They were in what appeared to be a sort of old fashioned garden surrounded on three sides by a high stone wall. The fourth side was a continuation of the garden, disappearing around a corner. the landscaping consisted mainly of small trees shaped like balls on sticks and rose bushes. In the middle of the space they were in was a fountain with a little stone faun playing upon pipes in the center. As Eliza leaned back to get a better view of the fountain, she put her hand on something. It was the book.
"This is so weird" she murmured, more to herself than to Cass.
"I wonder where we are?" she said aloud.
"And how we got here, and why we're here, and what on earth is going on?" Cass added.
Eliza stood up, brushing off her dress and fixing her hair, "I suppose the logical thing to do would be to get up and figure out where we are. This garden probably leads to a house, or a mansion by the looks of it."
"I hope whoever lives here doesn't mind two strange girls popping up out if nowhere in his or her garden." commented Cass, a little drily. With that, the two girls were about to follow what seemed to be the only way out of the garden, Eliza still carrying the book, when suddenly they heard voices. Both girls froze.
"They're headed our way!" hissed Cass
Desperately, Eliza looked at their surroundings,
"There's no place to hide!" she whispered, fear creeping into her heart.
Cass was obviously worried,
"Great, we're stuck in some random garden who-knows-where, with who-knows-who coming towards us, and who know what they're going to think, much less do, when they find us!"
"Stay calm, whatever happens God is with us." Eliza reminded her. Just then the voices became terrifyingly near, and the girls were able to distinguish two voices, each belonging to a young girl.
"They're kids!" Cass breathed a sigh of relief.
"Well, that's certainly not quite so frightening, but -"
Eliza's sentence was broken off by the entrance of two little girls who were obviously sisters. Both of them had soft brown hair and wore knee length dresses, ankle socks, and shiny Mary Janes. They easily could have passed for twins, the elder being only slightly taller than her sister. However, Cass immediately noticed that the littler girl had sharp green eyes, while the older girl's eyes were a sweet brown that matched her hair. They stared at each other in silence for some time.
"What are you doing in my Papa's garden?" the younger one asked them in a clear little voice. Cass and Eliza looked at each other, then Eliza said,
"We don't exactly know. You see, we're rather lost."
"Are you 'trangers?" the child queried.
"Well...yes, we are."
"Oh, I'm not s'posed to talk to 'trangers" and with that she put her finger in her mouth and commenced staring at them once again. The elder one looked slightly uncomfortable, but remained silent.
"Could, could you maybe show us the way out?" Cass faltered.
The little girls looked at each other, then the older one replied,
"We have to ask our Father first; he's in his study."
Eliza glanced at Cass, sighed, and said,
"Alright, take us to him. I'm Eliza, and this is Cass, by the way."
At this, the smaller girl, who had been staring them down in silence, took her finger out of her mouth and said,
"I'm Nora; very nice to meet you!"
"I'm Alice," stated the elder girl. "And I'm seven; Nora is four."
"We're both thirteen; and it's nice to meet you, too. May we please leave now?" asked Eliza, while wondering what Alice and Nora's father would say.
"Yes, follow me." Alice took Nora's hand, and led them out around the corner, past more shaped trees, fountains, and rose bushes, and then into the main backyard. They were facing the back of a Victorian style house. Eliza thought it was a comfortable sort of house, not so small that you feel claustrophobic, but at the same time not so big that you are overawed by it. Leading up to the back door were three stone steps; and stonework wrapped around the lower edge of the house, giving it a grand and sturdy feel. The windows had white muslin curtains in them, and white shutters outside of them. In one of the upstairs windows a cat washed behind her ears.
"That's our kitty" Alice pointed out gravely.
"Her name is Lovey tuz we love her sooo much!" Nora spread her arms out as if to show just how much they loved that kitty. Alice nodded her head in agreement.
"Yes, and this is our house. Oh Nora, let's see if we can get in without Marie noticing us!"
Nora giggled, but Cass and Eliza looked worried.
"Who is Marie?" Cass asked, trying to hide her uncertainty.
"See's the maid!" burst Nora "we always try to sneak in wifout her knowing, but sometimes she catches us!" She jumped about gleefully.
"Alright, let's be as sneaky as possible" suggested Eliza, not wanting to frighten the maid and only cause more questions to be asked.
The little girls tiptoed up to the door, and motioned for the older girls to follow.
"Here goes nothing!" Cass murmured to Eliza; and they prepared to enter the house.