Character Interview with Henry Wolf
Henry Wolf is the oldest resident of Eagle Rock, Missouri. He won't say how old he is, but at a guess I'd put him over one hundred and ten. He lives alone, right on the shore of Table Rock Lake, in a two-bedroom cabin that has never received electricity or even plumbing. He's a bit of a loner, but he does take on students when it suits him. He once taught Victor Blackwood and Edward Scot at the same time; he loves them both and so may be the only person in town who is truly unbiased in the feud now raging between them. This is why I tracked him down at his isolated cabin, braving his powerful intruder wards, to steal a few minutes of his time.
Me: Thanks for agreeing to speak with me, I know you value your privacy.
Henry: Heh. I like company. Just don't like all these modern gizmos messing with magic.
Me: You're the only person I know who feels that way. Why is that?
Henry: I'm old. Almost too old.
Me (pauses, thinking he will say more): All right, let's move on to the reason I came. You once taught both Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood?
Henry: I did. I don't normally teach two at once but they were the same age and best friends.
Me: Victor and Edward were best friends?
Henry (snorts): Course they were. You think two people could hate each other like this unless they used to love each other?
Me: What changed? Was it Belinda? Or Sheila, Cassie's mom?
Henry: Nah. It was pride. Just pride.
Henry: Yep. Oh I know other stuff played into it. Details. Just details. Those two boys have been fighting for 25 years over who's right and who's wrong. Pride.
Me: Things are starting to get violent.
Henry (looks away with tears in his eyes): I know. I keep up, even if I won't go into town these days. Both boys have asked for help but I won't take sides. I told 'em...
Henry: I told 'em they both loved each other, deep down inside. Course, they laughed at me. Told me why they were right and the other was wrong. Like that matters to a man as old as me, who's seen as much as me.
Me: How old are you?
Henry (chuckling): Old enough, my dear, old enough.
Me: Why do you live alone? Did you ever marry or have kids?
Me: Where are they now?
Me (I want to ask if he means dead or moved away, but this is clearly a touchy subject): I've had some people ask why you didn't take on Nicolas Scot as an apprentice, like you did with Evan Blackwood.
Henry: Edward asked me to teach his son, but I told him if Nicolas wanted to learn from me, he had to come himself. Never did. Just as well. Not the right temperament. I won't teach warring and fighting. That's what he's learning from Clark Eagle. “The art of war,” he calls it. Like killing people's art!
Me: Do you think the feud will kill someone?
Henry: I didn't used to think so, but lately … it might. It just might. They used to be best friends you know.
Me: You mentioned that.
Henry (lost in memory): They came to me together, telling me I could teach 'em both or neither. Wanted to learn together. Naturalists, like me. Thought protecting the Earth was the most important thing. Last week I asked 'em both what happened to that ideal and do you know what they told me?
Henry: They said, “I grew up.” Both of 'em said it just like that, like age steals the innocence from a person. They didn't grow up; they grew bitter and angry and forgot what was important. Told that to Edward when he tried to disown his oldest girl. Knew that wouldn't work. Didn't listen. No one ever listens to me anymore. Too old. Out of touch. Don't know what I'm talking about. Just some crazy old man who thinks modern gizmos interfere with the magic.
Me: Well, you have to admit that magic seems to work just fine for them.
Henry: If you say so. Now, if that's all, why don't you get on your way and let an old man get some rest?
Me: Thank you for your time, Mr. Wolf.
Henry: Call me Henry.
*** Thank you so much for this Christine ***