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." Albert Tuccini peered down at Charlie."It is a strange thing you do, this traveling.Not always good, I fear.""No, not always," Charlie admitted."But I just had to go in this time, because my ancestor Amoret is in there, too.She must have been in the castle when it was set on fire, before it turned to glass.But where were her children?""It is not possible always to find an answer," said Albert a little sadly."Come.You have experienced some bad things.You must rest.""The wall of history is broken, and it's all my fault," said Charlie ruefully"Only the surface," said Albert."The walls are thick.They can withstand a lot more than my old shoe." He held up a black shoe, which he proceeded to put on his left foot, lacing it tightly before approaching the perilous staircase.When Charlie descended into Albert Tuccini's room, dawn light was beginning to steal through the glass walls.The storm had gone and Albert announced that it would be a fine day.If they left soon, the tide would take them safely into the bay"You will come with us, won't you?" begged Charlie.Albert spread his hands."I dare not.""But why? We'll keep you safe," Charlie declared."You must come back, because of Mom — and everything.""I have a wife?" Albert looked stunned."Of course.How do you think I got here?" said Charlie indignantly.He began to feel a rising panic.He'd found his father only to leave him in a place where he might never see him again.If Grandma Bone got to know about Charlie's visit to the island, the Yewbeams were sure to move his father somewhere even more inaccessible.It was Billy who convinced Albert that he must come with them."We can't row the boat on our own," he said, his eyes huge with anxiety."We need you, Mr.Tuccini.Charlie's not strong enough to row all the way back again."Albert scratched his curly hair."Very well.Maybe it is the right thing for me to do." He led the boys out of the tower and across the courtyard to a door set in the glass walls.One push and a panel of glass swung open.When they had all stepped out, Albert closed the panel.Now it was completely indistinguishable from the rest of the wall."It can only be opened from the inside," Albert told the boys."To enter one must use the chute."A vision of Aunt Eustacia sliding down the chute popped into Charlie's head, and he grinned to himselfAs they walked back to the shore, Charlie told Billy about the white-haired boy he'd seen climbing into the well."That's how he survived," he told Billy "He climbed out after the fire, and somehow he got to the mainland and traveled all the way to the middle of Europe with his raven.That's where your name comes from.And your guardian, Christopher Crowquill — his ancestor was your ancestor's brother.""Maybe I can live with Christopher Crowquill," said Billy hopefullyCharlie was silent.Poor Christopher was in as much danger as Billy.He couldn't possibly look after him."Uncle Paton will know what to do," Charlie mumbled.Albert Tuccini strode ahead of the boys.He told them that he walked to the shore every day."For exercise, you know," he shouted back to them."To fill my lungs and keep my limbs in shape."Luckily the storm had blown the boat farther inland rather than out to sea.Albert and the boys rolled up their trousers and took off their socks and shoes.They pulled the boat into the water, and while Charlie and Billy perched on one seat, Albert sat opposite and took up the oars.His back was toward the tall cliffs on the mainland, so he didn't see the two figures standing on the distant beach.Charlie saw them first.His heart gave a lurch.Was it the Yewbeams? Billy saw the figures too and he clutched Charlie's sleeve."They've come to get me," he whimpered."I should have stayed on the island."“You wouldn't have been any safer," Charlie told him."Calm down, it might not be them."Albert looked over his shoulder."People.Can you see who they are, Charlie? Do you want to return to the castle?"Charlie screwed up his eyes and stared at the beach."No," he said slowly."I think — yes, yes, I'm sure I know who it is." For one of the figures was beginning to come into focus.A tall man with black hair and a black coat."Yes!" cried Charlie."It's my uncle Paton.I don't know who the other person is, but he's very small and kind of hunched.I don't think he can be dangerous."Charlie's excitement got the better of him, and he bounced up in his seat, tipping the boat sideways."Whoa!" cried Albert."You almost had us in the water, Charlie Bone!"Helped by the incoming tide, they were now fast approaching the beach.Charlie couldn't wait to see his uncle's face when Albert stepped ashore, for Lyell Bone had been Uncle Paton's best friend, and surely Paton could help him remember who he really was."Uncle Paton!" Charlie called."Guess who I've found!"Paton waved and shouted."I see you have Billy Raven with you.And here is Mr.Crowquill.""No, no! You don't understand." Charlie couldn't stand the suspense.Albert looked back at the beach, but Uncle Paton gave no sign that he had recognized him [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]