Encounters - A book by Cecilia Peartree(3)
Author:Cecilia Peartree

    'But maybeit's the ghosts of old miners still looking for coal, not knowing themines are as dead as they are,' suggested Dave. 'The lights are fromtheir lamps.' He drained his glass of Old Pictish Brew and got to hisfeet. 'Right, then, what's everybody having?'

    'What doyou think it is, Amaryllis?' said Christopher.

    'Aliens,'she said, but she still seemed to be wrapped in gloom. It wasn't likeher not to join in wholeheartedly with a ridiculous conversation likethis. Christopher was worried: her chin rested on one hand as if shecould hardly hold up her head, and her hair wasn't even standing onend but lay flat against her head.

    'Are youall right?' Christopher asked her. He knew she wouldn't admit it ifshe were ill, but at least he had shown some friendly concern forher.

    She sigheddeeply.

    'Come on,lassie, what'll you have?' said Dave.

    'Rum andblackcurrant's very nice if you're coming down with a cold,' said MrsStevenson.

    'No,thanks, I'd better not,' said Amaryllis. 'I need an early night,' sheadded, getting up and pushing past Christopher, who had shared thewindow-seat with her.

    'Let mewalk you home,' said Christopher at once.

    'Or Icould give you a lift,' said Dave.

    'You'vehad six pints of Old Pictish Brew,' Christopher reminded him.

    'Beerdoesn't count as alcohol, though,' said Dave earnestly. 'And myreactions are as good as anybody's.'

    Hedemonstrated this by swaying on his feet and almost falling into MrsStevenson's lap.

    Amaryllishurried to the door. 'See you later.'

    Christopherfrowned, remembering past occasions when Amaryllis had drunk them allunder the table.

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