Continuing Tales

One Promise Kept: Book 4

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by Manniness

Part 5 of 15

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One Promise Kept: Book 4

The next morning Tarrant finds Tamial sitting on the bottom step of the stairs, dressed and contrite but wrapped up so tightly in his own pride that his normally Orashlach-colored eyes are a dull chestnut.

“I didn’t make any tea,” Tam says quietly, for once remembering Tarrant’s almost daily reminder not to wake his Mam. “But there’s bread and butter.”

Tarrant smiles and holds out a hand to give his son a bit of assistance with standing upright from his scrunched crouch. “If you’ll bread the butter, then I’ll tea the pot.”

They conquer the kitchen and broker breakfast in serene silence and then, just as Tarrant considers that it’s time to wake Alice with a warm surge of love and hope via the heart line, Tam says, “Mam really slew the Jabberwocky? She really defeated the Red Queen?”

“Aye,” Tarrant tells him, delaying Alice’s wake-up call. “That she did.”

“The Red Queen was really... bad?” he dares, contemplating his slice of buttered bread.

Tarrant reaches out and squeezes his son’s shoulder. “Aye. She was.”

“You... never said anything. You don’t talk about it. But I think I heard... something... maybe at the last Maigh. About Hightopp Village and the Jabberwocky...”

Drawing a deep breath, Tarrant sits down in the neighboring seat and drapes his arm over the back of his son’s chair. “’Tis a very long story. And I fear you’ll go off your breakfast if I tell it all now, but, aye. The Red Queen ordered the Jabberwock teh destroy Hightopp Village. An’ e’eryone in it.”

“But you lived, so... You weren’t there when it... happened?”

Tarrant closes his eyes and tells himself they’re still green. Mostly. He opens his mouth to speak and then a wave of warmth, of peace, of strength and muchness overcomes him. He can very nearly feel his chest expand with it all.


She’s awake. Perhaps his anxiety had awakened her. He feels a little guilty about that, but he doubts she minds. No, his wife Understands.

“I was there. I was in the employ of the White Queen at the time,” he explains. “Her guard was not prepared for the attack and as I was closest to her... I lead her and her steed away.”

“You... chose the queen over your own family?” Tam demands with a bluntness only children can ever manage. The blade of it, made of shock, shaped with curiosity, and forged in innocence, thrusts into his heart, stealing his breath. He’d known he would have to explain this to Tam one day. He just hadn’t thought That Day would be today.

“I did.”

“How come? Didn’t you love them?”

“Tamial...” he replies, forcing out the words. “The reason... I lived through that day... is something I hope you will never Understand.” Before Tam can work up enough contrariness to argue with him or accuse him of being overprotective or treating him like a child – which he still is, of course! – Tarrant continues, “Your Mam and I both hope there is never another war, another battle, another tragedy in Underland. We hope you never have to see that, hear it, live it. But if you do... if ye do, ye do whate’er ye must teh survive it!” he orders his son.

Tam stares at him with eyes gone wide and pale with surprise.

“You survive,” Tarrant repeats as he feels this particular instruction is more than important enough to warrant repetition. “Even if it means leaving your Mam and I behind. D’ye heed me, lad?”

“Aye, Fa. I heed ye.”

Tarrant glances away. His son rarely uses Outlandish; he prefers the more sophisticated terms and intonation of Court, just like Alice. So to hear his son speak it now...

“You make me proud, Tamial Hightopp,” he says, looking at his son again.

His son. His and Alice’s son. For so long this child and Tarrant’s dream of him had been forfeited to the war. And he has never been happier that Chessur had made him that utterly mad, eleventh-hour offer in the dungeons of the castle at Crims.

“Do I smell tea?”

Tarrant leans away from the table, inhaling with enough force to keep the tears burning his eyes from making an appearance. He smiles at his wife, who is leaning around the door jamb with a soft grin curving her lips. His wife. Dear Fates, but after that Horvendush Day he had never dared to dream that he would be... that he would have... that they would...

“Throeston Blend?” she checks taking her usual seat.


He pours for Alice and watches as she takes a sip, her eyes closing in bliss. “This is just what we need to get moving today.”

“Yes, yes,” he agrees. “A busy day at both ends and in be-twix.”

“Filled with sparring,” she continues, thinking of her apprentice he doesn’t doubt.

“And hat fittings,” he continues.

“And royal conferences.” Even this is said with some enthusiasm.

