Saturday, December 14, 2002

14th Great-Grandmother Elise opens her eyes to find her cat Mimi coyly pacing, ready to get into the hunt. Whew! -- "Surprising entry, there Mimi. You knocked me off my feet" says our little heroine, tickling la petite chat behind the ears in that favorite spot. But let's be quiet, and go investigate a little more."

Bravely, Elise rights herself, tightens the belt on her bedcoat, and presses forward past the torch to the far side of this corridor. As she pauses at the next turn in the hallway, she notices a little slip of light emanating from under something on the far wall. Here, the wall isn't stone, its dark wooden paneling. And the light seems to define the bottom portion of some sort of hidden doorway.

If this part of the castle is supposed to be uninhabited, except during the summer holiday when her parents return, and the house is full of guests, then WHY are there lights here? Who could be here? Is it safe?

Outside in the distance, 14th Great-grandmother Elise can hear the peeling of the bell, signifying morning devotional, something Ms. Templeton, her English Nanny insists upon each day. "I'm not even dressed yet. She will surely be upset with me for being late, and give me extra lines to write in my penmanship book" thought Elsie as she ran back to her bedchamber.

Marzie was there when she returned, with clothes laid out on the bed and a little breakfast roll and warm milk on the table near the newly stoked fire. "Where have you been, my child? Hurry now, you can't miss your devotionals."

Answers to mystery of the unexplained lights in the west wing will have to wait for another day.

But you can bet that all through the morning, whenever Ms. Templeton wasn't looking, 14th Great-grandmother Elise would daze off in wonder -- trying to decide if she could sneak away tonight or should she check things out early tomorrow morning, since it will be Sunday and no lessons are required.

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