41: Edmund Finds His Way

Edmund looked down the Hallway. Ung had opened Edmund’s door on the right, so they had to have come down the left corridor, he reasoned. Before that, they had turned left, which meant he would have to turn right…and before that…

Thinking carefully, Edmund formed a picture in his mind — a map of the space around him floating in his head. He backtracked in his mind as clearly as he could remember, and then slowly began to walk, working his way back to the Foyer. He managed quite well, he thought, only getting turned around twice, and both times he was able to make his way back to his room with little trouble.

Finally, he found his way to the Foyer. Careful to not celebrate too quickly, Edmund made his way back to his room, and then walked back and forth from there to the main doors of Moulde Hall until he was confident he could get from one to the other with no trouble.

Bolstered by his success, he squared his shoulders and began to explore, looking for the kitchen.

The kitchen would have to be close to the dining room, wouldn’t it? Could he get back to the dining-room? Mrs. Kippling didn’t seem to be remarkably intelligent, but even a fairly dull individual would realize the closer the rooms were, the less they would have to walk. In addition, Edmund realized, it would be on the ground floor, so when someone went to the market, they wouldn’t have to climb any stairs while carrying heavy groceries.

Confident in his deductions, Edmund gripped the tray tighter in his fists and tried to find his way back to the dining room. It took him some time but he eventually found it tucked away in the east wing on the ground floor. Elated at his success, he began to carefully make his way through the halls, keeping as close to the dining room as he could.

Edmund’s excitement began to ebb away as he encountered locked door after locked door. Only a few doors were open to him, and they either led deeper into the mansion or to empty rooms.

Feeling disgruntled after opening yet another room that was filled with dusty fabric covered furniture, Edmund was about to return to the dining room again when he stopped. At dinner, he remembered, Ung had vanished once or twice into a door that had been made to look like part of the wall. Edmund had thought nothing of it at the time, but now it seemed obvious — it was this other door must have lead to the kitchens.

When he had found the dining room again, Edmund saw almost immediately the small glass ball sticking out of the wall at about doorknob height. It was about halfway along one wall and about where Ung had been standing all through dinner. Shifting his tray onto his hip, Edmund carefully gripped the ball and pulled, hearing a gratifying click as the small door swung open.

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