“The good luck dress,” as her grandmother so often called it. Good luck, Celia thought with a note of spite. The last time it was worn was the day I was brought to this place. What “good luck” has come of that? Nothing!
Her thoughts wandered back and forth, but often drifting back to the usual question: why must Max always act so strangely? He spent most of his time with his books, in the woods, or in the cellar with his gizmos and chemicals, appearing for meals and whenever seemed to be the worst possible moment for Celia. He was a strange boy, everyone thought so.
The most inexplicable of events could often be traced, if only vaguely, back to Maxwell Stevens. The most recent of these, seven months previous, involved the former housekeeper, Mariam. During the strongest storm at the end of that summer, right after she’d dropped half the set of the Stevens family china and misplaced one of Max’s many notebooks, he’d called her down to the cellar. Neither of them were seen at all that night.