Chapter 27

Letter to Dr. Donald Martin

Dr. Martin,

You must have been keenly aware of how excellent nurse I was, now that I'm gone! You must be thinking; I should have been kinder to her while I was employing her. It's never too late! Just in time for Christmas …

(….)

Anyway, I'm happy for you! It's just as I predicted!

You only have to overcome alcoholism, and patients will come flooding to you!

Because you are the best doctor in Chicago! (That's what you told me yourself!)

Mr William A. Ardray also vouches for that. The person called by this solemn name is of course Albert-san whom you helped.

(….)

So please willingly accept Albert-san's offer!

He is really grateful to you.

You have offered a helping hand when we had the toughest time ever.

When Albert-san had the traffic accident on the way back from the dishwasher job and was brought to the Happy Clinic, you kindly treated him at once and furthermore, gave him all kinds of examination at no charge...

I was fired from St. Joanna hospital and was unemployed at that time. You hired me at once because you could see I was an absolutely skilful nurse, I guess!

Even though you are the best doctor in Chicago, it's a great pity that the clinic is like such a pig hut (Sorry to be rude, but it's true!)

(….)

I want you accept Albert-san's offer and build a new clinic for you!

If you feel sorry to burden him, you can pay him back monthly when the clinic runs better.

We all need a doctor like you.

Please think about it seriously!

Candy

PS: 19 days until Christmas!

Letter to Dr. Martin

Dr. Martin,

Thank you very much for so many presents!

I've just said, as a sort of … on purpose. (See, you fell off the chair again!)

You kindly have sent presents also for children —.

But the best Christmas present of all was your answer that you readily accept the offer.

(….)

The new "Happy Martin Clinic" must be built not in Chicago but in this village. Then, you'll accept the offer with pleasure —.

You don't know how much your answer means to us!

You remember I once talked about our village; we don't have a hospital, even a single doctor.

(….)

Albert-san was moved by your proposal too.

Looking forward to working by your side again —.

I've sent you a new wire puzzle by separate post.

Merry Christmas!

I'm flying high

Candy

Letter to Mr Vincent Brown

Thank you for the beautiful Christmas card.

I have displayed it on the mantelpiece.

At Stair's funeral, although I wasn't allowed to attend, at that time, you spoke to me outside the church. I can't ever forget how glad I was.

I had been wondering … what Anthony's father is like.

I wasn't allowed to attend Anthony's funeral either.

So, sometimes even now I can't believe that Anthony and Stair are long gone.

Recently, I have more opportunity to take my time to talk with the "portraits of Rosemary", Anthony's mother, at the Ardray's principal residence or in Lakewood. Many portraits of her have been painted.

I would say talk with portraits of Anthony's mother rather than look at them.

Every time I see them I'm touched to see how she looked a lot like Anthony.

And, like her brother William Albert Granduncle too.

I've heard they were very good sister and brother.

William Albert Granduncle talks about you respectfully as his "elder brother" and fondly shares the memories with me.

Please once visit the mansion in Chicago.

And I hope to walk around the rose gate with you someday in the rose season.

I have lots of things I'd like to talk with you!

I wish you the best of health, and a safe voyage.

Candice W. Ardray

Letter to Mrs Gloria Bandog

(….)

Thank you for the kind words in your letter, they are more than I deserve.

It was me who should have sent a thank-you letter to you, I'm sorry.

It seems all of the House of Magnolia are doing fine!

Both Albert-san and I lived comfortably in House of Magnolia.

I mean it. We really think so!

So, Mrs Gloria please, don't think you've driven us out!

Albert-san is the one who is to blame.

I'm telling you, if you see Albert-san we knew, comes out from the back door of the bank in Chicago (and that, in a classy suit, with his men? who have evil look in their eyes), or is driving in a luxury car. I would also be suspicious! He will look obviously … like a member of mafia.

He must have been washing dishes at a restaurant without his memories, you know. He was also penniless …

(….)

Dear Grandaunt Elroy,

How are you?

I apologise for bothering you with my card. Please don't feel offended.

I am desperate to express my gratitude for allowing me to attend the "memorial meeting for Stair" in Lakewood.

And, director Leonard of St. Joanna hospital is a very kind and good doctor despite his appearance.

I believe he is the perfect doctor for the Ardray family in the new era, and also for you.

I was very impressed by Granduncle William's excellent choice. (… I'm sorry for the impertinent comments.)

I hope your neuralgia eases off as much as possible.

Candice

Letter to Archie

Archie, have you already got used to the new life there?

It seems, Annie was shocked because you moved to the graduate school in Massachusetts but has pulled herself together now, willing to respect your wish.

(….)

The war is finally over but the world is still in chaos. We can't shake off the uneasiness, but we just have to move forward!

You must have relieved to have held the "memorial meeting for Stair" in Lakewood.

But I know it's hard for you to visit that mansion.

Mutual time of you, Stair and Anthony, which I don't know.

"I'm glad to see Archibald shows steady growth every time I see him". — said Granduncle William!

…Well, but if you think the words are coming from Albert-san, you won't appreciate his words that much!

Albert-san and Granduncle William.

Sometimes I still wonder if they are the same person.

Archie, at that time, you were too stunned to speak, with your eyes wide opened, just pointing at Albert-san!

I mean when you learnt Albert-san was Granduncle William!

