“Children, children! Where are you?”
Edward peered into the twins bedroom, noticing their freshly made beds. He stepped into the nursery next door, where they were playing together quietly seated upon the carpet.
“Ah, there you are my dears, being as good as gold. Thank you both.”
“Oh come and see Father! We are building the biggest fort in the world!”
“I’m afraid that I am a little busy at the moment with my paperwork, but perhaps later I will.” He stated, glancing at the small pile of wooden blocks.
“Oh my goodness! Wait, I do believe that I promised you that we would go for a walk didn’t I? A person should never go back on a promise you know. We must always keep them.”
“It has been over 20 minutes. In that case, come, we shall all go now.”
“How exciting, a walk with Father!”
He held out both of his hands, the twins took them with great pleasure.
“Father, will I do?”
“Ah, Diana you have muddled two of your coat buttons. You have missed one I think, there, that is better.”
“Thank you Father.”
“You are most welcome. What a fine day it is! Why, it’s so warm!”
“I want to climb the cherry trees!”
“No Rupert! You mustn’t!” Diana scolded.
“She is right Rupert, you might fall and hurt yourself.”
“Diana is always miss goody two shoes and she always bosses me! I’m awfully tired of it.”
“Well, in this instance, it is for a good reason.”
Diana noticed her Father’s glassy eyes and squeezed his hand.
“Shall we sit here and admire the view. I am a little tired.”
“Oh Father! You’re not ill like Mother are you?!”
“Of course not!”
“Tell us again of the time when you met Mother! Oh do tell us!”
“Ah, very well then. Well, your Mother has always been a beauty, but most importantly she has a kind heart. I do feel that we are a perfect match for each other. Anyhow, we first met at a Christmas ball when she was 18 and I 20. I think it was love at first sight. It just so happened that we were of good families and with a little persuasion, our parents agreed to the match.”
Diana tilted her head. “I see Father.”
“It was splendid and is still a vivid memory. We are very lucky to have this house, I inherited it from my Father; your Grandfather.”
“It was given to us.”
“Oh. But why?”
“Well, they no longer have a large family as all my Brothers and Sisters; your Aunts and Uncles have left home.”
“Father I am hungry!”
“But Rupert, we breakfasted only an hour ago you greedy thing!” Diana exclaimed.
“Goodness! I hadn’t noticed all the dark clouds overhead. I think it might rain, we had better go inside before it does!”
“Father, must you leave us alone again?”
“No! Not quite yet. Shall I read to you before I return to my work?”
“Oh yes! Please do!”
“Very well, we shall all sit in the nursery for a short time. We must hang up our coats first.”
“Oh do read Hansel and Gretel to us! It’s our favourite isn’t it Rupert? Mother was reading it to us a few days ago!”
“And you simply have to do all of the voices!”
“Come along then, up we go. I shall sit in the arm-chair while I read to you.”
“The witches voice needs to be scarier.”
“Oh. Is it not already?”
“Not quite Father.” Rupert stated seriously.
“Ah, then I shall have to try once more.”
“Lucinda! Why are you no longer in bed?”
Edward gazed at Lucinda, who was lying upon a chaise langue in front of the grand fire.
“I’m resting, I am no invalid.”
“I know you’re not my love.”
“Then, there is no need for you to worry, I am quite content here with my book.”
“Have you eaten today?”
“Yes, Rettie saw to it.”
“Oh, I’m glad.”
“Have the children been well-behaved?”
“As good as gold.”
“Well then, in that case I am happy. Edward sit with me for a while, I have missed your company dreadfully.”
“I’m sorry, I feel like I have abandoned you.”
“No, no the doctor was right, I needed rest. I believe I shall be completely well again soon.”
To be continued….