Port Naain by starlight

A lovely story by Jim Webster.

Tallis Steelyard

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Madam Alena was, at the time, my oldest patron. A petite slender lady with short cropped white hair; she would from time to time summon me to her home to entertain a group of her acquaintances These were never events of great formality, more gatherings of friends who’d grown old together and knew each other too well for airs and graces.

They would ask me for gossip from the city, or reviews of plays being performed at the time, or whether a particular concert had been a success. Occasionally and the end of the afternoon (because they rarely met in the evening) I would be despatched to discover what had happened to a maid who had worked for one of them years ago, or to see whether the grandson of one of their gentlemen admirers sixty years ago was shaping up to be the fine figure of a man his…

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