That look on your face at that time! Archie, do you remember how often you asked again? Nine times! Including your muttering monologue afterward.

It's amusing to imagine how Anthony and Stair would be astounded if they were still alive.

(….)

Yes, indeed, if we were told William A. Ardray was that youthful Albert-san (he also looks younger than he is), we might have taken him lightly as the head of the family even though they said he was an able businessman.

As the head of the Ardray family, Albert-san seems to be very busy now.

So busy that he doesn't have much time to talk with me. Even so he came to Lakewood, and was accused even by Patty who is normally a meek person, "Why did you keep it secret?"

Patty … also have turned the bend, she seems to have found what she want to do behind the bend.

She says she want to be a teacher after she graduated from the university in Chicago!

(….)

Now the Pony's Home is under extension and alteration.

Mr Cartwright, the land owner sold us the land at a favourable price. Miss Pony and Miss Lane are greatly pleased that now they can bring up children at ease!

It was thanks to Granduncle William.

Granduncle also kindly advised us to build a new house but they declined, saying they can't take advantage of his kindness too much. … When I talk about this kind of subject, I find myself talking with respect terms to him. Then Albert-san put a troubled look on his face, but Archie, I can't help thinking who kindly supports us is Granduncle, not Albert-san who was like a bearded pirate, I can't change.

(….)

Letter to Grandaunt Elroy

(….)

After much wavering, I worked up the courage to take up my pen.

I hope you kindly read all the way through.

It's regarding Archibald Cornwell and Annie Brighton.

(….)

I've got a distressing letter from Archie.

He wrote that you, also Cornwell's parents and family members of the Ardray are against his engagement to Annie.

I think one of the major reasons is that Annie was from the same orphanage where I was brought up.

We were abandoned children and we couldn't know who our parents were even if we wanted.

I believe they had their inevitable reasons to abandon us.

(….)

We might have started our lives lucklessly compared with other people. However I myself am now unbelievably happy.

And, unlike me, Annie was adopted by the Brightons when she was a small child. I think you also know well that she was loved and brought up like their real daughter.

I know the Brightons are in a different class from the Ardrays, and recently we learnt that Mr Brighton had considerable debts. But Mr and Mrs Brighton clearly state they won't cause any trouble to the Ardray family.

Archie doesn't care such circumstances at all.

He actually doesn't have to hesitate because Granduncle William, head of the family offers his congratulations on his engagement to Annie, but Archie still hopes to be heartily congratulated by his parents and the member of the Ardray family.

(….)

Thank you very much for reading this long letter all through.

I wrote this letter without any permission of Archie or Annie.

Of course Granduncle doesn't know anything about it.

Please forgive my officiousness.

(….)

Letter to Alistair Cornwell

Stair,

important news!

The date of Archie and Annie's engagement ceremony is fixed at last!

Grandaunt Elroy and the Raguins (especially Neal and Eliza!), involved other members of the family, had been snidely opposing to their engagement. But they finally accepted, thanks to the power of "head of the family's persuasion" by Granduncle William at the end of the day, and that so compassionate —.

It seems Granduncle didn't expect Grandaunt Elroy and other family members would oppose to the engagement so obstinately. He might have taken it easy.

Since Granduncle himself has a view that background doesn't make any difference, it seems he can't avoid disharmony with other members of the Ardray family.

Because, probably, because of me …

Granduncle adopted me on his own authority, and that must have left a deep scar on them including Grandaunt Elroy and still haven't been forgotten. I'm sorry for that.

Oh … but Stair, you know everything, I guess …

(….)

After you set out on a long journey, a lot of things have happened.

Every time, I found myself writing a letter to you in my mind, thinking what would Stair think about it. Like now …

Then, I calm down and feel as if I've got a reply from you, it's amazing. Maybe, Stair, you invented a "heaven communication channels", didn't you?

After I have received the invitation card for Archie and Annie's engagement ceremony, I can't contain myself for joy.

It's only you whom I can share this rejoicing with! What about me? Granduncle pretends to be Albert-san (He is Albert-san himself, though) and insists on attending.

(….)

Patty is now eager to become a teacher. She also started keeping Feury II !

Yes, I think Patty knows best that you wish her happiness above all.

You ask me if I am happy? Of course!

Because I have "Candy happy maker".

I'm very surprised that it works so well, I knew you were a splendid inventor!

Archie and Annie's engagement ceremony will be held in Lakewood.

Archie tipped me off.

They are planning to surprise people by making an entrance from the water gate. Please watch over them so that it goes well.

On the day, I'll surely look for you in the sunshine in Lakewood.

Of course, for Anthony too …

Please blow an especially gentle breeze, and bless Archie and Annie on the day.

Newsletter from Candy

I took out a beautiful card with a white lacily pattern out of the damascened jewellery box.

It is the invitation card for Archie and Annie's engagement ceremony, which still hasn't faded in colour —.

(….)

On that day, Lakewood was in full bloom.

In a simple chiffon gown in aquamarine colour, Annie was shining brilliantly.

She was beautiful and full of confidence. Archie was the same.

Vivid blue sky as far as the eye can see, flower scents were filling the air.

— For a moment, I sensed "an especially gentle breeze" blew.

I can write to Stair anytime in my mind.

But I still couldn't write to Anthony at that time.

(….)

If Anthony is still alive — I sometimes think about it.

Probably we had stayed in Lakewood and didn't go to England to study.

