The Formulation of the Plan

The last page was a large net of circles and lines connecting thoughts and ideas together like a web. ‘Moulde Hall’ was written in the center, with lines reaching out to ‘Moulde’ and ‘Bonne.’ The cousins were placed in their proper circles, with crossing lines spreading over the page. ‘Library’ was tied to ‘Tayatra,’ while ‘great agreement’ squatted off to the side, connecting both the families together. ‘Haggard Hill’ sat under ‘Moulde Hall,’ and ‘coal mine’ was under that. ‘Matron’ had been written down and then crossed out. It had taken Edmund only a moment to realize that she was connected to almost everything.

Next to her crossed-out name was ‘the founding families,’ and a deep underline. Edmund stared, wondering why he had thought that was important. He hadn’t drawn any lines to anything else. Could he? Using his finger, Edmund began to trace imaginary lines about the page.

Then, he saw it. Quickly, Edmund flipped back through his papers, trying to find what he had scrawled about ‘the great agreement.’ Rereading what he had written, he realized he would need help from the servants. He would also need to spend a lot of time in the library to make sure the Law would bare him out.

He flipped another page and stared at Googoltha’s name. Now he remembered why she was important.

It would take quite a bit of secrecy as well–his plan would only work if no one knew what he was doing. Luckily, no one had seen him since he escaped the crypt, apart from Mr. Shobbinton, and Edmund had the perfect place to hide.

When he could spare the time, he silently thanked Pinsnip for his lessons.

For days, Edmund was able to live like a rat, darting between the walls when no one was looking, slipping through hidden doors and behind tapestries. He looked through peep holes and listened at doors to make sure no one would see or hear him, and only left the walls to prepare secretly in his room or the library. He never visited the library on Wednesdays, of course, lest he accidentally bump into Junapa.

Every time he entered the library, Edmund felt the urge to tell his story to Tayatra, but he would have to repair her later; there were far more important things to deal with first.

Sometimes he spied on his cousins to see how they were taking his disappearance. None of them seemed to behave any differently, though there seemed to be a lighter spring in Pinsnip’s step. They talked about the same things, and plotted and planned just the same, but they rarely mentioned Edmund.

He wasn’t sure how he felt about that. It made his planning easier, of course, but it was somehow disappointing all the same. He even tried spying on Matron, but he could never find her. It was frustrating–the one time he could have really used her help, and she couldn’t be found.


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