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SEAN WOODWARD younger and indeed later he would realize that his age would change with the time that the machine brought him to. "These are for your sisters Hannah," he said taking the finely wrapped jeweler's boxes from his pocket and placing them on the table. "And this is for you, my love". He held out the large box, wrapped in gold and silver ribbons. "Come Mr Warner" said the grandfather "will you sit and drink awhile with us?" "Gladly" replied Samuel and drew up a chair as Hannah's grandfather poured him a glass of sherry. "Is not this season delightful?" ventured Hannah's grandfather. "Indeed it is sir, but your grand-daughter yet more delightful still" She blushed. She was unaccustomed to his charms in public. "Please sir, you should save such talk for Hannah herself." He stood up, Samuel wondering for a moment if he had caused offence and walked towards the window and the small table beneath it with its drawer. "Let us speak of other matters first though. The provision you have left for the Institute is, let me say, most generous." "I have lately come into some inheritance sir." "That is clear for all to see Mr. Warner. I'm told you are something of an explorer yourself." "In realms scientific yes, I suppose you could call me that". "Well" and the old man took the box from its drawer once more, passing it to Hannah. "Perhaps this is best suited to your safe-keeping then." Hannah passed the wrapped box to Samuel. She wondered why Grandpapa would give the Christbox away like this, but as it was to Samuel she hoped it meant the family approved of their recent engagement. Samuel opened the layers of material carefully and saw first the cross etched onto the lid of the small oval box. It was the same one he had seen all those centuries before in Ethiopia, through the strange window of the timemachine, the same one he had seen the Arab take from N'Tarran at knifepoint. As he held it he felt a chill in the air and then they all looked on in wonder as a cube of falling snow grew around the box and Samuel's hand. Outside all was calm as the snow had finally stopped, inside the cube of white a storm blew ferociously. Jeremiah Courthauld smiled. "I knew this was for you Samuel, I'd just been - 92 -

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

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