IN OTHER WORDS

By Wendy de-Veryard

Teaching his class Vincent explained that with some words people could misinterpret any given subject, but as is the way of things he could not for the life of him think of an example.

The children tried to help. "Do you mean like bare Vincent? That is the bare B.A.R.E went for a walk instead of the bear B.E.A.R went for a walk. Someone might think the person had no clothes on."

"No, not like that." Vincent told the child, "But that is also a valid point. One should always be careful with spellings. No I mean_" He paused trying to think of something when Mouse hurried in extremely excited.

"Vincent, Vincent!" He shouted oblivious to the fact that Vincent was teaching his class, "Good news! Catherine is coming to stay!"

"Catherine is_" Vincent mouthed the words incredulously. "Really? Mouse did you eavesdrop?" Though Vincent would have liked nothing more than have Catherine stay, he had to know for certain that Mouse had not overheard something incorrectly before he got his hopes up.

"No. She's coming. She's bringing her bags." Mouse replied indignantly.

Mystified Vincent excused himself from the class, and went to see if this was so. He found Catherine with father in deep conversation.

"Vincent!" Catherine rose to her feet, "I thought you had a class?"

"I do. But Mouse announced that you were here." He didn't know what else he should say. If Catherine were staying surely she would tell him so. When she didn't he began to wonder if his suspicions regarding Mouse had been right after all.

"I had a slack afternoon, thought I'd visit with Father until you had finished for the day. But now you are here_" She waggled her eyebrows suggestively and so Father would not notice.

"Actually I'm not, well not officially, I have to return to the class. I'm sure Father could keep you entertained until its done. Father?"

"Oh most certainly my boy, Catherine and I were having a wonderful chat, weren't we my dear?"

Catherine nodded her eyes bright with happiness, yes she and Father had been talking about England a place she had visited often and of course the place where he was born and resided for many years before coming out to America.

There didn't appear to be anything else Vincent thought as he regarded them shrewdly. Touching on the fringes of the connection he shared with Catherine he found there to be no hidden excitement, no secrets that she was withholding for later. He felt disappointed, and returned to his class, somewhat downhearted.

Mouse, in his absence had kept the class entertained, the appropriate word, since the class was rioting, paper aeroplanes flying everywhere.

When they saw him each child hurried to his seat, their eyes troubled expecting a scolding of sorts, for Vincent was never truly angry with the children, (not a bit like Father) and waited for the class to re- commence.

Eyes bright Mouse asked, "See I was right wasn't I? Catherine is staying isn't she?"

"I don't know Mouse, she never mentioned it and I did not feel that it was her intention." Vincent replied sadly.

"But I heard her!" Mouse cried.

"What exactly did you hear Mouse?" Vincent wanted to know. He was feeling very disappointed and spoke a little sarcastically.

Mouse grimaced then defiantly told his friend, "She was talking with Father. I heard her say that she would rest her case."

Baffled Vincent stared at his friend, "How exactly did Catherine say it?" He asked needing desperately to know and feeling somewhat guilty for having Mouse pass on things he had overheard and to his shame in front of the whole class too!

"Just, Father_I rest my case."

Vincent's lips twitched and then he began to laugh. That was the exact example he needed for his class, and they would get the full import perfectly.

"What's so funny Vincent?" A child asked grinning from ear to ear in expectation.

"Children you know what we were speaking of earlier, well this is a perfect example. The expression I rest my case means not that a person will be putting down his or her bags, but rather than something they had been speaking of has suddenly come about. For example, if I said Geoffrey or any of you loved eating chocolate and he came into class with his pockets filled, then I could say I rest my case. In other words, the fact has been proven. When Mouse overheard Catherine say the very same thing then obviously the conversation she was having with Father meant that something she had previously said was proven true. Do you understand?"

Dubiously the children nodded, and Vincent knew he needed more information to help them take in the knowledge he was trying to impart. But class was finished for the day, and he was eager to get back to Catherine so looking round for Mouse to take a message to her that he would shower first he found the fellow had already gone.

"Class over." He told the delighted children, "Don't forget your homework schedule before you leave, its on my desk."

After they had gone and the room was quiet Vincent pondered on his excitement and disappointment of Catherine coming or rather not coming to stay. They had spoken of it many times, and he had told her that she should come only when she had truly decided that she could turn her back on the world above without too much remorse. He had hoped from what Mouse had said that that time had come.

Shrugging and dreaming that maybe it would happen someday, Vincent set off for his shower when he passed by the guest chamber and saw Mary getting it ready for occupancy.

"Is someone staying tonight Mary?" He asked her with interest.

To his surprise Mary said nothing, just beckoned into the corner he could not see from his vantage point, and peeping round the entrance Vincent was amazed to find Catherine standing there with boxes strewn around her feet.

"I'll leave you two alone for a moment." Mary bustled past with a secret smile.

When she had gone, Vincent swept his hand about the chamber indicating Catherine's things. "What's all this?" He asked with his heart thumping erratically as his hope grew.

"All this?" Smiling Catherine came to stand before him and slipping her hands around his waist she looked up into his eyes, "All this my love is perfectly obvious. I am moving in. Or down as the case may be."

"You're moving in_down_you mean below?" Vincent asked with wonder.

Nodding Catherine gazed into his eyes, "Yes my love, I'm moving in. The time has come I do believe, and since we are lovers now, I see no reason to put this off do you?"

Stunned Vincent could only shake his head, then he nodded not quite sure which he should do. But his blue eyes blazed with the happiness that he felt. Mouse had been right, Catherine was moving below. Delighted he hugged Catherine tight then kissed her soundly. And the kiss would probably have lasted for a long time, had not Mouse chosen that very moment to pop his head around the doorway and say in the most mischievous voice they had ever heard Mouse utter_"See Vincent_I rest my case!"