Alex was waiting for us when we were finished. She was worried. She wanted us to go down to Silverglade Village and spy on the post office. And she wanted us to be as far away from it as possible when we did. I didn’t think she was being like my mom. I didn’t want to be a target of Mr. Sands. In fact, I’d be happy if he didn’t know what I looked like for as long as possible. She mentioned there were some coffee tables near the gates that led to Steve’s Farm.
I was glad of the coffee tables. Misty needed to sit. I hadn’t seen her knee so I didn’t know how bad it really was, but any still time was probably a good idea. We ordered beverages (tea for her, hot cocoa for me) and waited. Alex had provided binoculars. So, we passed them back and forth between us as people approached the post office. I’ll admit. I spent more time checking out Derek than I should have.
Finally, a strange looking man in a trench coat came from the north end of town and towards the post office. I handed the binoculars to Misty to see what she thought and looked at the picture. She handed them back to me quickly with a hissed “look.” I put them to my eyes. It was the same guy as in the picture. That chin was unnatural. I mean. I know that ears and noses keep growing as you get older, but do chins? It just jutted away from his face like a pointy upside down mountain. I shuddered. It was definitely Mr. Sands aka Mr. Sandman, The Baroness’ unlamented husband. The worst thing was, he should have been as old as the Baroness, with white hair and wrinkles and I don’t know, warts! But he wasn’t. He looked exactly the same as he did in that picture.
I got out my phone, zoomed in really quick and snapped a picture of him, pretending to show Misty something. I could get really good at this spy business!
He didn’t do anything to Derek and I was relieved that they seemed to interact like normal people. Mr. Sands took the letter and left. We finished our beverages in silence.
I had to stop by the post office on our way back. Of course, Derek accused me of spying on him. I told him, quite indignantly, that I hadn’t been spying on him. I’d been spying on that creepy man, Mr. Sands. Derek at first looked confused. There hadn’t been a Mr. Sands at the counter today. I whispered that Mr. Sandman was really Mr. Sands, an agent of Dark Core.
That silenced Derek. “Are you sure?” He asked.
I nodded. “Just be careful.”
“I’m not sure I’m the one who should be told to be careful, Savannah.” He murmured back to me and grabbed my hand this time.
“You know about Dark Core.” I had to know. Hadn’t he just moved here to Jorvik?
“I know if you say it like that, then it has to be bad.” He said, completely evading the question.
“I told you. I was spying on him. I didn’t want him to see me either. I’m being as careful as I can.”
I don’t think I convinced him but he squeezed my hand and let me go.
We rode back to the winery. Misty couldn’t quite believe that he looked exactly the same as he did so long ago. Was it surgery? Hair dye? I was worried that he just hadn’t changed in that amount of time. I shuddered. I didn’t know what that meant.
We arrived after the Baroness and Godfrey. We reported to Alex first, sitting down at the picnic table. I showed her the picture I’d taken with my phone. Alex really liked rehashing what we already knew. But we all agreed it was time to confront the Baroness. She couldn’t avoid this. But I wasn’t sure I should be the one to do it. Misty understood nobility better than I did. I thought she should say something. She’d know how to say it. And her accent sounded better than mine, the Baroness might respond better to a more gentile accent.
Misty protested, strongly, but Alex and I agreed that she should be the one to do it. Misty caved but implored us to give her a few minutes to think of what to say. I was willing to give her a few minutes.
Once she had it firm in her mind. We all went over to talk to the Baroness.
Misty’s words did the trick and the old lady actually confessed. I understand stress and secrets and all, but we were trying to help her here. The story was this. The Baroness had asked Linda to help her clean her attic in the castle, but hadn’t hidden her old mementos away properly. Linda found a wedding picture of the two of them. The Baroness had panicked and had locked Linda into the castle. I guess, Linda knew what Mr. Sands looked like too. Had she fought him before like Alex?
The Baroness was incredibly worried about her reputation. I thought it would do her reputation more harm to keep Linda locked in the castle, than to let the world know about her perfectly public wedding to Mr. Sands back fifty years ago.
According to the Baroness, Mr. Sands hasn’t aged a day since she last saw him. And the implications of that chill me. Immortality was supposed to be for faeries and the undead, not humans. Was Mr. Sands not human? I thought faeries and the undead were the realm of myth and legend. Made up stories that were fun to read but only fun because they weren’t true. My whole world is being turned upside down diary. First magic, now immortality, what’s next, aliens?
Then to make matters worse, the Baroness implied that Sabine had used mind control on her. Could we get through one day without something unnatural or supernatural popping up? I didn’t like that Sabine one bit, but the idea she could use mind control gave me the willies.
Alex took over. In exchange for keeping her secrets, we would be allies of the Baroness and help each other against G.E.D. and Dark Core. We also agreed that we’d try to help Justin as much as possible. Someone had to inherit the winery after all. Of course, Justin might have cousins from his Uncle Aaron, that is, if he knew Aaron was his Uncle, but I doubted that. It seemed that Thomas and the Baroness had conspired to keep things from him. Did this have to do with the untimely death of Catherine?
Since none of this business had reached past us, the Baroness’ power was still intact and she seemed grateful for the help. She wasn’t as repentant as I would have liked, but you can’t have everything. The first thing she did was order Godfrey to give us the key to the castle to free Linda.
We raced back to the castle. With shaking hands, Alex unlocked the door and swamped Linda into a huge hug. Linda seemed really shocked, tears running out of her eyes. She swore it was the sun. Alex pressed her glasses back into her hands and gave her back her phone. It was really kind of a sniffly moment. I saw Misty wipe away a tear.
We told we found the book pages. Misty complimented on her choice of which pages to use. And well, Linda wanted to know everything. So we dragged back to the village. I waved at Derek on the way past. Sat at the table where we’d spied on Mr. Sands and plied muffins out of Harold’s death grip. We ate muffins and told her everything that had been going on the past week, from reconciling Justin and Old Man Jasper, to Sabine and the kidnapping and Mr. Sands. Linda seemed to know all about Dark Core and Mr. Sands.
I was really curious about that. Well, if they didn’t tell us, I’m sure Nikki would dig up something eventually.
Linda called this an adventure. I don’t know about that. It’s a bit too scary to be an adventure.
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.