Thorn Darlington was tired and irritable by the time he got off the plane at Kennedy Airport. Archibald had arranged for a car to pick him up. The driver was waiting, holding up a sign that said simply, COUSIN THORN.
How amusing of Archibald, Thorn thought sarcastically. He waved and walked over to the driver.
“Cousin Thorn?” the driver asked.
“To some people. Let’s get my bags.”
Fifteen minutes later, Thorn was settled in the back of a stretch limousine on his way into Manhattan. “Driver,” he said, “a little privacy, please?”
The driver nodded and pressed a button, raising the glass partition between them. Thorn then pulled out his international cell phone and dialed. As usual, he got the voice mail on the other end.
“I hope we’re ready for tonight,” he said. “I’ll be across the street at Cousin Archibald’s. His superiority is so annoying. He thinks I’m here to celebrate the demise of the Settlers’ Club thanks to him. Little does he know I have my own plans for the home of the Maldwin Feckles School for Butlers! Call me back!”
Thorn turned off his phone and giggled.
This is so perfect, he thought. My family was always much more cunning than Cousin Archie’s.