A Time To Reap – Episode 44

A Time To Reap

“Is that Alec’s American nephew?”

“Yes. He’s just met someone he knows from home. Isn’t that amazing?”

Elizabeth looked over at her daughters, now climbing into each end of a boat with their escorts. All four waved.

“They are being spoiled,” she said, waving back. “Don’t tell Tibbie!”

Elizabeth remembered her plan to push Andy and her sister Crys together.

“Crys will be wanting to hear all about the show,” she said. “I think she’s wishing now she had come up. She’s finally decided she wants nothing more to do with Struan Scott.”

She glanced at Andy to see if this was welcome news for him.

“That sounds sensible,” Andy said. His tone gave nothing away.

“Did you see that Lady Cecily is here?”

Elizabeth had not seen who else was in Lady Annabel’s house party, her attention having been taken up by Hugh’s friend.

“No,” she said, “but I knew Lady A was hoping she’d get her to come up this summer, away from the fleshpots of the South of France. She takes her role as older half-sister seriously.”

The girls ran back across the grass, their eyes shining. The men strolled behind them, talking.

Elizabeth introduced Andy to the newcomer then turned to her daughters.

“What do you say to Hugh and Mr – Bill?”

“Thank you!” they chorused.

“I’d better go,” Bill Brock said. He winked at Libby and Flora. “Really good to meet you guys. You, too, Mrs Duncan.”

He held her hand in a warm grip again before turning to Hugh.

“Hugh, my man, can we get together while we’re both here?”

“The farm’s not on the phone,” Hugh said.

“I’ll come and find you. Maybe Lady A will let me use her precious Land-Rover. Say, now, why don’t we . . .?” They moved out of earshot.

Andy was scanning the show programme.

“How about candyfloss, then the Young Farmers’ tug-of-war?”

Elizabeth shook her head.

“I haven’t had a chance to see the animals yet. I’m going to find Tibbie first and leave the girls with her.”

“I’ll see you by the pens, then. The judging will be finished in about ten minutes.” Andy stuffed the programme into the pocket of his tweed jacket. “Rosland’s definitely in with a shout for best bull. I hope Rodney Shaw’s there to see him win.”

“If he wins it’s thanks to yourself and Tam,” Elizabeth said. “I’ll catch up with you, Andy.”

The walk towards the WRI tent took them past the stand. She looked up, to see Bill Brock staring in her direction.

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.