A Time To Reap – Episode 37

A Time To Reap

This wasn’t a conversation Elizabeth had looked forward to having. She’d asked Tam to send Jimmie to her office.

The farmhand – a reliable worker who’d never quite grown up – came in, twisting his cap between his hands.

After the accident, when Bonnie Boy was still safely in the pen, Tam had walked over the field and found pieces of the sharp wire scattered about on the grass.

But when Elizabeth questioned Jimmie about the repairs to the barbed-wire fence, he maintained that he’d done as she’d asked – mended the fence without going into the field, and had taken the unused wire back to the shed.

He began to get upset so Elizabeth changed the subject and asked if he would help Tam nearer the time with grooming the cows they’d send for judging at the agricultural show. She knew that working with animals was what he liked best.

Now, a week after the accident, the cut was on the mend, thank goodness, and after a couple of days’ rest the vet, Andy Kerr, was back to work.

She couldn’t help thinking that he’d made light of the blow he’d received.

On impulse she lifted the phone.

“Andy? It’s Elizabeth. How are you?”

“It’ll take more than your Bonnie Boy to put me out of business.” Andy laughed.

“It’s good to hear you. You do sound all right. I’ve been worried.

“Look, I was wondering if you were free this evening to come and eat with us? I’m not sure what Tibbie’s planning to have, but there’s always enough for an army.”

“Let me check my diary. No, no other invitations.” She could hear the grin in his voice.

“Good. We eat early because of the girls. Six o’clock?”

“I’ll be there.”

*  *  *  *

“There’s a letter for you from London.” Tibbie handed Elizabeth an envelope covered in her sister’s rounded handwriting.

Elizabeth looked at the clock. Ten to six. She’d managed a wash and had changed into a summer dress. Tibbie had set an extra place at the table. Everything was in hand.

“I’ll just have a quick read, if there’s nothing you want me to do.”

She ripped the envelope open.

Struan phoned, Crys wrote. His fiancée has heard about me and broken off their engagement. He says he loves me, wants me to come home and start again. I’m crazy about him but how can I trust him? What should I do?

Don’t tell Mum and Dad. I know what they’d say.

“There’s Andy now,” Tibbie said from the window.

Elizabeth pushed the letter back in the envelope. She’d read the rest later. Yes, she thought, Mum and Dad would tell Crys to have nothing to do with him.

“You’re young. You’ll meet someone else. Plenty more fish in the sea.”

Her instinct was to agree with them. Perhaps Struan had genuine feelings for Crystal, but he should have extricated himself from one relationship before embarking on another. Elizabeth and her parents would find it hard to forgive him for that.

But it had to be Crys’s decision. It was her life. How could anyone advise her what to do?

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.