Second Conclusion

ToyLin called the next morning and asked to speak to Lester.

"Last evening he called me, and I went to him. He said thank you and simply went to sleep.

"He asked me to tell you it is all yours," ToyLin said. "The way he said it, it sounded like he meant more than the property, which I already knew about. He also told me to ask you if there was anything you would like me to do, and to do it, if you did. Is there something, Lester?"

"Who have you told so far?"

"Only you and Terry. I haven't even told the Nucks or anyone else there, of course."

"Where you with him when ...?"

"Yes I was. It was very peaceful, like slowly closing a book one has truly enjoyed and just finished reading."

"I'll tell the others here, if you like, ToyLin, but I'd like you to be here when I do. How soon can you be here?"

"I can come now," she said.

"Could you stop by Mom's and bring her with you?"

"I already called her. I'll bring her. Thank you, Lester," she said.

"Was it ..." Jasmine asked.

"It was ToyLin. She's on the way here with Mom. Marten is gone."

"I knew, but he'll never really be gone, will he?" Jasmine smiled.

"No he won't," Lester said.

When ToyLin and Terry arrived and everyone had gathered in the Nuck's dining room, Lester made the announcement.

"Marten passed away last evening. ToyLin was with him and by Marten's instructions has made all the arrangements necessary. There will be no services or any other, "morbid rigamarole," as Marten put it.

"Jasmine and I were with Marten in the morning and He told us something everyone here needs to know. He said the Forbidders are no longer interested in Nochose. No one needs to fake a choice any longer. Forbidders are only interested in keeping their system going without trouble. It means we can live as we choose, but of course what is forbidden still is. Thessaline, for example, is still forbidden.

"I have one other announcement. I'm making Jasmine mine this week, and sometime afer that we will begin living in Marten's house."

Veronica came up to Jasmine as soon as she and Lester sat down. "You and Eddy really did have a special relationship with him, didn't you? None of us really believed it when you said you saw something wrong with Marten. I know I'll never doubt you again." Then she hugged her.

"You have the best, Lester," she said to him, "and you must be the best too or she wouldn't be yours," and she hugged him too.

Then she said to them, "you know about Eddy and Yuwon, of course."

"No we dont," Jasmine said.

"Go ask him," she suggested.

As usual, Eddy was surrounded by girls, Terry, ToyLin, Kimlee, and Yuwon, who was actually sitting in his lap, all talking and laughing.

"You holding out on me Eddy?" Jasmine demanded.

Eddy laughed. "Since when do I do anything and you do not already know it?"

"This time," she said. Then she noticed the little bracelet on Yuwon's wrist.

"Oh, Yuwon," she said. "When?"

"Forever, I guess, but we had our bracelets made yesterday," she said showing hers to Jasmine.

There never is really a final conclusion to any story, of course, and there is not to this one either.

For a while the Nuck's provided a place for some of them to work, and even to live. Veronica was able to set up a laboratory in one of the Nuck's barns, and actually lived in a room next to it. Anthony was absolutley true to his promise and did everything he could to help Veronica with her work. He became a close friend of Franklin Moore, and divided his time between helping Veronica and helping Franklin with the furniture business. Franklin taught him to hunt, which he discovered he loved. When he discovered Stuart Moore's library, he spent even more time at the Moores. Eventually Terry offered him Lester's old room, and he lived and worked at the Moores for more than two years.

Eddy's time was pretty much determined at first, because he had to provide Veronica with the thessaline formula which took longer than they planned.

ToyLin moved permanently to the Nucks because they had so much in common and enjoyed each other so much. One day ToyLin called Yuwon and Eddy to her room and handed Yuwon a small cloth-wrapped package.

"It's for you." she said. "It was meant for the child we lost, but you have become my children. Both of you. It's my way of carrying on my life with Harry."

The little package was filled with small gold chains. Whatever their value, Eddy and Yuwon were able to buy a sprawling farm home not far from the Nucks, and they wasted no time filling it with children, which were mostly girls to Eddy's delight.

At first, Jasmine was not completely pleased about living in Marten's house. "I don't like anything given to me," she reminded Lester.

"It wasn't a gift, Jasmine. It was Marten's way of paying for what you gave him," Lester reminded her. "This place is like a part of Marten that he wanted you to have."

Lester and Jasmine discovered what Marten meant by the house being a great responsibility. There were whole libraries of Nochose history, and rooms that were really more like museums of Marten's collections from all parts of the world.

When Lester found the machine shop in Marten's cellar he told Jasmine what he intended to do.

"I'm going to build things, Jasmine, machines and buildings and bridges and everything I can." He was so animated, Jasmine just listenend and knew he would do it all, and knew it was why she loved him so much.

Lester and Jasmine had two children, a girl everyone said is just like Jasmine, but of course she isn't and a boy everyone said is just like his father, but of course he isn't. They are very much their own persons, which everyone will soon find out.

Veronica was completely successful in synthesizing thessaline, but much more importantly, she was able to separate the therapeutic properties of thessaline from the narcotic properties. She renamed the non-narcotic version of thessaline toylinsine which of course was a totally new drug and not forbidden. Toylinsine was not only effective against burbera but against several other parasitic diseases, and was such a success Veronica became a very wealthy owner of a very large pharmaceutical company, which became even larger when it was merged with another pharmaceutical company owned by another Nochose "geek," whom she married.

Anthony never went back to ChildIsle because he was busy recreating it. He cherished knowledge above all things and loved emparting that knowledge to others. As more and more Nochose discovered their new freedom they sought sources of real education for their children. Based on what he learned about schools in ChildIsle, Anthony started one of the many new independent schools that specialized in particular subjects. Anthony's school specialized in history and the sciences.

He also worked on his dream of reproducing his own library and museum like the one he visited on ChildIsle. Lester built it for him and Anthony named it the Moore institute because most of the original material came from the library of Lester's father and from Marten's huge collections which of course belonged to Lester and Jasmine Moore.

Anthony eventually fell in love with and married a very 'uncomplicated' girl who had the same interests in learning and education as Anthony.

This is the way things are at the end of this story, but as we've already learned, things never stay the same.