A Place Of Healing – 22

The next day, after his surgery in Drumnagar, Andrew turned off the main road twisting through the Great Glen, crossed a small hump-backed bridge over the sparkling river and took a single track road that brought him to a large bungalow.

It was tucked into the hill with a wonderful view of the glen, the river and the hazy hills hiding the ocean.

He parked in front of the house on a wide patch of white gravel and rang the door bell.

A moment later Mrs Latimer opened the door.

“Doctor Shelley? What a surprise. A nice surprise.”

“Thank you, Mrs Latimer. I just thought I’d check if you are well.” He looked behind him. “You have a lovely view here, don’t you?”

“Yes, lovely.”

Andrew pointed his arm down towards the glen.

“Is that the postman’s van on its way to Drumnagar?”

Mrs Latimer looked in the direction Andrew was pointing.

“Yes. Yes, that’s right. Come inside, Doctor. Philip will be pleased to see you but I’ll leave him for five minutes. I know he’s at a critical moment. Rex Maynard is about to plunge a steak knife into the back of Josh Turnbull – a blackmailer, apparently.”

She laughed.

“He writes such terrible things but people seem to like it and it pays for all this.”

She indicated the large, opulent living-room.

They sat by the window.

“Actually, I need to speak to you alone, Mrs Latimer. I’m rather concerned about your eyesight.”

“My eyesight, Doctor? I have become more short sighted, but . . .”

He interrupted her.

“You are more than short sighted, Mrs Latimer. From what I saw last night and just now . . . I’m afraid there was no post-office van, Mrs Latimer. I’m sorry to have tricked you.”

She said nothing but turned slightly and looked out of the window.

“I’m afraid I’m going blind,” she said quietly. “Sometimes it’s as though I’m looking through a tunnel. I couldn’t see the step yesterday.”

“I take it you haven’t told your husband?”

She shook her head.

“No. Philip doesn’t know.”

“Philip doesn’t know what?”

They both turned. Philip Latimer had come into the room.

“Doctor Shelley! Is something the matter? And what don’t I know?”

“Your wife is having trouble with her eyesight, Mr Latimer.” He looked at Mrs Latimer. “We need to do something about it.”

Philip Latimer went to his wife’s side.

“Stephanie, why have you said nothing? Why?”

She shrugged.

“I hoped it would go away. Silly, really. I was frightened.”

Her husband put his arm around her shoulder.

“You silly girl. We’re going to do something about it right away. Aren’t we, Doctor?” He turned in appeal to Andrew.

“We certainly are,” Andrew replied. “I’ll contact a specialist I know in Glasgow. A top man. And we’ll try to arrange an early appointment.”

“Phone today, please, Doctor Shelley,” Philip said. “I’ll pay. We can afford it, dear, can’t we?”

He kissed her forehead.

“They say crime doesn’t pay, but it does, you see!”

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!