Terry was hoping to go to church in Alemara again, but a courier from Barlin informed her that a boat to take her back to Drahla was waiting in Driscoll. Early in the morning, Terry and Cat were ready in the lobby; George and Darlene came down to say their farewells. The four stood together talking but Darlene pulled Terry aside, much to her husband’s incomprehension.
The intensity shifted to Darlene as she look upward at Terry.
“I wanted to thank you for all that you have done—especially yesterday,” Darlene said. “People have lost their lives for asking the lords of Beran questions like that. But I’m glad you did.”
“Have you told George yet about it?” Terry asked.
“No, I haven’t,” Darlene replied. “I was going to wait until you left…Terry, no one in my family has ever done this before. George’s, either. I’m a little frightened. I looked at that Bible you gave me last night—there’s so much to learn. I know I’ve heard it in church all my life, now I must really understand it. Terry, will you come and help me some time?”
“Yes, I will, Darlene,” Terry answered. “God will send people your way to strengthen you in your walk with Him. He has a very special plan for your life, I can feel it.” They hugged and cried for a bit before rejoining George and Cat. It wasn’t long though before George took Terry aside.
“Would you mind explaining to me what you girls spent all yesterday in the forward stateroom talking about?”
Terry thought for a second. “What we were talking about,” Terry said, “was how important it was to pursue God with the same persistence and enthusiasm that you and Darlene pursued each other all those years.”
“Is it possible?” George asked.
“It’s not only possible, it’s necessary, and best of all, it’s fun. Think about it, George.” By that time the car was waiting and honking its horn; Terry and Cat took their stuff out, got in the car, and went on, with the Prince and Princess standing on the porch and not going back in until long after they had gone.
The last leg of the return trip to Drahla started with the short car ride to a very quiet town of Driscoll. Once there, they got on the ferry, which usually didn’t run on Sunday but which was specially chartered for the occasion. They once more plied the clear waters of the Crescan Gulf until they reached the town that gave the Gulf its name.
It seemed like the whole town came out to greet Terry. Since her son was killed there, she always found trips to Cresca painful, but this time it was less so. The biggest surprise, though, was that Prince Dennis, Princess Andrea and their children headed the welcoming crowd up, not the Crescan municipal officials. They were surprised at Terry’s passenger, but were glad to see her, and embraced her. Terry crouched down to hug their children, at which point the oldest daughter Deborah stuck a hibiscus in “Aunt Terry’s” ear.
Terry also discovered that she was booked to speak at the Cresca Pentecostal Church that evening, where she had been set forth in the ministry so many years ago. It was Cat’s first time to hear her preach. She preached from Esther; Julia’s story had given her the perfect illustration. Her biggest problem was that she had to borrow a Bible, since she had given hers away during the trip. They let the Prince and Princess stand in prayer for the Aloxan groom and bride.
Once the service was over, people lingered in the sanctuary and talked. When it was nearly empty except for the travellers and royals, Terry suddenly turned to Dennis and said, “I need to give you a note that Prince George handed me.” She handed him the note; he opened and read it.
“It’s an invitation,” Dennis said. “He is inviting Andrea and me to join him, Princess Darlene and Prince Peter and Princess Julia on a hunting trip at the royal preserves in Serelia. They’ll let us know the schedule when they hear further from the Aloxans. He also wants my brother to come later in the year when they do a full royal hunt.” He looked at Terry with a puzzled look. “Why are the women going with us on a hunting trip? Andrea doesn’t like to hunt, and frankly you know I’m not much at it either.”
“Maybe there’s some fishing involved, too.” Terry said enigmatically.