Gabriel had gone. Making my way back to Babbage I noticed little of what was about me; I saw only his face, shining. When I reached home at last the Port lay in disarray. Had the Mayor still not returned to take charge of the city? It seemed nothing would ever be set right.
I found my nephew in a small tavern near the island docks. Expecting the worst, I had gone prepared to see him die before my eyes, or at least lying in a fever. I was not prepared at all for the sight of him so well he could have been reborn.
To the Ladies of New Babbage,
Today's action by the Commodore has sparked a desire in me to appeal to you to gather your thoughts on recent events in our fair city and ask yourself whether you feel the men in control have served us well or not.
For long minutes I stared at the letter, then folded it carefully and hid it in my pocket. My nephew, Gabriel, had been making his way home after his annual foray. On reaching the nearest port in the islands before taking a steamer home his health failed. The message did not specify his condition, only that he could travel no further and that I must come for him.