Hollow part 13 Apr11
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Hollow part 13


The next day, cold, April wind carried a sad news. Preparations didn’t take much time. Soon, small coffin with boy’s body, disappeared under the ground.


“I would like to prosecute a case” said Eli, leaning toward engrossed in papers balding man with small, thin, oval glasses. She will not give up.  She came there in the early morning and had been waiting about three hours, before Mr. Lionel Rednik, clerk, invited her to his office.


“Yes? What case?”  he asked, raising his small, pig-eyes from documents.


“It’s about earl Verrichman’s forest”. She started slowly. “In his last will earl left forest Hillsmall’s residents. Unfortunately, it turned out that forest had been sold.”


“As far as I know, all residents gave assent.”


“I don’t remember any gathering signatures. Although, I’m not there long, but I would heard about such information”.


”The case is ended.”




“You said Miss, that you aren’t there long, in that case, I’m not surprised that you didn’t know about it. In my opinion everything is right.”


Eli bit her lips, not knowing what to say. She was shocked.


“Something else Miss…?’


“Gutmann” answered Eli.


“Something else Miss Gutmann. I’m very busy and if you will, I would return to my work.”


“YES!” There is something else. I would like to prosecute the murder of a child.”


“Alright. Some details? Does his parents were alcoholics? How looked their material status? Was he normal?“


“He was beaten for gathered branches in forest.”


“In the same forest about which we talked about a few minutes ago?”


Eli nodded.


“In that case he committed a crime.”


“A crime?”


“Yes, he wonted to steal someone’s possession.”


“But he was just 6.”


“I heard about younger criminal.”


“Mr. Rednik, are you planning to do something about it?”


“Why? He taught a lesson.”


“I’m not talking about boy, but about those people.”


“I don’t see the need. They had a just case. I can’t blame them, because boy was too weak to survive. ”


“Something else Miss Gutmann?”


“No” she answered coldly. “I’m sorry that I wasted your time Mr. Rednik” she said that getting up from a chair and approaching to a door.


“That’s not your business Miss Gutman.” She heard behind her back. “Don’t interfere. Even devil wouldn’t like to hand his hand in it.”


”Thank you for piece of advice, Mr. Radnik. Goodbye.”


“Goodbye.” She heard, closing the door.


Again, nobody wanted to listen her. She walked through street, cursing in mind, unpleasant clerk, when suddenly, corner of her eyes she saw a beautiful stagecoach that laden with weight of wonderful things. She stopped, watched how a man, tried to put big box with don’t know what, on the top of the carriage.  She smiled a little bit, having fun, watching how he, clumsily fight with the box. She decided to go ahead, when her gaze fell on a big inscription. SECOND-HAND-BOOKSHOP.


Oh, how she loved such places. Of course she didn’t have money, but it wasn’t a sin, only looked at some good book. She opened the door and came inside. The bookstore was small, but huge, bookcases, touched ceiling and were full of books. She stopped near to the classic literature. Her fingers, gently touched small, stained, too worn book. She opened it and read: Sophocles. Antigone.


“Rara avis*. It would be worth a lot of money.”


She jumped up scared and turned toward owner of the voice. Next to her stood a tall man with black, shiny, slicked back hair, dressed in a black frock coat, waistcoat in the same color and dark trousers. He could have… Exactly. Eli started to think, how old could he be? For sure he was older than her. Probably ten years. He could be 30 years old, max. 33.


“If you want to buy this book Sir, please.” She reached her hand with book toward unknown man. “I don’t plan to buy it.”


“I already did shopping.” He said that pointing window, behind which she saw the carriage.


“For what you need so many things?” She bit her tongue, realized that her question was quite rude.


He looked at her carefully and then he shrugged his arms. “I just like collect”.


“Unlike me. Stuff bring only sad memories.” She again bit her tongue. Why she said that to him? Today she had a bad day.


“I’m sorry.”


“Hm?” Oh now, how many times she heard this sentence.


“I’m sorry Miss that you could think only about sad memories. What a pity life. Can I?” he reached his hand to the book.


And yet, he will buy it. Wait a minute. Did he mock her?


“Here you are.” she said that almost pushing book to his hand.


“Thank you Miss…”


Again. She thought.


“Gutmann.” She answered. “But soon that will change”.


“My congratulation.”


“Thank you.”


“And I?”




“Do you want to know my name?”


She knew that this was impolite, but she didn’t want to know his name.


“Taking into account fact that probably I will never meet you again: no. Forgive me Sir, but I have to go. I have a long trip and I would like to go back home before darkness.”


“Of course. It was nice to meet you Miss (soon that will change).”


She glared at him and then left the second-hand bookshop. What a horrible day. She thought, looking for a transport.


Suddenly she felt, that someone caught her arm. She bent her head down and saw a boy with a small parcel. “This man said that this is for you Miss.” Said the boy, pointing at the other side of the street.  Eli moved her gaze and stiffened. On the other side of the street, in  stagecoach sat the unknown man from bookshop. He smiled, seeing her surprised face and then he tip his hat and said something to the coachman. Eli watched, how filled to the brim carriage moved.


Surprised, she stood there even for a moment, when she recalled parcel. With pounding heart, she unwrapped paper and stiffened, seeing Sophocles’s book and small letter:


“I hope that from now you will associate things also with good memories.”

Short note:

*Rara Avis – rare thing. Something that have value of collectible.

Part 14 here