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ISLAND

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July 10th, 1944

[Letter from Alison Mannering to Polly Sullivan]

Darling Polly,

Your offer a little while ago to take the children for the holiday was very kind and meant in the spirit of reassurance but I'm afraid I may have to ask if that offer still stands? To put it simply, I'm struggling. To be able to afford to keep the children in boarding school I have to work extremely hard - I'm starting to be able to count the hours per day I'm not working on one hand - but to that end to have the children home for the summer would mean I couldn't work as much, meaning I couldn't afford to have them there. It's a vicious circle, one which I would love to break one day, but for the moment I don't see any other way. I've been extremely ill the last few weeks and the doctor has tried to restrict me to bed rest and then light duties but that would not help in the slightest.

Of course, if they were to come to you I would be helping with the costs of keeping them and put some towards your bills - I understand Jocelyn's book is still in the early stages and won't be earning anything for a while. It would just be Dinah for the first few weeks as Philip suffered a bout of scarlet fever and has to make up the work over summer, so he'll be staying with a Mr Roy until it's complete. I'll arrange all the train tickets and times and you could just send Jo-Jo to collect them from the station.

Please would you consider? I would be ever so grateful, and it would give me time to get my strength back. I don't want the children to know I've been ill as I think it would worry them so.

You loving sister,
Allie


July 13th, 1944

[Letter from Polly Sullivan to Alison Mannering]

Dear Alison,

Of course, my offer still stands. With your help to the costs of the children, it would actually be a relief to have two extra pairs of hands around the house. Jo-Jo does a fair amount of the maintenance but sometimes he disappears when he's needed and is a little unreliable, and his personality is just ghastly. Dinah would be useful for the day-to-day cleaning and chores, and Philip could aid Jo-Jo. Send me the details and we'll arrange it.

Alison, please take care of yourself. I know that being just you, all the responsibility falls on your shoulders but there is a fine line and if it's affecting your health, you must rest. You are no good to the children in hospital and I would hate to receive news that you'd ended up there from working yourself too hard.

I will try and talk to Jocelyn again about moving closer to you but he's as stubborn as anything and will not leave Craggy-Tops, especially whilst he's in the middle of the book. Apparently it requires him to be on the coastline he's writing about, despite the fact he never actually leaves his office (he's exasperating - I truly believe if I kept the curtains closed he wouldn't know if we were in the middle of a city or a desert). If we were in a smaller place I could be of more help to you but Craggy-Tops is a full-time project to maintain.

Take care,
Polly


July 17th, 1944

[Letter from Alison Mannering to Polly Sullivan]

Dear Polly,

I promise I will take care. I am considering taking on an assistant to help me but that would be more of an outlay and I don't think I can afford it at this point in time. I will have to make some decisions soon.

I've sent letters to Philip and Dinah, explaining the situation and included their train tickets. I can send some extra clothing for them to you as their trunks will mainly have their school tunics and uniforms. Please let me know if there is anything else you may need.

I've attached their itinerary for you. If anything urgent crops up, send me a telegram.

I can't thank you enough. I hope to be able to come down to see you before the end of the summer.

Love Allie

[Letter from Alison Mannering to Dinah Mannering]

Darling Dinah,

I'm so very sorry but you won't be coming home with me this holiday - instead you'll be staying with Aunt Polly and Uncle Jocelyn. I know you're disappointed but I have to work and it wouldn't be much fun for you being left at home most of the time. At least this way you'll have the opportunity to explore the coast and Craggy-Tops. Philip loves stories of smugglers - perhaps you'll find some caves or hidden passages!

Philip will be staying on at one of his tutor's homes for a couple of weeks to catch up on his work so it will just be you at first. Aunt Polly has asked if you can help her around the house. I know you will, you're a good girl. I will miss you terribly but I hope to come down towards the end of the summer and settle any arrangements for returning to school so I can spend some time with you then.

Please do write to me, I'd love to hear what you two are up to. Aunt Polly already knows but if there is anything urgent just send me a telegram and I'll come as soon as I can. Your train ticket is in the envelope too - please don't lose it!

Your school reports are exemplary and I'm so proud of you. You're growing up into a wonderful young lady.

