The Long Voyage
A Novel By William Connelly McCall
Copyright 2012 by William C. McCall. All Rights Reserved
Cover Design by Roberto Ball
The following biographical account by Colin Stewart is the result of interviews with the principals of the events chronicled, conducted over the course of six weeks. This story first appeared serialized in the London Times, 1883
Simon King loved surprises, and this evening he had a great one ready. Had it been any other man, the word that might have best described his feelings would be smug, but Simon King was too big for such an unworthy emotion. So let it be charitably said that he was anticipating, with great amusement, the stir he was about to create amid the staid, well ordered ranks of London Society. As his splendid carriage made its way through London's crowded streets toward Covent Garden, Simon’s eyes twinkled with the thought that he was about to release into it a cast of fairy-tale characters, or at least as close to them as real people ever come.
On his right sat a handsome young man of, perhaps, seventeen and on his left, a radiantly fresh young girl who appeared about the same age. As was his wont, Simon, now in his mid-fifties, was expected to arrive on such occasions with a beautiful woman on his arm, and who that would be this evening was the subject of much speculation. With that thought in mind, an involuntary smile crossed his face and he momentarily raised his eyes to look yet again into the angelic, ineffably radiant face of the woman seated across him. Her eyes met his, and she smiled at him with such kindness that his crusty heart warmed, as it did every time she smiled at him. He considered her God's masterpiece – His ultimate expression of femininity, the epitome of refinement. He could not imagine that a single feature of her face or figure could be improved upon, and that such a pure and noble spirit should reside in that ethereal form was cause for still greater wonder. His eyes drifted to the silver haired man seated beside her whose deeply lined face and kind eyes bespoke the presence of an unquestionably noble soul. Simon smiled again, imagining the effect his unwitting guests would have upon the expectant throng awaiting his arrival.