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She hears him before the door opens, his footsteps heavy and echoing in the hall, unlike the measured pace of the manager who has come and gone several times, quiet as a cat. “There is also a … package for you, sir,” the manager says as he opens the door, ushering the magician into the cramped oce before slipping o to attend to other theater matters.
The Night Circus PDF Book by Erin Morgenstern
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Having no desire to witness what might become of this encounter. The magician scans the oce, a stack of letters in one hand, a black velvet cape lined with shockingly white silk cascading behind him, expecting a paper-wrapped box or crate. Only when the girl looks up at him with his own eyes does he realize what the theater manager was referring to.
Prospero the Enchanter’s immediate reaction upon meeting his daughter is a simple declaration of: “Well, fuck.” The girl returns her attention to her boots. The magician closes the door behind him, dropping the stack of letters on the desk next to the teacup as he looks at the girl. He rips the envelope from her coat, leaving the pin clinging steadfastly to its button.
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While the writing on the front bears his stage name and the theater address, the letter inside greets him with his given name, Hector Bowen. He skims over the contents, any emotional impact desired by the author failing miserably and nally. He pauses at the only fact he deems relevant: that this girl now left in his custody is, obviously, his own daughter and that her name is Celia.
“She should have named you Miranda,” the man called Prospero the Enchanter says to the girl with a chuckle. “I suppose she was not clever enough to think of it.” The girl looks up at him again. Dark eyes narrow beneath her curls. The teacup on the desk begins to shake. Ripples disrupt the calm surface as cracks tremble across the glaze, and then it collapses in shards of owered porcelain.
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Cold tea pools in the saucer and drips onto the oor, leaving sticky trails along the polished wood. The magician’s smile vanishes. He glances back at the desk with a frown, and the spilled tea begins seeping back up from the oor. The cracked and broken pieces stand and re-form themselves around the liquid until the cup sits complete once more, soft swirls of steam rising into the air.
The girl stares at the teacup, her eyes wide. Hector Bowen takes his daughter’s face in his gloved hand, scrutinizing her expression for a moment before releasing her, his ngers leaving long red marks across her cheeks. “You might be interesting,” he says. The girl does not reply. He makes several attempts to rename her in the following weeks, but she refuses to respond to anything but Celia.
“I know, dearest, and it wasn’t very polite,” Hector says as he guides her closer to the chair, where the man scrutinizes her with eyes that are almost as light and grey as his suit. “Have you always been able to do such things?” he asks her, looking back at the watch again. Celia nods. “My … my momma said I was the devil’s child,” she says quietly. The Night Circus PDF Book
The man in the grey suit leans forward and whispers something in her ear, too low for her father to overhear. A small smile brightens her face. “Hold out your right hand,” he says, leaning back in his chair. Celia immediately puts out her hand, palm up, unsure of what to expect. But the man in the grey suit does not place anything in her open palm.
Instead, he turns her hand over and removes a silver ring from his pinkie. He slides it onto her ring nger, though it is too loose for her slim ngers, keeping his other hand around her wrist. She is opening her mouth to state the obvious fact that the ring, though very pretty, does not t, when she realizes that it is shrinking on her hand.
Her momentary glee at the adjustment is crushed by the pain that follows as the ring continues to close around her nger, the metal burning into her skin. She tries to pull away but the man in the grey suit keeps his hand rmly around her wrist. The ring thins and fades, leaving only a bright red scar around Celia’s nger. The Night Circus PDF Book
The man in the grey suit releases her wrist and she steps back, retreating into a corner and staring at her hand. “Good girl,” her father says. “I will require some time to prepare a player of my own,” the man in the grey suit says. “Of course,” Hector says. “Take all the time you need.” He pulls a gold band from his own hand and puts it on the table.
“For when you nd yours.” “You prefer not to do the honors yourself?” “I trust you.” The man in the grey suit nods and pulls a handkerchief from his coat, picking up the ring without touching it and placing it in his pocket. “I do hope you are not doing this because my player won the last challenge.” “Of course not,” Hector says.
“I am doing this because I have a player that can beat anyone you choose to put against her, and because times have changed enough to make it interesting. Besides, I believe the overall record leans in my favor.” The man in the grey suit does not contest this point, he only watches Celia with the same scrutinizing gaze. The Night Circus PDF Book
She attempts to step out of his line of sight but the room is too small. “I suppose you already have a venue in mind?” he asks. “Not precisely,” Hector says. “I thought it might be more fun to leave a bit of leeway as far as venue is concerned. An element of surprise, if you will. I am acquainted with a theatrical producer here in London who should be game for staging the unusual.
I shall drop a few hints when the time comes, and I am certain he will come up with something appropriate. Better to have it on neutral ground, though I thought you might appreciate starting things on your side of the pond.” Chandresh leaps up to the stage, taking the small ight of stairs in only two steps. He inspects Celia’s gown from every angle.