All my love,
Mother

[Letter from Alison Mannering to Philip Mannering]

Dear Philip,

I do hope you've recovered well from your bout of scarlet fever. The school have made arrangements for you to stay with Mr Roy for a couple of weeks just to catch up with the work you missed. I know it's awful and I'm sorry you have to lose some of your holiday to do so but it will be over soon and you'll have the rest of the holidays to enjoy. There are a couple of other students who are having to do the same so you won't be alone.

I've sent a letter to Dinah already; unfortunately I'm just far too busy at work and much as I would love to have you both home I can't. Aunt Polly has agreed to look after you for the summer and I will try my best to come and see you before the end of the holidays.

Your train ticket is in the envelope too - Aunt Polly will probably send Jo-Jo to collect you from the station. Please be good for her and help her in any way you can. I will miss you both terribly. Write me when you have time.

Love Mother


July 28th, 1944

[Telegram from Polly Sullivan to Alison Mannering]

Dinah arrived. Will write.


August 2nd, 1944

[Official dispatch to Det. Insp. Cunningham]

Report re. Operation Ersatz.


August 3rd, 1944

[Report from official logs - Det. Insp. Cunningham]

Coastal bound. Visual reports received. Will update.


August 11th, 1944

[Letter from Polly Sullivan to Alison Mannering]

Dear Alison,

I can only imagine you weren't aware of the situation with Philip - he arrived yesterday with two more children in tow, another brother and sister. From what I gather, they are orphaned and live with an uncle who does little to care for them. The boy was at the same summer schooling sessions as Philip and the sister was there to keep him company. The uncle has fallen ill and is unable to take care of them so Philip invited them to stay here (without asking my permission, mind you). Again, it's useful to have more hands around the house, and the money that the housekeeper was going to forward to the tutor is going to come to me to help with their upkeep. I have spoken to all parties involved and they are happy with the arrangements, as am I.

I thought I'd best update you. I'm happy for them to stay if you don't mind?

I enclose a letter from Dinah. Hope you are well.

Take care,
Polly

[Letter from Dinah Mannering to Alison Mannering]

Dear Mother,

You will never believe what happened! (Although Aunt Polly has most likely told you so maybe you can...)

Philip arrived yesterday from his summer school and there were two others with him! He'd told me about them in a letter, and they sounded wonderful. Their Uncle has recently fallen ill and their housekeeper sent a letter to the tutor asking him to care for them for the summer, but Philip thinks he didn't particularly want to, so he brought them back here. Aunt Polly was awfully cross at first but once she spoke to the housekeeper she was told she'd receive the cheque that would have been sent to him and I think they'd much prefer to be with us than at a stuffy old tutor's house. We get on like a house on fire.

They're called Jack and Lucy-Ann Trent, and have red hair and freckles all over their faces. Philip calls Jack 'Freckles' because of that, and Jack calls him 'Tufty' because of our hair. Jack is around Philip's age, and Lucy-Ann is a year younger than me. It's funny to watch them because she adores Jack and he doesn't seem to mind, but they're so completely different from Philip and me. If I followed him around the way Lucy-Ann does Jack, he would probably slap me!

Jack has this pet parrot called Kiki who is an absolute scream. She's very talkative and loves learning new phrases and noises. Aunt Polly didn't want her first of all but she flew onto her shoulder and started saying "Poor dear Polly" and Aunt Polly thought Kiki was talking about her so she let her stay. She does this impression of an express-train going through a tunnel which makes us jump but Jack tells her off when she does.

Lucy-Ann and I are helping Aunt Polly every day, and the boys do fetching and carrying but try to stay out of the way of Jo-Jo who has an awful temper. He doesn't like us. We're exploring the beach and Jack is watching as many birds as he can because he's absolutely mad on them. Philip's got some horrid pets and keeps taunting me. I wish you could tell him to stop.

We miss you Mother. We've told Jack and Lucy-Ann about you, and I think they would both love you, especially Lucy-Ann. Don't work too hard.

Love Dinah


August 13th, 1944

[Letter to Dinah Mannering from Alison Mannering]

Darling Dinah and Philip,

Yes, Aunt Polly did tell me about them. She is happy for them to stay so of course I don't mind (please tell her that) but I am extremely cross with Philip for organising it without asking. I will be having words with him when I next see him - your aunt is tired enough as it is without two more children to look after.

Philip does have a way with attracting animals - is this somehow working with people as well?! As long as the 'pets' you mentioned stay near him and aren't disease-ridden things (and Aunt Polly doesn't mind) then leave him be. I don't want you two getting into fights over it.

