July 17, 2021

Book 5 It carries on…

By aarondkey

and gets exciting in the next instalment. Stay with me. Perhaps I should leave this part out? But it helps to draw out the suspense.

An example garden only of the sort of place I am imagining. Disclaimer: No real people have been described in this fantasy novel


“That was only Miss Gregg’s opinion,” Paris said. “Do you think she would have thought that, if he hadn’t made an effort to charm her?”

Timonthy thought about this. There probably were men who were so naturally good looking and pleasant natured that they could enchant whoever saw them in spite of having no intention of doing so. He already hated this Peter Macdonald so he could see no reason why he wouldn’t be one of these fortunate souls.

He sat down on a wired white bench. Paris joined him and they waited.

“I can see him enjoying working here though,” Paris said thoughtfully. “It must have helped to take his mind off his loss.”

“I must admit I still struggle to imagine him as a gardener at all,” Timonthy said. “He was an accountant most of the years I knew him.”

“Well thank God he isn’t one now,” Paris said sharply. “That job would not have helped to take his mind off anything.”

Timonthy wondered why she felt so strongly about it. What did it matter, he wondered?

Miss Gregg came back through the archway smiling at them and holding some papers.

“I’ve found something,” she said. “I don’t know if it will help. I’m probably not even allowed to tell you this so if you’re ever asked it didn’t come from me. It’s the letter Peter wrote asking if he could volunteer. The address on it is his home address, not the place he stayed in when he was helping out here. Do you want to make a note of it?”

She gave the piece of paper to Paris who turned away to write the relevant details down.

“I don’t know if it will help but I’ve got a picture of him on my phone,” Miss Gregg said to Timonthy.

Paris took a photo of the letter as Timonthy and Miss Gregg huddled over a phone then turned back quickly saying,

“Can I have a look?”

Miss Gregg passed her the phone and Paris inspected it with trepidation. Timonthy pondered the face in the picture. He  understood why Miss Gregg could not suspect Peter of any crime. He looked happy, without guile and with a charming smile. He could tell looking at the picture that he was posing for Miss Gregg and the smile was for her.

“Can you send me the picture?” Paris asked.

“I will. Let’s go and get a coffee so you can tell me what you are planning to do.”

They made their way to the cafe and ordered coffee. Miss Gregg looked at them both with questioning eyes. Timonthy tried to explain their plan, vague as it was.

“Well we’re going to Stolid’s house to see if there is any useful information there. We’ll look up this address to see if we can get any details of the garden and then I suppose we’ll have to drive up there, unless we manage to contact Stolid on the phone.”

“Will you keep me in touch?” Miss Gregg said. “I feel partly responsible. I encouraged him to go. I never dreamed that there could be anything wrong.”

They promised they would.

“So what was he like, Peter?” Paris asked.

Miss Gregg thought about the question deeply. They could almost see the thoughts racing across her forehead..

“It’s hard to describe,” she said eventually. “I suppose that I would say gorgeous, but at the same time there was something else. It was like what you saw wasn’t real, like he was wearing a cloak of gorgeousness, if that makes sense. Underneath there was another person, someone with an implacable ambition, someone who believed in something so strongly that nothing else mattered to them.”

Miss Gregg frowned into her coffee, then smiled as if to reassure them. “The really strange thing was in spite of their many differences, he really reminded me of your uncle. They could have been father and son, although they looked nothing like.”

Timonthy was confused. He didn’t understand why anyone would think Stolid was gorgeous although he had many admirable qualities which he was surprised a casual acquaintance would have noticed. He didn’t like her suspicion that Peter was hiding something.

“I really liked your uncle,” Miss Gregg said. “And I liked Peter. I don’t think that he meant any harm.” Timonthy wondered if he could trust her opinion although it was meant to be reassuring but it seemed that she could be no further use to them.

 “Are we ready?” he said. “Thank you, Miss Gregg, for all your help. Hopefully we’ll be in touch quite soon with some good news.”