“And haberdashery.”

“And quizzes on Underlandian history,” Alice continues, prying open one eye and peering at their son over the cup’s rim and through the tea’s steam.

Tam sighs. “I studied.”

“Excellent!” Tarrant replies more out of an effort to keep the mood light than any real belief in his son’s enthusiasm for his studies. “Then you’ll be thick as Thackery’s plum pudding with those hooligan friends of yours in no time!” In fact, they might even manage to fall into a batch of Thack’s plum pudding... again. And this time Tarrant would very much like to see that sight before the queen arrives and orders them to get cleaned up!

Tam frowns.

Alice hides her smirk with another long sip of tea. Yes, they all know that Fenruffle will not permit Tam to spend time with his friends until the lad can pass the weekly test the gryphon has set for him.

Tarrant watches out of the corner of his eye as Tam shoves the remains of his bread and butter in his mouth and then mumbles, “I think I’ll go check on some... stuff before we go.”

“We’ll let you know when we’re ready,” Alice promises him as he slouches off.

When they hear his thudding footsteps ascending the stairs, Tarrant leans forward and wiggles his brows at Alice. “A finger of Batten jam says he’s gone to study as fast as his poor unexercised mind can manage.”

“M’s, Hatter,” his wife observes and then Alice’s grin takes a decidedly wicked turn. She reaches across the table and – before he can protest – she collects his hand and sucks his middle finger into her mouth.

He stares at her, gapes at the sight of his finger knuckle-deep between Alice’s pursed, pink lips. Slowly... so slowly, she leans back until only the tip of his finger is being held captive. She gives it a flick with her tongue and a nip with her teeth before she releases him.

“Mmmm... You win,” she informs him, breaking the breathless silence.


“Although, you do still owe me some Batten jam.”

His jaw clenches as he considers all of the... ways he might Offer her some. “An’ I’ll make gehd on tha’,” he promises.

She smiles and sips her tea. “I Know.”

Yes, he doesn’t doubt that she does. He always makes good on his Promises. And speaking of... he now has another item on his List of Things to Do:

He has business with the castle pantry and its mad guardian. One way or another, he’s going to have to get Thackery to hand over one of his precious jars of Batten jam. He grins at the thought of following through on that promise: oh, yes, this is going to be a busy day indeed. At both ends and in between.


“I like the puce,” Amallya informs him dreamily as she twirls a rather... striking touring hat in her small hands. Tarrant narrows his eyes as if the action has the power to shield his irises from the clash of colors.

“Very... dramatic,” he agrees diplomatically. True, puce is not a color he would have been inclined to apply to a touring hat, but it does have a certain appeal... “But I should think that – in this particular case – a bit of chartreuse will be necessary to balance it out.”

“Chartreuse is a late spring color,” she lectures him whimsically. “It won’t be welcome on an early winter hat.”

“It will if you ask the other colors nicely not to judge it too harshly. Here, give this a try,” he says, snipping off a sizable scrap of bright green lace and handing it to her.

He keeps an eye on her for a few moments as she considers the addition he’d more or less ordered her to incorporate into her design. When she seems to be on a satisfactory track, Tarrant turns his attention back to the hat requests that have made an appearance since his last visit. He scans the forms, noting that – thankfully! – most of the courtiers have filled out the required fields appropriately:

Hat character: Misanthropic

Wearer’s disposition: Prideful

Season or occasion of wear: high tea, Tuesdays

Accompanying accessories: black heeled shoes with pink buckles, oyster shell necklace, soft breezes, veiled compliments and sidelong glances

Unavoidable mannerisms: smirks, ringlet twirling about the left index finger, ...

Yes, the queen’s court have been well-trained in how to properly complete their hat request forms!

Tarrant reviews them and makes rough sketches in the margins to discuss with Amallya after luncheon, which should be starting soon. They’d gotten an early start and Fitzfrey had been feeling rather frisky today so they’d made the journey to the castle in record time, even with only the one horse pulling their cart. He imagines the frog footmen are even now laying out the samples of the wares the Hightoppians had produced for the biannual exchange of goods. He’d given a copy of the lists he’d prepared to Fenruffle who had assured him they would be posted just as soon as Tamial had finished his weekly exam. And from the lack of boyish shouts and thundering footsteps resonating from somewhere on the grounds, Tarrant assumes his son is still being put through his intellectual paces.

“Hm, you’re right, Master Hatter,” Amallya muses. “They do get along well if given proper introductions.”

