That’s why I’m crying, too, he said softly.
I can’t. I’m busy.Marcus cleared his throat. Twice. Things.
What kinds of things?Things. And then he felt terrible, because he hadn’t meant to be so adamant. Daniel and I have plans.She looked stricken. Her lower lip began to tremble, and for once Marcus did not think she was faking.
I’m sorry, he added, because he hadn’t wanted to hurt her feelings. But for heaven’s sake, it was a tea party! There wasn’t a twelve-year-old boy alive who wanted to attend a tea party.Honoria’s face grew red with rage as she swung around to face her brother. You made him say that.
I didn’t say a word, Daniel replied.
I hate you, she said in a low voice. I hate you both. And then she yelled it. I hate you! Especially you, Marcus! I really hate you!No, no, of course not. It had been a silly thing to ask. But quite possibly the only polite question he might have come up with. Er, do you know yet when the musicale is scheduled for this year?
The fourteenth of April. It’s not so very far off. Only a bit more than two weeks.Marcus took another piece of treacle tart and chewed, trying to calculate how long he might need to recuperate. Three weeks seemed exactly the right length of time. I’m sorry I’ll miss it, he said.
Really? She sounded positively disbelieving. He was not sure how to interpret this.Well, of course, he said, stammering slightly. He’d never been a terrifically good liar. I haven’t missed it for years.