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THIS IS A PIECE OF FICTION, it is a glipse into the mansion of NANTEOS, as the story travels through the house room by room. ALL characters are FICTIONAL but the mapping of the house and the surrounding areas are correct.

The NANTEOS NOVEL

‘The Novel’

By Liz Evans and Janet Joel

          The clattering of horses echoed up the driveway, while inside the carriage Dr William Powell sat solemn, deep in thought.  Duggins the Butler waited patiently at the door of the mansion, for his arrival.  The carriage came to an abrupt stop at the doorstep.  Duggins opened the carriage door to greet Dr Powell, “Pleasant journey Doctor”.  No reply, just a look of anger on his face as he walked silently into his home, and straight upstairs.  Duggins followed intently wondering what was wrong. 

          Charles Duggins had worked for the Powell family at Nanteos for nearly seven years and knew his master’s sudden vile moods best left to evaporate by themselves. Dr Powell had not always been so disagreeable and volatile.  Two years ago, before the onset of his sister’s illness, the house had been filled with gaiety and laughter.

          Young Lucy’s flock of pretty friends had practically lived in the house, so frequent were the parties, dinners and outings.  The hall rang with the hilarity of charades and sweet voices wafted from the music room as they gathered round the piano while Dr Powell played.  Most, if not all of them had been smitten by Dr Powell’s good looks and easy charm.  He in turn had basked in their adoration and not a few times had entertained thought of marriage to one or other of them depending on his current whim.

          The nagging, persistent cough that Lucy developed in their last summer together had at first had little impact.  The picnics, the tennis, the leisurely hours rowing on the lake, had continued.  Indeed, they had packed in more than ever that summer, as though they knew it was to be their last.

          By autumn, however, irrevocable change had set in.  Lucy no longer could even summon the energy for her favourite activity the hunt.  She spent the long golden days in her room, writing at her desk or in bed.  Her friends stopped coming and the piano fell silent.

          Her death in early January, in spite of the great efforts of the family Physician had left Dr Powell morose and melancholic. His temper flared at everything and everyone and the old staff left in droves. New staff came and left again within weeks.

          And now, the sudden death of Dr Powell’s cousin James, in a riding accident, looked set to seal the fate of the household. 

          Dr Powell reached the top of the stairs and wheeled round, “If I want you, I will ring for you” Duggins coloured deeply, turned round and hurried down the stairs.

          He knew there was nothing to do but to retreat to his room to await summons.  He knew too, that when the bell rang, it would not be for the cold supper Prepared earlier by Millie, the irritable cook.  No, the cold supper would be left untouched in the pantry.  Dr Powell would seek solace in Brandy tonight.

          Duggins steeled himself for a long night of scurrying to answer the bell and receiving rebukes for being to slow, or to clumsy or bringing the wrong brandy or the wrong glass.  There would be no pleasing Dr Powell tonight and the morning would find him ill in bed with a hangover and a new set of demands, complaints and abuse to hurl at Duggins or whatever else was unlucky enough to come under scrutiny.

          Duggins retired for his long evening of waiting to his quarters, and sat there cleaning the silver until the early hours.  Luckily he had a peaceful evening.  Obviously Dr Powell slept heavily through the influence of Alcohol.

          It was a damp spring morning when cook noticed a small figure of a young girl walking down the courtyard, towards the back door.  “Another one for a short stay” she thought as she took off her dirty apron to answer the door. The young girl looked at the cook and said shyly “I’m here for the position” Cook was about to ask which position when - “MILLIE who’s there” Mrs. Penrose the housekeeper had heard the knock on the door.  She had been at Nanteos for many years, through thick and thin.  When all was explained the young girl was ushered into the housekeeper’s room for her interview, references were read, wages discussed and an arrangement was made. Jenny Richards had travelled from Shrewsbury were she had lived all of her 17 years of life, with her parents, an elder brother and four younger sisters.  Finally Mrs. Penrose rose to her feet, took Jenny down to the kitchen and told Millie the cook to take Jenny to her room.  “They come and go here,” said Millie as they walked upstairs.  The master’s a miserable so and so, stay well clear”  As they continued climbing up the stairs to the top floor, a sudden voice billowed through the corridor “DUGGINS” Duggins had had a peaceful night so was alert and reacted immediately and paced quickly to his masters bedroom.  Before he reached the top of the stairs his name was called out again “DUGGINS”.  “It would be more peaceful if he used that bell” uttered Duggins as he approached the bedroom door.  He tapped the door and entered, the room was in total destruction, bedding strewn onto the floor, empty bottles littered everywhere, and untouched food on the table, Dr. Powell sat slumped in the corner of the room, still in his evening wear, unkempt. “Duggins get David to prepare a carriage I must go to town” Thinking of his masters appearance asked if he wanted hot water for a bath. “HOT WATER! I don’t need hot water, I need a horse, get a carriage for me now” shouted the doctor. Duggins retreated from the room, quite annoyed, wondering what was the point of this unnecessary disturbance.  Duggins reached the kitchen and sent Ed the kitchen boy up to the stables.  Millie was preparing breakfast for all the staff.  “There is some mucking out to do later,” announced Duggins “I see we have a new lass amongst us this morning”, he added “just in time and there’s one hell of a mess upstairs”.  Jenny sat silently, staring into her tea, wondering what was going on in this place and how long will she survive.

 

David the groom arrived at the front door of the house, on his master’s regular carriage. They left even before Duggins had a chance to attend to the doctor.

 

Meanwhile, upstairs Jenny began clearing the master’s bedroom, with Sarah and Mary the only other maid at the house, “Where do you come from them” asked Sarah to Jenny, “Shrewsbury, I had to go out to work because of my father’s failing eyesight, he has have to close his business ......” Mrs. Penrose suddenly appeared in the doorway “Come on now girls there’s work to be done, no talking get on with it”.  “Yes ma’am” whispered Mary impudently.

          As Penrose left the room, they cleared up the mess and as they took the dirty linen down to the laundry Jenny had a chance to see the splendor of the grand mansion, she peered into the large colourful rooms, and stopped dead when she saw the music room. “Come on Jenny” shouted Sarah.  Jenny jumped in surprise and ran to catch up.  “Oh, you will soon get used to the place”, Sarah said as Jenny trotted by her side. “Just remember to look busy when Mrs. Penrose is around - and watch out for David”  “David?!” asked Jenny with alarm. “Yes David, The groom - You don’t want to be caught alone in the stables with him!” giggled Sarah. 

          “She won’t have time or reason to be in the stables” Sarah and Jenny wheeled round at the sound of Mrs. Penrose voice.  Where has she appeared from so silently, they wondered?  Jenny blushed deeply and felt tears spring into her eyes.  She fought the urge to cry but images of her family, the warmth of her brother’s laughter, the skirmishes with her sister, and her mother’s soft kindness filled her with a sudden homesickness that threatened to overwhelm her.  The lump in her throat grew.  Just then Sarah tripped and the pile of laundry and empty bottles she was carrying went flying.  Jenny forgot her troubles and rushed to help.  Sarah burst out laughing as Mrs. Penrose strode past tutting furiously.  Jenny couldn’t help but giggle too.  And so the morning passed.  They were so busy scurrying to and fro that Jenny scarcely had time to think of home.

          In the afternoon they began to prepare the “Pink room” for the visit of Mrs. Lloyd, the Doctors ageing Aunt Agatha.  Sarah and Mary referred to Mrs. Lloyd as “her Ladyship” and were not looking forward to having the grim, fierce widow in the house.  How long would she stay this time, prowling the hallways in her dark dress or sitting bolt upright for hours on end in the library with the same thick book that always accompanied her lying open on the desk in front of her, its pages in turned.

          The windows were flung open to air the room, the mattress was turned and the bed made up with crisp linen sheets and layers of fluffy eiderdown quilt.  Mary flicked the feather duster along the tops of the doors and over the portraits that hung on the walls. Sarah relined the drawers with fresh paper and replaced the little bags of dried lavender with new ones.  Jenny was doing her best to arrange a large vase of wild daffodils that Ed, the kitchen boy had picked early that morning from along the woodland bridle path.  “Who are the beautiful girls in the portrait?” asked Jenny gazing at a scene depicting a summer picnic underneath huge beech trees.  “That Lucy and her friends” said Mary, “you mean,” corrected Sarah “That was Lucy and her friends, Lucy died last year - she was Dr Powell’s sister.  They say it was her death that turned him ugly.  But maybe he has always been like this.  She died before we came here”.  “She looks like she was full of fun” Jenny offered lamely.  “Well, whatever you do, don’t mention her name around the Dr. It is instant dismissal for anyone who does”, warned Mary. “We will show you her room.  It is kept locked but we know where the key is.  Everything is just as it was - her beautiful dresses, her jewelry - even the dolls she played with when she was small”, said Sarah.  “And her diary” added Mary.  “shhhh” Sarah whispered  “It is locked in her desk drawer,” she added.

          Just then they heard footsteps coming along the hall. The each put sudden effort into their activities.  Mrs. Penrose stood in the doorway and cast her gaze around the room.  Her eye fell on Jenny, arranging daffodils.  “They must have some peculiar customs in Shrewsbury”, she said.  “I never heard of daffodils in a household in mourning”.  Jenny looked down and started to mumble an explanation and apology all at once.  Again she felt the tears start to smart in her eyes and the crimson blush spread over her face and down her neck.  But Mrs. Penrose’s voice softened. “You were not to know, my dear.  Take the daffodils to your room.  No, leave the vase; you will have to ask Millie for something to put them in.  Go down to the walled garden and you will find Clem in one of the glass houses.  He will cut some lilies for you instead.  Just say they are for Mrs. Lloyd’s room - he will know what to give you. - “Where is the walled garden?” stuttered Jenny.  “Come look out this window - you can see it from here - mind you go out the back, through the kitchen.  Now hurry” Jenny took her daffodils and fled.  She turned the wrong way down the corridor and had to double back.  As she crept past the doorway of the Pink room her ear caught Mrs. Penrose’s voice “Now I will not have you two playing your usual tricks this time or you will be out”.

          Jenny ran down the stairs and found her way to the kitchen “Millie have you something I could put these in? Mrs. Penrose said I could have them for my room”.  “Oh did she indeed”, said Millie. “Been here 5 minutes and already made yourself Mrs. P’s pet. Well your tricks won’t work on the master.  Here is a chipped mug you can use.  See that you bring it back when the flowers have finished”.  Millie did not smile as she thrust the mug at Jenny and again Jenny wondered how long she would last in such a place.

          Clem the gardener had long grey hair. He was hunched and bent.  When he turned round and faced Jenny his smile into a toothless grin.  Jenny wanted to laugh. His eyes had a dancing light in them.  “Here’s a pretty dove and I reckon her name is Jenny and she has come for some lilies.  What do you think Georgie?”  “Pretty dove, Pretty dove” cackled a voice high up on a bar, Jenny looked up in wonder at a beautiful white bird.  “Pretty dove” it said again.  Jenny burst out laughing, “Well yes - I’m Jenny and I’ve come for lilies but who did you know?”  “There’s quite a lot old Clem knows, my Pretty Penny Jenny, and not all of it is as nice as you’d like it to be, oh no.  Lilies, lilies lets go to the lilies.  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you ........”  “That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these”, answered Jenny, for she recognised the quote from the Bible.  “Ah”, said Clem, “So she is educated as well as pretty”.  “Pretty dove, Pretty dove” squawked the bird.  “My father always read the Bible to us” explained Jenny.  “I bet she is musical too, eh Georgie?” said Clem “I think this lass and I are going to get on well.” “Yes - how did you guess - well not really musical but I play the piano

a bit.”  “A bit?” queried Clem “So she is modest too - Well we’d better find some lilies for this maiden”.

          The carriage containing Mrs. Lloyd arrived punctually at 4.00pm. The household staff scurried to their places to line the hall to greet her.  But where was the Doctor?  He should have returned by now from town.  There was no sign of him or his carriage.  The driver helped Mrs. Lloyd all right from the carriage and then fetched her bags from the top of the back of the carriage.  The woman stood straight as an arrow and glanced around the front of the house.  Mrs. Penrose came forward to greet her.  Mrs. Lloyd nodded to her and then marched on inside.  She looked at each face as she passed them.  When she came to Jenny she stopped “Another new face? And where might this one have been found?”  “Shrewsbury, ma’am - I come from Shrewsbury,” answered Jenny.  “How strange” commented Mrs. Lloyd Then without further hesitation Mrs. Lloyd marched on towards the end of the hall and turned swiftly on her walking stick which she didn’t really need.  “All dismissed return to your work, Penrose organise me some tea, in the morning room” Mrs. Lloyd demanded.  Millie had heard her Ladyship’s request and went straight to the kitchen and began preparing, when Mrs. Penrose entered the kitchen, Jenny was on hand to carry in the tea.  She knocked gently on the Morning room door and entered coyly “Ah, Jenny, tea at last, I’ve had a long journey.”  Jenny placed the tray on the table near to Mrs. Lloyd “Come here child and sit down for a minute, How are you getting on at Nanteos, it is a grand house, is it not?”  “Yes ma’am.” Jenny answered immediately “What part of Shrewsbury are you from Jenny.” asked Mrs. Lloyd inquisitively. “Longden Road Ma’am.” said Jenny.  There was a look of surprise on Mrs. Lloyd face and was about to ask more, when a carriage was heard approaching outside.  “Quickly child get back to work.” shouted Mrs. Lloyd, quite alarmed. Jenny rose, curtsied and left the room almost running.  “We will continue our little discussion at a later date.” said Mrs. Lloyd as Jenny left the room in haste.

          The carriage had stopped outside the front door.  It was David and Dr Powell probably intoxicated inside the carriage, which he stumbles out of, watched by Mrs. Lloyd through the Morning room window. He just managed to climb the two steps to the door even though he took on step forward and two steps backwards.  David being David never gave a helping hand, and just drove off. Duggins was nowhere in sight to help, so Dr Powell made his own way into the house by practically falling into the hall, while Mrs. Lloyd was watching the performance in the Morning room doorway “Aunt Agatha” slurred Dr Powell.  “William you fool, you vex me so much.” She shouted as she hit him with her walking stick.  “What would Lucy think if she could see you, it’s about time ..........”? Duggins appeared. Mrs. Lloyd stopped in mid - preach and ordered Duggins to take the cretin upstairs.  Mrs. Lloyd returned to her tea, deep in thought of her once favourite nephew.

 

          A month had gone by since Jenny began at Nanteos, she’d settled down quite well. Everything carried on as usual over the past month, Dr. Powell with his drinking binges, and Mrs. Lloyd still a demanding guest.  Even though she was quite pleasant towards Jenny for some unknown reason, she asked that Jenny tend to her needs and be the one to wait on her.  Mrs. Lloyd had received quite a few guests over the last few weeks, no calling cards were given, all was very secretive, sudden silences when any of the staff entered the room, whispers were heard all through the house.  All the staff sensed there was something afoot.  Her ladyship was leaving for very urgent business tonight and would not return until the next morning, and with Dr Powell also away, the staff was quite high-spirited knowing that they could enjoy their evening. Mrs. Penrose saw Mrs. Lloyd to her carriage which was ready waiting for her with David at the reins; he was given strict instructions to return immediately to Nanteos after taking her to Aberystwyth, and to return to Aberystwyth at 10am next morning. Off they trotted. Even Mrs. Penrose was in a cheery mood, knowing of this evening’s night off. 

          7pm came around fairly quickly, all of the days work had been done. The Servants hall had began to fill up with the staff; Jenny was feeling rather nervous, as it was her first staff party.  Duggins had the key to the cellar and had brought up a few bottles of wine to add to their beer allowance, Millie had prepared some little fancies but nothing to special, she was proud of the kitchen and her cooking and did not want to go short on food for her master, even though she doubt if he’d notice, but her loyalty was there.  David had returned from Aberystwyth and had made some sort of punch, supposedly in the hope of getting the girls tipsy. Clem was already there sitting by the fire with his clay pipe stuck in his mouth, it was very rarely seen out of it.  Georgie was not far away, sitting on his perch. Jenny, Sarah and Mary raced down stairs from their quarters, Jenny lagged behind wondering what was going to happen. On reaching the servants hall, Jenny made a beeline for Clem, during the last month she grew close to Clem, she felt save.  She was unsure of the other members of staff only seeing them at meal times.  Of course she knew the girls, Sarah and Mary; but they were all giggles and jokes, with Clem she could sit for hours listening intently to his wise talk and humorous chat.

          Everybody had arrived even Ed the kitchen boy.  It was Saturday night, so he was allowed an extended evening, being only 10 years old he was quite excited.  Mrs. Penrose seemed to have taken him under her wing, and was quite spoilt by her, she being a lonely spinster and Ed an orphan; (from Trefechan a small village outside Aberystwyth). Lucy noticed him 3 years ago, near the workhouse and took him on, compared to what his previous life was he is in his element now.  Even Dr Powell took a liking to the lad, mainly because Lucy had brought him home.

