My fear came to fruition. After leaving the ogre, I kept moving about the island and discovered a surprisingly large number of other ghosts. Some had been vampires, some wolves, one had been a human, and there was even what looked like a harpy. I found myself wondering why there were so many ghosts here. Perhaps because this was a shelter to so many otherwise homeless creatures, this was the place they truly considered home, having been shunned by their own realms.
She smiled, since they'd been standing outside for at least fifteen minutes. Still, if he wanted to continue with the ruse, she would do so as well. "I'm the one with the parasol," she pointed out.His lips curved slightly. "So you are. But still, I wouldn't be much of a gentleman if I didn't steer you toward a more hospitable environment. Speaking of which..." He frowned, looking around.wSpeaking of what?"wOf being a gentleman. I believe we're supposed to see to the welfare of ladies."wAnd?"
He crossed his arms. "Shouldn't you have a maid with you?"wI live just around the corner," she said, a little bit deflated that he didn't remember that. She and her sister were best friends with two of his sisters, after all. He'd even walked her home once or twice. "On Mount Street," she added, when his frown did not dissipate.He squinted slightly, looking in the direction of Mount Street, although she had no idea what he hoped to accomplish by doing so.wOh, for heaven's sake, Colin. It's just near the corner of Davies Street. It can't be more than a five-minute walk to your mother's. Four, if I'm feeling exceptionally sprightly."wI was just looking to see if there were any darkened or recessed spots." He turned back to face her.wWhere a criminal might lurk."wIn Mayfair?"wIn Mayfair," he said grimly. "I really think you ought to have a maid accompany you when you journey to and fro. I should hate for something to happen to you."She was oddly touched by his concern, even though she knew he would have extended equal thoughtfulness to just about every female of his acquaintance. That was simply the sort of man he was.wI can assure you that I observe all of the usual proprieties when I am traveling longer distances," she said. "But truly, this is so close. Just a few blocks, really. Even my mother doesn't mind."
Colin's jaw suddenly looked quite stiff.wNot to mention," Penelope added, "that I am eight-and-twenty."wWhat has that to do with anything? I am three-and-thirty, if you care to know."She knew that, of course, since she knew almost everything about him. "Colin," she said, a slightly annoyed whine creeping into her voice.wPenelope," he replied, in exactly the sametone.
She let out a long exhale before saying, "I am quite firmly on the shelf, Colin. I needn't worry about all of the rules that plagued me when I was seventeen."wI hardly think—"
One of Penelope's hands planted itself on her hip. "Ask your sister if you don't believe me."Maybe she just got bored of journaling. Aisha shrugged.
I wasn’t sure about this. I couldn’t be sure of anything with these oracles. But after all my prior dealings with her, I couldn’t help but try to read into every single detail, and wonder if it could be some kind of cryptic message to lead me forward.I turned back to the last page again, to the question she had proposed to me. Do they deserve to die?
By most people’s measures, I would say yes, certainly. Though I was not God. It was not for me to mete out justice for incidents I had no involvement in. Especially when they had not done anything to harm me directly… well, sort of.Even after paging through Hortencia’s confessions, I still didn’t think I had it in me to murder them in cold blood—even if such a thing were possible.