Yes … if I didn't go to England — I haven't had met Terrus.

I once thought … maybe Anthony led me to the encounter with Terrus.

If it was so, those days of suffering were something meaningful.

I took a deep breath, and then gently touched a rose pink envelope in the jewellery box. A delicate sweet fragrance still remains on the envelope.

The letter from Eleanor Baker and the invitation to the performance —.

Stratford Theatre Company Autumn performance

"Hamlet"

Directed by Robert Hathaway

Leading actor Terrus Graham

The invitation card Eleanor Baker kindly sent me, which I didn't use.

Dear Miss Eleanor Baker,

Thank you very much for your letter and the invitation ticket.

"Hamlet"

How long was I staring vacantly at the invitation ticket.

I knew about the performance of Hamlet through newspapers and magazines. I preferably don't want to know the news about Terrus, but I wonder at the fact that I find the news without realising.

It's been a long time since you spoke to me in Rockstown.

I made a short visit to that town by accident, to search for a missing person who has helped me very much.

(….)

If my voice in my heart had reached him, a miracle must have happened.

(….)

At that moment I felt that Terry certainly would get over it.

I wanted to see Terry …

But I didn't want to see him in this way …

Terrus Graham is a natural-born actor!

He's not a person who is satisfied with such stages or performances!

Miss Baker, you know it more than anyone.

(….)

That's why I wasn't surprised so much to know that Terry could start over at the Stratford Theatre Company, and was chosen to play this "Hamlet".

However … I must decline your kind offer.

I want to see Terry's performance … however I don't want to.

If I see his performance, surely I'll feel the urge to meet him, to exchange a word with him. Besides, I have promised Susanna. I promised not to see him again.

(….)

I feel as if I could see his performance and hear the cheers and the sustained applause, by just looking at this invitation card.

I'll keep this invitation card as my treasure.

I'm looking forward to your new film.

I wish you the best of health.

Candice W. Ardray

Dear Mr Terrus Graham,

Terry …

Every time when I face you in my mind, my heart is like a ripe sweet-sour apricot. If the slightest wind blows it might fall to the ground, so I can't even breathe.

Congratulations for the great success of "Hamlet"!

Long run after long run! I see special feature articles with rave reviews here and there.

— Real "Hamlet" like everyone has imagined! No, better than imagined!

— Terrus's "Hamlet" "is also going to be performed in England!

Now, Granduncle William casually talks about you. At first, he was almost unnaturally avoiding it, and it seems, was hiding magazines or such things, it made me feel on the contrary painful. But I'm relieved that he acts naturally at last.

Yes, Terry,

Granduncle William was — Brace yourself! Albert-san whom you also know!

Can you believe! It's terrible, isn't it?

I have met him also in London!

Moreover, I even left my diary to the care of him, the diary in which I wrote my feelings perfectly honestly, when I left the Saint Paul's Academy —.

Therefore Albert-san knows as much as I do, how much I … you.

How we met each other, and by little and little …, everything about it.

Albert-san, I wonder how he reacted when he read that diary. Neither of us can mention about it even now …

I'm glad he didn't want to be an actor. Brilliant poker face! He could have become your biggest rival. Albert-san didn't tell me he recovered his memory right away either … he is still veiled in mystery.

Even so, I was really saved by Albert-san.

It might be because Albert-san was there by my side, I could manage to get over.

Terry, I wanted to take my time to share my adventures with you some day, the story how I came back from England following you, but I haven't had a chance to tell you in the end. I learnt that most of the letters I sent you didn't reach you —.

But you wrote me a lot of letters … although you were busy.

You always addressed me Tarzan freckle —. You always wrote me something to tease me, I wished to have more romantic letters … However I think I knew your heart.

Teasingly, yet the letters were with full of warmth and kindness —.

Thank you, Terry …

I've treasured the letter. However, I still can't read them over again.

You also visited the Pony's Home.

I stowed away on a ship and was one the way back.

I heard from Misses that you visited … That was frustrating. If I returned a bit earlier … If you visited me later …

Just as well in Chicago …

We kept missing the chance to see each other —. But at that time, I believed I would have much more time to be with you as compensation later on.

The night in New York was cold, but the ceaseless snow was warm.

I wonder was it because your warmth remained on my back?

— Be happy or else I won't forgive you …

Terry, you said so.

I am happy.

And, Terry, I hope you too will be happier!

— Susanna's love! Supported Terrus's comeback.

I read such articles.

Terry, Susanna is a wonderful person. Above all else she is wonderful, because she keeps on loving you.

And you, who have chosen her, are also wonderful.

I know of course I can't send this kind of letter …

I know.

But I couldn't help writing to you because I was glad of your success, although I knew I wasn't supposed to send.

Terry …,

Please keep in mind there's an ardent fan of Terrus Graham in the countryside of America.

Please keep in mind there I am, who give a big applause to you when you appear on stage —.

P.S. Terry … I loved you.

Tarzan freckle

I gaze at the white envelope.

There is chilly air just around the envelope in the jewellery box.

I only once read the letter in it, but I clearly remember even its text.

The first and the last letter from Susanna Marlowe —.

Dear Miss Candice White Ardray,

I hope you are back in Chicago safely.

(….)

We also saw each other when we had the benefit performance in Chicago.

You visited our hotel to see Terry at night.

I hated your sparkling eyes. I hated Terry who had been thinking of you all the time.