          Duggins had begun opening the wine bottles and David was passing the punch onto anything in a skirt, even Mrs. Penrose and Millie, even though she was nearing 60.  Her husband John worked at ‘Buildings’ the home farm was coming down to the party at 9ish after finishing his work.  So, she was safe from David’s advances.  Sarah was well away gulping down whatever she could.  Jenny noticed David’s looks towards Sarah, so Jenny tried to warn her, but to no avail.  She was enjoying too much to worry.

          The evening rolled on quite merrily.  Will the under gardener was singing his old song, even Jenny began to relax, but still sticking quite close to Clem.  John appeared after a hard days work, dressed in his Sunday best, Millie and he lived in Kennel’s Cottage near the Home Farm, he’d called in at home to change pick up his fiddle.  “Come on John give us a tune.” shouted Sarah.  “Give us a chance I want a beer first” John swigged it down and began playing, Will joined in singing and even Mrs. Penrose’s toe was tapping.  “Come on Edith kick those legs.” Mrs. Penrose blushed and looked away.  Everyone was getting into the swing of It., David had managed to get Sarah into his arms, and they were dancing the night away.  “My luck is in tonight.” thought David, has he tightened his arms around her waist.  Sarah was too drunk even to notice. Jenny chatted to Clem and Edith quite happily, with the occasional interruption from Georgie.

          Jenny gazed around at the gaiety and thought; this is a nice place to be, smiled to herself and began to dance.  David and Sarah had disappeared but nobody had noticed.  It was nearly midnight and the party began to evaporate, they all lived in the house, except for Millie and John, and David he lived in the stables. John and Millie decided it was time to leave, as they walked up the court yard in the silence of the night, they suddenly heard a loud ‘SLAP’ and Sarah shouting “You dirty bugger” and in the moon light that saw Sarah running into the house, and David casually climbing up the steps to the dairy, not wanting to be seen and made his way home, another night alone.  John and Millie could not help but laugh; they held hands and walked home to Kennel’s Cottage.

          Next morning, sore heads all round.  Sunday was a fairly quite day, David full of self-pity had returned from town with Mrs. Lloyd, by 11o’clock all had left for church, except Sarah who was ill!  Afternoon was free, most sleep. Jenny explored the estate and ended up chatting to Clem, and Jenny being his favourite girl gave her a bunch of grapes, fresh from the vinery. They shared the grapes and chatted for hours.  Jenny got to know a lot of the goings on at Nanteos, the happy times and the sad times through Clem.  She had yet to meet the Doctor, but knew a lot about him. One day their paths would meet.

          Monday, back to normal, Mrs. Penrose was back to her stark self, the girls full of giggles, Sarah had recovered but couldn’t remember a thing! The Doctor had returned some time during the night.  Duggins was attending his every need.  Sarah and Mary were carrying buckets of hot water up to the bathroom for the master’s bath.  Duggins came down stairs and ordered breakfast for the doctor.  “Goodness me Master wanting breakfast.” said Millie.  “Yes and you won’t believe it, Millie his is quite sober.” said Duggins, not quite believing it himself. “I’ll do his favourite just the way he likes it” said Millie feeling quite chuffed.  “And another thing I spoke to Mrs. Lloyd this morning and tomorrow we have luncheon for eight people and she wants to see you in the Library this morning at 11am, to discuss the menu. It seem pretty important guests are coming, I wish I knew what was going on.” said Duggins.  “Never mind Charles if there’s something going on we’ll soon find out.” declared Millie.  Duggins leaves the kitchen with the breakfast tray.  Almost immediately Penrose entered the kitchen taking Ed with her on some errand. “We’ll be back before dinner” she said sharply and marched out with Ed running behind her. She hadn’t gone 10 minutes when Jenny returned Mrs. Lloyd’s breakfast tray. “Where’s Ed, Millie?” “Gone with Penrose”, said Millie.  “Her ladyship needs David to take her to town, now” said Jenny quite alarmed, knowing that Ed wasn’t available, and that she would have to go alone to the stables. “Well my girl, you’ll have to go up the stables yourself.”  Jenny looked horrified at Millie’s reply.  “No point making faces, David won’t eat you, now off you go.” said Millie sharply.

          Jenny walked into the stable yard terrified, all the doors were open, and she daren’t walk into any of them.  She slowly walked around peering shyly into them; she didn’t notice David leaning on the furthest doorway watching her.  Eventually he shouted.  “Well, Well, What have we here?” She jumped and blushed “What’s a nice pretty girl like you doing in a dirty stable yard, come here and tell Davy what you want.” terrified to get any closer, she said that Mrs. Lloyd wanted to go to town. “Come her girl, I can’t hear you.” he said slyly.  She inched closer and said it again louder. He had heard the first time, unexpectedly he lunged forward trying to grab her, with that she screamed and ran out of the stables as fast as her legs could carry her, and all she could hear was her vile laughter; tears began trickling down her cheeks and as she turned the corner her eyesight blurred with the tears.  She hit against something and fell to the ground in a heap. She wiped her eyes and looked up and saw a large man in riding gear, “What have we here.” he said in a strong deep voice.  Jenny shaking in shock and fear stuttered “I’m... I’m so sorry Sir” she stuttered. “Are you all right?” He said looking at her blooded knee, without ant thought he picked Jenny up and carried her down to the kitchen. He left her in the hands of Millie.  Jenny began to recover her senses.  “Who was that Millie?” asked Jenny.  Why, that’s the Doctor.” smiles Millie, being so pleased to see him. “Now let’s have a look at you, what happened.” said Millie as she got some water to clean up Jenny’s cut knee.

          Jenny felt very flustered indeed as the last few minutes whirled as the last few minutes whirled around in her head - “David - David tried to grab me”, she explained.  “Oh David - he is a devil - always chasing the girls. Never mind at least he didn’t catch you.” laughed Millie.  Jenny laughed too. Her knee was stinging, but she felt excited at the way the gentleman had scooped her up and whisked her out of harm.  To think that, that was the Dr!  She finally met him after so long and he was not at all as she expecting.  He was not rude or drunk or harsh, but strong and kind.  She felt jittery with the thrill.  “Now then” said Millie. “I’ve just heard that two of our luncheon guests will be staying on for a few days, so you’d best pull yourself together and go find Mrs. Penrose.  She will need your help. I think she will want to put the Canon in the Blue Room and a travelling companion in the Macaw Room.  “The Canon?” queried Jenny. “Oh, he is an old friend of Mrs. Lloyds. He is travelling from some distance away”. 

          Jenny and Millie heard David go past in the carriage.  “He has certainly got ready in a hurry,” said Millie “We should send you up to fetch him more often.  He took an hour to get the horses going last week, when Sarah went up there”.  Jenny smiled to herself thinking of Sarah’s feelings about David. Millie continued, “That lass, is going to get herself into trouble one day. Anyway, I suspect the Dr. will be having words with David, he won’t like him scaring you like that!”  “Oh no.” said Jenny “I don’t want to be getting him into trouble!” “Ah it’s him that gets his self into trouble...not to mention that lasses.” said Millie. “Lasses?” asked Jenny. “Why yes.” said Millie “There’s been two in the last 3 years that’s had to leave on account of David’s action.”  “Why did they have to leave?” Asked Jenny “Don’t know anything?” said Millie “Well he got them in the family way, so they had to leave, of course.”  “Where did they go.” asked Jenny, alarmed.  “Back to their families in disgrace, I should think.  Nobody has ever heard from them again - nor asked about them.  But that Sarah she’d better mend her ways and stop provoking him.”   “Provoking him?” said Jenny.  “She not provoking him - she’s just - just being friendly.”  “Humph” said Millie. “Here your knee looks aright now - take these towels to the laundry and then report to Mrs. Penrose.

          Mary was in the laundry - tearing around in a frenzy trying to do several jobs at once. “Thank goodness you are here.”

a bit.”  “A bit?” queried Clem “So she is modest too - Well we’d better find some lilies for this maiden”.

          The carriage containing Mrs. Lloyd arrived punctually at 4.00pm. The household staff scurried to their places to line the hall to greet her.  But where was the Doctor?  He should have returned by now from town.  There was no sign of him or his carriage.  The driver helped Mrs. Lloyd all right from the carriage and then fetched her bags from the top of the back of the carriage.  The woman stood straight as an arrow and glanced around the front of the house.  Mrs. Penrose came forward to greet her.  Mrs. Lloyd nodded to her and then marched on inside.  She looked at each face as she passed them.  When she came to Jenny she stopped “Another new face? And where might this one have been found?”  “Shrewsbury, ma’am - I come from Shrewsbury,” answered Jenny.  “How strange” commented Mrs. Lloyd Then without further hesitation Mrs. Lloyd marched on towards the end of the hall and turned swiftly on her walking stick which she didn’t really need.  “All dismissed return to your work, Penrose organise me some tea, in the morning room” Mrs. Lloyd demanded.  Millie had heard her Ladyship’s request and went straight to the kitchen and began preparing, when Mrs. Penrose entered the kitchen, Jenny was on hand to carry in the tea.  She knocked gently on the Morning room door and entered coyly “Ah, Jenny, tea at last, I’ve had a long journey.”  Jenny placed the tray on the table near to Mrs. Lloyd “Come here child and sit down for a minute, How are you getting on at Nanteos, it is a grand house, is it not?”  “Yes ma’am.” Jenny answered immediately “What part of Shrewsbury are you from Jenny.” asked Mrs. Lloyd inquisitively. “Longden Road Ma’am.” said Jenny.  There was a look of surprise on Mrs. Lloyd face and was about to ask more, when a carriage was heard approaching outside.  “Quickly child get back to work.” shouted Mrs. Lloyd, quite alarmed. Jenny rose, curtsied and left the room almost running.  “We will continue our little discussion at a later date.” said Mrs. Lloyd as Jenny left the room in haste.

          The carriage had stopped outside the front door.  It was David and Dr Powell probably intoxicated inside the carriage, which he stumbles out of, watched by Mrs. Lloyd through the Morning room window. He just managed to climb the two steps to the door even though he took on step forward and two steps backwards.  David being David never gave a helping hand, and just drove off. Duggins was nowhere in sight to help, so Dr Powell made his own way into the house by practically falling into the hall, while Mrs. Lloyd was watching the performance in the Morning room doorway “Aunt Agatha” slurred Dr Powell.  “William you fool, you vex me so much.” She shouted as she hit him with her walking stick.  “What would Lucy think if she could see you, it’s about time ..........”? Duggins appeared. Mrs. Lloyd stopped in mid - preach and ordered Duggins to take the cretin upstairs.  Mrs. Lloyd returned to her tea, deep in thought of her once favourite nephew.

 

          A month had gone by since Jenny began at Nanteos, she’d settled down quite well. Everything carried on as usual over the past month, Dr. Powell with his drinking binges, and Mrs. Lloyd still a demanding guest.  Even though she was quite pleasant towards Jenny for some unknown reason, she asked that Jenny tend to her needs and be the one to wait on her.  Mrs. Lloyd had received quite a few guests over the last few weeks, no calling cards were given, all was very secretive, sudden silences when any of the staff entered the room, whispers were heard all through the house.  All the staff sensed there was something afoot.  Her ladyship was leaving for very urgent business tonight and would not return until the next morning, and with Dr Powell also away, the staff was quite high-spirited knowing that they could enjoy their evening. Mrs. Penrose saw Mrs. Lloyd to her carriage which was ready waiting for her with David at the reins; he was given strict instructions to return immediately to Nanteos after taking her to Aberystwyth, and to return to Aberystwyth at 10am next morning. Off they trotted. Even Mrs. Penrose was in a cheery mood, knowing of this evening’s night off. 

          7pm came around fairly quickly, all of the days work had been done. The Servants hall had began to fill up with the staff; Jenny was feeling rather nervous, as it was her first staff party.  Duggins had the key to the cellar and had brought up a few bottles of wine to add to their beer allowance, Millie had prepared some little fancies but nothing to special, she was proud of the kitchen and her cooking and did not want to go short on food for her master, even though she doubt if he’d notice, but her loyalty was there.  David had returned from Aberystwyth and had made some sort of punch, supposedly in the hope of getting the girls tipsy. Clem was already there sitting by the fire with his clay pipe stuck in his mouth, it was very rarely seen out of it.  Georgie was not far away, sitting on his perch. Jenny, Sarah and Mary raced down stairs from their quarters, Jenny lagged behind wondering what was going to happen. On reaching the servants hall, Jenny made a beeline for Clem, during the last month she grew close to Clem, she felt save.  She was unsure of the other members of staff only seeing them at meal times.  Of course she knew the girls, Sarah and Mary; but they were all giggles and jokes, with Clem she could sit for hours listening intently to his wise talk and humorous chat.

          Everybody had arrived even Ed the kitchen boy.  It was Saturday night, so he was allowed an extended evening, being only 10 years old he was quite excited.  Mrs. Penrose seemed to have taken him under her wing, and was quite spoilt by her, she being a lonely spinster and Ed an orphan; (from Trefechan a small village outside Aberystwyth). Lucy noticed him 3 years ago, near the workhouse and took him on, compared to what his previous life was he is in his element now.  Even Dr Powell took a liking to the lad, mainly because Lucy had brought him home.

          Duggins had begun opening the wine bottles and David was passing the punch onto anything in a skirt, even Mrs. Penrose and Millie, even though she was nearing 60.  Her husband John worked at ‘Buildings’ the home farm was coming down to the party at 9ish after finishing his work.  So, she was safe from David’s advances.  Sarah was well away gulping down whatever she could.  Jenny noticed David’s looks towards Sarah, so Jenny tried to warn her, but to no avail.  She was enjoying too much to worry.

          The evening rolled on quite merrily.  Will the under gardener was singing his old song, even Jenny began to relax, but still sticking quite close to Clem.  John appeared after a hard days work, dressed in his Sunday best, Millie and he lived in Kennel’s Cottage near the Home Farm, he’d called in at home to change pick up his fiddle.  “Come on John give us a tune.” shouted Sarah.  “Give us a chance I want a beer first” John swigged it down and began playing, Will joined in singing and even Mrs. Penrose’s toe was tapping.  “Come on Edith kick those legs.” Mrs. Penrose blushed and looked away.  Everyone was getting into the swing of It., David had managed to get Sarah into his arms, and they were dancing the night away.  “My luck is in tonight.” thought David, has he tightened his arms around her waist.  Sarah was too drunk even to notice. Jenny chatted to Clem and Edith quite happily, with the occasional interruption from Georgie.

          Jenny gazed around at the gaiety and thought; this is a nice place to be, smiled to herself and began to dance.  David and Sarah had disappeared but nobody had noticed.  It was nearly midnight and the party began to evaporate, they all lived in the house, except for Millie and John, and David he lived in the stables. John and Millie decided it was time to leave, as they walked up the court yard in the silence of the night, they suddenly heard a loud ‘SLAP’ and Sarah shouting “You dirty bugger” and in the moon light that saw Sarah running into the house, and David casually climbing up the steps to the dairy, not wanting to be seen and made his way home, another night alone.  John and Millie could not help but laugh; they held hands and walked home to Kennel’s Cottage.

          Next morning, sore heads all round.  Sunday was a fairly quite day, David full of self-pity had returned from town with Mrs. Lloyd, by 11o’clock all had left for church, except Sarah who was ill!  Afternoon was free, most sleep. Jenny explored the estate and ended up chatting to Clem, and Jenny being his favourite girl gave her a bunch of grapes, fresh from the vinery. They shared the grapes and chatted for hours.  Jenny got to know a lot of the goings on at Nanteos, the happy times and the sad times through Clem.  She had yet to meet the Doctor, but knew a lot about him. One day their paths would meet.

          Monday, back to normal, Mrs. Penrose was back to her stark self, the girls full of giggles, Sarah had recovered but couldn’t remember a thing! The Doctor had returned some time during the night.  Duggins was attending his every need.  Sarah and Mary were carrying buckets of hot water up to the bathroom for the master’s bath.  Duggins came down stairs and ordered breakfast for the doctor.  “Goodness me Master wanting breakfast.” said Millie.  “Yes and you won’t believe it, Millie his is quite sober.” said Duggins, not quite believing it himself. “I’ll do his favourite just the way he likes it” said Millie feeling quite chuffed.  “And another thing I spoke to Mrs. Lloyd this morning and tomorrow we have luncheon for eight people and she wants to see you in the Library this morning at 11am, to discuss the menu. It seem pretty important guests are coming, I wish I knew what was going on.” said Duggins.  “Never mind Charles if there’s something going on we’ll soon find out.” declared Millie.  Duggins leaves the kitchen with the breakfast tray.  Almost immediately Penrose entered the kitchen taking Ed with her on some errand. “We’ll be back before dinner” she said sharply and marched out with Ed running behind her. She hadn’t gone 10 minutes when Jenny returned Mrs. Lloyd’s breakfast tray. “Where’s Ed, Millie?” “Gone with Penrose”, said Millie.  “Her ladyship needs David to take her to town, now” said Jenny quite alarmed, knowing that Ed wasn’t available, and that she would have to go alone to the stables. “Well my girl, you’ll have to go up the stables yourself.”  Jenny looked horrified at Millie’s reply.  “No point making faces, David won’t eat you, now off you go.” said Millie sharply.