I expect you all to behave, and I'm glad to hear you are helping her as much as you can. I do hope you have time for fun too. Lucy-Ann and Jack sound wonderful and I can't wait to meet them. It must be nice to have someone your own age other than Philip around. Don't be getting into any trouble!

Love to you all,
Mother

[Report from official logs - Det. Insp. Cunningham]

Visual identification made. Linked to Sullivans, 'Craggy-Tops'. Two adults, four children. No indication of involvement. Radio soon.


August 19th, 1944

[Letter from Polly Sullivan to Alison Mannering]

Dearest Alison,

I apologise for the need for this letter but unfortunately circumstances are such that I have to put an awful imposition upon you. The children stumbled across a police investigation in which Jo-Jo was involved, and unfortunately our water source has been tainted due to the criminals damaging an underground passage which flooded the well with sea water. Jocelyn and I have to move as quickly as we can and whilst I know and understand you yourself have not been well recently, I feel that to involve the children would not only be unfair to them but would be extremely stressful for both Jocelyn and me.

Please could you collect them at your earliest convenience?

Your sister,
Polly


August 22nd, 1944

[Journal entry - Alison Mannering]

Polly's last letter was rather unwelcome and ill-timed, but when I arrived at Craggy-Tops I could understand the need. Both she and I have been ill recently; my doctor declaring I needed bed-rest due to burning the candles at both end and working myself to the brink of exhaustion (so who will be working to pay both Polly's and my bills?), but whilst she isn't working and looks after the children for me she does need to deal with the stress of moving suddenly and having not just my two but four of them underfoot would only add to it. The last few days I have been feeling a little more myself and it won't be long until the summer holidays are over and the children can go back to school, so I went to collect them and to offer any help Polly might need.

The children are of the age where they can go off and keep themselves amused without the need for adult supervision, but at the same time are led by their curiosity and this apparently led them straight into a police investigation into a counterfeiting ring located on the island just off the coast from Craggy-Tops. When I arrived, I could see Polly looked as bad as I'd been feeling. Craggy-Tops isn't the most habitable of places at the best of times but without fresh water it's completely uninhabitable. Polly says it's a blessing in disguise because she's been trying to get Jocelyn to move for years but he refuses - at least now she can find somewhere smaller and more manageable. They're going to rent somewhere locally until they find a cottage or similar, but the process takes a few days so I'm staying with them and the children so there are extra pairs of hands to go and collect supplies from the town, cook and clean etc until they can move out.

I spent the day helping Polly pack what she could, and listening to the children telling me about their adventure. Some of their descriptions of what they'd done made me feel positively ill, but I'm proud of them. Dinah and Philip may have their moments of hot-headedness but when they found themselves in tight spots it sounded like they kept cool and planned their way out instead of panicking. The news that a rather large reward will be coming their way thanks to bringing the case to a close is welcome indeed, and Philip has already told me he wants me to use it to stop working so hard for them. This brought a tear to my eye, and I hoped that I'd hidden exactly how much I'd been unwell from them as I didn't want to worry them, but it's such a relief.

Jack and Lucy-Ann are lovely, and Dinah and Philip told me a little about their past. I feel it's the least I can do to offer to take them on - I know I'll be able to provide a loving home and they can attend the same schools as Philip and Dinah. I feel my two are growing up too quickly but I can't help but admire them. I was still rather more interested in books and painting than finding adventures at their age.

This evening I cooked for Polly - she had a few bits around the larder and I cobbled together some sort of pie. The detective that the children had become friendly with over the summer had spoken to Polly and said he would bring some supplies for us to tide us over for the couple of days left here, and he turned up with a crate of ginger beer (much to the children's delight) and a huge thermos of tea for us adults. We invited him for supper - Polly was probably just being a good host but I must admit I had a slight ulterior motive. The man is very handsome! He's tall and broad shouldered, and I can imagine very strong - especially from what the boys have told me. When he took my hand to introduce himself ('Detective Inspector Bill Cunningham' - although the children know him as Bill Smugs) he just exuded warmth and confidence. He was constantly smiling at the children's antics and stories during dinner and has the time and patience for each one, including Kiki, Jack's parrot. (She is certainly going to take some getting used to!)

