Christminster - Edward and the feather

I’m afraid I might have made the game unwinnable… at a very early stage, no less, so despite my many saved games I’d have to restart the whole thing.

[spoiler]I gave Ed the feather as soon as I saw him, before I knew about any of this alchemichal business. Apparently I needed to have caught his tears then (I peeked at the walkthrough because I was afraid the game was unwinnable for another reason. Turns out it isn’t, not for that OTHER reason, but might be for THIS one). Now I can’t make him cry at all, nor can I retrieve the feather to try and give it to him again. Talking to him about his parrot, or about the feather, provoke no reaction.

Have I screwed up big time? Is this game really that Zarfially cruel?[/spoiler]

Oh, nevermind. The walkthrough (I really wish I hadn’t started using it, but hey) does mention an alternate way of getting them.