“May I?” he asks before carefully touching the fabric of her skirt. Celia nods. The silk is undeniably black and white, the transition between the two a soft fade of grey, distinct bers visible in the weave. “What happened to your father, if you don’t mind my prying?” Chandresh asks, his attention still on her gown. “I do not mind,” Celia says. The Night Circus PDF Book Download
“One of his tricks did not go entirely as planned.” “That’s a damned shame,” he says, stepping back. “Miss Bowen, might you be interested in a somewhat unique employment opportunity?” He snaps his ngers and Marco approaches with his notebook, halting a few paces away from Celia, his stare moving from her gown to her hair and back, spending a considerable amount of time in between.
Before she can respond, a caw echoes through the theater from the raven still perched on the balcony, watching the scene in front of him curiously. “Just a moment,” Celia says. She lifts her hand in a delicate gesture at the raven. In response it caws again and spreads its large wings, taking ight and swooping toward the stage, gaining speed as it approaches.
Descending quickly it dives, ying directly at Celia and not wavering or slowing as it reaches the stage, but approaching at full speed. Chandresh jumps back with a start, almost falling over Marco as the raven crashes into Celia in a urry of feathers. And then it is gone. Not a single feather remains and Celia is once again wearing a pued-sleeve black jacket, already buttoned over her black-and-white gown. The Night Circus PDF Book Download
In the front of the orchestra, Mme. Padva claps. Celia bows, taking the opportunity to retrieve her gloves from the oor. “She’s perfect,” Chandresh remarks, pulling a cigar from his pocket. “Absolutely perfect.” “Yes, sir,” says Marco behind him, the notebook in his hand shaking slightly.
He often goes on holiday in France in the autumn, as he is a great lover of wine. He picks a region and roams the countryside for a week or perhaps two, visiting vineyards and collecting bottles of pleasing vintage to be shipped back to Munich. Herr Thiessen is friendly with several French winemakers and has made clocks for many of them.
He visits one such winemaker on this particular trip, to pay his respects and sample the latest bottles. Over a glass of burgundy, the winemaker suggests that Friedrick might enjoy the circus that is in town, set up in a eld a few miles away. A rather unusual circus, only open at night. The Night Circus PDF Book Download
But it is the clock, the elaborate black-and-white clock situated just inside the gates, that the winemaker thinks might particularly interest Herr Thiessen. “Reminds me of your work,” the winemaker says, gesturing with his glass to the clock on the wall above the bar, shaped like a cascading bunch of grapes that tumble into a wine bottle that.
lls with wine as the hands on its label (an exact replica of the vineyard’s label) tick by the seconds. Herr Thiessen is intrigued, and after an early dinner, he puts on his hat and gloves and begins walking in the general direction his winemaker friend had indicated. It is not dicult to locate his destination, as several townspeople are walking in the same direction, and once they pass out of town and into the elds.
The circus cannot be missed. It glows. That is Herr Friedrick Thiessen’s rst impression of Le Cirque des Rêves, seen from half a mile away and before he even knows its name. He walks toward it on this chilly evening through the French countryside like a moth to a ame. There is a considerable crowd outside when Herr Thiessen nally reaches the gates. The Night Circus PDF Book Free
And despite the crowd, he would have spotted his clock instantly, even without having been informed of its placement. It looms across from the ticket booth, just inside the large iron gates. It is about to strike seven o’clock, and he stands back to watch it, letting the line for tickets pass in front of him as the harlequin juggler pulls out a seventh ball from thin air.
As the dragon’s tail twitches and the clock chimes seven quiet chimes, barely audible over the din of the circus. Herr Thiessen is pleased. The clock appears to be in perfect working order and has obviously been well taken care of, despite being left out in the elements. He wonders if it might need a stronger varnish.
And wishes he had been informed that it would be used out of doors when he was constructing it, though it looks none the worse for wear. He keeps his eyes on it as he waits in line, wondering if he should try to contact Mr. Barris about the matter, if he still has the London address in his les back in Munich. The Night Circus PDF Book Free
When the gates open at last, Herr Friedrick Thiessen feels as though he is returning home after an extended absence. He spends almost every night there, and during the day he sits in his rented at or at the pub with a glass of wine and a journal and he writes about it. Pages and pages of observations, recounting his experiences.
Mostly so he will not forget them but also to capture something of the circus on paper, something he can hold on to. He occasionally converses about the circus with his fellow pub dwellers. One of these is a man who edits the city paper, and after some persuading and several glasses of wine, he manages to get Friedrick to show him the journal.
After a shot or two of bourbon, he convinces Friedrick to allow excerpts of it to be published in the newspaper. The circus departs Dresden in late October, but the newspaper editor keeps his word. The article is well received, and followed by another, and then another. Herr Thiessen continues to write, and over the following months some of the articles are reprinted in other German papers. The Night Circus PDF Book Free
And eventually they are translated and printed in Sweden and Denmark and France. One article nds its way into a London paper, printed under the title “Nights at the Circus.” It is these articles that make Herr Friedrick Thiessen the unocial leader, the gurehead, of those most ardent followers of the circus.
Some are introduced to Le Cirque des Rêves through his writing, while others feel an instant connection with him as they read his words, an anity for this man who experiences the circus as they do, as something wondrous and inimitable. Some seek him out, and the meetings and dinners that follow herald the formation of a kind of club, a society of lovers of the circus.