If Terry forgets you with it, I would have done everything.

It meant nothing for me to become unable to walk compared to lose Terry …

I'm sorry.

Since I loved him, I've been getting more and more disgusting woman.

(….)

At that night, I could do nothing but cry and apologise to him, then he told me, "I'll be by your side … now and forever."

Gazing out of the window at the snow, he spoke in a small voice but clearly.

Although I knew his soul was chasing after you, I clung to his words.

To repay his kindness, how can I carry on living …

Apologising to you in my mind, I can only keep on loving him also on behalf of you.

Terry is my life.

Miss Candice,

I'm deeply grateful to you that you have given me my life and hope to live.

I wish you all the best.

Susanna Marlowe

— It's long time ago when I saw the obituary of Susanna Marlowe.

I also only once read it but the article burnt into my brain.

Susanna died …

At that time, I slumped down into the sofa as if I'd lost all my strength.

I choked and could not stop crying.

There was a photo of Susanna in the obituary, smiling in a wheel chair.

It seems she worked as a narrator and even wrote dramas, some of which were performed, the article said.

— Relationship between Terrus Graham is as is well known. He has been living with her all the time and also supported her fighting against her illness. But it is said Susana didn't marry him although she had been engaged to him.

Terrus hasn't released his statement yet —

Candy

How are you doing?

… It has been a year.

I have decided to get in touch with you after one year, but another half year has passed while I was wavering.

I take the plunge and post this.

— I haven't changed at all.

I'm not sure if this letter will reach you. But I wanted to let you know it by any means.

T.G.

================== Epilogue==================

Dear Granduncle William,

I wonder under which sky you are travelling now.

I never thought you would be so busy as the head of the Ardray family. I very much appreciate your having come all the way to the Pony's home despite your busy schedule preparing for a new business now.

And, and…

I feel as if I am still dreaming.

Prince on the Hill was …

Little did I know it's Albert-san —.

It means … Granduncle William was the Prince on the Hill!

Oh, I'm still quivering with surprise and sensation.

After you revealed such a secret, soon came Georges to pick you up, and again, you vanished in a blink of an eye from the Pony's Hill —.

Maybe that's why it seems like a dream all the more.

I feel like I'm floating.

I have never forgotten about the Prince on the Hill.

I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight.

Candy

Dear Miss Candice White Ardray,

I have read your letter gratefully.

It was highly regrettable for me as well that I had to leave immediately, even though I made such an important confession.

Again, please accept my sincere apology, that my sudden confession surprised you.

— Just joking, Candy,

If I write to you in this way you will get pouty with frustration, won't you?

So, can you write me like your lively chat as always?

I don't blame you for getting angry.

I kept it secret, that I was "Granduncle" — William A. Ardray.

I had my inner conflict myself to keep it secret, but I won't make excuses.

I wish I could watch over you silently.

Who could ever have imagined that "Albert" was taken care of by you so much! (like a cheap novel)

That's why I bear patiently even if you formally call me "Graaanduncle!" and sometimes treat me like an old person.

I knew I would surprise you again, but I was pondering when I should reveal another secret to you.

If it's possible, in the same season when I met you for the first time … on that Pony's Hill.

Maybe I felt like; then I could get back to my old self when I was a young boy of that time.

Candy,

You realised at once.

I sensed you have understood everything, watching your tearful face alone convinced me.

I intended to take my time to talk with you on the hill.

However — someone interrupted. Georges always gets in my way at the right moment.

I didn't vanish. You followed me to the car, didn't you?

Work is the most important thing for me now. I had been leaving it to others.

I want to see you real soon again, but I can't afford to for a while.

Candy, I want your letter.

I'm waiting for your letter typically in your style.

Take good care of yourself.

Please give my regards to Miss Pony, Miss Lane and the kids!

William Albert Ardray

Dear Prince on the Hill,

… Although you simply say I should write in my usual style, ah I can't help but be nervous if I think I'm writing to the Prince on the Hill! (Come on, take a deep breath …)

Prince on the Hill …

Thank you for your quick reply!

The person called William Albert Ardray never stops surprising me!

My weak heart won't stand any more!

Shall I call you "Prince-Graaandpa" from now on? I think you should bear it!

For all that … Granduncle, you had such a lovely way of telling me the secret!

On the Pony's Hill where I met the Prince on the Hill for the first time. Clear blue sky and the smell of the grass were just like at that time.

On that day, since the moment you appear out of the blue at the Pony's Home, I had been feeling strange uneasiness.

While Miss Pony and Miss Lane were in panic, preparing for you tea and cookies and such things, you must have noticed I was just standing in a daze.

At that time … you looked somehow different when you came into the Pony's Home … Like a boy …

I sometimes tease you by treating you like an old person, but as a matter of fact you look younger than you are … But in this case I don't mean you looked younger or something like that … ah, I don't know how to describe it … In any case, my heart skipped a beat for some reason, seeing something different about you.

Therefore I had a hunch something's going to happen since the moment you asked me; you declined their tea offer and said with a serious look, "Candy, let's go out to the Pony's Hill …"

But, but, I never expected —.

There on the hill, you stood in silence for a moment, and then you turned to face me with an air of determination, "Candy … it's about time you give me back my badge …"

You told me so with a strained smile on your face.

— At that moment time flowed backward at a burst.

… Little girl crying on the hill.

There was the Prince on the Hill smiling right in front of my eyes —.

