When Sean and Mary returned to Tina's, Mary went straight up to her bedroom. Sean went into the kitchen where Tina was beginning to prepare supper.
"Can I help?" asked Sean.
"Certainly, you can peel the potatoes, here." said Tina, handing him the peeler. "How did your trip into town go?"
"Well, we've got some news from Seattle, it appears that we've had a stroke of bad luck—we have to go back to work."
"Really? I thought you two were retired?"
"It isn't really a job, just some things at ADR that need our attention. We thought that there might be a rough transition period, that's why we 'hid out' here, so we could at least have a couple of weeks to ourselves." said Sean, "On a serious note, there have been some developments in the Billygate affair, some information about who tried to kill me in Virginia."
"Are they going to arrest someone?" asked Tina.
"No, the man who I think stabbed me has died. There is some other information, information about the connection of that man to a group of men who were probably behind my mother's death as well. They may be dangerous."
"Are you going back to Seattle then?" said Tina. "Do you think they might try to attack you again?"
"I don't know, but we should be able to find out more about them when we get back." said Sean, "We'll let you know what's going on. We plan on heading out Wednesday morning and driving more or less straight through, with only one overnight stop."
Back in the bedroom, Mary had opened one of Emily's books. The session at the park bench had made her aware that she now had knowledge of the hieroglyphics contained in the books. The cryptic symbols, which had been meaningless, were now understandable. Mary read the first page:
The Matriarchy and the Fulfillment of Human Potential
Throughout the millennia, there has been an underlying current of greater awareness, sustained by a matrilineal succession, emerging from time to time in Women of Distinction. Sappho, the Oracle at Delphi, the great women mystics of the middle ages, Auður the Deep, as well as the thousands of unheralded seers and witches: all have nurtured the secrets of this understanding in the face of massive hostility. This is The Book of Powers, which describes the applications and responsibilities bestowed upon those who are possessed with the capability to use these forces. The companion volume, The Book of Keys, will allow the holders of this awareness to utilize the powers described here. In that you, the reader, are able to understand these words is proof that you hold these powers. Use them wisely.
There was a list of 17 chapters; the titles were indicative of many of the things Mary had already experienced: The Animal Mind, The History of the Organism, Speaking Through Others, Heightened Sensation, Vision of the Past, Thought Transference.
Other chapters concerned things she had yet to undergo: Suspended Animation, Material Discorporation
, and the most intriguing of all, Birth and Death.
She began to read.
Þora had been watching her son Vilhjálmur carefully since his episode early Sunday morning. He had calmed down after she cleaned him up, no fever and otherwise seemed to be normal, even taking a long nap Monday. That evening her uncle Hilmar had stopped in. Over coffee, she had told Hilmar of the odd behavior which the child had exhibited. Hilmar took a keen interest in her comments. When Vilhjálmur toddled into the kitchen he picked up the child and held him in his arms.
"Yndisleg drengur," said Hilmar, as he gazed into the child's eyes, "hvað er leyndarmálið á bak augunum?"
At dinner, Mary was ravenous.
"I'm afraid the I've been possessed by Mr. Creosote." she said after her third helping of mashed potatoes.
"My goodness, who is that?" said Tina. "Is that one of Emily's lovers?"
"No, it's a character from a Monty Python sketch."
"Monty Python?" Tina drew a blank.
"I'm sorry, it is a British television comedy troupe. Mr. Creosote was a patron in a fancy supper club, who ate everything on the menu."
"And what happened to him, dear?" asked Tina.
"He blew up." said Mary, "I won't follow in his footsteps."
"Don't forget the projectile vomiting." said Sean.
"That doesn't sound very funny." said Tina. "It must be a generational thing."
"What have you been doing upstairs?" said Sean. "Besides developing an appetite."
"After this afternoon's session, I found that I am able to read Emily's books." said Mary,
"It confirms a lot of what I've been going through. If the 'magic' is as powerful as it appears to be, there's an almost unlimited power I've been granted in several areas. I'll be visiting the last two sites tomorrow; there are still some things I don't understand."
"Use the powers wisely, dear." said Tina, "We wouldn't want you to explode."
Molly Berenson opened her email to find the message Mary had sent from the coffeehouse:
Molly, OK to proceed, but be careful. Pick a neutral site for the data exchange, upload the info to the dropbox and then return the media to Sally. The less you know, the better. We'll be back Saturday, and will contact you after we examine the data. Thanks for sticking your neck out on this, it could be a life-saver for us, and perhaps put an end to this affair.