A Quiet Honeymoon – Episode 08

THEY asked Henshaw to store the spade until they could take it back to the Wittering police. Mr Greville and Mr Young both turned pale when Terence quietly reported their find in the hall.

“Might this . . . person,” Greville said, “have taken a spade from our garden shed?”

“It could have come from anywhere,” Terence said.

“But we must know,” Greville said. “Come.”

Once Terence had been given some dry trousers, the three men walked around the house to the large garden shed. Greville opened the door and they bent to enter.

“Henshaw looks after the gardens,” he said. “We only have one employed gardener, who comes in from East Wittering. Name of Jermyn.”

“I can ask Sergeant Brown to confirm where he was,” Terence said.

Garden tools were hung neatly on hooks from the opposite wall, all well cared for, some newer than others. Among them was a spade of similar size to the broken one that awaited delivery to Sergeant Brown. Greville walked over to it.

“The same as the others,” he said. He rubbed the handle of the spade. “A little dirty. Henshaw will be pleased to come out here with Sergeant Brown and review these tools, if need be.”

In the house, Ruth was talking with Mary Greville and Mme Dubost.

“You lived in Edinburgh?” Ruth asked Mary.

“All my life,” Mary replied, smiling, “until, that is, I found my father.” She sighed. “It was a very strange time of my life rediscovering a father, and then losing a mother so soon afterwards. I miss my mother very much.”

“It would have been a great thing if she had also returned to this house.”

“It would, and I know Father would have welcomed her that he longed to find her all those years ago before I was born.”

Mme Dubost nodded.

“Matthew is a man of great liberality, and he was cruelly treated by his own father. Philip has told your husband the story?”

“He has,” Ruth said. “It is very touching indeed. Do you miss Edinburgh, Miss Greville?”

“No,” Mary said. “I love it here. I came when I was twelve years old, and so I suppose much of my conscious life has been lived here, near the sea, and in this landscape. But one day perhaps Philip and I will travel. I will take him back to Edinburgh, and show him the trams.” She smiled. “I hope the old trams will still run. And the zoo where my mother took me, if there was a holiday and we had the money. Oh, here are the gentlemen.”

There was a pleasant dinner. Afterwards, Ruth and Terence thanked their hosts, and as it was still light, chose to walk back to their lodgings. They walked out through the garden, trying again to piece together the events of that dreadful night. As they approached the closed gate, a sweet, small voice came to their ears.

“In Dublin’s fair city,” it sang, “where the girls are so pretty. . .”

Terence opened the gate, and almost bumped into a young girl of nine or ten, singing happily as she walked by.

“Sorry, sir,” she said.

“Don’t be,” Terence said. “You sing very prettily.”

The little girl ran off.

“So Miss Greville is mistaken about her garden wall,” Ruth said.


“Sounds are clearly heard between one side and the other.”

Terence’s eyebrows lifted.

“Oh, yes, I see. Yes, she is confused on that point.”


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