"Hold on to her, Mr. Clowd." ... "Hold on to them both. In time you'll find children the greatest comfort you can imagine. Indeed, they prove to be the only possible distraction from the unanswerable question of why."
Mr. Darwin (yes Charles Darwin , as an old scholar, after his voyage on the Beagle to Mr. Clowd, Alice's father. Alice has been missing the entire book so far.)