Epilogue: What Happened Back in Ebonbridge

When it finally came time to tell the story, they all agreed that there was to be no mention of the Ivory Pyramid, or of the Eye of Thoshi. Thankfully they had had more than enough time to come up with a proper story for when the time came.

"I find it a little difficult to believe, Ms Etheridge, to tell you the truth." She was sat down with Professor Waltham, one of her benefactors and the head of a museum in Non-Fiction.

"We've discovered troves like this before," she said.

"Buried in a tomb beneath the ice you say?"

She nodded. "Some distance from the Kyn River, about where I expected it to be. It looks as though the sorceress Trysten was reputed to have fought against led a band of barbarians in the far north in those days, and they used this particular valley as a burial place of some significance. The usual trinkets, death masks, things like that."

"And you managed to find all of them?"

"Well there might have been a few pieces of pottery we were forced to leave behind, but as you can see we found more than enough to pay back the museum's investment, with interest."

"I have to say Ms Etheridge I expected something more dramatic given the condition you and your expedition were reported to have arrived in."

"You know how it can be up in the north. A few encounters with wild animals, a couple of collapsed walls and before you know it you've been bashed up more than you'd care to be."

"Well of course the museum will take any pieces you can part with, and you should of course contact us for your next expedition. If it proves anything like as fruitful as this one then we shall be glad to sponsor it."

She shook his hand and smiled. "My pleasure."

Waltham was the final name on her list of people to speak with. As she left the museum she was surprised to see Victor waiting for her, leaning against a low wall and holding his hat in his hand. She grinned and skipped down the steps to him.

"Good to see you." She linked her arm through his and led him down the road.

"All finished with Waltham?"

"He's satisfied with his riches. Everyone was."

"And you?"

She stopped skipping for a moment and huffed. "Could you maybe not be the detective for a moment?"

"Of course, very sorry." He linked their arms again and made a show of skipping down the road. "Is this better?"

"You really shouldn't skip." She could barely get the words out for laughing, but it had buoyed her mood at least. They carried on walking. "I'm not sure what I am honestly, it's all so fresh."

"That's understandable."

"The Eye of Thoshi. I know it's real, and I feel like that should be enough. But part of me still wants to have it. To have brought it home and shown everyone. The same with the Pyramid."

"You could hardly have brought the pyramid home."

"You know what I mean."

"I do." He stopped and put both hands on her shoulders. "I understand Liz, you should know. It's the same on any case. Knowing who committed a crime, knowing how they did it, even knowing why they did it, isn't necessarily the same as knowing everything that happened. There are always elements that get left behind, bits and pieces of someone's life that pushed them towards one course or another. In the end I have to content myself with knowing as much as I know, even if the entire story can't be told."

"And that's what I have to decide?"

"In as many words, yes." He let go of her shoulders. "You know. I know. Winifred, Samson, Margaret and Li all know. Even if the rest of the world doesn't, and never will. And we won't forget any of it."

"Thanks Victor." She gave him a hug. "Alright, that's enough emotion for one night. What do you say we go to the Crimson, get in as many drinks as we can handle, and get back to normal?"

He grinned. "Now that sounds like an excellent plan."

The End