Blackwood Farm, page 51part #9 of The Vampire Chronicles Series
LESTAT WAS still covered in soot. He didn't much care about it. We rang the front doorbell of Oak Haven, and it was Stirling himself who answered, in his heavy quilted robe, and perfectly astonished to see the pair of us right there at the Retreat House of the Talamasca -- two wanderers in the night.
Of course he invited us into the library and we accepted the invitation, and we settled into the big leather wing chairs that were so comfortably arranged everywhere, and Stirling told the agreeable little housekeeper that we didn't require anything, and then we were alone.
Slowly, in a broken voice, Lestat told Stirling what had happened to Merrick. He described the ceremony and how Merrick had climbed onto the altar, and what he had seen -- the baby come alive, and Goblin descending into it.
And then I told Stirling what I had seen -- the Light and the figures moving in the Light. Lestat had not seen this Light but he never doubted me.
"May I put this into our records?" Stirling asked. He took out his handkerchief and wiped at his nose. He was crying inside for Merrick. And then the tears came and he let them flow for a moment and then he wiped them away.
"That's why I'm telling you," said Lestat. "So you can close your file on Merrick Mayfair, and know what became of her. So it doesn't end in silence and confusion, so you don't mourn for her forever without ever knowing where she wandered or what she became. She was a gentle soul. She preyed upon the Evil Doer only. No innocent blood ever stained her hands. And it was very deliberate what she did. And why she chose this moment I don't really know. "
"I think I know," I said. "But I don't want to be presumptuous. She chose this moment because she wasn't alone. She had Garwain. "
"And how do you feel now that he's gone?" asked Stirling.
"Free of him," I responded, "and rather shocked by all that's happened. Shocked that Garwain killed Aunt Queen. You knew he did that, didn't you? He frightened her and made her fall. Everyone knew it. "
"Yes," Stirling said, "there was much talk about it at the wake. What will you do now?"
"I'm shocked that Merrick died," I said. "Merrick freed me of Garwain. Lestat loved Merrick. I loved Merrick. I don't know what I will do or where I will go. There are people who need me. There have always been people who need me, people who matter to me. I'm enmeshed in human life. "
I thought in silence of the murder of Patsy. I wanted desperately to confess it, but I loathed myself so much for it that I didn't speak of it at all.
"That's a good way to put it," Lestat said bitterly, " 'enmeshed in human life. ' "
Stirling nodded to this.
"Why don't you ask me what I'll do?" asked Lestat archly, with a raised eyebrow and a wink.
"Would you tell me?" asked Stirling with a little laugh.
"Of course not," said Lestat. "But I'm in love with Tarquin, you can put that in your file, if you like. That doesn't mean you can entrap me at Blackwood Manor, and you do remember your promise to me to leave Tarquin alone, don't you?"
"Absolutely," said Stirling. "I'm a man who keeps his promises. "
"I have a question for you," I said shyly. "I've talked to Michael Curry and Rowan Mayfair several times in the last few months, but they only put me off with vague answers. They won't really tell me much about Mona except that she can't see me, that she's undergoing a special therapy, that she's in intensive care. They say she can die from any kind of infection. I can't even talk to her on the phone --. "
"She's dying," Stirling said. He sat staring at me.
Then Lestat spoke:
"Why are you telling him this?"
Stirling was still looking at me.
"Because he wants to know," Stirling responded.
"Very well," said Lestat. "Come on, Little Brother, let's hunt. I know of two Evil Doers in Boca Raton who are alone in a magnificent waterfront mansion. It will be such fun, you wouldn't believe. Good night, Stirling. Good night to the Talamasca. Let's go. "