As I reach the bottom of the staircase, the sounds of voices from the entrance hall reach me.
My plan is hatching fast; there is a vase as tall as me standing to the side of the staircase. It’s a special vase, Nanny said it was Ming or Ning or something of the sort. I’m not sure but it sure is huge and conceals me perfectly as I hide behind it. The orb is nestled in my palms and I hold it up to eye level, eager to view the first of the important people.
My heart is pounding and my palms are sweating (or glowing, as girls don’t sweat, according to Nanny) my breath is short and shallow. Here they come! I crouch a little and spy around the vase. The lady is wearing a mink coat, which is dragging on the floor. She looks like she’s floating as I can’t see her shoes. Her hair is so pretty. Her dark locks apart from a fringe are drawn back off her face, and make a cascade of ringlets down her head and to just between her shoulders. This shows off her diamond earrings and necklaces perfectly. Wow, she looks just lovely. Secretly I hope I look like that when I am a grown up lady.
Perfect! I hear the gentleman speaking in hushed tones to father, I was so in awe of the lovely lady I’d forgotten to use my orb! Silly me! I most certainly won’t allow this opportunity to pass. This elegant gentleman is wearing what is expected, a starched white collared shirt, a black waistcoat with kerchief in the pocket, and top hat with black tail coat. His kerchief is definitely made of silk, I can recognise silk anywhere.
Watching the gentleman and father engrossed in conversation, slowly I lift the orb level with my eye. Expecting to see nothing other than father and the gentleman, I look through the orb, much in the same way mother looks through her racing glasses or father through his monocle.
Uurgghhh!! I quickly put my free hand over my mouth and swiftly move behind the vase to be completely concealed. Knowing my voice had echoed through the vast entrance hall and walkway, I slide slowly down to crouching position. Realising that the hushed discussion had momentarily ceased, I hold my breath. Ten to fifteen seconds pass, Oh good!! they have started conversing again; I release my breath in a slow steady way. I now sit cross legged on the floor behind that vase.
What I have just seen, takes a short while to manifest in my mind. That tall elegant gentleman is nothing other than a slimy, green, skulking TROLL!!! Oh my!! What am I to do? Should I tell Nanny & Mr Bowfinger? I come to my senses, there are to be more visitors. Four more couples. I make up my mind to use my orb on each and every one of them.
Holding my breath and my orb, I see each couple as they come in, I see their true colours. It appears that only one couple are human and the rest are all trolls. As I’ve not used my orb on the 1st guest I’m just guessing she too was troll.
What were they doing here? Do they know what my mission is? Are they here to try and stop me from helping the faerie folk?