laughed again, "Oh! That's the fun of it! Benton is going |
on a holiday for a whole week in France, and he invited me to go with him!"
The Pevensies and Melanie sat at their last breakfast in the Ketterley House. No one spoke, but each ate silently. The telephone broke the silence with its grating ring. Peter answered it.
"Hello, Pete; this is Susan."
Peter picked up his head, "Susan? Where are you?"
Susan laughed carelessly, "Oh, don't fret, I'm fine. Say, I want to apologize for not coming over and speaking at graduation. I would have, but everyone was leaving to a party that I'd completely forgotten about, and so of course I had to go with them. I do appreciate your being there, though."
"Susan," Peter interjected, slightly irritated, "Where are you?"
"Peter," Susan giggled maddeningly, "are you concerned for me? Don't worry, dear! I'm perfectly safe. I'm with Benton."
"Susan, you shouldn't be with him!"
"And why not?" Susan's voice dropped its light, affected tone. "He's perfectly responsible. Actually, he's part of the reason for my call, because I am saying goodbye!"
"Goodbye? Where are you going?"
Susan laughed again, "Oh! That's the fun of it! Benton is going on a holiday for a whole week in France, and he invited me to go with him! And so, dear brother, I'm saying au revoir to you all! I promise to send postcards, darling! And I'll be sure to keep my eyes out for some little gift at a real French shop. Oh! Speaking of shops, tell Lucy I was in Blume's the other day, and they had the most gorgeous little skirt that I think would look divine on her! She does so need new styles, poor little chick! Give her my love . . . oh, and that deaf girl, if she's still around. Funny how I found her all those years ago, and she's nearly part of the family now!" Susan broke off with a giggle.
"Susan, why are you leaving now?" Peter asked quietly when Susan finally ceased her prattle. "Lucy misses you; can't you come say goodbye in person?"
Susan was silent for a long time. "Oh!" she sighed at last, "I would, but there's the ship now! I'm off! I will write, cherie! Farewell!"
Peter heard a click, and silence on the line. He hung the telephone back on its cradle. Susan was gone.
"Peter, was that Susan?" Edmund asked.
"What did she say?" Lucy wanted to know.
Peter did not turn around, and there was an uncharacteristic slump in his shoulders.
"She said goodbye," he said, and left the room.
Everyone pitched in, and all the Pevensies' belongings were packed and ready to be loaded into a cab. The telephone rang again, and Peter picked it up, hoping it would be Susan.
"Hello, Peter." It was old Professor Kirke.
"Hello, Professor," Peter sighed.
"You sound rather disappointed. What happened?"
Peter told him that Susan had left them.
"Oh, that's too bad; say, why don't you all come out to the cottage, and we can have a Narnia dinner this evening? It would cheer you up, I think. Bring your cousin and his friend, too."
"Well . . . because I think it's high time we all got together for a good talk."
Peter sensed something else in the Professor's tone. "And?" he prompted.
Professor Kirke sighed, "I seem to have this feeling that you are . . . somehow wanted. Will you come?"
"I think we might be able to; say, four o'clock?"
"Four o'clock it is, then. Polly and I will meet you at the station."
"All right; goodbye."
Accordingly, the Pevensies, Eustace, and Jill all met at the train station and traveled out to the country, where the Professor and Aunt Polly met them immediately upon arrival. The boys loaded the luggage into the back of the Professor's rickety auto, and they set off down the long lane to the Professor's cottage, where he had lived ever since his larger house—where the Pevensies had such adventures in the magical wardrobe—had burned to the ground.
The girls and Aunt Polly set about making supper, and soon all was ready, and they made a fine meal of it. As you would expect, the conversation soon turned to Narnia, and Peter was pleasantly surprised to find that remembering old times and grand adventures diverted his mind from his frustration against Susan's foolishness. If she had been at dinner that night, I'm sure everyone was in such a mind to forgive and welcome her on the spot. However, a guest of quite a different sort was to appear that night.
Everyone had finished supper for the most part, and were still chatting when the three younger kids jumped to their feet, Jill with a little scream of fright.
"What is—" Edmund began, but the question died on his lips when he followed their gaze to what they saw.
Polly gave a little gasp when she saw it, and the Professor jumped and knocked his glass off the table. There was a ghost sitting right across from them!
Peter clenched his hand as he had gotten in the habit of doing at school, to steady his voice. He commanded the ghost, "Speak, if you're not a phantom or a dream. You have a Narnian look about you, and we are seven friends of Narnia."
Melanie, putting away dishes in the kitchen, nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard someone yell.
"I am King Tirian of Narnia!"
She ran into the dining room. A few of her friends were on their feet, and everyone was staring at one side of the table. There was a ghost! It's back was toward Melanie, but she could hear it speak.
"Narnia is in grave danger! Please help us!"
Peter jumped to his feet. Melanie saw his lips move, but she realized that, though she could hear the king, she was still deaf in England. Perhaps they could not hear him! She ought to say something, but what—
Before anyone could react further, the ghost of King Tirian faded and disappeared.
Melanie finally recovered her senses. She ran to the table. Everyone was talking with wide eyes. Melanie tapped Edmund on the shoulder. Why do you sit here talking? She signed, Narnia is in danger!
She did not understand the look of total shock he gave her. How do you know? He signed.
She furrowed her brow, Because the King said so!
Edmund's mouth dropped open, You heard it speak?
Melanie nodded, and Edmund whirled around and announced this to everyone else. She could see him explaining that though she was deaf, in the Narnian world she could hear.
Peter turned to her, What sort of danger?
Melanie shrugged, I do not know; I could not ask.
How she wished she would have! But there was no help for that now. There remained only one thing to do: find a way to save Narnia!
How will they save Narnia? What will become of Melanie? Click -->HERE<-- to find out!
*Note from the author: This may be the last post from The Telmar Trilogy on The Upstream Writer--but it certainly isn't the end of the story. Listed below, you will find the links to two possible endings I wrote, having nearly the same events, just different characters involved. If you would be so kind as to read both and comment with which ending you liked best, I would be very grateful! Hope you've enjoyed this series as much as I have, and I certainly hope you'll stick around for the next one! -Leslie