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Mariana Stjerna
184 pages
SoulLink Publisher, Sweden
About the author:
Mariana Stjerna is a highly respected Swedish channel and author. She has been psychic since childhood and has written several spiritual books both for adults and children. Agartha – The Earth´s Inner World is the English publication of her Swedish novel Agartha – Jordens inre värld.
Other examples of her international releases include On Angels’ Wings, The Bible Bluff and the upcoming Mission Space.
Mariana Stjerna made contact with Timothy Brooke, a Canadian, who appeared to her briefly and then "dictated" this book. He was saved by Agarthans from a shipwreck off the coast of Canada mid-20th century, and is now alive and well in Agartha. In this lovely Novel, he recounts his story and describes life in this five-dimensional paradise.

A fantastic read! This book reads so easily, like a novel and yet it's filled with so much truth and hope. It verified a couple of things for me ... some of my own experiences with plants and animals. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it! Buy it, you'll find it a treasure. I have since gone onto read another of the authors books: Mission Space, which is also fantastic and half the book covers more on Agartha.
Maya Spiritus

An amazing book filled with all types of information that is rarely known. Best part, it reads like a novel and not a dense Metaphysical book. Highly recommend for anyone with even the slightest bit of curiosity on this. You won't be disappointed.

Anyone with an interest with Hollow Earth and the exciting things happening inside (and outside) of our planet will appreciate the fine writing of this book. I have studied this subject at great length and am astounded at the accuracy, validation and new insights. Mariana's an expert writer and is shows with her effortless style. I couldn't put Agartha down and read is straight through. I hope it's read by millions. Please write a companion book soon.

If you are a hollow earth interest person like me,this one is a five star.thanks a bunch for putting on kindle.A+++++++++all the way.
Tommy Mazingo

I enjoyed this book and want to read more. Heck, I would love to visit there!!! Move there!!!! It is a quick interesting read.
Robin Earth Women

For me Agartha is one of few books in this category that resonates Truth and Love. Congratulations Mariana and thank you Tim for sharing all your fascinating experiences with us. This book definitely has the potential to be a world wide best seller. Let's hope that humanity one day will understand its true value.

Thank you very much.
You're books are outstanding and thought provoking.
Thanks again.

Excerpt from the book:
Agartha - The Earth's inner world


Saved by Beings from Inner Space
Agartha – a Paradise inside the Earth
An Important Mission for Tim
Sad Tidings in Seattle
The Trip to Sweden
An Impossible Mission
Tim's New Family
Back Underground
A Tour of Telos and Environs
A Fond Reunion and a New Acquaintance
A Fascinating Trip
A Real Live Dragon
Nancy and Ellie Return Home
Meeting St. Germain
Magical Buildings
Shamballa – a Paradise inside the Earth
An Exciting Encounter with Wild Animals
A Love Union
Back to Normality and Tourists in Agartha
The Purpose of Pets
Lessons Start
The Temple of Belief and Meeting Melchizedek
Visiting Tim's Parents-in-Law
The Cardinal from the Vatican
Festivities in Agartha
Visiting an Agarthan Orphanage
How the Earth is going to Change
Indian Wisdom and the Fire of Life
Old Mother Sjaluna's Gift
With the Aborigines
The Birthplace of Mankind, Africa
A Completely Different China
Another Encounter with St. Germain
The House of Transformation
Author's Epilogue

1. Saved by Beings from Inner Earth

An escape into eternity, or from eternity? With this thought I awoke from my meditation.
I might have been asleep or awake. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between dreaming and reality. You can actually experience reality in your sleep. Intangible things become tangible there. For me, it was a strange journey. And for me, it has become reality. But you are welcome to doubt my story — until it can be proved. I have no proof … yet!
A tall, young man with fair hair, cheerful blue eyes, regular features, and a shapely mouth — a handsome, young man, in fact — had appeared while I was meditating. He started talking, and in my head I could hear every word he said. I was amazed!
“Hi Mariana!” he said. “My name’s Timothy, but I’m called Tim. My surname is Brooke. Originally I’m from Seattle, USA, but I’ve ‘emigrated,’ and these days I live inside the Earth. You probably won’t believe me at first, but I think I can convince you. That’s my mission. It’s time for people on the Earth’s surface to know that we exist.
“Now I’m going to tell you my story.”