          Jenny walked into the stable yard terrified, all the doors were open, and she daren’t walk into any of them.  She slowly walked around peering shyly into them; she didn’t notice David leaning on the furthest doorway watching her.  Eventually he shouted.  “Well, Well, What have we here?” She jumped and blushed “What’s a nice pretty girl like you doing in a dirty stable yard, come here and tell Davy what you want.” terrified to get any closer, she said that Mrs. Lloyd wanted to go to town. “Come her girl, I can’t hear you.” he said slyly.  She inched closer and said it again louder. He had heard the first time, unexpectedly he lunged forward trying to grab her, with that she screamed and ran out of the stables as fast as her legs could carry her, and all she could hear was her vile laughter; tears began trickling down her cheeks and as she turned the corner her eyesight blurred with the tears.  She hit against something and fell to the ground in a heap. She wiped her eyes and looked up and saw a large man in riding gear, “What have we here.” he said in a strong deep voice.  Jenny shaking in shock and fear stuttered “I’m... I’m so sorry Sir” she stuttered. “Are you all right?” He said looking at her blooded knee, without ant thought he picked Jenny up and carried her down to the kitchen. He left her in the hands of Millie.  Jenny began to recover her senses.  “Who was that Millie?” asked Jenny.  Why, that’s the Doctor.” smiles Millie, being so pleased to see him. “Now let’s have a look at you, what happened.” said Millie as she got some water to clean up Jenny’s cut knee.

          Jenny felt very flustered indeed as the last few minutes whirled as the last few minutes whirled around in her head - “David - David tried to grab me”, she explained.  “Oh David - he is a devil - always chasing the girls. Never mind at least he didn’t catch you.” laughed Millie.  Jenny laughed too. Her knee was stinging, but she felt excited at the way the gentleman had scooped her up and whisked her out of harm.  To think that, that was the Dr!  She finally met him after so long and he was not at all as she expecting.  He was not rude or drunk or harsh, but strong and kind.  She felt jittery with the thrill.  “Now then” said Millie. “I’ve just heard that two of our luncheon guests will be staying on for a few days, so you’d best pull yourself together and go find Mrs. Penrose.  She will need your help. I think she will want to put the Canon in the Blue Room and a travelling companion in the Macaw Room.  “The Canon?” queried Jenny. “Oh, he is an old friend of Mrs. Lloyds. He is travelling from some distance away”. 

          Jenny and Millie heard David go past in the carriage.  “He has certainly got ready in a hurry,” said Millie “We should send you up to fetch him more often.  He took an hour to get the horses going last week, when Sarah went up there”.  Jenny smiled to herself thinking of Sarah’s feelings about David. Millie continued, “That lass, is going to get herself into trouble one day. Anyway, I suspect the Dr. will be having words with David, he won’t like him scaring you like that!”  “Oh no.” said Jenny “I don’t want to be getting him into trouble!” “Ah it’s him that gets his self into trouble...not to mention that lasses.” said Millie. “Lasses?” asked Jenny. “Why yes.” said Millie “There’s been two in the last 3 years that’s had to leave on account of David’s action.”  “Why did they have to leave?” Asked Jenny “Don’t know anything?” said Millie “Well he got them in the family way, so they had to leave, of course.”  “Where did they go.” asked Jenny, alarmed.  “Back to their families in disgrace, I should think.  Nobody has ever heard from them again - nor asked about them.  But that Sarah she’d better mend her ways and stop provoking him.”   “Provoking him?” said Jenny.  “She not provoking him - she’s just - just being friendly.”  “Humph” said Millie. “Here your knee looks aright now - take these towels to the laundry and then report to Mrs. Penrose.

          Mary was in the laundry - tearing around in a frenzy trying to do several jobs at once. “Thank goodness you are here.”

a bit.”  “A bit?” queried Clem “So she is modest too - Well we’d better find some lilies for this maiden”.

          The carriage containing Mrs. Lloyd arrived punctually at 4.00pm. The household staff scurried to their places to line the hall to greet her.  But where was the Doctor?  He should have returned by now from town.  There was no sign of him or his carriage.  The driver helped Mrs. Lloyd all right from the carriage and then fetched her bags from the top of the back of the carriage.  The woman stood straight as an arrow and glanced around the front of the house.  Mrs. Penrose came forward to greet her.  Mrs. Lloyd nodded to her and then marched on inside.  She looked at each face as she passed them.  When she came to Jenny she stopped “Another new face? And where might this one have been found?”  “Shrewsbury, ma’am - I come from Shrewsbury,” answered Jenny.  “How strange” commented Mrs. Lloyd Then without further hesitation Mrs. Lloyd marched on towards the end of the hall and turned swiftly on her walking stick which she didn’t really need.  “All dismissed return to your work, Penrose organise me some tea, in the morning room” Mrs. Lloyd demanded.  Millie had heard her Ladyship’s request and went straight to the kitchen and began preparing, when Mrs. Penrose entered the kitchen, Jenny was on hand to carry in the tea.  She knocked gently on the Morning room door and entered coyly “Ah, Jenny, tea at last, I’ve had a long journey.”  Jenny placed the tray on the table near to Mrs. Lloyd “Come here child and sit down for a minute, How are you getting on at Nanteos, it is a grand house, is it not?”  “Yes ma’am.” Jenny answered immediately “What part of Shrewsbury are you from Jenny.” asked Mrs. Lloyd inquisitively. “Longden Road Ma’am.” said Jenny.  There was a look of surprise on Mrs. Lloyd face and was about to ask more, when a carriage was heard approaching outside.  “Quickly child get back to work.” shouted Mrs. Lloyd, quite alarmed. Jenny rose, curtsied and left the room almost running.  “We will continue our little discussion at a later date.” said Mrs. Lloyd as Jenny left the room in haste.

          The carriage had stopped outside the front door.  It was David and Dr Powell probably intoxicated inside the carriage, which he stumbles out of, watched by Mrs. Lloyd through the Morning room window. He just managed to climb the two steps to the door even though he took on step forward and two steps backwards.  David being David never gave a helping hand, and just drove off. Duggins was nowhere in sight to help, so Dr Powell made his own way into the house by practically falling into the hall, while Mrs. Lloyd was watching the performance in the Morning room doorway “Aunt Agatha” slurred Dr Powell.  “William you fool, you vex me so much.” She shouted as she hit him with her walking stick.  “What would Lucy think if she could see you, it’s about time ..........”? Duggins appeared. Mrs. Lloyd stopped in mid - preach and ordered Duggins to take the cretin upstairs.  Mrs. Lloyd returned to her tea, deep in thought of her once favourite nephew.

 

          A month had gone by since Jenny began at Nanteos, she’d settled down quite well. Everything carried on as usual over the past month, Dr. Powell with his drinking binges, and Mrs. Lloyd still a demanding guest.  Even though she was quite pleasant towards Jenny for some unknown reason, she asked that Jenny tend to her needs and be the one to wait on her.  Mrs. Lloyd had received quite a few guests over the last few weeks, no calling cards were given, all was very secretive, sudden silences when any of the staff entered the room, whispers were heard all through the house.  All the staff sensed there was something afoot.  Her ladyship was leaving for very urgent business tonight and would not return until the next morning, and with Dr Powell also away, the staff was quite high-spirited knowing that they could enjoy their evening. Mrs. Penrose saw Mrs. Lloyd to her carriage which was ready waiting for her with David at the reins; he was given strict instructions to return immediately to Nanteos after taking her to Aberystwyth, and to return to Aberystwyth at 10am next morning. Off they trotted. Even Mrs. Penrose was in a cheery mood, knowing of this evening’s night off. 

          7pm came around fairly quickly, all of the days work had been done. The Servants hall had began to fill up with the staff; Jenny was feeling rather nervous, as it was her first staff party.  Duggins had the key to the cellar and had brought up a few bottles of wine to add to their beer allowance, Millie had prepared some little fancies but nothing to special, she was proud of the kitchen and her cooking and did not want to go short on food for her master, even though she doubt if he’d notice, but her loyalty was there.  David had returned from Aberystwyth and had made some sort of punch, supposedly in the hope of getting the girls tipsy. Clem was already there sitting by the fire with his clay pipe stuck in his mouth, it was very rarely seen out of it.  Georgie was not far away, sitting on his perch. Jenny, Sarah and Mary raced down stairs from their quarters, Jenny lagged behind wondering what was going to happen. On reaching the servants hall, Jenny made a beeline for Clem, during the last month she grew close to Clem, she felt save.  She was unsure of the other members of staff only seeing them at meal times.  Of course she knew the girls, Sarah and Mary; but they were all giggles and jokes, with Clem she could sit for hours listening intently to his wise talk and humorous chat.

          Everybody had arrived even Ed the kitchen boy.  It was Saturday night, so he was allowed an extended evening, being only 10 years old he was quite excited.  Mrs. Penrose seemed to have taken him under her wing, and was quite spoilt by her, she being a lonely spinster and Ed an orphan; (from Trefechan a small village outside Aberystwyth). Lucy noticed him 3 years ago, near the workhouse and took him on, compared to what his previous life was he is in his element now.  Even Dr Powell took a liking to the lad, mainly because Lucy had brought him home.

          Duggins had begun opening the wine bottles and David was passing the punch onto anything in a skirt, even Mrs. Penrose and Millie, even though she was nearing 60.  Her husband John worked at ‘Buildings’ the home farm was coming down to the party at 9ish after finishing his work.  So, she was safe from David’s advances.  Sarah was well away gulping down whatever she could.  Jenny noticed David’s looks towards Sarah, so Jenny tried to warn her, but to no avail.  She was enjoying too much to worry.

          The evening rolled on quite merrily.  Will the under gardener was singing his old song, even Jenny began to relax, but still sticking quite close to Clem.  John appeared after a hard days work, dressed in his Sunday best, Millie and he lived in Kennel’s Cottage near the Home Farm, he’d called in at home to change pick up his fiddle.  “Come on John give us a tune.” shouted Sarah.  “Give us a chance I want a beer first” John swigged it down and began playing, Will joined in singing and even Mrs. Penrose’s toe was tapping.  “Come on Edith kick those legs.” Mrs. Penrose blushed and looked away.  Everyone was getting into the swing of It., David had managed to get Sarah into his arms, and they were dancing the night away.  “My luck is in tonight.” thought David, has he tightened his arms around her waist.  Sarah was too drunk even to notice. Jenny chatted to Clem and Edith quite happily, with the occasional interruption from Georgie.

          Jenny gazed around at the gaiety and thought; this is a nice place to be, smiled to herself and began to dance.  David and Sarah had disappeared but nobody had noticed.  It was nearly midnight and the party began to evaporate, they all lived in the house, except for Millie and John, and David he lived in the stables. John and Millie decided it was time to leave, as they walked up the court yard in the silence of the night, they suddenly heard a loud ‘SLAP’ and Sarah shouting “You dirty bugger” and in the moon light that saw Sarah running into the house, and David casually climbing up the steps to the dairy, not wanting to be seen and made his way home, another night alone.  John and Millie could not help but laugh; they held hands and walked home to Kennel’s Cottage.

          Next morning, sore heads all round.  Sunday was a fairly quite day, David full of self-pity had returned from town with Mrs. Lloyd, by 11o’clock all had left for church, except Sarah who was ill!  Afternoon was free, most sleep. Jenny explored the estate and ended up chatting to Clem, and Jenny being his favourite girl gave her a bunch of grapes, fresh from the vinery. They shared the grapes and chatted for hours.  Jenny got to know a lot of the goings on at Nanteos, the happy times and the sad times through Clem.  She had yet to meet the Doctor, but knew a lot about him. One day their paths would meet.

          Monday, back to normal, Mrs. Penrose was back to her stark self, the girls full of giggles, Sarah had recovered but couldn’t remember a thing! The Doctor had returned some time during the night.  Duggins was attending his every need.  Sarah and Mary were carrying buckets of hot water up to the bathroom for the master’s bath.  Duggins came down stairs and ordered breakfast for the doctor.  “Goodness me Master wanting breakfast.” said Millie.  “Yes and you won’t believe it, Millie his is quite sober.” said Duggins, not quite believing it himself. “I’ll do his favourite just the way he likes it” said Millie feeling quite chuffed.  “And another thing I spoke to Mrs. Lloyd this morning and tomorrow we have luncheon for eight people and she wants to see you in the Library this morning at 11am, to discuss the menu. It seem pretty important guests are coming, I wish I knew what was going on.” said Duggins.  “Never mind Charles if there’s something going on we’ll soon find out.” declared Millie.  Duggins leaves the kitchen with the breakfast tray.  Almost immediately Penrose entered the kitchen taking Ed with her on some errand. “We’ll be back before dinner” she said sharply and marched out with Ed running behind her. She hadn’t gone 10 minutes when Jenny returned Mrs. Lloyd’s breakfast tray. “Where’s Ed, Millie?” “Gone with Penrose”, said Millie.  “Her ladyship needs David to take her to town, now” said Jenny quite alarmed, knowing that Ed wasn’t available, and that she would have to go alone to the stables. “Well my girl, you’ll have to go up the stables yourself.”  Jenny looked horrified at Millie’s reply.  “No point making faces, David won’t eat you, now off you go.” said Millie sharply.

          Jenny walked into the stable yard terrified, all the doors were open, and she daren’t walk into any of them.  She slowly walked around peering shyly into them; she didn’t notice David leaning on the furthest doorway watching her.  Eventually he shouted.  “Well, Well, What have we here?” She jumped and blushed “What’s a nice pretty girl like you doing in a dirty stable yard, come here and tell Davy what you want.” terrified to get any closer, she said that Mrs. Lloyd wanted to go to town. “Come her girl, I can’t hear you.” he said slyly.  She inched closer and said it again louder. He had heard the first time, unexpectedly he lunged forward trying to grab her, with that she screamed and ran out of the stables as fast as her legs could carry her, and all she could hear was her vile laughter; tears began trickling down her cheeks and as she turned the corner her eyesight blurred with the tears.  She hit against something and fell to the ground in a heap. She wiped her eyes and looked up and saw a large man in riding gear, “What have we here.” he said in a strong deep voice.  Jenny shaking in shock and fear stuttered “I’m... I’m so sorry Sir” she stuttered. “Are you all right?” He said looking at her blooded knee, without ant thought he picked Jenny up and carried her down to the kitchen. He left her in the hands of Millie.  Jenny began to recover her senses.  “Who was that Millie?” asked Jenny.  Why, that’s the Doctor.” smiles Millie, being so pleased to see him. “Now let’s have a look at you, what happened.” said Millie as she got some water to clean up Jenny’s cut knee.

          Jenny felt very flustered indeed as the last few minutes whirled as the last few minutes whirled around in her head - “David - David tried to grab me”, she explained.  “Oh David - he is a devil - always chasing the girls. Never mind at least he didn’t catch you.” laughed Millie.  Jenny laughed too. Her knee was stinging, but she felt excited at the way the gentleman had scooped her up and whisked her out of harm.  To think that, that was the Dr!  She finally met him after so long and he was not at all as she expecting.  He was not rude or drunk or harsh, but strong and kind.  She felt jittery with the thrill.  “Now then” said Millie. “I’ve just heard that two of our luncheon guests will be staying on for a few days, so you’d best pull yourself together and go find Mrs. Penrose.  She will need your help. I think she will want to put the Canon in the Blue Room and a travelling companion in the Macaw Room.  “The Canon?” queried Jenny. “Oh, he is an old friend of Mrs. Lloyds. He is travelling from some distance away”. 

