Ever since she’d returned home after her discussion with Dr. Andresen, Mariah had been quietly making arrangements for her move. She’d kept it quiet and low-key, as the move entirely depended on being able to find a suitable place in New Babbage in which to move–and property of the sort she was looking for wasn’t easy to find.
Finally, though, not long before Thanksgiving, she received word from her agent in New Babbage. A house in Wheatstone Waterway had gone on the market. She read through his description and nodded. It looked as if it would fulfill most of her needs–fairly large, but not too large, with a courtyard in the back that would work for training. The biggest problem she saw was that it was across the city from Miss Hienrichs’ apartment.
‘Well, perhaps I can persuade her to move in there, too,’ she mused. ‘And if I can, it’s large enough that we shouldn’t be underfoot of each other.’ And so, she composed and sent off a telegram to her agent, asking him to make the arrangements for her purchase of the house.
With that done, she rang the bell for her two servants to join her in her library–Mrs. Pritchard, the housekeeper, and Mrs. Sawyers, the cook. They were actually widows of men who had served under her during her smuggling years, and they’d been with her ever since she’d established a more permanent home. She looked at them closely as they stood before her.
“I’ll be moving again in the very near future,” she said. “But this time, I’m leaving America…and moving to New Babbage.” She paused, but there was no indication of surprise from them–which didn’t at all surprise her. “I know that’s quite a ways this time, and if you don’t wish to make the move with me, I’ll certainly understand, and I’ll be happy to provide you with very good references.”
“I suppose you’ll be wanting to move as soon as possible?” Mrs. Pritchard asked. At Mariah’s nod, she continued, “Well, then, I’d best get started packing our things.” At Mariah’s nod of dismissal, she left. Mariah turned an inquiring gaze to Mrs. Sawyers.
“New Babbage,” Mrs. Sawyers mused. “Isn’t that where that strange thing called Wiggyfish comes from?”
“Yes, it is,” Mariah answered.
“Good. I do enjoy a challenge.” Mrs. Sawyers grinned in anticipation.
Mariah chuckled. “I look forward to seeing what you can do with it.” With that, she dismissed the cook. When the room was empty, she grinned to herself. She hadn’t really thought they’d want to leave her employ, but it was never good to take such things for granted. She sat down at her desk and began writing a list of things still to do before the big move.