Perilous Artifacts: This Is Real
The steamer turned into Government Plaza and pulled up in a pool of sunshine perfectly placed to welcome visitors to Carew House—and incidentally—also perfectly placed to give the guards on duty an excellent view of new arrivals’ faces. A footman hurried forward to open the door for Olive and assist her to debark before offering his services to Pieter.
Pieter put a hand on her arm. “Wait—” He went around to Harry and murmured something to him before shaking his hand.
“You’re a right ‘un, guv.” Harry grinned and tipped his cap, and then sobered as he nodded at Olive. “I’ll be on duty topside today. If you need me, ring my supervisor, and I’ll come. I mean it.”
“You’re a peach.” She smiled.
Pieter stepped aside and Harry drove away in a hiss of steam.
It was only then, as he joined her, that Olive thought to ask how he had come to be on his own outside the door of the Academy less than an hour before.
Pieter rolled his eyes and tugged on her hand. “Well, naturally, I took the Governor’s tram.”
“And it didn’t wait for you?” The thought shocked Olive more than she wanted to let on.
“It had other business—at the Landing.” He flashed her a quick, nervous grin.
And suddenly, Olive realized that this wasn’t a dream or just another day in the life of a motherless waif that might or might not be a lady of substance from a wealthy and famous family, but—”Oh no. This is real!” She clapped her hands to her cheeks and stopped in the middle of the entryway. There were people arriving who really thought they were her parents, and would be expecting her to recognize them.
It was then that Olive began to have grave and serious doubts about the whole situation.
For the next installment (available Tuesdays), read Perilous Artifacts: Carew House, where Olive and Pieter take the stairs past one too many knickknacks.
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