Tarrant returns his attention to his apprentice and smiles at the hat she presents to him, now compositionally perfect if a bit... eye-wateringly bright. “I think you’ll find that is the case with most things, Miss Amallya.”

“Hm... these are the rest of last week’s orders?” she inquires, waltzing over to the half dozen hat boxes he’d brought with him and lifting the lid of the first.

He answers as he once again scans the new requests and sketches potential hats in the margins, “Yes. If you would be so kind as to apply your nose and sniff them for Cheshire Cat hairs, I would be most appreciative.” He’d given them a thorough inspection himself, of course, but the assistance of an additional set of nostrils could only be a good thing in this instance.

He’s contemplating a blustery bonnet that’s meant to suit a bold lady with a blue choker and bothersome tendency to sneeze before she manages to utter the punchline of a joke when the bit of charcoal pencil in his grasp snaps in two.

He frowns at it – how uncharacteristically unreliable! – for a moment. And then his entire body suddenly spasms.

Tarrant slams his left fist – still clutching the now-crumpled orders – on the cluttered table and no doubt scraping the side of his hand on bobbins and other bits. The table shudders at the impact and he spares a thought to an apology but he’s a bit busy bracing himself at the moment.

“Uncle Hatter?” Amallya asks with concern.

He tries to answer. He really does. He gasps, “I’m fine. I’m...”

And then he recognizes the feeling that had exploded from within him, numbing him before he could even fully appreciate it: the sensation burning along his heart line is still utterly and completely unclassifiable and all he knows for sure is that his Alice needs him. Right Now!

“I’m afraid you’ll have to excuse me,” he manages, pulling himself together and upright before striding for the door.

“You are excused, sir,” his apprentice replies pleasantly, concerns appeased by his apparent return to Himself.

Tarrant manages to make it to the hat workshop door, open it, step out into the hall, and close it before he breaks into a run. He sprints along the second floor hall, past the main staircase and the commotion of things being carried and organized and whatnot in the cavernous main foyer. He takes a left, and then another, and then a right, and then he’s ramming his shoulder against the door to the queen’s office and...


The queen’s shout is secondary to the sight in front of him:

Alice has Argur Frothbreath by his undoubtedly smelly and obviously hairy scruff and is shaking him with the index finger of her other hand poking him in his slimy nose.

“—not just tell me you have lost an entire Champion, Argur!”

The creature brays his usual hysterical laugh. “I was be-sayin’ that very thing, Lassling!”

Tarrant ignores the rhyme and, seeing that although Alice is clearly Upset she has the situation well in hand, he closes the office door... with himself on the interior side of it.

“Try again, Argur. Tell me Irondirk’s message again. This time make sure you get all the words in the correct order.”

Tarrant edges closer to the startled and unusually pale queen.

“Got ’em all in the right order the first time!” he screeches. “Nobody’s found Champion Tarranya. Not since last night.”

“And just what took you so long to get here?” she demands – very nearly screams – in his twitching face.

“Champion Leif – right stubborn, that one! Shoulda been born a bull!” He brays again at his own joke until Alice shakes a bit of sense back into him. “Still looking! Got the bloodhound’s nose to the ground! Won’t leave. Refuses.” The hyena produces a giggle and Tarrant winces. Surely, listening to a symphony of claws and nails and fangs on a chalkboard would be more pleasant!

“Irondirk’s gonna cleave ’im!” Argur predicts. “And I’m thinking I’d like to see that!” With that declaration, he twists free of Alice’s grasp. Or perhaps she lets him go. Most likely the stench of wharf-washed and wind-tangled salty fish-flavored fur has made it through her rage to her nose. He cringes in sympathy at the thought... until he realizes exactly what’s been said.

He turns toward the queen as Alice starts her interrogation anew (something about Irondirk and Leif and the definition of stubborn...) and inquires in an urgent whisper, “Your Majesty, Princess Tarranya is... is...?”

“Missing,” she supplies on a muchless whisper, her hands trembling. “She stepped out with a young man yesterday afternoon on the Rest Day and neither have been seen since.”

“... I... I see.” Unfortunately. And all angles of the situation are Bad, indeed.

“I dont see,” Alice fairly shouts, bringing Tarrant and the queen’s attention back to the... discussion taking place on the other side of the room.

“Well, that’s the trouble with mice, eh? Hard to see, like.”

