“All history is in the Drane, Maggs,” Sally said eventually, but so quietly that Maggs had to lean in to hear him. “All our struggles, all endeavours, written there to see, if you can see it.”
He smiled sadly at Maggs, looking momentarily very tired and very old, then added, “Apparently. Apparently.” After a while he went on: “If ever you were to find yourself in the strangest of strange places, somewhere quite vivid, somewhere more real than real, you will know where you are and you must do all you can to survive it. To journey there is … jeopardous, but also wonderful, fantastic, incredible. For sure, you can survive it — remember that. And thrive, too. Find yourself some good friends, Maggs. Buddies you can trust, right? And stick with them no matter what. And remember this too: what you see is not always what there is; and what is there is not always what it seems. So you keep your wits sharp and your eyes sharper, you understand?”
He nodded once at Maggs who nodded back, then leaned forward and rapped on the chauffeur’s cab window before continuing: “If ever you were one day to find yourself in that place.” He flashed his grin, the sardonic-hero smile back again. “Which you won’t. But if you did, right?”
“Right,” said Maggs, puzzled, adding uncertainly: “Thanks.”
The first book in the Drane series is due for publication soon.