          Jenny and Millie heard David go past in the carriage.  “He has certainly got ready in a hurry,” said Millie “We should send you up to fetch him more often.  He took an hour to get the horses going last week, when Sarah went up there”.  Jenny smiled to herself thinking of Sarah’s feelings about David. Millie continued, “That lass, is going to get herself into trouble one day. Anyway, I suspect the Dr. will be having words with David, he won’t like him scaring you like that!”  “Oh no.” said Jenny “I don’t want to be getting him into trouble!” “Ah it’s him that gets his self into trouble...not to mention that lasses.” said Millie. “Lasses?” asked Jenny. “Why yes.” said Millie “There’s been two in the last 3 years that’s had to leave on account of David’s action.”  “Why did they have to leave?” Asked Jenny “Don’t know anything?” said Millie “Well he got them in the family way, so they had to leave, of course.”  “Where did they go.” asked Jenny, alarmed.  “Back to their families in disgrace, I should think.  Nobody has ever heard from them again - nor asked about them.  But that Sarah she’d better mend her ways and stop provoking him.”   “Provoking him?” said Jenny.  “She not provoking him - she’s just - just being friendly.”  “Humph” said Millie. “Here your knee looks aright now - take these towels to the laundry and then report to Mrs. Penrose.

          Mary was in the laundry - tearing around in a frenzy trying to do several jobs at once. “Thank goodness you are here.”

said Mary.  “I’ve got to get these liners ready for the Canon - and I haven’t started on the bedrooms yet!”  “Where’s Sarah?” asked Jenny. “She ill this morning - she didn’t want her tea this morning and then she went sick.  Mrs. Penrose said she’d better stay in bed but thanks to her we will have to have wings on our feet to get everything done.  Go and ask Mrs. Penrose where you should start - she is upstairs cleaning the hall by the Dr’s rooms.

          Jenny dashed upstairs, wondering what was wrong with Sarah.  She found Mrs. Penrose scurrying along the corridor duster flicking at everything in double time.  “Ah Jenny - just the girl I’m looking for! I need you to do the Dr’s rooms.” “I’ve never done the Dr’s room, apart from the 1st day I came.” - gasped Jenny “I’ve hardly seen them!”  “Are you questioning my orders Jenny.” said Mrs. Penrose, suddenly in a terrible temper.  “No ma’am” said Jenny - feeling hot all over.  “Well just get to work then - we’ve enough to worry about with Sarah in bed and Mrs. Lloyd inviting all these people round and the Canon and his friend coming to stay.”  “Yes Ma’am.” said Jenny.  She turned, took a deep breath and walked towards the Dr’s door.  She stood outside it, hesitating for a moment - then saw Mrs. Penrose standing with her hands on her hips, staring at her.  Quickly she knocked lightly on the door.  There was no answer so she gently turned the knob and stuck her head in.  All was quiet in the room.  It was a beautiful room - well beautiful for a bachelor.  There were sofa and deep soft armchairs, there were books on the wall and a cabinet held decanters filled with whisky and port - The wall had Pictures with hunting scenes and some beautiful silver pistols were mounted on a shelf above the grate.  Jenny wondered where to start.  A dirty tumbler stood on a table by, the fireside armchair.  She headed for that.  The fire had gone out in the grate so she put the glass back down and swept the ashes into the bucket by the side of the fireplace.  Then she ran to open the windows because the room smelled heavily of cigar smoke.  She flinched here and there, skipping from task to task, not finishing anything in one go - she was terribly nervous and excited by being in the Dr’s Private quarters.  The door to the bedroom was ajar and the curtains were still drawn.  She tip toed in, drew back the curtains and flung back the windows.  Then she looked round the room.  The bed covers were strewn on the floor.  Hastily she made the bed. Another glass with gold coloured liquid in the bottom stood on the bedside table, she sniffed it.  Then she dabbed her finger in it and tasted a drop of the liquid. “ugh.” she said aloud, as the shudder from the bitter taste ran through her body.

          “Not your poison, then.” chuckled a voice.  Jenny whirled round.  The Dr. stood in his dressing gown - in another doorway across the room.  Jenny nearly dropped the glass.  She was so embarrassed she could hardly speak.  She turned bright red and couldn’t move her eyes, from the Dr’s chest, where his dressing gown laid Parted.  “I - I - I didn’t know you were here, Sir er Dr.” She blurted.  The Dr’s smirk broke into a slow grin.  Then he held up his fore finger and waggled it for Jenny to approach.  Jenny looked over her shoulder, thinking wildly that someone else was in the room - the Dr must be signaling to some else. “No, it’s you that I want,” said the Dr. “Come over here and let me have a look at you.”  Timidly Jenny approached.  She stood several feet away from the Dr.; he continued to waggle his finger for her to come closer.  She edged forward, then stopped again and stared down at her feet, frightened to look at him.  The Dr. reached out and Put a firm hand under Jenny’s chin and lifted her face until she was forced to look at him. He had stopped smiling.  He kept his hand on her chin while he stared into her face.  Jenny stood frozen as she was forced to look back into his eyes.  She could see a Puzzled, searching quizzical light in them as his Pupils grew and diminished again in the shifting sun light.  She smelt whisky on his breath as he exhaled.  Suddenly the Dr. let go of her chin and dropped to the floor, squatting.  He grabbed the hem on her dress so that she was still his Prisoner. Then slowly he rolled the hem of the dress up and up until her knee was exposed. He rolled the dress a few inches higher. Jenny wanted to scream. She thought she might faint. 

          “No Permanent damage done then” - said the Dr. “Your knee will still be beautiful for your wedding night.” he added.  He brought his face very close to the grazed knee.  One hand held her dress up. His other hand rested on the side of the damaged knee, and then the fingers opened and caressed the back of her knee and lightly down her calf.  The Dr. gently kissed her knee, above the cut.  Jenny took a sharp breath inward. Her hand moved from her side and touched the top of his head.  Her fingers lightly his hair from his scalp and let it fall again, it was slightly damp.  He must have just been having a wash after his morning ride.  The Dr. moved his head against Jenny’s thigh.  She felt herself sway a bit.  The Dr. let go of her dress and stood up abruptly.  His face was flushed and he turned away, but not before Jenny had seen a wild hungry look in his eye.  “Leave me now; just leave the room as it is; and tell Penrose you’ve finished in here and I’m not to be disturbed till later.”

          Jenny turned and fled from the room.  She accidentally slammed the door as she left the Dr. apartments. 

          Out in the hallway - her world spun round.  She clutched the long table to steady herself.  Her heart was wild with excitement, fear, and embarrassment.  She could still feel the Dr’s face on her thigh, his hand on her calf.  She took deep breaths to steady herself, and then started down the long hallway, tingling with the thrill.  She went to the Blue Room, which Mrs. Penrose was making ready for the Canon. “Finished already!” asked a delighted Mrs. Penrose. “Yes.” said Jenny, flushed and beaming. “The Dr. requests that no one disturbs him now - he has things to do.”  “Excellent work Jenny.  You are turning out to be my best worker - here help me turn this mattress and then I have a special job for you when we are finished in here.” They scurried round the room making it ready. 

          When they were finished Penrose said, “Now follow me.” Jenny followed.  They went down the hall to the main stairs and then up a flight to the next floor.  Then they turned down the hallway.  Jenny’s heart was pounding as she began to guess where they were going. Mrs. Penrose rattled the keys on her chain and selected one as they stopped outside a doorway. Mrs. P opened the door and walked straight across the darkened room.  She drew back the thick curtains with one Pull of the cord and Jenny saw for the first time, the rooms that had been Lucia’s.  It was the loveliest Part of the house, Jenny thought, apart from the Music Room - she added hastily to herself.  “I come up here once a month.” said Mrs. Penrose, “to dust and check things over.  Normally I do it on the 15th of each month but I’m doing it two weeks early because Laura Phillips and her mother are coming to Mrs. Lloyd’s luncheon. Laura may ask the Dr to see Lucy’s rooms. They were very dear friends.” Jenny gazed round at all the beautiful ornaments, the lovely writing desk and the beautiful clock.  “There were thoughts once,” continued Mrs. Penrose, “that the Dr. might marry Miss.. Phillips.  He seemed quite taken with her and Lucy wished it so.” Jenny felt a sudden sweeping jealousy of Miss. Phillips - a sudden hatred for the girl she’d never even laid eyes on.  “But of course,” said Mrs. P. “that was the summer before we knew Lucy was ill.  My, what a gay time they all had that summer.” Jenny wanted to cover her ears to keep out Mrs. P’s words.  She didn’t want to know that the Dr. had planned to marry - that he might have looked at someone else the way he had at her only an hour ago.  She looked around the room to try to stop her thoughts from reeling so.  Then she looked back at Mrs. P.

           Mrs. P. was starring at the bed with a very strange look on her face. Jenny stared too but couldn’t see anything amiss... Mrs. P. walked over to the bed and gently lifted back the covers.  Then she gave a fierce yank and Pulled the covers clean off.  “Hah,” she said as they saw a man’s sock at the bottom end of the bed.  Jenny stared in alarm. Mrs. P. was livid.  “Help me strip this bed - Quickly. This is disgraceful.  The Master would kill him if he knew he’d been up to his tricks in Lucy’s bed!”  “Who? Kill who?!” asked Jenny.  “Don’t you recognize this sock?”  said Mrs. P. holding it out by two fingers, with a look of distaste on her face.  “Who else has feet this large around here?”  Jenny suddenly thought of David and his clodhopping enormous feet. “Why would David come up here to sleep?” asked Jenny innocently. “Well he won’t have come here to sleep, will he, you silly goose!  He’s been up here with one of those wenches from the village, I reckon.  Now Jenny, You are not to say a word to anyone about this.  Not Mary, not Sarah, not Millie.  I will not have any gossip about this.  If the Dr. hears we will all be dismissed?” Jenny stared at the sock, dumbfounded. “Swear to me Jenny.  Say I swear not to tell a soul.” Jenny said “I swear not to tell a soul”. “Now let’s get to work, run and get clean linen from the laundry room.”

          Jenny turned and ran down the hallway, down the stairs.  She was so flustered she ran out the front door and round the back of the house, forgetting to use the back entrance.  She ran all the way to the laundry, arrived breathless and hunted furiously for clean linen.  There was little to be had but she found what she could and ran back in through the kitchen nearly colliding with Millie whose mouth fell open. Jenny ran straight past her and all the way upstairs again.  Mrs. P. was by now in the bathroom furiously scrubbing out the bath.  “They’ve used the bath.” she hissed. Jenny had never seen Mrs. P. so angry. They raced around, remade the bed, and dusted here and there. Just as they were finished Mrs. P’s eye fell upon the desk drawer slightly open. “My God.” Mrs. P. swore. “They’ve even been looking in Lucy’s drawer.  Why isn’t it locked?  How would David know where the key to it was kept?” Jenny suddenly remembered May and Sarah talking about Lucy’s room and her diary that first morning she’d arrived from Shrewsbury. Her heart skipped as everything fell horribly into Place.  But she said nothing to Mrs. P.  Minutes later they had finished the room. Mrs. P. had reached up to the top of a picture frame and removed a small key.  She pushed the drawer shut and locked it and replaced the key.  As they were leaving the room Mrs. P. said again, “Not a word to anyone about this.” Jenny murmured in agreement.

          The rest of the day was a blur for Jenny.  She had so much to think about but they were so busy that she scarcely had time for her own thoughts.  By afternoon Sarah was feeling well again and was busy with her normal tasks.  Everyone had an early supper and Jenny retired thankfully to her bed. 

          She lay in the dark reliving the morning. Horrible lecherous David, her flight from the stable, falling and the pain as she scraped her knee.  Then the Dr’s strong arms lifting her up and carrying her to the kitchen.  She relived the scene in his bedroom over and over again. But each time she thought of his face against her thigh.  She thought of Laura Phillips and her heart felt a sting.  Which one was Laura? Which girl in the picture of the picnic?  Would she be the girl with dark hair, her head thrown back laughing, or the blonde one holding out a bunch of grapes.  She knew from other portraits in the house that Lucy was the beautiful one in the centre.  But which one was Laura? 

          Then she thought of the sock, and of David trying to grab her.  She could see his sly face leering at her. Then she thought of Sarah. Sarah always giggling and running about.  Sarah who flushed at the mention of David’s name.  She thought again of the desk drawer but not for long because her thoughts kept returning deliciously to the feel of the Dr’s hair in her fingers and his hiss upon her knee.  Happily she stretched out in the narrow hard bed, yawned and fell into a dreamy sleep of romantic bliss. 

          The next day seemed to come faster than normal.  The bell awoke them all and she sprang from bed.  After breakfast they scurried around doing all the usual chores and helping Millie in the kitchen.  David left mid morning to get the Canon from the station. Jenny was summoned by Mrs. Lloyd. “I’d like another pot of tea Jenny.”  When Jenny brought the tea, Mrs. Lloyd asked Jenny to sit with her a moment.  Jenny sat on the edge of a chair, bolt upright. Mrs. Lloyd looked at her and smiled.  “Today, we will start to get the Dr. back into shape” said Mrs. Lloyd.  “I’ve invited guests round to cheer him up and get him seeing people again.  He has been alone and gloomy too long.”  Jenny thought of Laura Phillips and felt a stab to her heart.  “And Jenny,” continued Mrs. Lloyd, “I’ve a surprise for you, I think you know one of the guests.” Jenny looked at Mrs. Lloyd in surprise.  “Yes,” smiled Mrs. Lloyd.” I believe you know Canon Richards.” “Canon Richards!” exclaimed Jenny with excitement.  “What, all the way from Shrewsbury!”   “Yes,” said a delightful Mrs. Lloyd. “He has told me wonderful things about you.”  “Oh!?” said Jenny.  She felt filled with happiness at the thought of seeing the dear old family friend who’d taught her to play the piano and organ.  “Yes - I’ve heard all about your hidden talent!” smiled Mrs. Lloyd.  “I expect he will wish to hear his pupil play,” she added.  “Oh no,” stuttered Jenny.  “I couldn’t possibly play.  It has been far too long.  And the Dr.!-- What would he say?! No one is allowed to touch his piano,” cried Jenny - horrified at the thought.  “Oh fiddlesticks” snapped Mrs. Lloyd.  “This house has been quiet and gloomy too long.  The Dr. won’t touch the piano but that doesn’t mean no one else can.  Laura Phillips can sing, oh, such a voice - like an angel - and you shall accompany her. Now, off you go - back to work - this is to be a great surprise for everyone”  “But - but who else is coming to lunch.” blurted Jenny.  Mrs. Lloyd stared at Jenny in mock surprise at the girl’s impenitence.  “Oh just some local gentry, said Mrs. Lloyd casually.  “And I would like you to change into your Sunday dress after lunch has been served.” “But the others” - gasped Jenny. Mrs. Penrose will have a fit.”  “Oh curse Penrose,” said Mrs. Lloyd crossly.  “Now off you go Jenny dear.” 

          Jenny left Mrs. Lloyd.  Her thoughts were in turmoil again. “The Canon! To play the piano in the Music Room while Laura Phillips sang! The Dr’s kiss on her knee, Sarah and David! Oh if she could talk to someone. If only she could confide in Clem and find out about Laura and the Dr. Mrs. Penrose will be so angry if I play the piano for the gentry ....” Her head spun with thoughts of the event to come.  Suddenly the front door bell startled her, knowing Mrs. Penrose would attend to the guests, Jenny peeped in the door, and there she saw Laura Phillips, her heart sank as she watched her entering the house.  She was young and very beautiful; her long dark hair cascaded out of her bonnet.  “Oh Edith dear, where’s William? I must see him immediately” she said in a friendly voice, loud enough for Jenny to hear quite clearly. “He’s in the Library Miss. Laura.” said Mrs. Penrose with a big smile as Laura rushed to the Library calling his name, whilst her mother chatted to Mrs. Lloyd who had appeared from the Morning Room.  Jenny felt distraught wishing she could go home.  From where she stood she could just she though the gap in the door of the Library Laura and the Doctor hugging each other, then held hands while Laura chatted non-stop to catch her breadth.  Before Jenny has time to react to what she saw the doorbell rang again.  Peeping again she could see it was Canon Richards, feeling confused and not thinking straight she ran into the hall, just as Mrs. Penrose let him in.  “Oh Canon Richards, I’m so pleased to see you.” shouted Jenny as tears swelled up in her eyes.  “Jenny, what do you think you’re doing?” Mrs. Penrose demanded to know.  “Leave her be for a while” said Mrs. Lloyd in a soft voice, touching Penrose on the shoulder.

           “Jen it is so nice to see you again dear child” said the Canon “Come on, I have a surprise outside for you.” added the Canon excitedly.  The Canon and Jenny went outside through the front door, while Mrs. Lloyd explained to Mrs. Penrose what was going on.  (More could be added here.)

           Jenny stood in disbelief at the sight she saw.  It was Edward her brother.  “Oh Edward” she shouted as she ran towards him, then jumped into his arms and Edward swung her round and round.  Edward was 19 years old and had just returned from Boer War.  He had grown into a handsome young man and had grown more than a foot in height, since Jenny last saw him, and very much a gentleman.  Jenny and Edward had so much to talk about.  Mrs. Lloyd allowed Jenny special time off her duties until her performances.  So Edward and Jenny both went for a stroll, to catch up on news.