“You are telling me you have also lost Mallymkun?!

What?!” Tarrant realizes, a moment later, that the shout must have come from him as he now has Argur in his sights. And, indeed, despite being in the creature’s face, encroaching most discourteously on his personal space, Tarrant cannot smell him past his Fury.

“I ain’t lost no one!” he cackles nervously. “I’m being the messenger! Just the messenger!”

“Bollughin’ boggletogs, he is. It’ll do no good to skin him alive,” Alice grumbles and Tarrant feels her hand press against his shoulder, urging him back. “A bath, however...”

“Unsanitary, baths,” Argur insists, warily watching Tarrant as he relents, permitting Alice to urge him back.

“Tell us what you do know,” Alice instructs him. “How did this happen?”

“How should I know?” he screeches.

Alice grits her teeth. “Where exactly did they disappear?”

“In the Orash orchard somewhere! That’s all I know!”

Alice glares at him for a moment and then turns toward the queen. “Your Majesty...”

“I need to speak to the king,” Mirana intones, sinking down into the nearest seat, which happens to be the bench at her vanity.

Alice crosses the room and gives her sovereign and friend a brisk but awkward embrace. “I’ll go find him and then we’ll sort this out.”

Tarrant can still feel her irritation and fear and aggression and worry but it is tempered with Determination now. Calm. She grasps his hand briefly with her own as she passes by and then marches out the door.

“D’ye mind if I help meself to some tea? It’s a thirsty walk from the Harbor,” Argur whines faintly.

Tarrant waves him toward the abandoned tea service. He notices that one teacup had been upset and is laying on its side, marinating in a saucer overflowing with milky tea. A slice of cake had been served (presumably to Alice) and yet is perfectly untouched. Yes, the queen must have just sat down with Alice for tea when Argur had been shown in...

“Your Majesty?” he asks softly, approaching the queen.

“Tarrant...” she whispers on a voiceless breath. “Tarra...”

He crouches down at her feet and collects her soft, limp hand in his. “Why was Tarranya in Crimson Harbor?” He can imagine many scenarios in which a young, energetic princess might run off with a lad... however, how an experienced soldier like Mally could also disappear at the same time... Well, that suggests something far more foul than simple Play.

“There... there were rumors. Setteeson said,” the queen replies woodenly.

“What manner of rumors?”


Tarrant’s brows draw together. “Is that so? Against whom?”

“Me. The White Queen. Or so Setteeson said.”

He nods. “But that doesn’t explain what Tarra was doing... Oh. Oh!Twimble fumpt! But, no, no, he will not help the queen by cursing in silence! Tarrant gives himself a swift shake, blinks and returns his attention to the queen. Reluctantly, he seeks confirmation of his suspicion, “Tarra, being the current Queen’s Champion... Did she...?”

We,” the queen corrects him, closing her eyes on a shudder. “Dale and I let her go. To investigate. Under the guise of Setteeson’s apprentice.”

“... I see.” And he does. Finally. This is not a whimsical flight of young love or even fleeting fancy. This is a right Mess, indeed. Alice’s apprentice has disappeared on a mission for the queen and now it will fall to Alice to... to...

He squeezes his eyes shut and tries not to think about it Too Much.


He looks up at the queen and is startled to see tears trailing down from her dark eyes over her cheeks.

“Tarrant, I’m so sorry. I should not ask her – ask you – to do this. Not after you’ve given so much to Underland. The both of you... Not after all the things I’ve taken from Alice... your Alice... but Tarra... she’s my daughter. Please, Tarrant!”

“We’ll find her,” he assures her, chafing the back of her cool, clammy hand with his own rough fingers. “Alice and I will do whate’er we must to bring her back teh ye. I swear.”


And just as the promise is accepted, the office door bangs open with an undignified shriek from the doorknob and a bellow from the king:

Mirana! Whats this about Tarra?!

Tarrant stands and moves aside to make room for the king to speak to his wife. Mirana swallows back her fear and tears and explains the situation as steadily as she can, which is far more steadily and sanely than Tarrant would have been capable of in her position. Why, if Tam had disappeared...!!

“Tarrant,” Alice whispers, pulling him toward the unoccupied balcony. Several paces away, Argur is destroying the tea service as if he expects it to be his last meal. No one pays him any mind.

“Alice,” he replies. “Alice, we must...”

“I know. We will. Both Tarra and Mally. Although, I admit the thought of Mally being with Tarra – wherever they are and whatever trouble they are in – is a comforting one.”

