report a missing person?
A clerk was ascending the marble staircase when Edward approached. “Excuse me, sir, could I please have a moment of your time?”
The clerk turned, surprised. “Uh, yes? How may I be of service?”
Edward held up the picture. “I wonder, sir, if you have seen my sister? There’s a reward in it for you,” he remembered to mention.
“And who is your sister? For that matter, who might you be?” the clerk asked, adjusting his glasses as he looked at the picture.
“I’m Edward Wright, and this is my sister, Eudora.”
“Where are your parents, Edward?”
“Father passed away,” Edward said quietly.
“I’m very sorry. But what I meant was, who is here with you? Surely you aren’t searching for your sister on your own?”
“Ah…my mother is uh…waiting for me…” Edward half-lied. She’s waiting for me at home, right? “I’d better go now.”
He headed off, and the clerk thought to call after him, but thought better of it. “It’s not my problem,” he said as he entered the halls of justice.