The Spiritglass Charade

The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason

Book: The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason Read Free Book Online
Authors: Colleen Gleason
little. What a silly question. Of course something was bothering him. His home, his place, his
world
, was a hundred and twenty years in the future. He didn’t belong here.
    Before I could say anything else, he spoke in a low, musing tone. “I can’t stop thinking about it. . . . 
I saved Queen Victoria’s life
.”
    â€œIt was brilliant, Dylan.
You
were brilliant. How did you know what to do?”
    â€œIt’s basic first aid training where I come from, especially if you’re an Eagle Scout like I am. Plus my father’s a doctor. He works in the emergency room—the part of the hospital where they bring people who need to be treated urgently. I’ve heard all sorts of stories from him over the years. Guess I’ve even learned a few things too.”
    I decided I could ask later about what an eagle scout was. Dylan didn’t seem to be the type of person to be interested inornithology. Instead, I focused on his other revelation. “Your father is a physician?”
    â€œYes.” He grew quiet again, and I searched in vain for something to say.
    Did he miss his father as much as I missed my mother?
    Was it worse for Dylan, knowing that he’d left his parents, albeit not by his own volition—or was it worse for me, whose mother had left with no explanation and little communication in a year? At least
she
could come back if she wanted to.
    My throat hurt and my eyes threatened to sting. I was relieved when Dylan spoke again.
    â€œBut the thing is . . . I saved the Queen’s life. And I was the only one who could have done it. Yet I didn’t change the course of history. The Queen doesn’t die—I mean, she wasn’t supposed to die yet. And she didn’t.”
    â€œSo you did something that only someone from the future could have done, but you didn’t change the course of history.”
    It just occurred to me that Dylan knew when Queen Victoria would die. What else about the future did he know? A shiver rushed over my shoulders, ending in an unpleasant twist in my belly. That was dangerous. And fascinating.
    â€œYes. Isn’t that weird? But there are a lot of strange things about this whole mess anyway,” he muttered.
    â€œI should think. Time travel is quite strange in and of itself.” And yet there was a part of me fascinated by it, andits implications. Imagine if one could go back in time to the scene of a crime—just when the deed was being perpetrated?
    â€œBut it’s not just that,” Dylan mused. “It’s . . . well, there are things in
this
London of 1889 that are very different from what I learned in history books. And so maybe . . . maybe I
did
change history—your history, this
alternate
history—by saving the Queen’s life.” Dylan’s expression was miserable. “And if I’m in an alternate history, how in the hell am I
ever
going to get home?”
    For once, I didn’t have the answer. “You saved someone’s life. That’s the most important thing. It’s always the most important thing.”
    Dylan seemed particularly moved by my words. “That’s exactly what my dad always says. Saving a life is the best work a person can do.”
    Forestalling any further conversation, the taxi lurched to a stop. We’d arrived at our destination.
    The driver engaged the vehicle’s side-lift. I appreciated these mechanized platforms, for it kept the chances to a minimum that I would trip on my skirts or catch a heel on the edge of the vehicle. The small lift was smooth and silent as it lowered me to the tiled walkway and the driver handed over my umbrella as I stepped down.
    Glasner-Mews was a clean, well-kept neighborhood filled with shops, residences, and boarding houses at all five street-levels. While it wasn’t a particularly affluent area likeHyde Park or St. James’s, it certainly wasn’t

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