* * *

My father was a sea captain. He owned a small cargo boat which plied its trade along the coast between Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. I was brought up as a sailor, pretty much against my will, even though my mother didn’t want me to go to sea. She thought her constant worry about my father was enough.
My mother was Swedish and my father of British stock. That’s why I’m bilingual. They met on a cruise in the mid-20th century. Then I came along, and later on, my sister. All three of them are dead now, but I survived a shipwreck when I was nineteen. In spite of Mother’s tears and pleadings that I wouldn’t go to sea, I was father’s first mate by this stage, instead of staying in high school. Father was a resolute but fair man, and I loved him.
A terrible storm swept relentlessly over us, with waves as high as houses. Our little boat had weathered storms before, but this was like a volcano. We were close to the coast, which was rocky and inaccessible. Father wanted to anchor as close to the shore as possible, so we steered towards land. Our cargo was timber and it was heavy, but we didn’t get very far before we were caught in a whirlpool which lifted the boat like a glove and threw it against the nearest cliff. I remember a terrible crash and my father’s otherwise stern face being close to mine.
“I love you, my boy,” he cried, with tears in his eyes. “If we ride out this storm, I’m never going to force you to go to sea ever again.”
Those were his last words. The ship was torn apart, and I was in the sea, clinging to a log floating on the cold waves. I remember passing out. Father was gone, and the four others in the crew had disappeared.
Suddenly, I felt someone human nearby, and a boat was carrying me steadily forwards. Was this death? I lay in the bottom of the boat and tried to raise myself up on my elbows, but fell straight back down again. A friendly face with clear-cut features and long, fair hair bent over me, and at first I couldn’t tell if it was male or female. I soon realized it was a man.
The boat entered a kind of well-lit tunnel decorated with paintings. It wasn’t long before we were moored at a jetty. The fair-haired man and another one with dark hair lifted me up and helped me ashore.
“Where am I, where’s my father? Where are the rest of the crew? Did the timber go down?” The questions gushed from me in a rush.
“Your father couldn’t be saved, nor the crew or the cargo. You were clinging to a log which brought you straight to us. That saved your life. We were on the lookout for wrecked ships because of the storm. You’re inside the Earth now. Welcome!” The man spoke excellent English.
“I’m Mannul Zerpa, and I’m taking you to our world for some rest.”
When I was younger, an old sailor told me many stories. One of these was about a world that existed inside the planet, and it completely fascinated me. Of course, I’d thought it was just a sailor’s yarn. And yet here I was, in the middle of it, right in the middle of an old sailor’s tale! I pinched myself hard to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. This couldn’t be true — but it was.
“When can I return to Seattle?” I asked.
“You’ll have to take that up later with someone else. Look around you! You’re walking on solid earth.”
The light was strange when we came out of the tunnel or hole in the rock where the boat was tied up — a strange glow in a strange summery landscape. I had left Seattle on a dark November morning, windy and drizzling. There had been leaves on the ground, and the sky was gray.
Here the air was clear, with a friendly sun beaming down on us. Glorious flowers lined our path. There were green trees and bushes everywhere. It was like a beautiful morning in a Canadian forest. I had been in forests like this many times with my father and uncle when I was younger, but this seemed sparser and lighter somehow, with more flowers.
“We’re just coming to the village where you’re going to stay,” announced my fair-haired savior, with a smile. My savior, literally!
“I have to thank you,” I stammered. “You saved my life. It’s just that I feel so confused. I’m actually inside the Earth, below the soil, in some kind of village in a farming area?”
“You’ll find out more when we get there,” Mannul informed me. “I’ve saved lots of people from drowning. Your ship isn’t the only one to go down outside these mountains. But it’s only the sea out there which is treacherous, the sea which belongs to the outer Earth. In here it’s calm and always summer.”