He considers that and nods. Yes, dormice are unfailingly useful in Tight Spots.

Alice swallows and her fingers dig into his arm. “But Tam...?”

Yes, yes, of course! They cannot leave Tam unprotected while they seek out the queen’s missing daughter and their misplaced friend! “London,” he replies decisively.

Alice sighs out a long breath. She closes her eyes briefly. Nods. “Yes, that’s for the best. Under the circumstances.”

“He’ll be very upset with us for this. After the fact.”

“I imagine he will. Perhaps it will motivate him to choose a trade just to get away from his barmy parents.”

Tarrant giggles. “Alice. Now is not the time to make jokes.”

“I wasn’t.”

“Which is why you are so very amusing, even under dire circumstances, Raven.”

Alice huffs out a breathy laugh.

“Champion Alice! I hope your good humor means you’ve thought of a plan for retrieving our daughter!”

Sobering, Alice turns and bows to the king who has placed his great, furry hands on his wife’s shivering shoulders. “Tarrant and I will depart immediately for Crimson Harbor,” she replies. “We’ll find her.”

“Yes,” Mirana contributes. “Tarrant has already promised as much.”

“Then you may expect us to deliver Tarra safe and well into your care.” Alice glances at Argur. “Be ready to head back in an hour.”

Crumbs splatter and tea-colored drool dribbles onto the tablecloth as he nods and snorts with nervous energy.

Tarrant reaches out and slides his palm up Alice’s arm. “If you will contact Margaret and speak to Sir Fenruffle and Tam, I’ll stop by the workshop – we’ll need more wearables for this. As will Tam. London is chilly this time of year, is it not? And then a visit to the armory is absolutely necessary. Do you have any specific preferences in the way of weaponry?”

“No, I trust your judgment.” He presses his lips to her temple and her hand clutches his wrist. When he steps back, he meets her gaze, shares what reassurance he possesses – shaky though it is – and then heads for the door.

“Your Majesties, if I might have permission to open one of the castle looking glasses?” he hears Alice say as he steps out into the hall. Yes, Alice will arrange for Tam to escape this mess. Their son will not thank them for it when he realizes what they’ve done. Certainly, Tarrant would not have thanked his own Fa for such blatant manipulation! But, in time, he is sure that Tamial will forgive them. Yes, in Time...

Tarrant hurries back to the hat workshop, to the bolts of fabric and shirts and trousers and underthings he must make as quickly as possible. He thinks of the armory and plans his selections. He mustn’t forget the throwing knives and garrotes. For both himself and his wife. Two Champions. Again.


Tamial Hightopp – thwarted investigator of Uplandish intrigue and mystery – is thwarted no longer! He bites back a grin as his Mam explains with a slightly odd smile, “Sir Fenruffle said your scores were satisfactory and your Fa and I spoke about it...”

Yes, he can taste victory! When she’d knocked on the door and asked for a private word with Sir Fenruffle, Tam had wondered... But then he’d seen her face and the expression had been... well, it had been something that had made him think of London and Win and a mysterious note and the death of Lowell Manchester and... He’d watched as she’d pulled up a chair and had sat down with a sigh. He’d been a bit nervous, strangely enough. But her words had churned up murky hope and chaotic excitement and now he holds his breath and believes that – any minute now! – she’s going to tell him...

“So we asked your aunt and uncle if the invitation to visit is still open...”

And here it comes!

“... and it is, so if you’d still like to visit Winslow...”

Tam fists his hands beneath the study desk and braces his feet against the legs of the chair to contain his enthusiasm. All week he’d been trying to figure out how to make this very thing Happen! Every spare, empty-house, alone moment this week, he’d spent in front of the mirror in his Fa’s hat workshop at the manor, trying to convince the glass to open to him. He’d even looked through every somewhat magical or ritualistic book in their small library! But he hadn’t given up. Not truly! Why, after finishing this stupid homework, he’d planned to find his friends and get them to help him find a way to Upland. Surely they would know something – have overheard something useful from Aunt Mirana – she is always muttering to herself about magic this and potion that – yes, they’d know something about looking glass travel! But all that scheming and sneaking may not be necessary at all! Unless he’s dreaming this, Tam is moments away from getting permission to go back to London! And he must get there! He’d promised Win he’d be there when his cousin investigates that note!

“Yes...” he says, his voice cracking with the excitement he’s trying to control.