Just then I started sobbing uncontrollably.

I quick riposted, sobbing,

"… You mean I'm … prettier when I smile …?"

I said. Prince on the Hill too responded with a moist eye.

"— For now, you're also pretty when you're crying, little girl."

You said. … The voice of the Prince was also a little bit hoarse.

The voice of the Prince — yes, indeed it was the diction of the Prince!

I hadn't recognised … although you were always by my side and I heard you speaking all the time.

But now I realised the reason why I have thought, how sweet your voice was.

And, the reason why Granduncle looked different —.

It wasn't "Granduncle" but "Prince on the Hill" who appeared suddenly at the Pony's Home.

I could hardly stop the tears but it was the tears of happiness.

At any rate, how could you, Prince!

I have showed you my treasured badge and told you many times about the "Prince on the Hill" when we lived in the House of Magnolia! If my memory is correct, someone called "Albert-san" was listening to me quietly …

I wonder if you had already regained your memory at that time. (I'll press you with questions next time!)

Yes — Prince, you were watching me tenderly without saying a word until I stopped crying.

The refreshing breeze blowing through the hill was caressing my tear-stained cheeks.

Under the blue sky … my Prince on the Hill is here standing next to me —.

While I was entranced, Georges dragged me away from my daydream from below the hill by the honking horns. Humph!

(….)

Now, soon in May, Pony's Hill will be in full bloom. Then, what day's coming up?

Yes, the birthday of certain someone! (loudly!)

Well, I'll cast a spell on the Prince on the Hill!

ala hela bla bla gela gola booone!

On the day, you come to the Pony's Home to see "the girl who is whether crying or smiling pretty"! The present to the girl is "your holiday"! to stay with her a lot and talk with her a lot!

I think you're now enchanted —.

Candy

Dear Candy, Miss sorceress,

Candy,

You don't have to chant such a weird spell, of course I remember quite well about the birthday of certain someone!

On top of that, I have been looking for the present for a long time now. And that was the product of sweat and tears. I'm sure you like the present!

So, forgive me even if I won't be enchanted.

I would like to take a holiday more than anyone, but Georges says seriously, "It seems you have already taken your holidays for your whole lifetime", absolutely correct.

Don't get pouty, Candy!

Instead, will you come back to Chicago?

Annie also said she'd like to hold a birthday party together with you. I'm relatively flexible in Chicago too.

Now, get back your good humour and if you accept it, I'll arrange the cars to pick you up right away.

Of course, to invite all of the Pony's Home.

(….)

I guess I have been enchanted a little bit, though.

I keep reminiscing about the past since then.

Well, why I was on the Pony's Hill at that time —. And that in the ethnic costume.

At that time — in fact since I was a child, I had been strictly prohibited not only to go out freely but also to appear in public.

I think you also know that I succeeded the head of the Ardray family when I was very young.

This complicated situation of the family is too long to tell. Ardray family esteems lineage above all things. My father William C. Ardray was an excellent businessman and was reigning as the head of the family since he was young. After he suddenly died, the family faced the predicament. I was the sole heir of William, who was only 8 years old at that time. The head of the family must be "William" in the direct line of the Ardray. The oldest sister of my father, Grandaunt Elroy and the senior members of the family were worried, because there was also another family member who was eager to be the head of the family.

No, you don't have to know about such stories of internal strife. Everything is OK now.

Anyway, the senior members of the family including Grandaunt Elroy decided to make me the head of the family, and take care of Ardray's business enterprise until I was grown up.

(….)

I don't know the details of what happened in between either.

I was just a lonely marionette.

Surrounded by many selected private tutors, from business science to the law — and tight-lipped servants. I grew up surrounded by such strict adults.

When my sister Rosemary was still alive, I was still relaxed.

Rosemary was the only one who really understood me. She felt deeply sorry and worry about my position with false identity more than anyone.

But after she died —.

Candy …

Women on my mother's side tend to die young. My mother too.

She died soon after she gave birth to me.

That's why Rosemary, who was much older than I, was also like a mother to me.

On that day … yes, the day I met cry-baby Candy, I ran away from home.

Don't laugh.

Even if it was just one day, runaway is runaway.

On that day there was a party at the Ardray's second residence in Lakewood.

I was forbidden to leave my room as always. Georges would take me far from the residence when there was a party; however it seemed he had been too busy to do it on that day.

I was doing my assignment in the large room.

I heard children of the family members laughing. And, bagpipe's tone.

I was sure I could play the bagpipe better than anyone. But those who listened to me playing the bagpipe were Grandaunt Elroy who could praise me keeping her strict look with her eyebrows raised, or Georges who just made a stereotyped comment. I didn't have any friends my age either.

While I was listening to it, I became unable to bear it any longer; I changed into the ethnic costume. All young members of the family traditionally wear it at the parties. It seemed there weren't so many persons of importance from the family there compared to the party in Chicago. No one would detect me if I slipped into the people in that costume — I thought.

However I was detected right away by one of the senior members of the family. I was scolded harshly by Grandaunt Elroy to remember my place. I really got mad on that day, more than ever before.

I was going to study at the English University where no other family member studied; I should have just been patient a little longer. People tried to appease me that I would be free from that choking false life; however I thought such days would never come. Because I would have a watchdog also there in England. I would never ever be able to get rid of restraints …

Who on earth am I ?

