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“Miss Douglas?”

“Yes sir?”

“I found our little stow away.”

“Was he still in bed sir?”

“Rupert and I have had a man to man chat. He has promised that he will try to concentrate in your lessons haven’t you Rupert?”

“Yes Father.”

“I see, Well then Master Rupert, come along and sit down please. I am sorry that I disturbed you sir.”

“I have been working and reading long enough. I had almost forgotten about Lucinda. Well, I shall find her now. Rupert, please remember all I said.”

“Yes Father.”

**

Edward knocked on the parlour door, pushing it ajar.

“Lucinda! . I thought that last night might have exhausted you, as you were still asleep not so long ago.”

“Ha! No, it was really quite lovely.  I thought that I should be doing something useful this morning, so here I am.”

“What have you got there?”

“It is my tapestry.”

“Oh, have you enough light?”

“Yes, yes.”

“Shall I go?”

“I don’t mind, suit yourself.”

“Lucinda, you seem rather crotchety and out of sorts. If there is something troubling you, then you can always tell me.”

“I am fine Edward.”

“Aha, something is the matter!”

“Well, you have been missing for the past few hours. I felt very alone. I would have liked to talk to you.”

“Oh gosh, I’m sorry. Pray, let us talk now.”

“Is Miss Douglas a good teacher?”

“From what I can see, but I have observed very little.”

“Oh.”

“Yes. Rupert needed a little persuasion to get out of his bed this morning. But, she and I managed.”

“Is that so?”

“Pardon?”

“No matter.”

“I see that it upsets you. It was straight forward. Rupert and I had a little Father-Son chat and he came to his senses.”

“I am pleased.”

“Lucinda, what can I do to make you happy? I know I have already said this, but of late, you aren’t yourself.  Are you lonely or still unwell?”

“Edward, please don’t!”

“Very well, if you would prefer to be left alone,I will go outside for a little walk. I feel that I need it.”

“I don’t think that to be a good idea. Look at all the dark clouds overhead.”

“Where?”

“There.”

“Oh those! They are miles away and the rain won’t fall for at least another hour. I’ll stay in the grounds.You must stay here and amuse yourself. Fair well my dear, I will be back in an hour.”

Lucinda glanced at the ever darkening sky.

“Edw-” She paused, it was not her place to say, and gingerly kissed his cheek, bidding him fair well.

**

“Mother, Father?”

“Ah children? I am here.”

Diana bounced into the room. “Mummy! There you are!  Our lessons are over. Where is Father? It was lovely to see him today.”

“Your Father is in the garden, where is Rupert? Not in trouble I hope.”

“No, he is reading in the nursery.”

“Reading? Oh-oh my goodness, I do believe that was a thunder-clap. Lord! Look at that rain, your Father will catch his death. I must go and find him!”

“No Mummy! You will be ill again, Father will be al-right.”

“Let’s look out of the window and see if we can catch a glimpse of him! Oh yes, there he is, he is coming in now! He will be soaked through!”

Lucinda unbolted the front door, thinking nothing of it. “I told you it would rain, oh Edward, look at you! You’re soaked to the skin. You will get ill, goodness gracious!”

“Do not be alarmed my dear, it is completely my own fault, I was stupid enough to lock myself out!”

Rettie passed in the corridor. “Sir, you’re drenched and water is dripping all over the floor. I shall get towels and you must have a bath. Sir, I will run it for you.”

“Thank you Rettie.”

**

Miss Douglas entered the room with two towels, Lucinda raised an eyebrow.

“Sir, I took the liberty of bringing you the towels. Here might I drape it around your shoulders? My goodness you are frozen to the bone! Here let me-”

“Miss Douglas! Mr Ashdown and I can manage now thank you!” Lucinda snapped.

“Well, we must run him a bath.”

“Miss Douglas, please remember your place, you are a governess, not a maid. Rettie and I have everything in hand. Thank you for bringing the towels, you may go!”

“Sir?”

“Mrs Ashdown and I are quite capable. Thank you, it was a thoughtful thing to do.”

Miss Douglas curtsied and left.

**

“Come along Edward, you’re shivering. What precisely did she think that she was doing?”

“Lucinda, I fear that you were too hard on the girl, she was only trying to help.”

“Only trying to help!” Lucinda stamped her foot. “She infuriates me already and she has not been under our employment a week!”

“Good Lord! I do fear that I am seeing a side of you that I have never seen before. I really don’t know what has gotten into you lately, but you are quite out of line.”

“I have barely said anything!”

“No, but I know what you are insinuating!”

“Ha! Then it is guilt!”

“Oh Lucinda! This is ridiculous! I remind you that you must remember your place!”

“And she hers, I have sussed her game!”

“For Heaven’s sake! Oh damn this bath!”

“Edward, no don’t! You will catch cold for sure.”

“So be it.”

To be continued…

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10 thoughts on “Pixies and Pickles- Part 28

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