Yes, he wants to visit Upland!

Yes, he wants to see Win!

Yes, he has Things to Do Up There!

And, yes, those Things are most certainly tasks suited to Tamial Hightopp – champion extraordinaire to his friends and most feared adversary to his foes!

His Mam concludes, “Then you’d better go get your bag. And be quick about it. The looking glass is open and waiting.”

Quick? He can do that!

Tam scrambles out of his seat and tears out of the library. Five minutes later, with his overnight bag in hand, his Fa is presenting him with a jacket that looks just-made. He frowns at it briefly. Something about the never-before-laundered stiffness of the cloth Bothers him. The niggling whisper is dashed to bits, though, as his Mam ruffles his hair and presses a kiss to the top of his head.

Tam grins: he’s really going back!

It’s almost too good to be true!

His Fa’s lips curve into a smile but his eyes are a concerned peridot green. Tam doesn’t take much note of his Fa’s worry. Fa always Worries.

“Ye’d better ge’ goin’ afore we change our minds,” his Fa warns him.

Which is an excellent point!

The good-byes are fast and sloppy, but Tam is too excited to care.

“Tell Lanny and Ian I’m sorry I couldn’t stay this time,” he instructs them.

“We’ll let them know,” his Mam promises. And then Tamial is stepping through the mirror and into his aunt and uncle’s house in the City. He clutches his bag, takes a deep breath and savors all the smells of the house: dust (coal dust, especially), the hint of smoke from the gas lamps which are currently unlit, books that don’t whisper, carpet that doesn’t curl up irritably if you stomp on it, draperies that don’t billow because the windows here are meant to stay Shut...

“Tamial,” Aunt Margaret says with a smile, putting aside a book and standing from her chair. “Welcome back.”

“It’s good to be back!” he declares, following her out of Uncle Hamish’s study. “What day is it? Where’s Winslow?”

Margaret laughs softly. “It’s Thursday, of course. Do the days occur in a different order in your country?”

Tam frowns at that. “Well, no...” But hadn’t he heard his Mam say once that Time is different in Underland? Muchier? He shrugs. It’s not important. Aunt Margaret is answering his second question.

“And Winslow is currently at his lessons with his tutor. I’m afraid you’ll have to accept other forms of entertainment until he’s finished for the day.”

“Oh... all right. Like what?”

“Well, Elaine is helping me with a quilt in the drawing room...”

Tam makes a face.

“And Townley is reading picture books to us.”

“That sounds...” Completely boring! “... nice.”

“You’re welcome to join us,” his aunt says, “or I suppose you could go up to the attic for me. I’ve been looking for a particular parasol that used to belong to your grandmother. I think it was put up there some time ago...” His aunt glances over her shoulder at him. “But you wouldn’t be interested in a job like that, would you?”

Hm... sit around watching quilts being stitched and listening to books for children or an adventure in a dusty, spider-infested, creepy attic with boxes and crates and trunks to rummage through. This decision he doesn’t need time to think about.

“I’d be happy to help you find that parasol, Aunt Margaret.”

“Thank you, Tam,” she says, showing him to his room with a dimple showing like the point at the end of the exclamation mark of her smile. “That’s very noble of you to accept.”

He likes being noble. He feels his chest puff up with pride. “My pleasure, Aunt Margaret.”

“Yes, well. You haven’t seen the attic yet. But come downstairs first to say hello and then we’ll get you started on that.”

Luckily, the greetings are brief since Tam and Laney don’t have any new rude remarks to exchange – it hasn’t even been a week since they’d last annoyed each other! – and Lee is buried in his book of nursery rhymes. It’s quite some time later – a scary iron mannequin, a cobweb-covered wooden loom, a trunk of men’s winter woolen underwear, and a yellowed wedding dress later to be exact – when his cousin finds him.

“Tam! You came!”

He grins cheekily. “I told you I would!”

“I’ll never doubt you again!”

Tam laughs. And then he gets down to business. “So... do you still have the letter?”

“Of course. And I found the streets on the map. We can take the Tube there.”

Tam forgets to ask what – precisely – the Tube is when Win tells him how much the fare is and confides that he knows where Laney is currently keeping her pennies...

And, after that, there’s really only one question left to ask:

Tam wiggles his brows as he’s often seen his Fa do and demands, “When are we leaving?”

One Promise Kept: Book 4

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by Manniness

Part 5 of 15

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