They glanced over at the school bus jackknifed perilously close to the cliff’s edge and confirmed that the orphans were fine. His gaze met hers. The words tumbled over each other as she began to speak. “I should have trusted you. I should have known.” But then she trailed off, transfixed by his rapt and gentle expression as his hand drifted up to remove her glasses. “I never–” he said. “–your eyes. They’re so…” The earpieces snagged in her hair and in the course of removing them he undid her bun, so that her hair fell for the first time in long flowing tresses about her face. She dipped her chin bashfully then tilted her eyes up to look at him.
“I guess we never did find ‘the Falcon’s Treasure’,” she said.
“I’ve got all the treasure I need right here.” He leaned in to kiss her. His warmth, the feel of his lips on hers, swelled to fill the whole world, and when it receded she was standing in a white dress on a raised wooden platform beneath a grape arbor. He stood before her: crisp and assured. The audience out in their folding chairs began to applaud. Everyone was there. His parents. Her uncle. Inspector Edwards and Miss Dupree. Wise old Nigel, in a kilt, his permanently sour expression at last giving way to a smile. The entire crew of the Cerebus, still in their watch caps and pea coats, rose and began to cheer heartily. Up front by the aisle sat Mariella decked out in an elaborate outfit of lace and feathers along with her pet monkey, Gerald, wearing a tuxedo for the occasion and clapping to beat the band. She turned her head back to see him silently mouth her name. Now she was his and he was hers. They completed each other and their stories were over. There would be no more. It was the e