Actually, I don't really know. Grr.
Carey spent a lovely afternoon with Peter, who paid her more attention than anyone had in her whole life. He suggested dinner on Sunday, and she agreed, going home on a cloud of happy fantasies. Joey and Con watched her indulgently over dinner, and nobly restrained themselves from pestering her for details.
“David’s bringing Len on Monday,” said Joey, as they sat in the salon after their meal. “And Steve and his clan are coming out for a few days on Tuesday. Charles can’t get the time, and Mike’s in the middle of the ocean somewhere. Felicity’s planning to come, but she’s not sure when, and she was planning to give Felix a call and get him to come too.”
“And presumably South Africa’s a bit of a stretch for Cecil,” put in Con diplomatically.
“Yes; she didn’t think she could make it. Geoff and Marianne are coming, and are going to bring Meg, now that she’s finished all her exams. I—I don’t have a number for Phil, but Geoff said he’d talk to her, so that’s all that can be done.”
“And Roger’s coming tomorrow,” said Con. “He gets into Innsbruck at about eleven. He said he’d rent a car and drive, rather than getting the train, so he’ll probably get here early afternoon.”
“We’ll have a houseful,” said Joey, practically rubbing her hands together at the thought. “Con spoke to Herr Braun, and he said they can sort out any catering we need. Now, I need to make a list of things I’d like from England.” She pottered off. Con grinned affectionately at her retreating back.
“She’s a bit mad, Mamma,” she said lightly. “Still, she could be worse.”
“Do you think Phil will come?” asked Carey urgently. Con pulled a face.
“To be quite honest, I haven’t the faintest idea. I mean, I know she’ll be dying to meet you, but… well, what with her and Mamma not having spoken for years… it makes it tricky.”
“Geoff’s her twin, right?”
“Yes. For a while, he was a bit chilly with Mamma, but he couldn’t keep it up. Give Phil her due, she never tried to make him cut Mamma off, and she could have done, initially, anyway. Once he’d married Marianne that would have been a non-starter; she thinks Mamma’s the bees knees. Another OGD,” she said, by way of explanation. Carey raised a questioning eyebrow at the acronym. “Old Girl Descendant. Marianne’s the daughter of Mary-Lou Huntley – the archaeologist?”
“Oh, I’ve heard of her! She was on TV, wasn’t she?”
“That’s right. An assortment of looong BBC series. Bit of a star, our Mary-Lou.”
“You know her?”
“I do indeed. Have done since I was a tiny – seven or so. She came and lived in the same village as us, just after the War. We were all at school together. She was a head girl.”
“Here in Austria?”
“No, I told you. This branch didn’t start up again till later. We started at the school at Howells – on the Welsh border, you know? Then we moved to St Briavels. Glendower House is near there now. We came to Switzerland when we were about twelve, I think. Anyway, Mary-Lou. You’ll probably meet her at some stage – she and Mamma are great friends. They were delighted when Geoff and Marianne married. Actually, thinking about it, you must have met another member of that lot.”
“Really? I don’t think…”
“Charlotte Trevor? The Headmistress here? She’s Mary-Lou’s sort-of-niece.” She laughed at Carey’s expression. “I know it sounds mad! I just mean, she’s not an actual niece, but more than just a call-me, if you know what I mean. Mary-Lou’s mother married Verity’s father – Verity was at school with us as well – and Charlotte’s Verity’s daughter.”
“Step-niece, then,” said Carey, calculating the relationship. Con looked sceptical.
“Sounds a bit strong. Mary-Lou and Verity were never big on claiming to be step-sisters. I always assumed they were friends, back at school, but I’m not sure they were, really. Anyway, once Doris Carey died, I don’t think Mary-Lou and Verity had much to do with each other. But that’s neither here nor there. As to Phil. Well, we’ll see. Although,” and at this point a martial gleam came into Con’s dark eyes, “I’m rather tempted to give her a call myself.” She got up from the armchair and yawned. “But I’m for bed, I think. Night, Carey!”
Carey followed shortly after, and dreamt of a family reunion with a lot of women looking exactly like Con, and Peter, trying to buy some ham from Joey, and Ceridwen, just standing and watching them, with that calm look of hers.