A Time To Reap – Episode 29

A Time To Reap

“Was that Mrs Duncan’s car?” June asked.

Peggy explained about the American visitors.

“I wanted to give you the script of ‘For Love Or Money’.” She held it out to June. “I had a quick reread of it earlier. You’ve a lot of lines.”

“I have a good memory,” June said. “And Tam says he’ll hear me.”

“Good. And we’ll have lots of rehearsals. I really want Rosland SWRI to do well. We’ve been placed in the competition under every president we’ve had so I’ve a reputation to keep up.”

“I won’t let you down, Mrs Mackay.” June cocked her head to one side. “Was that Sadie?” She got to her feet and then sat down again. “No, I don’t think so.”

“Call me Peggy,” Peggy said. “Where’s Tam?”

June made a face.

“Frank next door asked if he’d go with him to the Rosland Inn for a game of darts. He wasn’t keen – he’s a home bird, my Tam – but he didn’t like to be unfriendly.”

Frank Robertson must have been at a loose end, Peggy thought. It wasn’t usually male company he sought out!

“How are you getting on with Frank’s mother, Isa?” she asked. “She’s not the most congenial neighbour.”

“You’re right there. I won’t repeat anything she’s said to me. That woman has a mind like a midden.” June shrugged. “Yet she can be kind. She makes a fuss of Sadie, and she’s invited me to watch television on the set Frank’s bought for her. He’s a good son, I’ll say that for him.”

June stood up.

“Would you like a cup of tea, Mrs – Peggy?”

“No, thank you.” Peggy stood up herself. “I’m going over to the farmhouse. Elizabeth will give us a lift back up the road.”

“You’re quite a way up in the hills, aren’t you? You never learned to drive?”

“No.” Peggy looked away. “I’ll see you at the first rehearsal. Not till September, so you’ve time to learn your lines.”

As she walked through the farmstead and up the road to Elizabeth’s house Peggy’s thoughts went unwillingly backwards to that dreadful day, twenty years earlier, in 1943.

She was stepping out then with Dr Munro’s son and, without permission, he’d borrowed his father’s car. The doctor had petrol during that time of rationing.

He had been giving Peggy a driving lesson when the local bobby appeared. Panicking, she’d put her foot hard on the accelerator instead of braking. Her erstwhile beau had hit his head on the dashboard and suffered concussion.

The whole thing was hushed up and it was the end of her romantic relationship with the doctor’s son. Not that that mattered, because a few months later she met Alec.

But not since that day had Peggy been behind a wheel. Now, as she passed Elizabeth’s parked car, she considered. Twenty years. It was a long time to be afraid of something.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.