Archivist note: This article is from an older recovered archive and might be obsolete or in need of updating.
Most recent revision is shown below, by Lopxie.
January 13, 188x
i have enjoyed your letters tremendously! i do hope your leg is back to normal, now… and it is so kind of you to keep me informed of happenings in new babbage… such a dear, mad city, i ache a little when i think on how i miss it…
i have been quite enjoying the company of malcolm, and of miss mara’s grandmother. so tall and pale, both of them seem to me, ancient yet… yet not old at all! and they seem to know things others do not…
malcolm is rather quiet, but he speaks with his eyes, i find… there is always a glint or glimmer of a kindly smile there, if you look carefully. miss mara’s grandmother is a strong red-haired woman, who is rather stern, but i suppose it must be only because she cares. i do admit to finding it difficult, tho’, trying to do the right thing all the time, to please her. still, she does look after me, and one mustn’t be ungrateful, must one? it is very hard for me not to be mischievous tho’. i am longing to get into terrible trouble, when i return and have no-one to answer to!
court truly is a wondrous place, and very grand! nature is celebrated there, all the halls are decorated with vines, blooms and trees… or perhaps they are made from them?… it was tricky to tell… in any case, i was rather pleased and quite nervous to meet proper royalty! one must always keep up proper decorum, mara’s grandmother warned me, and not speak out of turn. but curiosity quite got the better of me, and i could not help but ask about my mother, phaedra wickentower… they had little to tell me, though i am sure i saw folk exchanging glances. are they trying to protect me from some awful truth? there are a great many secrets at court. i try to be patient, tho’ it can be frustrating, a little.
miss mara’s grandmother and the court were able to tell me of one important thing, tho’. i am still quite confused as to how i was born to be the sort of being i am… you know my pet name, my middle name, and so you may guess at that… i am a bit scared to tell anyone in babbage, as nearly everyone is quite so rational and proper… please don’t tell anyone there, in case they should be horribly cross!… but it turns out that my mother phaedra is most certainly of the fae…
for the moment, my father desmond’s whereabouts remain a mystery. mr underby, when he was my kindly teacher, told me that he had come across my father in the east indies, where he found him being a shaman for a lost tribe. later, in a far less kindly moment, he told me my father was now a frightful drunkard on the bowery in the city of new york. i do not quite know what to believe. mr underby seems to know quite a lot of the circumstances of my birth, tho’. i still have a little dream that my father might appear, one day, out of the mist… a dream, i know.
for the moment, i am haunting the streets of steelhead, often as an owl. i hope i may find my way back to new babbage soon as well, if i may happen across the fare for the ferry. i have so much else to tell you, and i am most anxiously looking forward to seeing you!
yours in constant friendship,
p.s. dear gil, i am scrawling this bit before i rush aboard an airship… i am standing at a postbox, waiting for the airship’s crew to be looking just the wrong way… i have run away, tho’ please don’t fret for me… it is only that i need to see my wicked mother, that i may, in turn, try to find my father… i do hope miss mara is not too angry!… it is all part of one journey, really… lo
Mara Razor commented
Dear Child, there’s no reason to hide out as an owl. There’s always warm bread and milk for you. You know I’m little more than a runaway from court myself.
”LoPixie Artful scrawled the back of in her diary…”
from now on, if anyone asks me what i am, i shall truthfully reply that i do not know.
i am not a runaway. miss mara has utterly forgiven me for absconding from the court, for which i am very grateful. she quite understands, actually.
i may be not human entirely. but who is to tell? pip has told me my mother, phaedra wickentower, is not of the fae after all!.. the folk of the court must have been hiding the truth from me, letting me leap to my own stupid conclusion… to protect me?… perhaps that is why they exchanged glances so oddly…
i am not an orphan, for phaedra and my father both live, somewhere. my father may be a pixie or a sharman or a drunkard or a travelling corset salesman, for all i am aware.
and i am not the former apprentice of an immortal sorceror, for pip tells me underby is not yet even seventy years of age, rather than the hundreds of years he had led me to believe. my kindly hostess is more immortal than he is.
all the jolly time i have been sipping tea with stargirl, dancing, and exploring, and running through the streets of babbage with gilhooly. not knowing anything. just being happy. perhaps it is better that way.