Daisy was worried. Alfred hadn’t come home after school. She looked and called for him in the forest where he would sometimes wander, but there was no response. What had happened?
She was about to consider going to see Nobs when a cart pulled up with a gentlewoman and a young man. It was Alfred! “Alfred!” she cried. But he stormed past her and went to his room. Daisy ran after him but he slammed his door. She turned to thank the woman who had followed her inside.
“I am sorry. I saw your son on the side of the road. He seemed upset and I didn’t know whether he was lost. He was far from here, so I gave him a ride.”
“Thank you! I don’t know what he was doing so far from home. Do you live nearby?” “I’m on my way through.” “Alfred! ” Daisy called. “Alfred, come and say thank you..”
Alfred emerged eventually, looking sullen.
“Thank you” he mumbled. “My pleasure.” said the woman. ” I hope you are well. You have worried your mother.” With that, she left, waving to them both.
“Alfred, what were you doing..”
“You lied to me!”
“What? What do you mean?”
“You’re not my mother! You were paid to look after me.” and he told her of his meeting with the woman who claimed to be his sister.
Daisy was only half listening. She had to stop this somehow.
“No, Alfred, no. She’s lying to you. Yes, your father was in prison, but it’s a different man. Her father was a traitor..” She tried denying everything Alfred had said.
“Bla bla bla – you’re lying to me. You’re not even my mother. I was taken from my real mother when I was a baby. And my name isn’t Alfred. My real name is Ulric!”
“Alfred, no! Please listen to me! I love you! I love you as any mother would. I brought you up!”
That was admission enough for Alfred. He turned his back on her.
Daisy was devastated. She had failed to keep his identity from him. What would happen to her? What could she do?
Alfred was still in shock at everything that had happened that day. The woman he had thought of as his mother, who had brought him up, had done it for money, while his real family lived in luxury somewhere.
He knew he had to go back, to see them, to meet his real family.
Daisy didn’t know what to do. She would have to get word to Nobs before Alfred did anything. The boy she’d thought of as her son was lost to her forever.