And I had to make do with that.
We walked through the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen, before reaching a village with tall, round buildings. They seemed weirdly luminous, probably because of the stones they were made out of. I could hear birdsong in the luxuriant trees, and I saw squirrels and a small hare which crept behind a clump of grass. It was like the outside Earth, yet very different. Somehow, it was too perfect, like a film!
The houses surrounded what seemed to be a small market square, with a well in the center. We entered one of the houses. A hall with an arched roof led into a semi-circular room with floor-to-ceiling windows. The furniture in the room was what I would deem modern — comfortable, beautifully-designed chairs and tables, yet different from furniture on Earth. Everything glowed, as if the furniture itself and the surrounding walls were alive. And the roof! It didn’t exist! It was open at the top, with sunlight filtering softly through woven leaves and branches.
Mannul gestured for me to sit on a sofa by one of the unglazed windows, where I could see the amazing view outside. The friendly, fair-haired man disappeared after placing a cup in front of me. He would return soon, he said. He told me to drink up before his return.
I tasted the drink. It was wonderful, like a pale wine with a slight tang of honey. The first mouthful shot through my body like an arrow of fire, and I came around at once. Good grief, I thought, I’ll be drunk! But I wasn’t, even after drinking it all up. However, I did experience intense clarity of thought and great wellbeing.
When Mannul returned, he wasn’t alone. With him was a man who was at least six and a half feet (two meters) tall. He had gleaming, long, brown hair and was clean-shaven and lithe. His huge, beautiful eyes were set in a youthful face, yet I got the feeling that he was older than time! I stood politely and bowed, and he gave me a friendly smile and hugged me.
“Welcome to Wonderland underground, Timothy,” he said. “I know how you got here, and now I’ll tell you where you are.”
“Are you a Wise Master?” I interrupted, “I’ve heard people like that exist inside the Earth.” The man laughed heartily.
“There is wisdom everywhere, young man,” he responded. “The man who believes himself wise is stupid. Stupidity always tries to mislead wisdom. But if you’re seeking wisdom, you need only look around carefully. Nature is full of wisdom which surface-dwellers are doing their best to destroy.”
“Then, who are you?” I asked, inquisitive as usual.
“My name is Dariel. You don’t need to know more than that just yet. I’m one of the nine on the Committee here. We bid you welcome, and wonder if you would like to stay a few days as an honored guest from the surface.”
I bowed again and accepted the invitation. You don’t turn down an invitation like that.
“Will you help me to get home afterwards?” I asked. “My mother is bound to worry that I’ve drowned like the rest of them.”
“Yes, we’ll help you get home, if you still want to go.” Dariel gave me a long, keen look. “We don’t force anybody to stay here, but few return home, and those who do are never believed when they tell people about us.
“This is a pleasant place to live. We don’t fight about money, and most of our needs are taken care of. We keep track of the surface and the people there. We know that their supposed development has only brought disaster. Everything is easier here. You’re going to love it.”
Dariel stooped and took my hands. He looked right into my eyes, and I was filled with an indescribable inner peace. I was still grieving profoundly for my father and missing my mother and Littl’un, my sister. But, in a flash, the grief and longing lessened, and I wanted to learn more about this peculiar country I was in. It was as if I had been stroked softly by an angel’s wing, leaving me happy and at peace. In the distance soft music was playing, not at all like modern music from above ground, more like Mozart or one of the old Masters.
“Mannul will take you on a tour of our borders, beginning a few days from now. First you will visit Telos, which is where surface-dwellers end up if they happen to fall into our world.
“Timothy, I’m your friend. Please call on me if you need questions answered or help of any kind. We’ll meet again when the time comes.”