It may be wishful thinking and I'll probably not see him again but I couldn't resist looking at him multiple times during dinner, and I'm sure that he was doing the same. Our eyes kept meeting and he'd give me a smile before looking away at whomever was speaking then. The children were allowed to stay up later than usual before saying goodbye to him, but he did stay for a short while after they had gone to bed. Polly begged off, claiming she still didn't feel quite right, and she was looking rather pale so she followed the children upstairs. I had some washing up and tidying to do and Bill (he wouldn't hear of me calling him by his rank) helped me, despite my protests. We made small talk as we did and soon everything was cleared away, and while he seemed like he wanted to stay for longer, he had to get back so I saw him to his car. He knew the children were likely to want to stay in touch and so we swapped addresses before he left.

I feel like a schoolgirl with a silly crush. He's a high-ranking policeman based in London and I'm a widowed mother of now four children. But it's nice to dream.


August 31st, 1944

[Letter from Alison Mannering to Det. Insp. Cunningham]

Detective Inspector Cunningham

Please accept my most grateful thanks for the cheque forwarded to us in the post. I have to admit I questioned them on providing the reward when all the children really did was to stumble across your investigation, but my concerns were brushed away and I was told that not only was the department extremely happy to reward the children in return for everything they had done, but that you had put in a good word for them and they couldn't very well go against you nor your superiors.

Philip wanted you to know that the money has allowed me to take some time off work and focus on our small cottage, ensuring that I can start on the repairs we’ve needed for a while. Jack and Lucy-Ann have settled in well for the short amount of time we've had together - they start their next year at school in a few days and they've gone from moving their meagre belongings into the cottage to frantically packing their trunks for the term ahead. I will pop up and visit both schools during the half term but won't see them properly again until the Christmas holiday when they will be staying back at the cottage.

The children have been asking after you and would like to know when they can see you next. I told them you are a very busy man and may not be able to spare some time but they have been rather insistent. Please find the telephone number of our residence below - if you would rather not call I completely understand. You are always welcome to visit.

All I can do is thank you again for everything, especially for making the start of their summer such a wonderful time, and for looking after them when they became involved with those men. Without you, I dread to think what could have happened.

With warm regards,
Alison Mannering


September 1st, 1944

[Personal journal entry - Det. Insp. Cunningham]

Finally finished full report of investigation. Prelims had been filed last week but think the involvement of children threw a lot of people and had to double up on debriefings because no one seemed to want to believe me even with the supporting reports of Sam and the others. Still can't really believe it myself, so not too surprised I'm under some scrutiny.

Never met kids like them. Had their heads screwed on right for their age, and were pretty vital to the outcome. Had they not come calling I probably wouldn't have had the chance to get to know them and gain intel on 'Jo-Jo'. Their statements were filed with the reports so the department reviewed them and decided to send the family the reward they had on offer for any information re the case. Had a letter from their mother about that this morning. Alison Mannering. Met her when she came to collect the kids to allow the Sullivans to move, and it has to be noted she is an extremely attractive young woman, both in looks and personality. Did look a little tired and strained though - kids mentioned she'd been working non-stop to support them, so sounds like the reward couldn't have come at a better time. Spent that last evening on the coast with them for dinner and stayed to help Mrs. Mannering clear up when Mrs. Sullivan and the kids retired for the night. Conversation flowed, and we swapped addresses because we knew the kids would want to stay in touch, hence receiving the letter this morning. Intriguing woman. Can't wait to get to know them all better.


September 3rd, 1944

[Letter from Det. Insp. Cunningham to Alison Mannering]

Dear Mrs. Mannering

There is no need for your thanks; the kids earned that reward. I have to say they are a smashing group - I've never met any with such enthusiasm for life and new adventures. They proved themselves to be hard workers when they wanted to achieve something (such as learning to sail my boat) and while their inquisitiveness may have led them into the counterfeiting operation they kept level heads and made escape plans. There may have been a certain amount of luck involved but I was glad to have them on my side!

You must be very proud of them indeed, they deserved everything they received and have been the talk of the department since.

How have they taken the change in circumstances? You are an admirable woman for taking on two more children, but from what little I know about their situation I can tell that they will have a much better and more stable home environment with you. Lucy-Ann appears to be the most sensitive of the bunch - is she adapting well?

Thank you for the number. The nature of my job means I sometimes have to disappear without warning or am called away on assignment with immediate effect. If this happens, please do not think I do not wish to communicate with you or the kids, I just may not be able to.

