At that same time, a few streets down, a grand party was in full swing. It was hosted by Sir Connor, the richest and most influential man in the city, and his wife, Lady Leslie. There were many guests there partaking of the fine food, music, and company. However, one guest, Dustin, was not enjoying himself. He stood at one of the large picture windows, staring out into the evening, straining to see past the reflection of his brown eyes, reddish hair, and tanned skin. Who’s out there? What opportunities to help am I missing by being at this party that I don’t even enjoy?
Lady Leslie noticed Dustin’s absence from the festivities. She hurried over, wide skirts flying. “Dustin!” she exclaimed, her refined voice reflecting her carefully attained social status. “What are you doing? Come join the fun!”
Dustin turned to her. “Milady, how can I b’ joinin’ any o’ the festivities when I b’ knowin’ that there are others out there who b’ sufferin’?” His voice was strong from years of speaking to large crowds and heavily accented with the dialect of his home, the Moorlands.
Lady Leslie shook her head. “Dustin, what do you mean?”
Dustin’s face was grave as he answered. “There b’ many people, even wee lads and lasses, in the relentless cold. Yu dinna expect me t’ celebrate knowin’ that, do yu?”
Lady Leslie waved a hand. “Oh, Dustin, you worry too much. There are none of them here, even if there’s hundreds in your Moorlands. Please come join us!”
Dustin shook his head and did not speak.
Lady Leslie sighed. She was down to her last card, a card she hated to play. “Please, Dustin. If you continue with this, you’ll upset the other guests.”
Dustin sighed. “Yu dinna know what yu b’ askin’, milady. T’ not think o’ the poor would b’ disobeyin’ the Great King. Besides, I’ve seen too much t’ not think o’ them.” He fell silent, remembering his own childhood on the streets.
His hostess frowned. “I should’ve known that you’d bring Him up. Really, Dustin, I’m sure that the Great King wouldn’t possibly mind if you skip one evening of worry! Doesn’t he command you to enjoy life?”
Dustin sighed. “I’m not skippin’ an evening o’ worry. Most o’ the days, I would not b’ worryin’ right now. I would b’ doin’ something about me worry. And if yu are goin’ t’ persist with this, I will have t’ b’ leavin’.”
Lady Leslie sighed. “Very well, Dustin. I only thought to give you a night off from your work, but if you’re going to continue with this gloominess, then you might as well leave.”
Suddenly, there came a knock at the door. Sir Connor, Lady Leslie, and Dustin all hurried to see who it was, each having their own hopes and ideas about their late guest’s identity. Several guests followed and clustered around the three as Sir Connor slowly opened the door.
Who's the guest at the door? What's happened to Angel? And will I ever figure out how to do these attempted suspense-builders without sounding slightly cheesy? You'll have to wait until next time to find out!