Gradually the pale fragments grew more vivid. Now they were forming
a blurred shape, blue with a touch of black beneath it. Before Charlie's
astonished gaze, a figure in a blue hooded cape was materializing.
Charlie had no doubt that he was seeing a ghost. But when the figure
turned to face him, he found, to his horror, that he was looking
It was the other Charlie who spoke first.
"What a joke," said the boy. "I haven't traveled
very far at all."
He had such a normal sort of voice Charlie was reassured. This wasn't
a ghost. But if not a ghost, what was it? Clearing his throat, he
asked. "Where have you come from, exactly?"
"Here," said the boy. "Just now I was here, but,"
he shaded his eyes with his hand and gazed up at the row of electric
lights illuminating the hall. "It wasn't like this. How did
it get so bright?"
"Electricity," said Charlie. He was beginning to recognize
the boy. "Are you
?" he began. "I mean have
welll, the thing is, I've seen you in a photo. Are you
"That's me," said Henry, beaming. "I think I've seen
you, too. Somewhere. Who are you?"
sort of cousin, Charlie Bone."
"No! This is very good news. A cousin, well, well." Henry
marched over and shook Charlie's hand. "Very good to meet you,
"The news isn't that good," said Charlie. "What was
the date when you
"January 12, 1916," said Henry. "I always know the
"I'm afraid it isn't that now."
"No?" Henry's smile began to fade. "So
"You're almost ninety years ahead of where you were,"
Henry's mouth opened but no words came out. Instead there was a
sharp ping as something dropped out of his hand and hit the floor.
Charlie saw a large glass marble rolling across the hall. "Wow!"
he exclaimed, but before he could pick it up, Henry shouted, Careful,
Charlie. Don't look at it."
"It's what brought me here."