‘A ledger,’ I said aloud.
I sat down on my chair and turned each page slowly. These were accounts.
Alright, the 17-1800s meant rich men were into gambling and horses. Well, I think that is. So this must be all about that.
So far, I couldn’t find any gambling debts, but there were transactions of horses. It was surprising how much one would spend to build a stable of horses. I wanted to convert it all to today’s currency, but that would take time. Time was not something I had.
I did learn that this belonged to Peter Williams, or rather, Lord Williams. The pages were yellow and brown, and the cover was frayed. Other than that, it remained in good condition. The dark worn out blue cover clearly told that it had been used often. Slanted handwriting was perhaps the most appealing thing about the book.
Anyways, back to the contents of the book. Nearing the end, everything started changing. There were no longer transactions of objects, of dresses or even of horses. Now it had a list of names with numbers next to them.
I tightened my eyes trying to gather all the information.
‘They’re accounts,’ I looked up to see Jamie leaning against my door panel.
‘Accounts?’ I asked.
Looking down, he shook his head. The slight smile on his face was back.
‘Kelly, just think about it,’ with that, he turned and walked off.
Rubbing my eyes hard, I allowed my hands to travel to my hair. The combination of curiosity and frustration was not good. It was as if I was competing with Jamie.
‘Ok, accounts,’ I said aloud again. Lord Williams had no gambling debts. Everything seemed to have been paid for.
‘Oh yes!’ I shouted and jumped up from my seat. My chair went flying back and landed with a crash.
These were debts owed to him. I scrolled through each page and realised that a lot and I mean a lot of people owed him money. This guy must have been rich, I could not stop thinking.
Then my finger stopped. My smile disappeared. My wide eyes focussed on the name that my finger hovered above.
Father ? Jones. The question mark could only mean that Lord Williams did not know his name. Putting aside that thought, my dream decided to flash back. Father Jones had not murdered a child simply for money. There was something much bigger here.
Grabbing the ledger, I rushed back to the room. Quill in hand, I walked through and stood looking at the painting.
‘What is it that I am missing?’ For some reason, I seemed to have started talking to the painting. ‘There is something here that I cannot work out,’ I said.
‘You finally found the ledger,’ I jumped at the sound of a husky voice. Turning my head, I was ready to let out a scream, but once again, my voice deserted me. Did he have a husky voice before? He was dressed in red and his dimples were prominent. But he was not a boy.
‘You,’ I whispered.
‘Me,’ he returned.
‘No, it is supposed to be a little boy. You aren’t real. It was a little boy that died. Even he can’t be real. This is my mind making things up, trying to make me believe in something that does not exist. You are not real,’ I closed my eyes and shook my head. No, he was not real!
I felt my right cheek go cold. Still eyes shut; I lifted my hand to my cheek and found nothing but a translucent hand touching my cheek. Dropping the book, I stumbled and fell back.
He continued to smile, and took a step towards me. Kneeling down, he picked up the book and bore his eyes into mine.
‘They owed us a debt, which they did not fulfil. My mother may have allowed them to walk away after the death of my father, but I had different ideas. She could only be free if she had financial backing. What best way to get to live in peace then to have your own house? For that you need money, right?’
I merely nodded.
‘I decided to reclaim it,’ shrugging his shoulders, he stated.
‘Are you real or am I hallucinating?’ I felt like I was in a trance.
He simply smiled. ‘What makes you think that this is not real, Kelly?’ he asked ever so softly.
‘Because I dreamt that you were a little boy when you were killed. I dreamt that you spoke to me in my dream,’ I responded.
He began to laugh. The room was not small and the walls were bare. The room was practically bare itself. His laughter should have hit the walls bringing about an echo.
‘Kelly, miss, why do you think they killed me?’
‘They thought you had an evil spirit inside you,’ I instantly responded.
‘Oh yes, that was the excuse,’ he began.
‘But you were a child. How can you be an adult,’ I could not stop shaking my head, as I backed towards the wall.
‘A dream, Kelly, only a dream,’ he said. He walked towards me, standing just inches from me. ‘Just a dream,’ he said before my eyes suddenly closed.