          Meanwhile at the house, all the guests had arrived and the house was buzzing with life.  Like the former days.  Mrs. Penrose was quite surprised to hear about Jenny’s family and talents.  When Mrs. Lloyd told her of what was going.  Mrs. Penrose saw that Jenny was a special kind of girl. 

          Jenny as usual ended up in the garden with Clem, and introduced Edward to her favourite friend.  She told him about the performance she had to play.  “Needn’t worry about that me girl, once you sit down on that stroll, and touch those keys your fingers will do all the work.  Don’t worry your pretty little head” said Clem confidently.  Edward agreed, for he knew how she played.  “Oh Gosh, how long have we been chatting I must get back to work.  Come on Edward” shouted Jenny.  They ran out through the garden gate and ran hand in hand down the courtyard with Georgie squawking and flying behind them.  As they reached the back door Mrs. Penrose appeared “Where have you been” she said in a stern voice.  “Jenny froze and stared up at her, an unexpected smile came across Mrs. Penrose’s face “Come along chop chop you’ve got a performance to do, get up those stairs to get ready.  I’ll show Edward through to the Dining Room, now off you go” Jenny was surprised by Mrs. Penrose’s reaction towards her.  Jenny was half way up the stairs “Good Luck Jen you can do it” yelled Mary.  As she reached the top of the first flight of stairs she could hear sounds of happiness from the Library, where all the guests had gathered before dinner, in particular Laura Phillips giggly laughter.  Then her thoughts returned to playing the piano in front of the Doctor and the guests.  Finally she reached her bedroom, took out her Sunday best and sat on the bed deep in thought.  A knock on the door startled her. “C-come in” she said stuttering. It was Mrs. Penrose “Here, wear this, it was my mothers, you must look perfect for your performance” she smiled and left. Jenny stared at the beautiful shawl, the coloured silk was a perfect contrast to her dress and the ribbon she had in her hair.  Time flew by as she got ready.  She slowly came down the stairs feeling rather nervous, she came to the Gallery and could hear the laughter and gaiety coming from the Dining room downstairs, and the clanking of cutlery and the clinking of glasses, Duggins whispering his orders to Sarah and Mary in the hallway.  Jenny walked slowly and timidly into the Music Room, and closed the door tightly and began to practice.  The surroundings were strange to her because she had not ventured into the Music Room before.  A grand piano was not strange to her; she had played them often while her father repaired them in grand houses in Shrewsbury.  She began tinkering and was pleased to hear that it was in great tune, and grew very confident with it.  Jenny concentrated on a piece that was already on the music stand, she was so glad to be playing again all this time.  The Doctor had sneaked in the Music Room very quietly and stood near the door, listening to her with his eyes close, memories of Lucy came rushing back to him, and tears began to well up.  Eventually she stopped she sighed aloud, pleased with her achievements.  Then she heard clapping.  It startled her; she turned around and saw the Doctor. “Oh Sir I didn’t hear you come in.” she blushed.  The Dr. smiled and said that she played beautiful and tried not to show that he’d been crying.  He asked her to play something else for him, but not too long as the party might appear.  As she began playing he began stroking her long hair, which she never had down because of her work.  He stroked gently as the music continued.  He stood close to her and she feels his fingers caressing her long flowin

flowing hair against he neck.  As she came towards the final piece of music, he got closer still and had his hand on her shoulder and as she pressed the last note, she didn’t have a chance to look up, when he kissed her on the neck, she froze for a second in shock, then he kissed her gently on her mouth, then he stared deeply into her eyes.  Jenny stared back into his sad brown eyes.  He was about to kiss her again, when they heard loud laughter.  Laura was not too far away.  The party of guests must have begun to descend up the stairway to the Music Room.  The Dr. whispered “I’ll see you tonight.” and went to open the door to allow everybody into the Music Room.  Jenny smartened up and took a deep breadth.  Her stomach was all butterflies, not because of the performance, but of what had just happened and what of tonight!  Laura was the first to walk in “William darling where did you get to?” she said has she kissed him.  Jenny looked at her and wondered if anything was going on between them.

          All gathered into the room.  Edward and Canon Richards came over for a quick chat with Jenny to reassure her that all will go well.  She was quite happy to play now.  She glanced shyly at the Dr. as he was talking to Laura.  He noticed her looking and glanced back at her, he gave a nod and his brown eyes stared passionately at her.  She smiled back and her heart began beating faster.  “Now then Jenny are you already” asked Mrs. Lloyd.  Jenny jumped her thoughts were elsewhere.  She began playing while all the guests mingled together and chatted.  At last Jenny began to relax knowing that tonight she will be with William and not Laura.  As she played on she noticed Edward getting quite friendly with Laura.  The Dr. was sitting near the fireplace staring into the fireplace with the occasional lusting glances towards Jenny.  As she neared the end of a piece of music, she noticed Mrs. Lloyd hovering around her.  “You play beautiful Jenny.” said Mrs. Lloyd smiling.  Laura came over and began to talk to Jenny of what she wanted her to play.  “She seems nice enough.” thought Jenny.  “I shouldn’t have hated her on first sight.” They began playing and singing and everybody in the room stopped chatting and watched their performance, it was magical.  Laura’s voice was impeccable and complimented Jenny’s piano playing with excellence.  While the performance was going on, all the staff had gathered in the Gallery and stood near the Music Room door, listening they couldn’t believe that it was Jenny playing, even Clem had come to hear her music.  Mrs. Penrose must have been impressed to allow the staff to stand and listen.  “Another 5 minutes, then it’s back to work.” she said quietly.  “She’s doing a grand job.” she added.  They all agreed Sarah and Mary began dancing along the Gallery.  Clem leaned back on the banister enjoying every minute, with Georgie on his shoulder, giving the occasional squawk.  Millie felt quite jealous and left to go back to work.  “I haven’t got time to stand here and listen I’m off” she said as she stormed off.  Clem gave her a look of disgusted and said “Please your blooming self.”  5 minutes flew by “Come on girls back to work, Ed stop sliding down that banister, you’ll fall off one of these days” ordered Mrs. Penrose.  They all reluctantly obeyed and went back to work. 

          Back in the Music Room, the applause echoed, round the room when Jenny and Laura ended their performance.  Laura rushed over to Jenny and kissed her on the cheek.  “You were wonderful darling, we kept at pace all through, and we’d do a great team.”  Jenny looked surprised at Laura’s comments, and could barely muster a word.  William looked across the room at Jenny with a warm smile, and walked straight towards her “That was beautiful.”  He said as he squeezed her hand secretively. 

          That evening Jenny was back to her duties.  The evening meal in the Servants Hall was brimming with excitement while Sarah and Mary asked all sorts of questions about her performance and the gentry.  Millie was quite catty with her remarks but everybody ignored her, Jenny didn’t take much notice, she was deep in thought about this evening.  What did William mean see you tonight? when? where? And how could he possibly see him without anyone noticing.  Thoughts raced around in her head.  

          All the evenings work had been completed by 8.30pm.  Duggins was quite exhausted by now.  It had been a long day.  They had not had a dinner party at Nanteos for ages.  So Duggins felt quite chuffed with the days work.  He had just sat down in the Servants Hall with a glass of ale, to relax when the service bell rang.  “Is there no end to my day.” he sighed.  It was the Dining Room bell.  Duggins walked along the hallway into the Dining Room, he tapped at the door and entered.  The doctor was sitting all alone at the head of the freshly polished table.  “Duggins I want some cold meat, cheese, bread and a glass of ale, from the kitchen.  You can retire for the evening, get Jenny to bring it.” demanded the Dr.  Yes Dr.” replied Duggins. Jenny had just begun to ascend the stairs to bed, giving up on seeing William.  When Duggins entered the corridor from the Hallway “Jenny” he shouted “Not time for bed yet, Dr. needs a snack, meat, bread and cheese, and some ale, takes it for him he is in the Dining Room.”  Jenny sliced the meat unsteadily with the thought of her earlier encounter with William in the Music Room. She nervously knocked the Dining Room door and entered William was standing by the window.  He beckons Jenny over, the room was lowly lit and she could see his silhouette in the moonlight through the window.   He took the tray of food from her and placed it on the table nearby. He held her hands and stared at her in the light of the moonlight. Jenny stared back, her heart beating so fast she thought she’d faint.  “Oh Jen, Oh Jen, you are so beautiful, you must have been made for me.  Come on.  Come with me.”  Jenny tried to speak but before she could utter a word, he kissed her tenderly, and then opened the window.  William carried her through the window.  They walked along the lawn, as they walked past the Library window.  They stopped in a secluded place, and saw all the guests playing charades, laughter and shouts of joy could be heard.  Laura and Edward seemed to have made quite good friends thought Jenny to herself.  “Come on lets go, before they all see us”. William Said.

           They walked down the drive towards the lake. William guided Jenny, his hand lightly round her waist, into the turning where the lilacs were in bloom.  They followed the path in silence.  The smell of the lilacs was sweet and heavy in the air.  Jenny could see the white blossom in the moonlight.  Her heart raced.  She felt a little afraid, wondering what would happen.  William had already kissed her several times that eventful day - what if his intentions were less than honorable?  The silence between them made her uneasy but she felt attracted to the Doctor but she hardly knew him.  She tried desperately to think of something to say.  It was William who broke the silence “Isn’t Laura a beauty?” he asked.  Jenny’s heart beat faster.  “Why - yes, Sir, she is indeed!”  “Please, Jenny, call me William - there is no one here to hear us,” said William “Yes, Sir - er William.” Jenny answered.  “And what a voice,” continued William.  “She was Lucy’s dearest friend, you know.”  “Oh.” said Jenny. She couldn’t think of anything to say.  She did not want to be talking about Laura.  Again her head was full of questions about William’s feelings towards Laura. “I’m very fond of Laura.  It has been a long time since I’ve seen her.”  Jenny’s confusion increased and she felt flustered and embarrassed.  “Yes” said William “the last time I saw Laura was the saddest day of my life.” Jenny’s mind raced and she guessed that William had proposed to Laura and been rejected.  Her eyes began to smart with a sudden rush of tears.  They strolled on in silence again until they reached a bower that in a month’s time would be filled with the scent of roses.  William steered her gently to a stone bench set back amongst the rose bushes.  They sat down, there was a small gap between them Jenny looked down into her lap and the tears began to fall onto her dress. William was staring up at the moon, oblivious to Jenny’s emotion.  “Yes the last sight I had of Laura before this afternoon, was of her dropping a rose into Lucy’s grave.” said William sadly. Jenny lifted her head and stared at William.  There were tears running down his moonlit face and his eyes were closed.  “Oh Sir.” said Jenny softly, taking his hand. “Oh, William.”  His tears fell faster and he groped in his pocket for his handkerchief.  “So much sorrow.” said William.  “Sometimes I have felt that the pain of losing will never give me a moments rest.”  “But, Sir - William. Time will help to heal your pain.” said Jenny stroking his hand. “No”, hissed William.  “You don’t understand. Time will never heal the pain. I loved her. I loved her with every drop of blood in my veins.” he said fiercely.  William withdrew his hand from Jenny’s and reached inside his jacket and pulled out a silver flask that glinted in the moonlight.  Angrily, he unscrewed the top and lifted it to his lips took a long drink.  Then he thrust the flask at Jenny. She gave a little sob and shook her head.  “Drink” said William. “I’ll not drink alone tonight.”  Jenny’s shaking hand took the flask and she took a large swallow. The brandy burnt her throat and she gave a small gasp.  William put his hand under Jenny’s chin and turned her head to face him, he saw the tears.  “Oh, Jenny - Oh I am so sorry - I’ve made you cry.  Oh I am such a fool.  Have another sip - you will feel better.”  Jenny sipped cautiously.  The brandy warmed her insides.  William smiled at her. 

          “Today has been the first time that I’ve felt happy for a few moments - hearing you play, seeing you - strolling out on such a lovely night with you.”  Jenny smiled back “I must never speak cruelly to you again Jenny - Please forgive me, my beauty.” William implored.  Jenny said “There is nothing to forgive you for, William.” she held out the flask.  William took it, and drank again, a small sip.  Then he passed it back to her - “Drink.” he said.  Jenny drank. Then William kissed her on her fore head.  His lips lingered on her brow for a moment.  Then he stood up.  Taking her hands in his he gently pulled her to her feet. She felt a bit unsteady but William held her firmly gazing into her eyes.  “Come let us walk on to the lake.  We can sit by the boat house and you can tell me all about yourself.”  They walked on passing the flask back and fourth along the way.

           As they reached the lake they suddenly heard a loud giggle from inside the boathouse.  Abruptly they stopped and William put his fingers to his lips.  They crept on hand in hand.  Then they heard a loud lewd laugh, followed by more feminine giggling. Jenny was horrified as she recognized Sarah’s laugh and knew instantly that William was about to find her with David. Jenny pulled at William’s hand to try to stop him opening the door.  He turned and looked at her and she shook her head violently to signal to him not to proceed.  He stared at her, puzzled and then to Jenny’s surprise retreated.  They started to creep back away from the boathouse.  “They will see us together,” whispered Jenny.  William turned and looked back at the boathouse.  They could hear David’s low voice “Come on my girl, why so coy tonight?”  They could hear Sarah murmur something but couldn’t make out the words.  This was followed by more giggling and David’s voice, suddenly louder.  “I am not in the mood for games.”  Sarah murmured again. It sounded like she was protesting.  William hesitated - torn with indecision.  Then he wheeled round and dropping Jenny’s hand tu

turned and stepped again towards the boathouse.  His feet crunched on the gravel.  Suddenly he dropped the flask and it fell with a clatter. “Shhh!” Sarah’s voice”.  There was a sound of scuffling from inside the boathouse - then a loud clatter as something was knocked over inside.   “Darn.” explained David “Look what you have done!” William strode over to the boathouse. Jenny receded into the shrubbery, the twigs cracking under her feet.  There was a whooshing sound and a scream as William flung open the boathouse doors. Sarah stood in her undergarments clutching her dress.  David looked the Dr. and then ran past him out of the boathouse and up the path.  William stared at Sarah cowering at the back of the boathouse.  A kerosene lantern had been knocked over and flames were spreading across the boathouse floor, blocking Sarah’s exit.  William ran in, grabbed Sarah’s hand and yanked her out of the boathouse.  Then he snatched her dress from her and ran back into the boathouse and began beating the flames with her dress.  Sarah stood outside coughing and choking from the smoke.  William flung a small pail at her “Quick! water from the lake.”  Sarah grabbed the pail from the ground where it had landed and raced over to the lake filling the pail.  She ran back to the Dr., the water slopping down over her petticoats. The Doctor threw the water on the fire, which hissed.  “More.” he yelled thrusting the pail back at Sarah.  She ran again to the lake, coughing and gagging, filled the pail. Her skirts dragging in the shallow water.  Back she ran and the Dr., furiously beating the flames with Sarah’s now smoking dress, threw the second bucket of water over the flames. “Again - quickly” he shouted.  Sarah ran again but this time her legs got tangled in her wet petticoat and she fell to the gravel with a shriek the pail clattered down with her. 

          Jenny ran out from the shrubbery and grabbed the pail, filled it and ran back to William.  Sarah jumped to her feet starring after Jenny.  William threw the third pail of water over the last of the flames and another great wall of stem rose up.  William walked to the lake, ignoring Sarah as he passed her, refilled the pail and returning to the boathouse poured the contents onto the steaming floor.  This he repeated a number of times.  Sarah had begun to whimper and was shivering with cold.  Dark stains were appearing on her wet petticoat from her knee, which had been badly scrapped when she fell.  Jenny took Mrs. Penrose’s shawl and draped it round Sarah’s shoulders. Sarah’s whimper was getting louder and in a moment she was sobbing hysterically. “Stop that at once” snapped William. Sarah started to howl. William strode up to her and slapped Sarah hard across the cheek.  Sarah stopped howling. Jenny walked away, remembering the flask William had dropped.  She retrieved it and William held his hand out to take it from her.  He took the cap off and thrust the flask at Sarah who was shivering so much her teeth were rattling.  “Come on” said William as Sarah gulped down the brandy. “Back to the house immediately” the three of them trotted up the long path - Sarah slightly ahead of them with her wet white undergarments swishing and slapping against her legs. William’s long strides put him slightly ahead of Jenny and she hurried along behind them.  When the house came in sight, still brightly lit and full of the merriment of the guests, William caught up with Sarah and snatched her arm, wrenching it violently as he did so.  “Now you wicked girl - give me the shawl.” He took it from her shoulders.  The edges of it were damp.  He handed it back to Jenny. Sarah stared hard at Jenny while William spoke.  “Right.  It is round to the kitchen with you lass - we will sort you out in the morning.”  They walked round to the back of the house.  They could see Millie in the kitchen window busy at the sink.  Sarah looked pleadingly at the Doctor then at Jenny, then back to the Doctor.  “You are on your own lass - in you go.”  Sarah slunk off to the kitchen door and disappeared inside. “What the devil?” They heard Millie shout. William took Jenny’s hand and led her back round to the front of the house. They hovered outside a moment.  They could hear singing from inside, Laura’s sweet voice blending with Edward’s rich baritone and Canon’s tuneless bellowing.  They looked in the Drawing Room window and had to laugh as they saw Agatha and the Canon waltzing tipsily round the room, completely out of step with the music.  The solicitor (any other guests) was clapping his hands to the music and stomping his foot. 

