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Jack Maynard looked at the typewritten letter and frowned. He did not like this. He did not like this one little bit. But it was his job, and it had to be done. New Zealand was not his favourite part of the world, mostly because his sister lived there. He felt glad that he no longer had an accurate address for her, for then, a visit would be due, and she was not someone he really wanted to see, especially not with Joey in tow. At that thought, Jack ceased to frown. Instead, he scowled.

---

"New Zealand is a long way away." Joey said plaintively. She was perched on his desk in his study at Die Blumen, as he was sitting in the chair.

"I know, darling, but I have no choice. Do you really think I'd be going if I did?"

Jo was silent. She knew he was right. But neither of them liked it any the better for it. At length, though, she said:

"And you hate medical conferences. They do sound so boring."

"I can assure you that your understanding of them is correct."

Jo sighed, and swung her legs back and forth, putting her head on one shoulder.

"Will you miss me?"

"No."

Joey looked scandalized, and got up to go. Jack rose from his chair and caught her round the waist, pulling her to him.

"We are allowed to take one person with us. Just one. For me, there's no contest. I won't miss you, darling, because you're coming with me."

Jo kissed him swiftly. Then her face fell.

"But what about the Mob? Anna has to go and look after her mother, poor woman, and Rösli's still in Argentina. Just WHY her dratted sister and her husband just HAD to choose that country in particular to live, I shall never know."

"Joey, Joey, Jo. Stop worrying. There's Roger, Roddy, Ruey, Reg, Len, Con, Margot, Stevie, Chas, Mike, Adrienne, Melanie and Erica all have their majority and Conchitta's only a year off. They shall look after their younger siblings."

And so Jo was mollified, and the two set off to break the news to their children.



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