2. Agartha — A Paradise Inside the Earth

“A country where sorrow doesn’t exist!” I exclaimed, as Mannul guided me through a village that was laid out like a huge smile. Mannul grinned too.
“You’re right,” he replied. “But most people who live here are just ordinary people like you and me. There is sorrow, but it is treated differently here. You allow it to dominate you, but we take control over sorrow and setbacks. Friendly hands reach out when you need help — physical or psychological.
“On the surface, you haven’t discovered the joy of helping each other. Your thoughts are on money. Help costs money, and not everyone can afford it. But Tim, everyone has a heart, and that costs nothing. You only have to listen to it. Your heart gives you good advice, but you have to talk the same language. Experience and understanding will help you.”
I don’t know what happened next; it all went so fast! Mannul held my hand and I felt like an apprehensive, expectant seven-year-old, going off to school for the first time. I didn’t have much time to see the scenery which whisked by. There seemed to be water below me at one stage, and small, white geese (as they were known at home) bobbing on the dark-blue water. Then there was sand on golden sandy beaches, and finally emerald-green grass. At last, with a slight thud, we came in to land.
“Look around you!” Mannul burst out.
I did. If Mannul hadn’t been holding on to my hand, I probably would’ve fainted, but there really was cause for my confusion. The air and lovely surroundings were alive — not with a peaceful, eternal breathing, but completely tangible, lively, and almost wild. Every single bush, tree, and flower produced noise, bordering on a cacophony. Small figures sailed smoothly to and fro and round and round. They wound their way between the plants and onto the plants and inside them.
The summer meadow was alive in more ways than one.
Elementals and people crowded together here. I could see people — adults and children — and I could hear rousing music. Everyone was dancing.
“Are they having a dance right in the middle of the morning?” I asked, slightly shocked at such enthusiasm so early in the day.
“Of course!” replied my guide, looking at me as if I was weird. “When someone wants to dance at work, we organize a hop and sing.”
“Does anything get done, then?” I ventured to ask.
“More than if we didn’t dance,” was the retort. I sighed. This was another country, and I needed to be open to new ideas. All countries have their own customs, and this was as true on the inside of the planet as on the outside. There were huge differences.
We stood awhile, watching the dancing. It was like folk-dancing really, although I’ve only seen Canadian and Swedish folk-dancing, so I don’t claim to be an expert. The musicians danced as they played, and their fiddles and other instruments that I didn’t recognize sounded like folk-music from Dalarna, Sweden, where my grandmother lives. I hadn’t visited my grandmother for a few years, but I remembered how wonderful Swedish midsummer was. This was similar, but without any drunkenness or fighting.
I looked inquiringly at Mannul, and, chuckling, he took my hand and swung us out among the dancers. Soon I was holding a soft, female hand and watching a smiling young girl swing me around. But the dance didn’t last forever, regardless of my desires. My “underground” guide pulled me away.
“We have to get on!” he exclaimed, laughing at my disappointed expression. A completely lovely landscape passed before my delighted eyes, and we arrived at a village. There were fewer houses, but built in the same style: beehive-style, as I called it, although rounder than beehives and without tops. I wondered if they had rain, storms, or snow here.
“No,” Mannul read my mind (that too!). “We have a perfect climate here. We have what you would call early summer all year round, and pretty much full bloom.”
“How come you have a perfect climate when we have rain, snow, and storms on Earth?” I wondered in surprise.
“Doesn’t our weather seep through somewhere?” Mannul guffawed. I couldn’t understand what he was laughing at. There was a bench nearby, and he gestured for me to sit down. This is how he explained the amazing climate underground:
“Everything has to do with belief,” he said. “We feel completely safe here. There is no fear, worry, evil, envy, or jealousy. We have learned to live in complete safety and believe in an eternal Force which is always here to help and protect us. Negativity disrupts the lower atmosphere and the stratosphere. Weather patterns reflect patterns of thought.