Like I told you at the Sullivans', please call me Bill!

Kind regards,
Bill


September 12th, 1944

[Letter from Alison Mannering to Det. Insp. Cunningham]

Dear Bill,

In that case you must call me Allie. Yes, I am very proud of the children. Like you said, they showed maturity beyond their years in dealing with the situation. I can only imagine the tales being told (and possibly exaggerated) at school, especially the boys. Jack's copper nugget was the first thing he packed in his trunk!

I believe they've taken the changes well, but it remains to be seen. It's nice for Dinah and Philip to have others their own age as they are sometimes too similar in temperament and quarrels are frequent. I'm looking forward to Christmas now, to really spend time with them and get to know them. I think Lucy-Ann is a sweetheart and hope that she doesn't lose her innocence too quickly. She's been staying close to me in the run-up to term and I think it's both the novelty of having a maternal figure in the household and a way of coping with changes. Dinah told me quietly that Lucy-Ann said she adored me, so it's wonderful to know I'm doing something right.

Are all your assignments as dangerous as this one? I can't imagine being summoned or sent away without warning for weeks on end. I caught Philip packing a book on the police force when he left for school so I believe you may have inspired a future career choice.

Warm regards,
Allie


October 3rd, 1944

[Personal journal entry - Det. Insp. Cunningham]

Ship out to France tomorrow. Already been there twice on the intel that some German spies have slipped through the net and are making their way here. Both times intel let us down. One name in particular is starting to crop up again and again so am going to liaise with French branch of ICPC. Looks like I might be in for the long haul again unless this guy trips up along the way, and he's too professional for that.

Still haven't been allowed to forget the fact the kids helped me close the last case - not particularly doing wonders for my reputation but at the same time the guys can't believe I dealt with it pretty much without them. I keep joking I'm going to replace them all with the Mannerings/Trents. Even the Commissioner finds the funny side. He agrees with me, says he's got plenty more room for 'consultants' like that criminologist he's good friends with, and if they just happen to be children then so be it!

Trying to keep in contact with them but finding it difficult at the moment, being in and out of the country. Haven't yet responded to Allie's last letter. Really don't want her to think I'm not interested in correspondence but in the current climate I can't risk any of my letters being intercepted. May have to send a quick card in a bit, let them know I'm thinking of them and will speak properly soon.


December 19th, 1944

[Letter from Alison Mannering to Polly Sullivan]

Merry Christmas, dearest Polly. I hope you and Jocelyn have settled in well to your new home. Jocelyn must love the fact it's still coastal, so he can work on his book - do you think he'll have it finished this year? I may be able to put him in touch with some publishers if he hasn't some lined up already.

Are you recovered and well? The last few months have allowed me to get back on my feet properly and I feel very much myself again. The cottage is having small works done for now, and I think I'll rent a place for the summer holidays and let the builders do the bigger renovations and decoration whilst we're away so we can move back into the completed project.

The reward from the department was rather more substantial than expected, especially as the children each received a share and immediately asked me to put it towards the home. All four of them are such kind-hearted, selfless characters. I've budgeted carefully (you were always teaching me to be careful with money!) so during the term time I continue with my business and during the holidays I focus on the children and employ someone to run the agency for me. I might pick up the old paintbrush and canvas soon; it's been so long since I was able to paint for myself. I've taken the advice of our bank manager and set some aside in separate accounts for the children. Hopefully in a few years time the money will have built up a little, but if they want to use some now then they are more than welcome to - I try to pass on your sensible approach to such things.

Please find enclosed a small present from all of us. You have been so supportive and helpful even at the extent of your own health, and now we are all in a situation to be able to, we want to return the favour. I know the downsizing has cut down on your bills but I do hope this goes a little way to allowing you to treat yourself.

As always, I know the answer, but if you could convince Jocelyn to part with his books and maps for a few days, we would love to see you over the holidays.

All my love,
Allie

[Card from Alison Mannering to Det. Insp. Cunningham]

Dear Bill,

Happy Christmas!

