Jamestown Phillips entered the room and started talking at once, before anyone had any time to figure out who he was, what he looked like, or what he truly had in mind.
Aunt Chessie, the ancient philologist, was there. She had some idea of what he desired, and could put it in multiple languages that nobody else could speak. Mrs. Box, caffeine addict, was present also, and since she'd known Jamestown since he was a wee boy, she would have keen insight into what he wanted now, if anybody would listen to her.
Dr. Fox Tab was in the house. He was busy with an ad hoc patient, and barely noticed the newcomer stride in, as purple toenail with jaundice apparently interested him more.
Pete O'Brien, that writer determined to sell his book, was standing off to the side, leaning against the high mantel in an offhanded way, like an onlooker straddling two worlds.
Ms. Tabitha Tab was contemplating her own name, like the cheshire cat. The cheshire cat purred and mewed: she was hungry and ignored by all but Tubs the baby. Tubs was poking the cat, and smiling like a rocket.
Sara Woods had a wooden expression on her face. Her son Dodge Overbush was rather preoccupied with a stencil drawing of a citizen of the Ukraine who was meditating on a frog figurine.
And the night was still young.
The moment Jamestown Phillips stepped in, he caught sight of the pretty maid in the corner, whose name nobody knew, and made at once for her with his arms outstretched, as he recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
It was all very strange. And somebody said, "The story has ended." And everybody perked up at once and paid attention.
"The story?" they said, as if the walls were shaking. "The story?"
a sheaf of flashes