“Destruction on the Earth’s surface means that meteorological forces are equally destructive. They are affected by the ambiance on Earth, which is far from harmonious. There is religious conflict. Envy and suspicion, fueled by money and drugs, destroy rather than build up. If we weigh the good and bad on Earth, my dear Tim, good loses every time.”
“Good grief!” I exclaimed incredulously. “You don’t mean that the weather depends on how people think? Surely the weather is regulated by other forces entirely.” (I couldn’t think of anything other than the National Weather Service, but felt that wasn’t quite what I meant in this context.)
“Here you could say that we’re in the lap of the Earth,” said Mannul, smiling. “This in itself represents security, because your adverse conditions can’t penetrate the thick crust between us. We honor, thank, and caress Mother Earth literally every day, and in return she provides protection and love. You surface-dwellers would feel better if you focused on your counterparts in Agartha (the name of this interior world) and took strength from here when you are depressed or troubled. If only you would ask us for strength.”
“We don’t know about you,” I replied bitterly. “How can we ask someone for help if we don’t know they exist?”
“Then it’s time for us to approach people on Earth,” was the reply. “But we don’t want to encourage those who sow the seeds of dissent and discord. That is why we have shut ourselves off for so long. And, by the way, what about that God you worship? He’s worshiped with great pomp the whole world over. You pray to him, fight wars on his behalf, argue about him, and lay all the blame at his feet. What kind of a religion is that? You might think it’s logical, but we don’t. This is why it would be difficult to allow Earth people here, unless they are specially chosen, or are people who arrived as you did.”
“I want to return to the surface and tell everyone about you,” I said.
Mannul just nodded, and helped me up from the bench.
I couldn’t see many people in this village. There were children playing in much the same way that children on the surface play. There were sandpits and swings, and adults to look after them.
There were pools where children were swimming. The pools were wonderful, with slides which children love. Leafy vegetation surrounded small, sandy slopes where the children could slide into the water. There were exciting, winding, stone steps to scamper up and down, and more besides. The children seemed to live in a fairytale land.
“There are quite a few children here …” I began. I wondered how they got here, but I didn’t dare ask. Mannul burst out laughing, which I was getting used to.
“Listen to me, young man!” he snorted wildly before continuing. “Do you need sex lessons? It’s exactly the same here as on the surface. But we call it Love here, which is rare up there. Sex is depraved there. Here it’s something positive that we respect. We don’t have marriage here, but a ‘union’ of body and soul. And a union is always a good excuse for a party.”
“Infidelity, mistakes, indiscretions, divorces …?” I continued.
Laughter bubbled from Mannul as he answered, “You’ve got it wrong again, son. Those words don’t exist in our vocabulary. Up there you live like you are just bodies. We are souls with a much higher level of consciousness. But we have as much fun as you do — the difference is that we stay together all our lives.”
“For hundreds of years,” I chuckled. “You’d really have time to get tired of each other. You need to try different things … even with sex, right?”
“I don’t see why.” Mannul really didn’t seem to understand. “That’s not how Love works here, anyway. Come on, let’s carry on. We’re going to a kind of symposium that they’re having beneath Mount Shasta in Telos. They’re discussing surface-dwellers, so I want you to come with me.”
I was filled with curiosity. Maybe I could reach the Earth’s surface from there. Yet, Mount Shasta was in California, and I wanted to get home to Seattle. There would be flights, but I had no money. I said as much.
“Don’t worry, son. We’ll sort it out. If you want to go home and the others agree, we’ll find money for the journey. Let’s do one thing at a time.”
I thought about the incredibly cute girl I had danced with, and considered staying. Mannul read my thoughts easily, but just squinted at me and grinned.
“Her name is Sisilla,” he said.