          William took Jenny in his arms and kissed her and held her at arm’s length - “You’d best go in and go upstairs to

see what has happened to that little wench  I’d best return to my guests.”  “But - Sir - William! How shall I explain our being together at the lake?”  “You are not the one owing anyone an explanation.  You have not done anything wrong.  I simply required company on my moonlight stroll and you happened to be handy.  Now Goodnight.”  William said the words firmly. Jenny felt dismissal she turned and started up the steps.  “Sleep well, sweet angel.” said William. “And the same to you sir.” said Jenny.

               Jenny crept past the door of the Drawing room.   The guests were too busy enjoying themselves to have noticed in any case.  Jenny ran up the main staircase, down the corridor and up the servant’s stairs until she reached their room that she shared with Mary and Sarah.  Mary was lying in her bed, half asleep when Jenny entered the room. She had left several lights burning. Sarah had not retired yet. “Where have you been?” yawned Mary. “Oh, just finishing off some duties.” answered Jenny distractedly.  Where was Sarah still in the kitchen?  “Where’s Sarah.” yawned Mary “I -I don’t know.” said Jenny “Go back to sleep.”  Mary rolled over and went back to sleep, first murmuring half into the blankets “Yah smell funny.” Jenny knew she smelled of some from the fire.  She examined Mrs. P’s shawl in the lamplight it was still damp along the edges but it looked okay.  It did however smell of smoke.  Foolishly, she decided to hang it out the window overnight. Jenny undressed and climbed into bed. What a day! What a night.  How Edward had grown and changed!  To think he would be staying on for a while with the Canon.  She hoped she would be allowed plenty of time to talk with him. What would happen to Sarah and David? Would they be dismissed?!  She’d seen William show so many different emotions today.  What was he really like?  What would happen about the boathouse?

          Morning came within an instant of Jenny closing her eyes, exhaustedly she got up.  She had half an hour before her day began, still half asleep and the odour of the flames lingering, she decided that she needed to liven up pretty quickly. It was mid-summer and very warm that morning, so she took a stroll to the smaller lake at the back of the house. She dared her self to skinny-dip in the fresh clear water.  She took a towel with her and leaving her clothes on the branches, she slowly waded into the freezing water, but she soon grew accustomed to, luckily no one was around to see her nakedness - so she thought!  Feeling quite refreshed she strolled back into the kitchen, stopped off on the way at the laundry to drop off the wet towel. She walked into the kitchen just in time to lay the table for breakfast.  “What a commotion last night.” said Millie “God knows what you young uns get up to.”  Jenny blushed and stared at the breakfast table. “Luckily the Doctor was around to save you, both, what were you two up too?” Millie said, just as Sarah walked into the kitchen. Jenny and Sarah looked at each other, not knowing what to say.  “Where’s the milk Millie.”  Sarah said changing the subject hastily forgetting the previous question, Millie not realising Sarah’s over tiredness. Breakfast was very quiet.  Jenny and Sarah staring at their breakfast, not eating much. David was nowhere in sight.  Mary chatted non-stop not realising what had gone on last night.  The atmosphere was broken by a loud shrill and the back door slamming shut.  Mrs. Penrose stormed into the kitchen.  “Jenny Richards, what have you done, look at my shawl! Jack (the dog) has been sleeping on it all night by the looks of it.”  Jenny looked in alarm, she had forgotten about it.  Ed sniggered.  “Oh, gosh, it got damp last night and I put on the outside window sill.  It must have fallen off.” said Jenny.  “DAMP, DAMP how on earth did it get damp?” screamed Mrs. Penrose.  “I - I” Jenny stammered “No time for explanations, now come to my quarters at 11 o’clock after you’ve served the morning breakfast.” demanded Mrs. Penrose as she marched off.   Jenny and Sarah looked at each other again. Sarah got up and stormed out of the kitchen.  Jenny chased after her. “Sarah are you alright Jenny shouted, concerned. “No, I’m not” She snapped. What were you doing with the Doctor, I’m don e for now, and it’ll be down the road for me, to be sure.  The Doctor was so nasty.” said Sarah in tears.  “Don’t say that Sarah, I’m sure you’ll be alright its David he’s angry with.” said Jenny confidently.  Sarah was too worried to ask anymore, about Jenny and the Doctor. As they fretted about what was going to happen.  They saw the Doctor and Mrs. Penrose walking into her quarters discussing something quite seriously. 

          The morning dragged, it was laundry day, Sarah, Mary and Jenny were busy taking the dirty linen to the laundry room for Maggie to sort out.  Maggie lived in Penparcau and worked at Nanteos Monday and Thursday, and other large houses in the area the rest of the week.  She knew all the gossip.  Jenny had pleaded with Maggie to clean the silk shawl.  Maggie being an expert had washed it special, and was already hanging on the washing line drying in the mid-summer breeze looking like new.  “It will be dry by eleven for you Jenny.”  she said “Poor old dog must have had nightmares sleeping on Edith’s old shawl.” she added.  Jenny thought it too serious a matter to laugh.

          Five to eleven Jenny ran across to the courtyard and raced up the steps to the laundry to fetch the shawl from Maggie.  “Oh Maggie how can I ever repay you, you’ve done a grand job.” said Jenny delighted.  “Never mind repaying me, just you sort out that Edith out, she has a kind heart, so don’t worry too much, now off you go” said Maggie.  Jenny ran back through the courtyard and up the corridor past the Billiard Room to the Housekeepers Quarters. She knocked timidly.  “ENTER” Mrs. Penrose boomed.  Jenny slowly opened the door and walked in.  Mrs. Penrose stood near the fireplace and ordered Jenny to sit down on the chair near the window. Jenny sat down without hesitation. Mrs. Penrose paused for a while unsure of what to say.  Jenny sat not knowing what to expect, gazed around the room, looking at all the curiosities that she had in her quarters, her bedroom door was open and she saw her pristine bed made, and her night dress neatly folded on a chair near by. In the room where she was sitting, she was surrounded with Penrose’s belongings, framed photographs of family and friends, books on the shelf, her Bible and sewing box on the table. Sitting there in the middle of Penrose’s surroundings, she saw her in a different light as a real human being, not a domineering battle-axe.  “Now then Jenny” she said unexpectedly, Jenny jumped and looked coyly at Mrs. Penrose.  “I just don’t know what to think.  You have been here six months.  Mind you, I didn’t think you’d last six days.” Jenny politely interrupted by holding up the shawl to her “Ma’am I have your shawl, it has been cleared” Mrs. Penrose took it from her and gave it a thorough inspection “My, you have done a great job it’s like new, you’ve even got rid of the stain that has been there for years.” Jenny smiled, Mrs. Penrose forgetting herself and the situation thanked her, then realising stiffened up and began to preach.  Jenny sat there half listening while wondering what William and Mrs. Penrose had discussed so seriously. With that she noticed William walking past the window with David lagging behind, probably off down the lake to see the damage thought Jenny to herself.  Penrose still babbled on “now the Doctor said ......” Jenny’s stomach tingled at the sound of the word ‘Doctor’.  Mrs. Penrose continued “Sarah was the blame for getting the shawl damp, but I’m not blaming her, because if it wasn’t for David none of this would have happened, so I’ve decided to forget all about it. The Doctor is dealing with David.  Jenny felt relieved at what Mrs. Penrose has said “Now then my girl get back to work, Sarah and Mary are cleaning the Blue Room for Canon Richards, so make your way up there and send Sarah down to me.” ordered Mrs. Penrose, just as Jenny noticed David walking past again but this time with a wheel barrow full of tools and planks of wood.  They must have returned on the back drive, thought Jenny. Jenny left the room and raced upstairs into the Blue Room.  In panic she ran in shouting “Sarah, Sarah, Penrose wants you NOW, quickly, don’t keep her waiting.”  A look of horror came across Sarah’s face “Oh my God, it’s down the road for me, I told you.”  She said nearly in tears. “No it’s not.” insisted Jenny, “Now off you go.”  Jenny and Mary heard Sarah tearing down the back stairs.  “Look out if she meets someone on those stairs, she’ll run them over.” giggled Jenny.  Jenny gazed out of the window looking towards the lake; she could just see David repairing the boathouse.  She looked at the horses grazing in the front fields in the hot sun.  “I’d better get on and do something.” she said to Mary as she turned towards her and noticed that Mary was on hands and knees, and her head at an angle. “Mary, what are you ........”  “Shhh.” said Mary sharply. “The Housekeepers Quarters are just below us, I can’t hear talking, but I can hear Sarah crying.” whispered Mary.  Jenny got down on her knees as well and listened.  “Yes I can hear.” she said “Oh goodness perhaps she is dismissing her, Oh Mary.” said Jenny in alarm. 

          They completed Canon Richards room and went on to do Edward’s room.  Dinnertime came quickly but no sign of Sarah. Where was she? they were too scared to ask.  By teatime she appeared as if nothing had happened, though you could see the redness of her eyes.  “Sarah what happened?” asked Jenny inquisitively.  Sarah replied “Nothing” calmly, but the look on her face said something else. “Don’t be like that, Sarah.”  said Jenny gently.  Sarah snapped back saying that she wanted to be left alone.

          Duggins had to go and pick up an order of wine and spirits from ‘Watkins’, Terrace Road in town and asked Jenny to go with him and to call in ‘Owens’ the bakery in the same street for some fresh pastries for this evening. David had prepared the dogcart for Duggins and Duggins had driven it down to the courtyard.  Jenny jump on and off they set, trotting through the tall trees, down the back drive, they came out at the Lodge. Duggins waved at Tom, who was tendering to his small garden at the front of his home. Duggins told Jenny that Tom worked occasionally at the Nanteos saw mills.  “He’s there when needed but other than that he is the gate keeper.  He keeps strangers out.” 

          They reached Rhyd-y-farian.  Duggins pointed to the house as they rode by “You won’t believe who lives there!”  Jenny looked wide-eyed at Duggins as he paused.  “Now, don’t tell a sole, especially those giggly girls, everyone knows, but we don’t talk of it, in case the Doctor hears, Well ....!” Jenny listened intently “...the Doctor’s parents live there. They moved out of Nanteos, a few years ago, before Lucy died.  Old Thomas Powell had retired from Parliament, so he moved out of Nanteos for the Doctor to take over the Estate.  But since Lucy’s death they have washed their hands of William their dear son. His behaviour got so bad they couldn’t take any more. I can’t tell you when they come to he house last.”  Jenny looked shocked at what Duggins had said. 

          They came to the end of the drive onto the main road to Aberystwyth and within 5 minutes they were in town.  Jenny was still in shock about William’s parents and wondered what the family feud entailed.

          It was Jenny’s first trip to town, other than when she got off the train at the station 6 months ago. 

          They arrived in Terrace Road, Duggins went into ‘Watkins’, ‘Owens’ was just opposite, Duggins grabbed her arm and helped Jenny down from the cart and said “Get two extra cream buns, and we can have a treat on the way home, don’t worry they won’t notice the account is not paid until the end of the month.” Jenny smiled and rushed across the road, before a carriage approached.  Once inside ‘Owens’, she took a walk around before ordering, looking at all the different pastries and cakes.  The shelves were stacked with large jars, containing biscuits, fruit jellies, jams, blocks of chocolate, and delicacies from overseas.  A young assistant came up to her asking if she wanted something in particular.  Jenny handed over the list, the assistant smiled and said “Oh Nanteos, where’s Edith today then.” Jenny just smiled shyly.  Within 2 minutes, she returned to the cart with her basket laden with pastries, cakes and lemons for Millie, plus the 2 extra buns.  Duggins was already sitting, waiting in the cart, which was bulging with bottles and crates of wines.  “Come on lass, jump on.” said Duggins quite cheerful, and off they went back home, once they’d passed the Tollgate in Penparcau. “Hold the reins lass.” asked Duggins as he fumbled in his pocket for his bottle opener, and then he reached for his bottle of stout, he’d bought.  “Thanks lass, now where’s those buns.” said Duggins with a grin. They both tucked into their treats and shared the bottle of stout.  Jenny wasn’t keen on the ale, but didn’t want to be a fuddy-duddy.  They’d had their fill by the time they reached the drive. As they drove past Rhyd-y-firian Jenny couldn’t help but think about what Duggins had told her.  She stared at the house and in the corner of her eye, she noticed Mrs. Agatha Lloyd walking out of the front door, she quickly looked back, and saw no-one, thinking it was her imagination, then forgot about it.

          They arrived back at the house in time to prepare the Dining Room for dinner, Sarah still in her mood.  Mrs. Lloyd had returned from her ‘walk’ and insisted that Jenny had tomorrow off work to spend with Edward. This pleased her, she wanted some time with Edward, but wondered was Mrs. Lloyd at Rhyd-y-firian?  She must have been if she has just returned from a walk, to time span would have given her enough time to return. 

          After the days work had finished Jenny feeling rather hot and tired went out to the dark courtyard, for some fresh air. She had been there 5 minutes thinking of her day with Edward tomorrow.  Then she heard a whistle, she looked around startled, but in the darkness couldn’t see anyone, and she slowly got up and began to make her way inside, thinking it could be David.  “Jenny, Jenny.” she heard, she stopped dead in her tracks, she recognised the voice, and it was William. She looked around the yard trying to see where he was.  The, in the light from the kitchen window, she noticed his tall, strong body standing in the corner of the yard, near the steps to the Diary. His arm out stretched beckoning her over.  She calmly but excitedly walked over, and practically fell into his arms.  “Oh, Jenny, how are you, how I’ve longed to be with you, I’ve thought of nothing all day, except you.” he said longingly as he held her tightly in his arms, and then kissed her passionately. Jenny froze and thought she was going to melt in his arms. Breathlessly she pushed him away, before she fainted from lack of breadth.  “Oh, William” she managed to say as she tried to catch her breadth.  Holding each other tightly, they heard the back door open.  Millie appeared probably waiting for John, Jenny and William hid behind the Game Larder, so they wouldn’t be seen.  John arrived and he and Millie walked into the house.  Jenny thought that she better go in before they reappear to go home. “I must go in now, William; I don’t want Millie and John catching me out here.”  “All right then my love.” said William lovingly as he pecked her on the cheek, still holding her tightly in his arms.  “Oh, Jenny you’re so beautiful, next time you go for an early morning swim, please can I come with you.” pleaded William. So embarrassed, she pushed him away and ran inside, feeling terrible for doing such a thing.  “I daren’t sow my face again.” she thought as she ran up the back stairs, not daring to tell a sole about what she had done.  The horror of the thought - the idea of the Doctor’s hungry eyes feasting on her naked body while she washed in the lake.  It was too awful to contemplate, where had he been hiding. Oh! The thought of it made Jenny feel ill with shame. She reached her room and found it empty.  Sarah and Mary were still downstairs.  She threw herself down on her bed and hid her face in the pillow.  Over the past few days Jenny felt heady with excitement of William’s attention, she had begun to dare hope that he really did care for her.  But now! His animal nature had shone through. Why he was no better than David! If only she’d never come to Nanteos - if only she could leave!  At that moment there was a loud knock on the door.  Jenny jumped to her feet.  A voice called “Jenny - you in there?”  It was Edward.  Jenny ran to the door, threw it open and fell into Edward’s arms.  “Steady on, Jen!” Edward laughed.  Edward peered into the room and seeing they could be alone he pulled Jenny back into the room and shut the door. They sat by the window.  “So Jen, alone at last, I’ve so much to tell you about my adventures in the Transvaal, but then we will have plenty of time to talk from now on.”  Jenny looked at Edward in wonder.  Was he staying on at Nanteos?  “Jen I’m leaving the day after tomorrow and you are coming with me.” Jenny’s heart leapt with excitement.  But then, remembering her position and her family’s reliance on her income, her hopes quickly fell again.  “Jen, we are rich now.  I am rich, you are rich - the whole family is rich!”  Jenny’s mouth fell open.  And she looked at Edward.  He was grinning from ear to ear.  “Oh don’t tease me Edward.” she said looking down. “It is true Jenny.  Haven’t you heard about gold being discovered in the Transvaal?”  Jenny knew nothing about the Transvaal. “It’s true Jen! I’ve found lots - I made a fortune and I’ve brought it all back.  And my sister will have her own maids now.  No more scrubbing for you!” Jenny looked at Edward again and saw he was not fooling.  “We leave the day after tomorrow.  Start thinking of what dresses and shawls and finery you would like - we are going shopping on the way home!” Jenny jumped up and hugged Edward. They laughed and giggled together.  Then Jenny fell silent.  “What’s wrong?” asked Edward.  “But how shall I tell Penrose - and Mrs. Lloyd - and the Doctor? They will all be furious!” Jenny said.  “I’ve spoken to

them.  Penrose said she was very sad at the thought of losing you.” “And Mrs. Lloyd - and Wil... the Doctor?” asked Jenny. “They didn’t say a word” laughed Edward. “They just sat there staring at each other. Then Mrs. Lloyd got up, barged the floor with her stick and said ‘William I want a word with you at once - in the Library’. Then she stormed out of the room and the Doctor went after her, giving me the strangest look over his shoulder.” “When did you tell them?” asked Jenny   “Just now.” giggled Edward. “So I rushed upstairs to tell you.  But now I’ve got to rush back again.  I promised the Canon a game of billiards.” Edward looked at Jenny. “So my dear - you can put all this behind you.  I’m going to buy us all a big house in Shrewsbury and you can help me chose.” He embraced Jenny again, kissed her on the forehead and turned towards the door. “Oh Edward! What a surprise. Are we really rich?” Jenny asked. “So rich, Jen we could buy this place, if we actually wanted it! Now good night. Go to sleep and dream of the prettiest dresses in the world - they will all be yours!”  With that he left, closing the door softly behind him.  Jenny stood in the middle of the room - hardly believing what she had heard. Rich!, Rich!, Rich!.  She jumped up and down and then spun round and round until she collapsed dizzily on to her bed.  But to leave Nanteos! to leave Clem and Ed and Mary and Sarah - even Mrs. Penrose.  She thought of cook and grimaced. She would not miss Millie! And Mrs. Lloyd. The woman had always been kind to her.  Then she thought of William.  Never to see him again! William with his fervent kisses.  Then she remembered he’d seen her in the lake. He was so lecherous.  How could she have mistaken his kisses for true affection! She would try to leave without saying goodbye. 

