Having never seen so many consituents, the color managers immediately declared a holiday – to begin that very night and last for an entire week.  They insisted that Tillie, Grayden, Eve, Uncle Quentin, Elias Qsmith, Mr. Goodfelter, Mrs. Goodfelter, Jasper the bear, and all of the other visitors stay on at the Casa de Castle for the duration of the holiday.  After their long trip across the Plains of Wompusmeeste, the visitors readily agreed.

Grayden led a memorial service for Lord Mareel that next day and then oversaw the entombing of the warlord’s body in the catacombs of the Casa de Castle.  Ophelia’s squashed remains were pitched into a lit fireplace in the main lobby.

On the day after Lord Mareel’s funeral, an impromptu election was held.  Following an impassioned speech by the Governor of Green in which he maintained his innocence in the Ladybug Affair (as the incident had already come to be known), everyone voted to keep all of the color managers in their current positions.  The sole alteration in life at the Casa de Castle was the change of the Prince of Purple’s title; he became the Viscount of Violet, fulfilling his campaign promise to Eve. 

The visitors spent the rest of their holiday taking turns on the various rides of Rainbow’s End Fun Park and attending extravagant meals in the hotel’s many ballrooms.  The color managers even threw a dance one evening.  Tillie had never seen centaurs dance before that night; frankly, she hoped never to see such a clumsy site again.

Eve discovered that she had a great many things in common with the contrary Magistrate of Orange.  He even temporarily changed Elias Qsmith’s leg fur to neon orange as revenge for the faun having laughed at Eve’s green hair.

Over the length of the week, Tillie tried numerous times to engage the various color managers on the topic of The Gray Man.  Each time she hit a dead end, receiving nothing more than stunned looks and wide eyes.  The Matron of Marigold didn’t even offer those things; she simply turned and walked away.

On the final day, Tillie and Uncle Quentin strolled down the midway of Rainbow’s End.  A sudden thought occurred to her.

“Do you think we’ll ever come this way again?” 

Uncle Quentin puffed on his pipe and thought for a moment.  “One can never be sure where one will go again,” he said.  “Or where one will go for the first time.  Me, I prefer to go to places for the first time instead of going to places again.”

Tillie slipped her small hand into Uncle Quentin’s large one.  “Me too,” she said.

Back to Chapter 18                                      Back to Home Page