Peeking through

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The following days, Ferry made every effort to stay away from the mansion. He didn't even go for tea during the break which used to be one of his favorite times at work because he could see his mother and received the tea and snack right out of her hands. He refused his chores from inside the manor under various pretexts, even if that meant Ol' Joseph drawling out at him for a whole day. His last meeting with the mistress of the mansion had filled him with disgust and confusion at the same time. And he was not interested at all in the private life of the owners of the house. For the first time, he was giving Thyme a flair—people's lives were troubled and often, people were solely responsible for their own troubles.

Andrew also seemed to have gotten himself in some sort of trouble. The boy was missing school, and he's often been seen visiting Lily Jones at the tavern or even at home. The locals had already started talking around the corner. One day, on his way to work, Ferry encountered him wandering aimlessly around the mansion. He looks weaker and paler than usual, with dark circles around his eyes. He was puffing from a cigarette and, after each smoke, a strong cough shook his whole body.

"Andrew, are you all right?" asked Ferry, stepping closer.

Andrew gave him a tired look. "Mind your own business, Ferry," he said in a low voice. "Leave me alone."

"You don't look too good," said Ferry. Although Andrew was the reason for all the changes in his life, Ferry couldn't bear to see anyone in pain. And Andrew seemed to suffer. "Maybe you shouldn't smoke," he said softly.

"Why do you care?" Andrew asked. "No one cares about me, anyway ..."

"I don't," said Ferry."I just don't like to see when someone is destroying themselves."

Andrew smiled bitterly, "You don't know me. No one really knows me," he added, then pulled up the collar of his jacket and started back to town.

Soon, there came the day when preparations for the mysterious visitor began again. And once more, the last room on the third floor drew Ferry like a magnet. But this time, he would be prepared.

The mysterious stranger arrived the night before. It was Saturday morning when Ferry should have been free, but he had asked Ol' Joseph to let him work a few extra hours because he needed money. Her mother had also come because extra help was needed now that the stranger was at the manor.

It was easy for him to sneak on the third floor because usually, at the end of the week, the staff working at the mansion was reduced. Unless one of the family's sumptuous parties took place; which never happened when the visitor was at the mansion.

Ferry reached the third floor and listened carefully behind the door. There was no sound. The door was open, and he peeped inside. No movement. He slowly slipped inside and hid behind a huge wooden totem, in a corner of the room. Just in time. Albert Pride, together with a younger man, entered the room, laughing.

"We have to celebrate, Bert," the man said, heading for the drinks cabinet. "I must admit I did not expect you to convince her so easily."

Mr. Pride didn't seem excited by the remark, "You always underestimated me," he said as if to himself.

The Lost Son | Ferry's Tale # 2Where stories live. Discover now