          Jenny was too excited to sleep.  She wondered where Mary and Sarah had got too. She decided she would break the rules and go outside for a scroll in the summer night.  She crept down the stairs and slipped into the night.  Jenny strolled round the back of the house aimlessly, following the contours of the building.  Eventually she found herself nearing the Library windows, which were open.  She knew it was wrong to creep any closer.  She could her Mrs. Lloyd’s angry voice but she couldn’t make out the words. She remembered her father’s words, “People who eavesdrop near here good of themselves”.  She crept forward keeping to the shrubbery “William you’ve wasted your opportunity, to save this house from ruin.  All my careful planning has come to nought.” snapped Mrs. Lloyd. William muttered something but his voice was too low for Jenny to hear.  “You’ve wasted the weeks that girl has been here, out drinking, wenching and lord knows what.  You wouldn’t even look at her until she collided into you the other morning.” “I did not wish to be bought.” snarled William suddenly audible.  “There are times in life when one has to make scarifies, William it is time you grew up and faced facts.  If you are ever to mend bridges with my brother you will have to start assuming responsibilities for Nanteos.”  Agatha continued “Couldn’t you just have made the effort? The girl is not unattractive.”  Jenny was horrified at what she was hearing. Agatha Lloyd had only been pretending to like her!  It was Edward’s money she was after!  Then she heard William say “How was I to know there was a time limit.”   “William. You have wasted enough time for six men.  Why, Oh! Why have I been cursed with such a fool for a nephew?”  Jenny crept closer and knelt by the window peering in.  William was pouring himself a brandy.  He offered Agatha a glass and she too accepted.  William drank his glass and poured another.  “I have wasted time and now it is too late.” Agatha glared at William.  William continued, “You will be surprised, Aunt, but I think I have fallen in love with the girl.”  Jenny’s cheeks burned.  “Oh don’t be so stupid, William of course you are not in love.  I didn’t expect you to fall in love with the girl.”  “But it is true, I have” said William firmly. “Of course it started out as a joke.  I only meant to have a bit of sport with her - but now - I think I love her.”  Well William - you are a bigger fool than I thought.” “Aunt, we have to make her stay - I have to have the chance to make her love Me.” said William. “You come up with a plan then, you fool. I’m tired of laying plans only to have you bumble them up.” snapped Agatha.  They were quite for a moment.  William finished his drink and poured another. “That’s right, drown your sorrows.” said Agatha.  “It’s the only way you are able to cope.”  “I’ve just thought” said William.  “Oh Yes?” asked Agatha suspiciously. “You could have one of your funny turns - er - well you know - you could pretend to be ill - and you could ask - beg Jenny to stay to look after you.” suggested William hopefully.  Agatha laughed a cruel laugh.  “Oh Sure, William, A girl, suddenly rich beyond her wildest dreams will really want to stay to play nursemaid to an old widow.  Brilliant William! Your genius astounds me. Agatha’s sarcasm was cutting.  William said “But I told you.  I think I live the girl.”  “Think? Think? Thinking is something you are incapable of.” hissed Agatha. “You’d better come up with something cleverer than that.  You’ve only got one day left.  They fell silent again.  Jenny began to fell stiff from kneeling and stood up. She lost her balance and half fell into the prickly shrubbery.  She gave a small gasp. “What the dickens.” said Agatha jumping to her feet and headed for the window. 

them.  Penrose said she was very sad at the thought of losing you.” “And Mrs. Lloyd - and Wil... the Doctor?” asked Jenny. “They didn’t say a word” laughed Edward. “They just sat there staring at each other. Then Mrs. Lloyd got up, barged the floor with her stick and said ‘William I want a word with you at once - in the Library’. Then she stormed out of the room and the Doctor went after her, giving me the strangest look over his shoulder.” “When did you tell them?” asked Jenny   “Just now.” giggled Edward. “So I rushed upstairs to tell you.  But now I’ve got to rush back again.  I promised the Canon a game of billiards.” Edward looked at Jenny. “So my dear - you can put all this behind you.  I’m going to buy us all a big house in Shrewsbury and you can help me chose.” He embraced Jenny again, kissed her on the forehead and turned towards the door. “Oh Edward! What a surprise. Are we really rich?” Jenny asked. “So rich, Jen we could buy this place, if we actually wanted it! Now good night. Go to sleep and dream of the prettiest dresses in the world - they will all be yours!”  With that he left, closing the door softly behind him.  Jenny stood in the middle of the room - hardly believing what she had heard. Rich!, Rich!, Rich!.  She jumped up and down and then spun round and round until she collapsed dizzily on to her bed.  But to leave Nanteos! to leave Clem and Ed and Mary and Sarah - even Mrs. Penrose.  She thought of cook and grimaced. She would not miss Millie! And Mrs. Lloyd. The woman had always been kind to her.  Then she thought of William.  Never to see him again! William with his fervent kisses.  Then she remembered he’d seen her in the lake. He was so lecherous.  How could she have mistaken his kisses for true affection! She would try to leave without saying goodbye. 

          Jenny was too excited to sleep.  She wondered where Mary and Sarah had got too. She decided she would break the rules and go outside for a scroll in the summer night.  She crept down the stairs and slipped into the night.  Jenny strolled round the back of the house aimlessly, following the contours of the building.  Eventually she found herself nearing the Library windows, which were open.  She knew it was wrong to creep any closer.  She could her Mrs. Lloyd’s angry voice but she couldn’t make out the words. She remembered her father’s words, “People who eavesdrop near here good of themselves”.  She crept forward keeping to the shrubbery “William you’ve wasted your opportunity, to save this house from ruin.  All my careful planning has come to nought.” snapped Mrs. Lloyd. William muttered something but his voice was too low for Jenny to hear.  “You’ve wasted the weeks that girl has been here, out drinking, wenching and lord knows what.  You wouldn’t even look at her until she collided into you the other morning.” “I did not wish to be bought.” snarled William suddenly audible.  “There are times in life when one has to make scarifies, William it is time you grew up and faced facts.  If you are ever to mend bridges with my brother you will have to start assuming responsibilities for Nanteos.”  Agatha continued “Couldn’t you just have made the effort? The girl is not unattractive.”  Jenny was horrified at what she was hearing. Agatha Lloyd had only been pretending to like her!  It was Edward’s money she was after!  Then she heard William say “How was I to know there was a time limit.”   “William. You have wasted enough time for six men.  Why, Oh! Why have I been cursed with such a fool for a nephew?”  Jenny crept closer and knelt by the window peering in.  William was pouring himself a brandy.  He offered Agatha a glass and she too accepted.  William drank his glass and poured another.  “I have wasted time and now it is too late.” Agatha glared at William.  William continued, “You will be surprised, Aunt, but I think I have fallen in love with the girl.”  Jenny’s cheeks burned.  “Oh don’t be so stupid, William of course you are not in love.  I didn’t expect you to fall in love with the girl.”  “But it is true, I have” said William firmly. “Of course it started out as a joke.  I only meant to have a bit of sport with her - but now - I think I love her.”  Well William - you are a bigger fool than I thought.” “Aunt, we have to make her stay - I have to have the chance to make her love Me.” said William. “You come up with a plan then, you fool. I’m tired of laying plans only to have you bumble them up.” snapped Agatha.  They were quite for a moment.  William finished his drink and poured another. “That’s right, drown your sorrows.” said Agatha.  “It’s the only way you are able to cope.”  “I’ve just thought” said William.  “Oh Yes?” asked Agatha suspiciously. “You could have one of your funny turns - er - well you know - you could pretend to be ill - and you could ask - beg Jenny to stay to look after you.” suggested William hopefully.  Agatha laughed a cruel laugh.  “Oh Sure, William, A girl, suddenly rich beyond her wildest dreams will really want to stay to play nursemaid to an old widow.  Brilliant William! Your genius astounds me. Agatha’s sarcasm was cutting.  William said “But I told you.  I think I live the girl.”  “Think? Think? Thinking is something you are incapable of.” hissed Agatha. “You’d better come up with something cleverer than that.  You’ve only got one day left.  They fell silent again.  Jenny began to fell stiff from kneeling and stood up. She lost her balance and half fell into the prickly shrubbery.  She gave a small gasp. “What the dickens.” said Agatha jumping to her feet and headed for the window. 

them.  Penrose said she was very sad at the thought of losing you.” “And Mrs. Lloyd - and Wil... the Doctor?” asked Jenny. “They didn’t say a word” laughed Edward. “They just sat there staring at each other. Then Mrs. Lloyd got up, barged the floor with her stick and said ‘William I want a word with you at once - in the Library’. Then she stormed out of the room and the Doctor went after her, giving me the strangest look over his shoulder.” “When did you tell them?” asked Jenny   “Just now.” giggled Edward. “So I rushed upstairs to tell you.  But now I’ve got to rush back again.  I promised the Canon a game of billiards.” Edward looked at Jenny. “So my dear - you can put all this behind you.  I’m going to buy us all a big house in Shrewsbury and you can help me chose.” He embraced Jenny again, kissed her on the forehead and turned towards the door. “Oh Edward! What a surprise. Are we really rich?” Jenny asked. “So rich, Jen we could buy this place, if we actually wanted it! Now good night. Go to sleep and dream of the prettiest dresses in the world - they will all be yours!”  With that he left, closing the door softly behind him.  Jenny stood in the middle of the room - hardly believing what she had heard. Rich!, Rich!, Rich!.  She jumped up and down and then spun round and round until she collapsed dizzily on to her bed.  But to leave Nanteos! to leave Clem and Ed and Mary and Sarah - even Mrs. Penrose.  She thought of cook and grimaced. She would not miss Millie! And Mrs. Lloyd. The woman had always been kind to her.  Then she thought of William.  Never to see him again! William with his fervent kisses.  Then she remembered he’d seen her in the lake. He was so lecherous.  How could she have mistaken his kisses for true affection! She would try to leave without saying goodbye. 

          Jenny was too excited to sleep.  She wondered where Mary and Sarah had got too. She decided she would break the rules and go outside for a scroll in the summer night.  She crept down the stairs and slipped into the night.  Jenny strolled round the back of the house aimlessly, following the contours of the building.  Eventually she found herself nearing the Library windows, which were open.  She knew it was wrong to creep any closer.  She could her Mrs. Lloyd’s angry voice but she couldn’t make out the words. She remembered her father’s words, “People who eavesdrop near here good of themselves”.  She crept forward keeping to the shrubbery “William you’ve wasted your opportunity, to save this house from ruin.  All my careful planning has come to nought.” snapped Mrs. Lloyd. William muttered something but his voice was too low for Jenny to hear.  “You’ve wasted the weeks that girl has been here, out drinking, wenching and lord knows what.  You wouldn’t even look at her until she collided into you the other morning.” “I did not wish to be bought.” snarled William suddenly audible.  “There are times in life when one has to make scarifies, William it is time you grew up and faced facts.  If you are ever to mend bridges with my brother you will have to start assuming responsibilities for Nanteos.”  Agatha continued “Couldn’t you just have made the effort? The girl is not unattractive.”  Jenny was horrified at what she was hearing. Agatha Lloyd had only been pretending to like her!  It was Edward’s money she was after!  Then she heard William say “How was I to know there was a time limit.”   “William. You have wasted enough time for six men.  Why, Oh! Why have I been cursed with such a fool for a nephew?”  Jenny crept closer and knelt by the window peering in.  William was pouring himself a brandy.  He offered Agatha a glass and she too accepted.  William drank his glass and poured another.  “I have wasted time and now it is too late.” Agatha glared at William.  William continued, “You will be surprised, Aunt, but I think I have fallen in love with the girl.”  Jenny’s cheeks burned.  “Oh don’t be so stupid, William of course you are not in love.  I didn’t expect you to fall in love with the girl.”  “But it is true, I have” said William firmly. “Of course it started out as a joke.  I only meant to have a bit of sport with her - but now - I think I love her.”  Well William - you are a bigger fool than I thought.” “Aunt, we have to make her stay - I have to have the chance to make her love Me.” said William. “You come up with a plan then, you fool. I’m tired of laying plans only to have you bumble them up.” snapped Agatha.  They were quite for a moment.  William finished his drink and poured another. “That’s right, drown your sorrows.” said Agatha.  “It’s the only way you are able to cope.”  “I’ve just thought” said William.  “Oh Yes?” asked Agatha suspiciously. “You could have one of your funny turns - er - well you know - you could pretend to be ill - and you could ask - beg Jenny to stay to look after you.” suggested William hopefully.  Agatha laughed a cruel laugh.  “Oh Sure, William, A girl, suddenly rich beyond her wildest dreams will really want to stay to play nursemaid to an old widow.  Brilliant William! Your genius astounds me. Agatha’s sarcasm was cutting.  William said “But I told you.  I think I live the girl.”  “Think? Think? Thinking is something you are incapable of.” hissed Agatha. “You’d better come up with something cleverer than that.  You’ve only got one day left.  They fell silent again.  Jenny began to fell stiff from kneeling and stood up. She lost her balance and half fell into the prickly shrubbery.  She gave a small gasp. “What the dickens.” said Agatha jumping to her feet and headed for the window. 

Just at that moment a piercing shriek filled the air.  William leaped to his feet as well.  Another scream followed, louder and longer than the one before.  William and Agatha ran out of the Library and followed the sound.  Jenny ran back round the house, in though the kitchen.  She could hear a great commotion in the hall and she followed the sound. As she reached the servant’s staircase.  She too uttered a small scream.  Sarah lay at the bottom of the stairs in a heap, a patch of blood spreading from her skirts. Agatha and William stood with their mouths open.  At that moment Mary came running down the stairs towards Sarah, howling her heart out. “She ...She tripped on the top step.” Mary yelled in a shaky voice and ran down the last couple of steps to Sarah’s side, where she lay unconscious.  “Quickly Doctor take her stairs, she’s bleeding heavy.” demanded Jenny.  Then with no hesitation took Sarah in his arms and steadily took her upstairs to her room.  Mary followed very concerned.  Mrs. Lloyd tutted and walked away, not a care in the world.  Jenny looked at her in disgust. “Mrs. Lloyd how dare you walk away.” shouted Jenny “Sarah might have serious injuries.  Please have the decency to care for your staff.” continued Jenny.  “How dare you speak to me like that girl? Who on earth do you think you are.” said Mrs. Lloyd glaring at Jenny. Jenny snapped back in a voice of authority.  “Ma’am you may not care for your staff, but I do and I am going over your head to summons a physician to attend to Sarah, before she bleeds to death.” Jenny continued up the stairs and left Mrs. Lloyd in the hallway speechless.

