The Arthur Chronicles—No. 17 (Prophecy and Irony)

Arthur motioned for me to follow him into their small, eat-in kitchen, and, as he filled the kettle with water, I pulled a chair away from the round, oak table and prepared to sit down.

“The tea is in the pantry there,” Arthur said, pointing to the sliding doors behind me. “Do you like Earl Grey?” Without waiting for my response he went on to say, “It’s in one of those tins. See if you can find it.”

Arrayed before me was a collection of metal canisters, in a variety of colors, either old or Old canisterdesigned to look old.

“They belonged to my grandmother,” Arthur said. “I found them in a trash can. Somebody had thrown them out after she died. I couldn’t bear to see them discarded, so I rescued them. By the way, the tea you’re looking for is in the gray one.”

Of course, I thought to myself. Leave it to Arthur to put Earl Grey tea in a gray canister. I opened the tin, removed two bags, put one in each of the cups Arthur had just warmed with hot water from the tap, and set the canister on the table. I then sat down in the chair I had selected a couple of minutes earlier.

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