3. An Important Mission for Tim

The rest of the journey was by hovercraft, as it is called, and was double-quick. I didn’t have much time to see my surroundings, just glimpses of mountains, forests, and lakes which flew past — or which we flew past. It was more fun than flying in a plane. We landed with a splash in the canal. Not with a hefty thud, but gently, like a dancer in Swan Lake.
Here, finally, was a house which looked like a house. It was low and elongated, built in the round, but I couldn’t see a roof here either. It was a shimmering pink — unusual for a house. Around it were masses of beautifully arranged flowers, in all colors imaginable.
“This is what you would call the Town Hall. We call it the Meeting House. Sometimes we have planning-meetings and organize help. This is where you can ask for help getting home.”
We went inside. I was overwhelmed by the beauty I encountered inside the building. The walls were painted with lovely natural images, and between the flagstones on the floor grew low, green plants with white and yellow flowers. There were tall, gracious, fair human forms moving around everywhere.
We ascended a spiral staircase in the center of the room. The building didn’t have a roof, and the top floor consisted of a sort of suspended platform. It didn’t move, which would have made me seasick. Mannul smiled, took my arm, and led me to a large, airy, apparently floating room. There were nine people there, men and women. They were sitting in a ring of comfortable chairs, each with a small green table before them. There were flowers everywhere. The walls were of woven branches, some with exquisite blossoms.
When they saw us, someone brought two chairs and asked us to sit. That was just as well, as by now my legs were like jelly. I noticed a venerable person sitting in the center, his blue eyes focused on me. His hair and beard were long and white, yet his face was unwrinkled, and he looked youthful and happy. He raised his hand in greeting, and I did likewise.
“Welcome, young man from the Earth’s surface,” he said in a clear voice, in English. “I’m Arniel, leader of the symposium. We hope you are happy and will stay with us.”
“I’m amazed and delighted at everything that I’ve seen,” I replied. “However, I miss my mother and my sister, and I would like to go home and visit them first. Afterwards, I would like to return here for good.”
“Your wish will be granted,” said Arniel. “There is one condition. We want the surface people to know that we are here. You are welcome to return, but first you must spread the message of our existence.”
“They’ll never believe me,” I mumbled, but Arniel held up his hand.
“Don’t give up, whatever they think. If you get into difficulties, we will come to your rescue. It is time to tell the surface people that we are here and they are not alone. We have no wish to partake in their pollution and other misery. Please emphasize that. If they carry on, they will cause their own annihilation, total extinction. This won’t affect the planet itself, just the people. It will be serious, and it will happen soon.”
“Can’t we be saved?” I wondered, terrified.
“We hope so. We’re working on helping the Earth, as otherwise we may be affected too. You must be our messenger, Timothy.”
“I’ll do my best,” I stammered.
The imposing Elder held out a small whistle to me. “If you’re in trouble, blow this. You won’t hear anything, but the signal will reach us at the speed of thought. Don’t lose it.”
I bowed and thanked them over and again until Arniel, laughing, stopped me with his hand. “Don’t worry about money, my son. Mannul will give you plenty. You may need to stay a good while. He will take you as far as the portal on Mount Shasta.”
Mannul pulled my sleeve, and I bowed slightly more quickly this time. I didn’t have time to see who the others were at the green tables, but I’m sure I didn’t know them. I felt completely dazed.
“You’ll need some suitable clothes,” said Mannul, looking at my thin, white shirt and tight, blue trousers. He hustled me out of the building, down a narrow alley, straight to a tailor’s. It couldn’t have been anything else; there were clothes hanging everywhere. A man emerged from the interior and greeted Mannul warmly.
“Bring the boy some nice clothes,” said my guide. “Give him a bag filled with all he’ll need for an Earth visit. And one of those wallets that they use above ground. I’ll put money in it for him.”
“Am I going to California right away?” I asked.
“Yes. There are regular flights to Seattle from there.”
“What if I want to get back?”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Let’s do one thing at a time. The tailor will outfit you first. I’ll wait for you here.”
I returned to my guide wearing jeans, a pale blue pullover, and a navy jacket, and felt slightly awkward seeing Mannul’s ankle-length gown. At the same time, I felt great, and incredibly pleased to be going home to my nearest and dearest. Mannul handed me a bulging wallet. It included my passport. I have no idea how he had gotten hold of it.
“It’s a new passport that we made in surface-style. Don’t you think we know what you need in order to avoid the long arm of the law?”
Well, obviously, only I hadn’t gotten that far. I stomped after Mannul, my backpack a secure weight on my back. We wound our way through the picturesque town of Telos and reached a tunnel. There were some small vehicles there, and Mannul and I got into one of them. He pressed a couple of buttons, and it started immediately.
“Don’t give up, however unkind that people are,” he warned. “And if, against all odds, you meet an Earth girl, tell her about us. She’s only worth bringing here if she believes you.”
“I might want to stay at home,” I replied. “My mother may need help. She’ll be living on a widow’s pension, which won’t go far.”
“I’ll ask the stars for guidance,” said Mannul, giving me a shrewd look. “You have to come back, to turn in a report to Arniel, if nothing else. If you want to return to the surface afterwards, we’ll discuss it then. I don’t think that’s what the stars have in store for you.”
“What stars?” I asked, looking around the tunnel. There was only a weak, flickering light from one or two lanterns. But Mannul just laughed, and the tunnel grew much lighter.
The truck stopped in front of a long staircase. I gave my kind companion a hug and started up the stairs, my steps quickening as I climbed. Finally, I stood on a platform, and an iron door opened onto what I knew at that time as Life. I walked slowly out into the rain and wind on the great mountainside. Mount Shasta witnessed yet another small human leave its dark embrace and grope his way to what is known as reality.