          Within the next hour Jenny had returned with the long bearded physician with small spectacles perched on his nose, and took him straight to Sarah.  While Jenny sat at the bottom of the stairs of the Servants Quarters, nervously wondering what was wrong with Sarah and worried what she had heard through the Library window. She heard footsteps, thinking it was the physician, Jenny stood in anticipation for his diagnosis at the bottom step. She froze when she realised it was William. She back away.  “Jenny do not run away, I must talk with you.”  William pleaded. “No, No.” Jenny shouted backing away. “Jenny you must listen I was not spying on you at the lake.  I was out early for a horse ride around the Estate and coming down the back bridle path noticed you. Jenny you’re so beautiful I could only but stare.  I am so sorry Jenny; I was surprised that you didn’t see me.”  Jenny just stared not knowing what to say, within an instant the physician appeared at the top of the stair, from Sarah’s room.  Jenny ran up a few steps towards him, ignoring William.  “Doctor, is she alright?” she asked impatiently. “She’s miscarried.  Plenty of rest she should be fine in a week or two.  Jenny was surprised that she was pregnant, but drew a sigh of relief that she’d be okay.  “Thank you Doctor, I will take you back to Trefechan, the cart is outside.” said Jenny. “No” interrupted William, “I’ll take you back, it’s the lease I can do.” Jenny looked at William shyly and thanked him.  They left. 

Just at that moment a piercing shriek filled the air.  William leaped to his feet as well.  Another scream followed, louder and longer than the one before.  William and Agatha ran out of the Library and followed the sound.  Jenny ran back round the house, in though the kitchen.  She could hear a great commotion in the hall and she followed the sound. As she reached the servant’s staircase.  She too uttered a small scream.  Sarah lay at the bottom of the stairs in a heap, a patch of blood spreading from her skirts. Agatha and William stood with their mouths open.  At that moment Mary came running down the stairs towards Sarah, howling her heart out. “She ...She tripped on the top step.” Mary yelled in a shaky voice and ran down the last couple of steps to Sarah’s side, where she lay unconscious.  “Quickly Doctor take her stairs, she’s bleeding heavy.” demanded Jenny.  Then with no hesitation took Sarah in his arms and steadily took her upstairs to her room.  Mary followed very concerned.  Mrs. Lloyd tutted and walked away, not a care in the world.  Jenny looked at her in disgust. “Mrs. Lloyd how dare you walk away.” shouted Jenny “Sarah might have serious injuries.  Please have the decency to care for your staff.” continued Jenny.  “How dare you speak to me like that girl? Who on earth do you think you are.” said Mrs. Lloyd glaring at Jenny. Jenny snapped back in a voice of authority.  “Ma’am you may not care for your staff, but I do and I am going over your head to summons a physician to attend to Sarah, before she bleeds to death.” Jenny continued up the stairs and left Mrs. Lloyd in the hallway speechless.

          Within the next hour Jenny had returned with the long bearded physician with small spectacles perched on his nose, and took him straight to Sarah.  While Jenny sat at the bottom of the stairs of the Servants Quarters, nervously wondering what was wrong with Sarah and worried what she had heard through the Library window. She heard footsteps, thinking it was the physician, Jenny stood in anticipation for his diagnosis at the bottom step. She froze when she realised it was William. She back away.  “Jenny do not run away, I must talk with you.”  William pleaded. “No, No.” Jenny shouted backing away. “Jenny you must listen I was not spying on you at the lake.  I was out early for a horse ride around the Estate and coming down the back bridle path noticed you. Jenny you’re so beautiful I could only but stare.  I am so sorry Jenny; I was surprised that you didn’t see me.”  Jenny just stared not knowing what to say, within an instant the physician appeared at the top of the stair, from Sarah’s room.  Jenny ran up a few steps towards him, ignoring William.  “Doctor, is she alright?” she asked impatiently. “She’s miscarried.  Plenty of rest she should be fine in a week or two.  Jenny was surprised that she was pregnant, but drew a sigh of relief that she’d be okay.  “Thank you Doctor, I will take you back to Trefechan, the cart is outside.” said Jenny. “No” interrupted William, “I’ll take you back, it’s the lease I can do.” Jenny looked at William shyly and thanked him.  They left. 

Just at that moment a piercing shriek filled the air.  William leaped to his feet as well.  Another scream followed, louder and longer than the one before.  William and Agatha ran out of the Library and followed the sound.  Jenny ran back round the house, in though the kitchen.  She could hear a great commotion in the hall and she followed the sound. As she reached the servant’s staircase.  She too uttered a small scream.  Sarah lay at the bottom of the stairs in a heap, a patch of blood spreading from her skirts. Agatha and William stood with their mouths open.  At that moment Mary came running down the stairs towards Sarah, howling her heart out. “She ...She tripped on the top step.” Mary yelled in a shaky voice and ran down the last couple of steps to Sarah’s side, where she lay unconscious.  “Quickly Doctor take her stairs, she’s bleeding heavy.” demanded Jenny.  Then with no hesitation took Sarah in his arms and steadily took her upstairs to her room.  Mary followed very concerned.  Mrs. Lloyd tutted and walked away, not a care in the world.  Jenny looked at her in disgust. “Mrs. Lloyd how dare you walk away.” shouted Jenny “Sarah might have serious injuries.  Please have the decency to care for your staff.” continued Jenny.  “How dare you speak to me like that girl? Who on earth do you think you are.” said Mrs. Lloyd glaring at Jenny. Jenny snapped back in a voice of authority.  “Ma’am you may not care for your staff, but I do and I am going over your head to summons a physician to attend to Sarah, before she bleeds to death.” Jenny continued up the stairs and left Mrs. Lloyd in the hallway speechless.

          Within the next hour Jenny had returned with the long bearded physician with small spectacles perched on his nose, and took him straight to Sarah.  While Jenny sat at the bottom of the stairs of the Servants Quarters, nervously wondering what was wrong with Sarah and worried what she had heard through the Library window. She heard footsteps, thinking it was the physician, Jenny stood in anticipation for his diagnosis at the bottom step. She froze when she realised it was William. She back away.  “Jenny do not run away, I must talk with you.”  William pleaded. “No, No.” Jenny shouted backing away. “Jenny you must listen I was not spying on you at the lake.  I was out early for a horse ride around the Estate and coming down the back bridle path noticed you. Jenny you’re so beautiful I could only but stare.  I am so sorry Jenny; I was surprised that you didn’t see me.”  Jenny just stared not knowing what to say, within an instant the physician appeared at the top of the stair, from Sarah’s room.  Jenny ran up a few steps towards him, ignoring William.  “Doctor, is she alright?” she asked impatiently. “She’s miscarried.  Plenty of rest she should be fine in a week or two.  Jenny was surprised that she was pregnant, but drew a sigh of relief that she’d be okay.  “Thank you Doctor, I will take you back to Trefechan, the cart is outside.” said Jenny. “No” interrupted William, “I’ll take you back, it’s the lease I can do.” Jenny looked at William shyly and thanked him.  They left. 

It was nearing 10.30pm, the clock in the hallway had just chimed, and the house was in stillness.  It had been a really long day. As she trekked up the long stairway to bed, she was deep in thought of tomorrow, her last day, all of what had happen to her over the last month reeled around in her head.  William was most in her mind.  And the thought of leaving Nanteos was heart rendering, she’d grown very fond of the place.  She climbed into bed, she heard Mary lightly snoring in the corner and Sarah lying motionless in the next bed. 

          Morning came; Jenny stretched and yawned, “Last day today.”  She whispered to herself. She sat up and looked over at Sarah who still lay anaesthetized, Mary was still fast asleep. As Jenny was leaving to go down stairs for breakfast, Mary had just woken from her deep sleep. “Hurry up Mary.” Jenny whispered “and don’t disturb Sarah.” she added. 

It was nearing 10.30pm, the clock in the hallway had just chimed, and the house was in stillness.  It had been a really long day. As she trekked up the long stairway to bed, she was deep in thought of tomorrow, her last day, all of what had happen to her over the last month reeled around in her head.  William was most in her mind.  And the thought of leaving Nanteos was heart rendering, she’d grown very fond of the place.  She climbed into bed, she heard Mary lightly snoring in the corner and Sarah lying motionless in the next bed. 

          Morning came; Jenny stretched and yawned, “Last day today.”  She whispered to herself. She sat up and looked over at Sarah who still lay anaesthetized, Mary was still fast asleep. As Jenny was leaving to go down stairs for breakfast, Mary had just woken from her deep sleep. “Hurry up Mary.” Jenny whispered “and don’t disturb Sarah.” she added. 

It was nearing 10.30pm, the clock in the hallway had just chimed, and the house was in stillness.  It had been a really long day. As she trekked up the long stairway to bed, she was deep in thought of tomorrow, her last day, all of what had happen to her over the last month reeled around in her head.  William was most in her mind.  And the thought of leaving Nanteos was heart rendering, she’d grown very fond of the place.  She climbed into bed, she heard Mary lightly snoring in the corner and Sarah lying motionless in the next bed. 

          Morning came; Jenny stretched and yawned, “Last day today.”  She whispered to herself. She sat up and looked over at Sarah who still lay anaesthetized, Mary was still fast asleep. As Jenny was leaving to go down stairs for breakfast, Mary had just woken from her deep sleep. “Hurry up Mary.” Jenny whispered “and don’t disturb Sarah.” she added. 

It was nearing 10.30pm, the clock in the hallway had just chimed, and the house was in stillness.  It had been a really long day. As she trekked up the long stairway to bed, she was deep in thought of tomorrow, her last day, all of what had happen to her over the last month reeled around in her head.  William was most in her mind.  And the thought of leaving Nanteos was heart rendering, she’d grown very fond of the place.  She climbed into bed, she heard Mary lightly snoring in the corner and Sarah lying motionless in the next bed. 

          Morning came; Jenny stretched and yawned, “Last day today.”  She whispered to herself. She sat up and looked over at Sarah who still lay anaesthetized, Mary was still fast asleep. As Jenny was leaving to go down stairs for breakfast, Mary had just woken from her deep sleep. “Hurry up Mary.” Jenny whispered “and don’t disturb Sarah.” she added. 

Jenny rushed into the kitchen; Penrose was sitting down at the table.  “What are you doing here.” she said in an offish manner.  Jenny looked puzzled and said “Breakfast” not understanding what Mrs. Penrose was on out.  Penrose looked at Jenny straight faced and serious.  “You’re to have breakfast with your brother and the other guests in the Dining Room. “Oh, No!” shouted Jenny quite embarrassed.  Duggins looked at her “Go on me dear get in there” he said with a beaming smile.  Jenny shouted “No No No!” and ran out into the courtyard.  Not knowing what to do and wondered what Penrose knew, she walked down the back road, deep in thought of what to do.  Thinking of William, Edward, Sarah and that fiend David.  Her mind over flowing with important issues going on in her life, she walked and walked eating blackberries along the way for breakfast.  She reached the lodge, waved to Tom who was in the window of the Lodge.  She decided to carry on walking, she could face going back to the house, not yet anyway.  So she continued to walk further down the drive.  She approached Rhyd-y-Firian; she steadily walked past not wanting to be seen, but curious of William’s parents wanting to see them.  She reached the end of the drive.  Instead of taking the town route, she went the other way. Jenny began to relax, enjoying her walk and trying to forget her worries, picking up blades of grass from the verge trying to whistle through them, like Clem but never succeeding.  It was a beautiful autumn morning.  As she came to the bottom of the hill, she met a smart looking elderly gentleman.“Who’s been eating blackberries then?”  Jenny looked down and noticed a purple mark on her top, she blushed and gave a shy giggle.  “Where are you off to young lady.” he said smiling.  “Oh just walking.” she said.  “Do you mind if I join you.” he asked.  “No I don’t mind, but I was thinking of going back the way I came.” she said. “Oh that will be fine.” The old gentleman said as he swung his walking stick around to face the other way and began strolling away with Jenny back, up the road.  “Now then Miss with your manner and accent your not from these parts.”  The man said inquisitively.  Jenny looked surprised not realising her different mannerism.  “My name is Jenny Richards and I come from Shrewsbury.  My brother and I are going back there tomorrow, and I’m going to by some new dresses”.  She said smiling. He smiled back and they carried on walking chatting away quite happily about things in general. They came to the entrance of the drive leading to Nanteos and to Jenny’s surprise he too walked her way, not wanting to ask where he was going, she just carried on the conversation.  The came up towards Rhyd-y-Firian, when the man stopped, cleared his throat and said “Well Jenny from Shrewsbury it was pleasant to walk with you and a joy to chat to such a pretty young lass on a fresh autumn morning.  You bring back such good memories of someone I lost recently.  Here you are.” He dipped his hand into his waistcoat pocket and gave Jenny a shilling “Buy some ribbon for your hair, to match those dresses you’re going to buy tomorrow.”  He smiled Jenny thanked him and began to walk away.  “Hope to see you again one day.” He shouted as he waved her good bye, Jenny waved back, as he leaned on his walking stick until she was out of sight. 

          Jenny suspected that the old man was William’s father especially when he mentioned a lost one.  What a wonderful she thought, what could have gone wrong between them? Jenny held the shilling tightly in her hand and began to skip down the road back to Nanteos.  Forgetting her worries for now and just thinking of the nice man she’d been chatting too.  He must have guessed that she was from Nanteos, but never asked, she liked that in a person as everybody around her in the house were so nosy.  Feeling in a carefree mood, she dared to go back on the front drive.  Tom didn’t notice her on the way back, to say anything as she neared the lake; she could see a figure throwing pebbles into the lake. Getting closer she realised it was her brother.  “Edward, Edward” she shouted. Edward jumped not expecting anyone to call him.  “Where have you been.” he said concerned “Sorry big brother, I just had to get out.” Said Jenny. “Tomorrow we leave for Shrewsbury.” said Edward. “Shopping” added Jenny. “Jenny, we have important issues to discuss which could change our family forever, so we must go home to make arrangements make arrangements.  Canon Richards has told me about Pa Pa’s deteriorating eyesight, and I think it would be for the best if we all come to live here at Nanteos.  Honestly Jenny we are rich, rich enough to buy Nanteos.  More importantly Jenny.  Laura and I plan to marry, so it will be for the best.”  Jenny stared in disbelief.  “Oh, Edward I’m so pleased for you.” she swung her arms around him, and cried for joy.  “Come on Jen, let’s get packing, we go tomorrow and return within the week.”

Jenny and Edward walked hand in hand back up to the house.  “Come on Jen lets walk in the front way the dear old place could be ours very soon.” said Edward.  They walked up to the door, Jenny smiled and walked in, and she pecked Edward on the cheek and ran upstairs to avoid seeing William. While Edward went looking for William for further discussion of the house and of William’s financial situation, of course Agatha Lloyd will attend listening to every word. 

Jenny finally reached her room, Sarah was still laying there she sat on her bed and stroked her hand, saying her name over and over in a whisper; Sarah began to move slightly and opened her eyes.  Jenny placed a glass of water to her lips; Sarah took a sip, and then tried to speak.  “Don’t speak, Sarah, not yet, you need rest.”  Jenny said caringly.  Sarah closed her eyes and went back to sleep.  Jenny left Sarah’s side and began to pack her trunk, thinking that she might disturb Sarah she left her trunk on the bed, and left the room, to give Sarah peace.  Jenny decided to see Clem, not wanting to be bother by anyone especially William.  She sneaked through the laundry room. It was Wednesday so Maggie wouldn’t be there, all was quiet, a bundle of laundry sat in the corner, waiting to be washed tomorrow, and she then ran along the side of the stables and entered the garden from a side entrance.  She mingled among the flowerbeds and apple trees smelling the late summer blossoms. She saw Will.  “Have you seen Clem.” she shouted gently.  “He’s behind the vinery” he answered.  Jenny made her way to the far end of the garden. “Georgie, Georgie.” She called out; within seconds Georgie came sweeping above her head, squawking “Where Clem.”  She asked, she followed the bird, and soon arrived by his side.  “Well ‘ello young pretty girl.” Said Clem pleased to see her.  “Pretty girl, Pretty girl” squawked Georgie. Jenny laughed.  “Oh! Clem. I’m going to miss you and Georgie so much.” said Jenny sadly.  “Don’t worry lass, you go and enjoy yourself, we’ll still be here when you come back.”  He paused then said “You are coming back, aren’t you.”  “Oh yes, Clem.”  she said as she hugged him.  “Come girl let’s go and get some grapes!”  Clem said happily, knowing that she was coming back. Jenny stayed with Clem, chatting until dinner. 

The text ABOVE is just a piece of the story, it has not been edited at all, so please excuse the errors. There is more to the story IF you want to read the complate story e-mail me and I shall send your the complete document.

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