She went out through the little concrete yard to the front of the house, where the front door was open, as Aunt Annie had told her it almost always was, except when everyone had gone to bed. Her aunt was in the big quarry-tiled kitchen making a cup of tea.
"So there you are!" she said. "Did you sleep well? Do you want a cuppa?"
"What? Oh, right. Yes, please," Nita said, and sat down in one of the chairs drawn up around the big blond wood table. One of Aunt Annie's cats, a black-and-white creature, jumped onto her lap: She had forgotten its name too, in the general blur of her arrival. "Hi there," she said to it, stroking it.
"Just sugar, please," Nita said. "Aunt Annie, who were those people out there with the horses?"
Her aunt looked at her. "People with the horses? All the staff have gone home. At least I thought they did."
"No, I heard them. The hooves were right outside my door, but when I looked, they'd gone away. Didn't take them long," she added.
Aunt Annie looked at her again as she came over and put Nita's teacup down. Her expression was rather different this time. "Oh," she said. "You mean the ghosts."
"Welcome to Ireland," said her aunt.
Copyright © 1993 by Diane Duane
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