4. Sad Tidings in Seattle

I don’t remember coming down Mount Shasta, but at the foot of the mountain was a small town, complete with motels and shops. I traveled from there by bus and taxi to the nearest passenger airport and was soon settled in a comfortable seat on a flight to Seattle.
I was thinking about my mother and sister, and there was a furtive tear on my cheek when the stewardess arrived with the beverage cart. I remembered my mother as a fairly tall, beautiful woman having curly, blond hair with a few gray strands framing a smooth, rosy face with eyes like violets. My dear mother wasn’t just attractive, but sensible, warm, and loving!
And red-headed, mischievous Littl’un, a younger sister to be proud of, but who still needed the protection of an elder brother. She was always much too willing to get into mad scrapes with her friends. When I left home, she was seventeen, and worryingly popular with the boys. My family was everything to me, and I missed them intensely.
The closer I got to home, the more worried I became. I was arriving, of course, with a well-filled wallet, which I would have to explain. I was smartly dressed and much wiser than when I had set out. But you don’t earn money on the high seas. Well, I would just have to come up with some yarn before I dared tell the truth. Then I remembered that actually, it was the truth I was here to tell, and, sighing, I finished up the generous amount of food served on the plane. To my relief, it wasn’t beef, but finely-sliced chicken with plenty of vegetables. After a vegetarian diet, your stomach reacts to what we call normal food, especially meat.
I knew Seattle airport well. Seattle is on the coast, and our house is near the large harbor where the cargo boats are moored. Our house, like many in the area, had its own jetty. As I alighted from the airport taxi, I was whistling the happiest tune I knew. What a great feeling! I was back at my beloved childhood home.
I rang the bell. I kissed the door handle and rang again. I rang the special code which my sister and I used. Nobody answered. Mother and Littl’un were both out, and I didn’t have a key. Then I heard a woman’s voice that I recognized. It was the kind lady next door, known as Big Tillie. I turned around and there she was.
“Is that really Timothy Brooke? Weren’t you drowned? Are you a ghost?”
“I’m alive and kicking. I didn’t drown, but all the others did. I haven’t had a chance to get in touch with my family. Do you know where they are?”
I thought Tillie was going to faint, and I put my long arm around her shoulders to support her. She burst into tears.
“You’ve been away three years,” she sniffed. “Your mother and sister are both dead. Your sister secretly got married just before the terrible news came. She died giving birth six months after her marriage. Your mother sickened after hearing about the shipwreck and died a few months later. I think she died of sorrow, after losing her entire family. The house has been up for sale for a long time, but it has not sold, so I guess it’s yours. Your brother-in-law, Bertie, moved to Vancouver. I think he remarried.
“I’ve got the address of your mother’s lawyer. You must find out if your mother left a will. Come in and I’ll make some tea to fortify you. You can stay here until you get yourself sorted out.”
I went with kind, old Tillie. A cold hand gripped my heart. I had no family left. There was only me. I was the loneliest person in the world. I sank down on Tillie’s sofa and cried. This time they weren’t tears of happiness. I felt sorry for myself, though I knew it wouldn’t help, and I was overwhelmed with grief. I still had a difficult mission to carry out in spite of all this bad news.
Tillie was a great help. She called the lawyer right away, and I took a taxi to pick up the house keys. He had not been able to sell the house without proving there was no-one to inherit. The lawyer had been in no hurry to investigate. He seemed relieved that I had turned up and that Tillie could vouch for me. So I had a roof over my head.
It felt weird entering the empty house. My old bedroom was dusty and untidy, just as I’d left it. Littl’un’s room had changed. There were baby things in it, including a cradle — probably our old cradle. On a table an unfinished baby cardigan was thrown, likely the work of my mother.