Ring Of Writers
Alice's Past: part 2.

by: Nynaeve
	      Alice was shocked. She couldn't turn around, she couldn't move and it seemed that an
           eerie silence had descended in the hall. Once Sarah noticed that her cousin was once
           again unmoving, she turned to motivate her. Again she whined, "Alice let's go!" Then upon
           seeing the figure beyond her cousin, she giggled! Alice came back to reality just as a
           deep voice came from over her shoulder. The man had to be tall, and the voice sorta
           matched. So, with the worst in mind she turned around. She breathed a sigh of relief as
           her view was of her elder Cousin Tom. He was as tall and skinny as a beanpole and was
           past the age of puberty. 

           "Alice what's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost. Anyway you have a visitor
           downstairs. Ma and pa didn't tell me who it was though, they said it was to be a

           "It is Monsieur Allen! I already told her and she is going back with him to Boston!" Sarah
           loudly, announced.

           "I am not, besides he is dead." Alice replied. Her voice waned almost to the point of a
           whisper by the end of the statement. There was no way she would go back with him even
           if he were alive. The question was: Is it possible for him to be alive? Her rationing told her
           no, but after everything she had seen in his company, she wasn't sure. Could Sarah have
           been right in her identification of the guest? I must be brave! she told herself.

           "Well there is only one way to be sure who is right!" she stated to both her cousins. Alice
           bravely reached for the handle of the door and turned it. She then decided it wasn't the
           right thing to do as she gazed at the figure in front of the fire.

           It was Monsieur Allen! But how? Many thoughts passed through Alice's head as she
           simply stared. No one was noticing her there by the darkened doorframe. No, even Sarah
           or Tom hadn't ventured to say a word; they too stood astounded behind her in the
           doorway. Then her Aunt Beth walked in with the tea and biscuits. 

           "Monsieur Allen, Alice." Aunt Beth handed a cup of tea to him. "I hope this warms you up."
           She offered. "Why don't just stand there Alice, Monsieur Allen has some news to give you
           and you should be honored. He came all the way Snowdale to reach you." Alice looked
           over at Monsieur Allen again not believeing her eyes; he had sat in her Uncle John's big
           chair and still her dwarfed it. She decided to remain calm after all he just might want this
           to be their last meeting. Sarah hadn't heard anyone say he wanted her back, she just
           guessed at that. "Sarah, Tom off to bed with you! Alice, I will just leave you alone with
           Monsieur Allen so you can receive your news in private." Aunt Beth prattled on before

           The moments seemed to last forever as everyone left the room. Alice's mind was focused
           on one thought and only one thought. What was he going to tell her. Slowly the fear
           began to return, and suddenly she wished it were all over. When everyone had left they
           continued to stare at one another, but Alice could see that he was about to speak. Cold
           terror spread through her body as he uttered his few chosen words.

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