Already 17 years old now, have no freedom, things are being done in my name without my knowledge, who am I ?

What a distorted life —

I slipped straight out of the mansion.

I was good at driving.

If I run away in that costume I would soon draw people's attention. However I was so pushed to the breaking point that I couldn't think about it … I didn't have any money with me, either.

Nevertheless, I had never felt so free before, it was the first time.

(….)

A well-shaped cloud was flowing pleasantly.

Clouds are so lucky, they have freedom … I was vacantly looking at the cloud, then suddenly the cloud broke.

Clouds were torn apart and flowing separately. There were some clouds joined together with others, some faded away.

Then it suddenly dawned on me, Candy.

Even clouds are not free. Each cloud bears its destiny.

Clouds are scattered by the wind and swept away in unexpected directions. But why are they flowing so exhilaratingly!

I pondered about the family. About my father, my mother. About my sister, and about Georges who was always by my side like a shadow.

And also about Grandaunt Elroy, who was stern to me but was keeping her tense to protect me at any cost.

(….)

And that was when.

When a little girl came climbing up the hill fast like a bullet with her lips pursed in a frown —

Candy, it was you.

I remember. At that time you were struggling to hold back your tears.

I saw it.

You were struggling not to cry until you were on the hill, until you were alone.

I was touched to see it.

Candy,

I had never seen someone cry in such a wonderful degree. It was also my first time to hear such an honest crying.

And such a charming smile.

— I spoke to you before I knew it.

It was because of Georges that you thought I had vanished.

I saw him climbing up the hill. I ran away toward the ramp on the other side like the wind.

Since you were talking alone loudly pointing at the bottom of the hill, I guess you didn't notice it.

I was caught at once. Georges is nimble.

After he found me, Georges wept with big drops of tears. It was an unexpected reaction. It hurts to see someone weep silently. It was the first and the last time I had ever seen Geroges weep except when my sister died.

Yes, I have found the way to live on that hill.

I have never forgotten about that girl I met on the hill either.

That's why I recognised at once.

When I saved you as you fell into the waterfall — I saw the cross and that badge of mine dangling from your neck.

And you hadn't changed so much since then. (Don't be angry)

Then after I learnt about your situation, I hoped you to be happy.

I want this girl to be happy.

I should be able to make her —.

Oh, I've written such a long letter.

Is it because of your spell?

I'm waiting for you in Chicago.

Albert

PS: Candy, I can bear any other things, but can you just stop calling me "Prince on the Hill"? It makes me feel crawly on my back …

Dear Albert-san,

Thank you … Albert-san.

I stained your letter with tears.

I'll never call you "Graaandpa" again. I'll never let you bear anything!

I feel you have become much closer and closer to me.

All of the Pony's Home are of course happy to accept your invitation.

I look forward to meeting you in Chicago!

Cry-baby Candy

Dear Albert-san,

Albert-san! Albert-san! Albert-san!

Oh? I don't have to call you so loudly again and again, you say you hear me?

But I'm so happy, so happy, and I just can't help but call you again and again …

Albert-san, thank you!

I feel like I have received all of the birthday presents for the girls in the whole world!

The large room decorated all in peppermint green, refurbished for me! Handmade nice and soft wooden furniture —. I love the smell of the wood very much!

I could have stayed in a guest room as always.

This would make me feel the urge to come back to the mansion frequently.

There were a lot of presents on the table! I couldn't decide which one I should open first.

But, but, they weren't all!

The product of your sweat and tears … I thought it was the room refurbished for me —.

Oh, the present which followed, I almost couldn't breathe!

Thank you! Albert-san!

You have bought back Caesar and Cleopatra!

I couldn't believe my eyes when they appeared in the yard.

I took care of them at the Raguins.

(….)

I could also see Archie, Annie and Patty after a long time.

But it seems my spell didn't have much effect any more. I didn't have much time to talk with you.

You look really busy… I'm worried about your health.

Dr. Martin also said you shouldn't overdo it, you know?

Could amnesia recur I wonder … I never want it!

I reminisce those unsettling yet peaceful days at the House of Magnolia.

Both of our wallets were empty. But the life was delightful …

I never forget your words — let's share everything with each other.

I hoped you regain your memory soon, on the other hand I also thought it's not bad to live with you as brother and sister after all … now I'm your foster daughter!

Actually am I supposed to call you "Father"!

By the way, when did you regain your memory?

Please tell me about your story in Africa next time … well, I wonder when we'll have a chance …

Your beautiful adopted daughter

A quick note to Candy,

Candy,

Let me express my displeasure briefly. You promised me you won't let me bear again, didn't you?

"Father!" — and "beautiful adopted daughter" you say!

Yes, you're beautiful. Maybe (you get pouty?) And indeed you are my adopted daughter.

I had forgotten about it. It even surprised me that I, at this young age and still a bachelor, have an adopted daughter. "Adopted daughter" also sounds unbearable to me. Even though you won't see it, I'm sensitive. (Don't laugh)

Now, I'm leaving for São Paulo. I'll write to you again when I've arrived.

Please tell them at Home, "That's just what an adoptive father had to do."

Adoptive father — !

Damn, I did it myself … Take care! Say hello to the kids!

Albert

Dear beautiful Candy … maybe,

I'm now in the hotel in São Paulo. It's shortly after 2 a.m. Finally I have time for myself.

Don't worry, I'm doing fine.

