The noise of construction was quite constant in the church interior, and despite Sabine’s intentions, Sir John felt sure the only artistry was the colourful language coming from the workers. He was near the entrance and had taken to pacing and glancing occasionally out the front door, interspersing this with comments like “she doesn’t know we’re here” to anyone passing. When he finally saw Marie returning with Miss Henderson and Morag his heart leapt with joy.
“Marie!” he called as his wife arrived in the church and gawped up at the decoration. “You have returned.”
“Oh mon cher, I am sorry I left so suddenly, but I felt sure I could find him,” said Maire.
“It doesn’t matter my dear,” he said, then added, “Find who?”
“My uncle, look he gave me this,” said Marie holding out the compass.
“Oh,” said Phlebotomous, coming to see what the new commotion was, “it’s a sundial!”
“No Mr Bosch,” said Miss Henderson, carefully and slowly. “It’s a compass. See the little needle moving?”
“Oh that’s just to calibrate it,” said Phlebotomous, taking the device. “See I lift up the latitude arm here, open up the gnomon thus and…. Well perhaps you could check it Miss Henderson. I can’t really go out. But make sure it points north, that’s what the compass is for.”
“What a jolly good idea,” said Miss Henderson. “Morag, why don’t you accompany me? Mr Bosch, I expect your little friend needs you.”
“No Osvold is fine,” said Phlebotomous, “I can wait here until you get back.”
Miss Henderson’s eyes rolled up, then shot sideways at Sir John and Marie, who were looking awkwardly at each other. Finally she nodded vigorously to where Phlebotomous and Osvold were hiding from the sun. Phlebotomous looked confused at her then suddenly a surprised look spread across his face.
“Oh!” he said, “I’ve just remembered something very important that I need to do over there.”
He started to walk over to the little hideaway he had built for himself and Osvold.
“It’s best that I don’t tell you what it is,” he said, and walked on a little further before adding, “It is, however, completely safe.”
Miss Henderson sighed and walked out of the building with the compass, Morag following after her.
A silence grew between Sir John and Marie.
“My dear wife…” started Sir John, his voice a little hesitant.
“Oh mon cher, I am sorry for running off and how I have been lately,” said Marie. “Things have been so strange for me.”
“…you seem as if something in the diary has upset you…” continued Sir John, barely registering what Marie had said.
“Yes and… no,” said Marie. “It was not the diary itself but the memories it provoked. I had thought all my life my childhood was a sad one, filled with rejection and alienation. But the diary reminded me I was someone else back then, someone more confident than I am now. And it made me wonder who the real me was.”
“…would you like to talk about it…” Sir John said.
“I should have from the start I suppose, but I started to think that if I wasn’t who I thought I was, who would know the real me. I suppose I closed down a little. I started to think about my uncle, that he would know me better than I knew myself. So I started to search for him in my memories, but I couldn’t see where he was. Then it came to me, I should use my powers to find him. I wasn’t sure how, but I felt sure if I walked the city I could walk my way to him. And it worked and I found him. Oh mon cher, we talked for just a little while, but it made me realise that I am not this girl anymore, that she was the seed of who I am. And then I realised I needed to be who I am now, and be with the people I know now and be…”
“…with me?” said Sir John.
Marie’s face softened and she gazed at her husband. She took his face in her hands.
“Yes, mon cher, with you,” she said. “I need to be with you.”
Marie kissed Sir John and smiled.
“I should find Emile and we should get everyone together,” she said. “We need to find these things that Clackprattle and Pook are searching for.”
Marie went looking deeper into the church and Sir John stood stunned.
“I’m getting rather good at this husband lark,” he whispered to himself.
Miss Henderson walked in just then.
“Mr Bosch, this sundial thing doesn’t tell the correct time,” she shouted across the church. “I think the gnome is broken.”