All our love,
Allie, Philip, Jack, Dinah, Lucy-Ann & Kiki


December 21st, 1944

[Letter from Polly Sullivan to Alison Mannering]

Alison,

I don't know how to thank you. I can imagine you saying not to, downplaying your gift, but it's truly wonderful. Even with the sale of Craggy-Tops and the new place being far more manageable, Jocelyn is focusing so much on the book his usual paying clients for papers and short essays are being left by the wayside, so there is little income. Your cheque has gone a long way to pay for some essentials, and yes, you're right, I will treat myself. Lord knows Jocelyn will forget it's Christmas, so I will just have to buy myself a present.

Have you heard from that nice detective the children met over summer? They seemed friendly enough with him, and that evening he stayed for supper he certainly seemed interested in you.

We're having trouble with the 'phone lines here at the moment but as soon as they're up I will call you. You do know the answer - I would love to come but Jocelyn won't and I don't know if I can leave him here for a few days to fend for himself. It's highly likely he'll not eat the entire time.

Your sister,
Polly

[Card from Det. Insp. Cunningham to Alison Mannering]

To the Mannering-Trent clan,

Merry Christmas to you all! (And keep out of trouble this holiday!)

From Bill

(Allie - apologies for 'radio silence'. Investigations underway. Speak soon.)


 

December 27th, 1944

[Journal entry - Alison Mannering]

My first Christmas with four instead of two! I was hoping to make it special for them all but especially Lucy-Ann and Jack. I had the time to find them some lovely presents and made some too; for Jack and Philip I found the new Paul Temple detective novel (not entirely sure they believe that I'm acquainted with the author), torches (their old ones suffered rather in those mines on the Island of Gloom) and some Swiss Army knives, and for the girls I made them a dress each, bought copies of the Girls Own Paper and a few trinkets. As I get to know Jack and Lucy-Ann I can buy them more personal things but for now I was trying to get the balance right with them and my two.

Kiki wasn't left out - I treated her to some sunflower seeds but also a whole tin of peach halves. I made sure Jack would ration them as I don't want to make her ill, but she seemed extremely pleased and spent ten minutes on my shoulder, rubbing her head against my cheek and murmuring silly nonsense to me. She's a daft bird but intelligent and it's surprising how quickly I've become used to having her around the house after so long with peace and quiet, but she still does catch me out every so often with that awful impression of an express train and I have to tell her off. It's like having a fifth child around.

Dinner was an enjoyable affair; I did my best with what was available in the local shops but we're still being rationed and I'm making do (and making up!) where I can. The children didn't seem to mind, and most of it was polished off so I have the rest for leftovers for the next couple of days along with the ham I cooked off and left to cool. I always think that's the best part of Christmas; the leftovers.

Spoke to Polly, and she sent her love and apologies. I didn't expect anything less, but it is a shame I miss out on seeing her this time of year yet again. I'll try and organise a day to go and visit her with the children to do my sisterly duties, maybe over the Easter holidays. I also had a card from Bill Cunningham, which does explain why my last letter went unanswered. It's always a worry when someone says they want to keep in contact and don't and I know he did warn me that sometimes he's unable to but there's always the concern that they've moved on and decided they don't need that correspondence! At least the children know he's still around, even if he's mostly silent.

Sent a card to Louise Temple but didn't hear anything back; I know since she married Paul she's become rather a high flyer and seems to be in and out of the country with as much frequency as Bill. Hoping to renew our friendship properly since I have a little more free time on my hands, but they're now solely based in London and have sold the Evesham place so it's not as easy as just spending a couple of hours catching up.

Lucy-Ann had a few days of illness not long after they broke up and returned home. I love Dinah and Philip dearly but neither of them are particularly affectionate and I'm lucky if I get a peck on the cheek from Dinah. Lucy-Ann however is extremely free with her affections and I'm constantly being hugged. I think the combination of large changes in her life together with the excitement from the summer had taken its toll on her, and she'd managed to keep it mostly at bay but she hadn't been sleeping properly for the last few weeks of term (so Dinah told me in her last letter) and it all came together in the form of a nasty cold. She came downstairs looking a bit feverish in the middle of one night when I'd relaxed in the comfy chair, and although I offered her some medicine she refused it, just wanting to curl up with me. I held her for a while, and we talked about families. She asked about John and I was happy to tell her; I don't want her to feel like she can't ask me anything. Just as she went to sleep, she murmured, "It's so wonderful to have a real family, Aunt Allie. Thank you for adopting us. I would love a father too but I'm glad we have you. You're worth two parents…"

Desperately trying not to think of a certain detective they've all but adopted as a father figure. What would Polly say!