I really enjoy working these days.

I think I do have my father William's blood in my veins.

I'm glad you liked your birthday. You also enjoyed the party, I guess!

I'm sorry I had to leave in the middle of the party.

(….)

When I recovered my memory — I think that traffic accident in which I was brought to Dr. Martin had triggered. All kinds of images had crossed my mind like a flash before that time. But after that accident, I was at work, yes, there I learnt one of my special skills: dishwashing, I got a terrible headache and lost my consciousness.

When I came to — I was my former self again.

Albert … William Albert Ardray.

I should have told you at once, but I couldn't.

I'm still feeling sorry about it.

Candy, also I didn't want to get away from that heart-warming life.

I knew I would lose my freedom for once and for all, if I returned to the Ardray and took up the head of the family. And I knew it was too selfish to still want it. My carefree life which inflicted heartache on many people — I owed that life all to the Ardray. Without dedicated support from Georges it was impossible.

Candy,

I wasn't just light-heartedly travelling around. I went to England to prepare the business we planned to start there. But I think, as you always tell me, we were tied by invisible threads, so I could come across you again by chance in that way. After I had done the preparation, and also was relieved to see you back on form, I decided to leave the Blue River Zoo.

To Africa, where I longed for —.

However it was all the same because I was protected by the Ardray that I didn't have any problem to live and get a job everywhere I went.

Right — I might not able to do anything by myself.

The thought had been torturing me all the time.

I tackled my own troubles in the days of Africa.

It was because I had decided to try to live without relying on anyone, that I broke off contacts with Georges and left Africa. There was restlessness in the air before the war also in Africa. That atmosphere might have incited me.

Ardray's business had been stable; I thought it didn't matter even if I disappeared for a while.

What a selfish arrogance! I knew it made people upset. Now, I'm greatly ashamed of myself for my immaturity.

It might be what I exactly deserved that I got involved in that train accident. There was a spy on the train. It was certainly not surprising that I was suspected who was unidentified and was in dirty clothes.

Chi - ca - go —.

The single word. The city name which was retained in my memory saved me. It paved the way to you.

I think I've become more religious than before.

If someone in the camp hadn't kindly sent me back to Chicago … and if I couldn't meet you —.

Candy,

at that time, I was nothing more than a suspicious man without memory, with no identification.

But you didn't leave me. You didn't leave me even when you were fired from the hospital.

Your memories will surely come back, you kept my spirit up.

Just one time I have saved you, but you —.

I can never thank you enough.

I'm going to find out where your happiness lies.

I'll certainly take a holiday and come to meet you when I'm back.

Bert

Dear Albert-san,

When will you come back from São Paulo?

When will you come to the Pony's Home?

If you are so much thankful to me, I hope you'll come soon.

Well but, "Bert"? Did people call you so?

It sounds cute!

And now, that's all for today.

I just want to meet you and talk with you personally.

Maybe I'm stingy? Candy

Dear Mr William Albert Ardray

or little Bert,

Little Bert, are you still working now?

I'm back from Happy Martin Clinic as always and have just put the children to sleep.

Little Bert … I'm very very happy you have told me this name!

Your sister Rosemary — Anthony's mother called you so, I didn't know that.

It was only Rosemary who called me so …

But you allow me call you by this name!

But I want to talk with you seriously today, Albert-san.

After the several hours in Lakewood, I feel like something inside me revived.

Again, your sudden visit is not good for my heart, but getting used to it strengthens the heart. It seems the same for Miss Pony and Miss Lane.

It was a lovely drive to Lakewood!

Lupine or rather bluebonnet, black-eyed Susan, lace flower, cow parsley, I murmured the name of the flowers along the road, thank you for admiring me for that!

How sweet was the wind blowing into the car through wide open windows!

I was captivated by the Scottish folk song you sang while driving.

When I was 13 years old, I was on the way to the Raguins down this same road leading to Lakewood, disappointed that I couldn't be an "adopted daughter" yet with a heart filled with excitement for the new life.

Good heavens I can't believe, now I'm with the Prince on the Hill (Sorry! I'll never say it again)

And, with Granduncle William (This is also the last time!) —.

You can imagine how deeply touched I was, little Bert!

There was no one at the Raguins.

We parked at the Ardray's mansion, walked around and visited the three gates in turn.

Although I have visited Lakewood several times, it was the first time to walk around with you.

Flooded by all kinds of emotions, I was left speechless. I saw you felt the same.

Stair, and, Anthony.

Memories of those whom we can never see again overwhelmed me.

Albert-san, you must have a lot more memories there in Lakewood.

Your father, your mother whom you know only by portraits. And, memories with Rosemary Brown.

It was me who wanted to visit that forest.

That forest where Anthony fell from the horse and died.

The grassland edged by wild rose was filled with full bloomed bluebell. The afternoon sunlight falling onto the grassland was twinkling like the border between this life and eternity …

It was so beautiful that I found myself crying.

Yes … that fox hunting.

If only there wasn't that fox hunting held for my introduction as an adopted daughter, Anthony hadn't died that young.

"Because of me … Because of me Anthony was …"

I began to cry, then you tenderly took me in your arms.

"… It was me who adopted you … it's also me who ordered the fox hunting."

Your painful voice penetrated to my heart.

I learnt — you have been keeping the same anguish to yourself.

I'm sorry I cried so hard on your chest. I made a mess of your fine shirt.

