Uncle Boris lit first my cigar and then his own. We stood silently, watching the auroras, simply smoking. At last he turned and favored me with one of his hideous grins. I still remembered how funny I had found them when I was a girl. He said, “You’re put together a fine troop, Rose. Your father would be proud.”
“You’re welcome to travel with us,” I said.
He nodded his head in acknowledgement. “I think your people favor daylight far more than would give me pleasure. But I will consider it.” He looked toward the house and narrowed his black eyes. “Now, tell me about this nonexistent tome that has so captivated young Cyrus.”