No one can predict what is waiting around the bend.

— It's no one's fault …

Since then, I feel I was given a new life.

Albert-san, thank you very much!

And, that room —

On the desk in that room where I learnt your true identity, there was my diary.

Albert-san,

you wanted to give it back to me …

"Because this is … your treasure."

You murmured, keeping staring out of the window. In a very quiet voice —.

Yes, that diary is full of references to Terry.

I also have been concerning about the diary.

Now, I have the diary you gave me back by my side.

I never opened, though.

I'm going to leave it to the care of you again.

Just like you presented me your badge again which I once returned to you.

How cruel and beautiful is the passage of time.

I have no idea what will happen in the world in the days ahead.

But I can believe that all sweet memories will stay in my heart. And because of them, I will be able to get through any difficulties.

I am — very grateful to my parents who have abandoned me at the Pony's Home.

Thanks to that, I could meet you!

It is me who can never thank you enough.

Yes, Albert-san,

Herein lies my happiness; in now.

Ah, I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight again.

But, I wish little Bert dream the most fantastic dream.

With love and gratitude Candy

Dear Mr Anthony Brown,

Anthony,

Finally I can write to you, although I often recall you.

It's a bit painful … that the first letter to you is written only in my mind.

I think you could meet Stair, and your mother —.

Anthony,

I went to Lakewood.

Guess with whom?

— Ah, I wanted to ask you this question and then, found myself at a loss for words …

Anthony, you didn't get to know Albert-san.

It was in London when both Stair and Archie have met Albert-san.

If you had ever met him … you might have seen a resemblance in Albert-san to Mrs Rosemary — your mother.

Albert-san was our Granduncle William … and Mrs Rosemary's brother.

You must be surprised, Anthony.

Beyond that, "Prince on the Hill", I told you that he looked alike you, was also Albert-san — you can imagine how much surprised I was.

Yes, you left the words that you faintly remembered about the boy, it was your uncle.

It was no wonder you looked alike.

Now you can understand why I confused you with him for a moment at the rose gate.

Both you and Albert-san have sandy blond hair.

If Albert-san had that hair colour when I met him for the first time, had I sensed something?

But he had brown hair. In addition he wore a thick beard and even suspicious dark glasses; he looked far different from you. But when I look back now, I see both of you have the same eye colour.

Clear blue eyes like the newborn morning sky.

(….)

— A Flower falls to bloom more beautifully. A person dies to be revived in the heart of others even more beautifully …

When I told him about these words, Albert-san was listening silently.

Then after a long silence, he told me about the background to her marriage to your father Mr Vincent Brown. My sister never yielded to the stiff opposition from the family, on ground that he was in a different class.

What makes us happy is neither birth nor money; but to live with the person we love —.

If I can't I'll abandon Ardray's name anytime, she said.

Rosemary was a gentle person yet she had such strength.

Anthony, you were the same.

Gentle but strong.

I wonder if you are still alive, what you would be like as an adult.

Anthony,

Your last smile has burnt into my heart.

When you were suddenly gone I was so sad that I hated myself for breathing.

It was painful the day dawns and the night falls without you invariably.

I felt terrible about myself that I felt thirsty and hungry.

I also thought I would never love someone so much.

However … Anthony, you know that, don't you?

— I was very much attracted to someone who was like you in London.

But it was just for a brief moment that I thought he was like you and maybe he was the diametric opposite of you.

I have learnt that there were different types of love through this person.

And that there was something we could never restore.

We can't see someone again who has died — I couldn't accept such a simple thing for the life of me …

And — now …

I have learnt there is a fate makes it impossible to see someone although the person is still alive.

Accumulating these encounters and separations we carry on living.

And yet, if I'm alive I can foster a hope —.

Your last smile gives me strength.

I know you will forgive me everything.

Anthony, thank you …

I was happy to meet you.

Anthony, Stair — and those whom I'll meet in the future, all the memories whether sad or happy, they are food for my heart and soul, and I'll live the life I want to live.

What awaits me tomorrow which is blank and unwritten?

I don't know why, but I look forward to it no matter what it may be.

I can't see you again in this life but, so that I don't have to be ashamed of myself when I see you some day, I'll steadily look forward and get on with my life.

As promised, with a smile on my face!

Anthony … please watch over me tenderly.

Sweet Candy in bloom

Candy

The sun has long been set. The bluish twilight seeps through into the room and highlights my white finger tips.

Gradually I put my memories back in the damascened jewellery box.

A lot of time has passed.

What I have lost, what I have gained —.

I have learnt how to get along with the fate.

Light and shadow.

The fate not only casts a shadow but sometimes also sheds a blinding ray of light.

As Miss Pony says, we don't know what awaits us behind the bend. Even if I run into something heart-wrenching, if I don't afraid to drive myself forward, there must be wonderful encounters which embrace me waiting for me behind the bend.

I believe so.

I wait sitting in the chair until the memories breathe a sigh of comfort and cool down in the jewellery box.

I too let out a faint sigh in the darkness.

Then, the light came on suddenly.

"You were in the dark. What's the matter with you? Candy"

That gentle voice which always makes me excited —.

HE is looking at me smiling in front of the door.

That smile I love so much.

How could I have not heard HIS car came back.

"Welcome back home! "

My voice choking with happiness to be able to say these words, I got up from the chair and ran into HIS outstretched arms.

— THE END —