A Time To Reap – Episode 46

A Time To Reap

In the car park the party from Rosland House was preparing to leave in two big cars. Peggy, about to get into their own old banger, gawped unashamedly.

There was Lady Cecily, grown-up and very pretty. The dark-haired, good-looking man holding the door open for her must be the American, Bill Brock – Hugh had come to find Donna in great excitement and taken her to see him.

And there were Hugh and Donna themselves – invited, because of the mutual acquaintance, for dinner at Lady Annabel’s.

“Peg, are you going to stand there all night?” Alec started the engine.

“Sorry.” Peggy climbed in.

She patted her husband’s arm. He’d had a good day, too, having won the sheepdog trials. With no Hugh and Donna, and the boys staying on in town with their friends, they’d have the house to themselves this evening, she reflected with guilty satisfaction.

Bacon and eggs to celebrate, and she’d open a pot of her prize-winning raspberry jam to have with their bread and butter.

* * * *

Elizabeth pinned Bonnie Boy’s red rosette above his stall in the byre. He was unaware of his success, of course, but Elizabeth was delighted.

If only Matthew could have shared the moment. But here was Tam, the dairyman, as pleased about it as if Bonnie Boy belonged to him.

“It was a grand show, Mrs Duncan. June and Sadie and me had a great time.” He stood, rubbing his nose, his face slightly pink. “June says she told you about Sadie being adopted? I’m right glad, because Isa Robertson’s been spreading some lies about it.”

June had not told Isa about Sadie’s parentage but Isa never let lack of facts get in the way of a story. Tam stammered over Isa’s version of it – orphanage, Glasgow slums, who knew how she’d turn out?

“We’d love Sadie as our own wherever she came from,” he finished. “But I can’t abide the thought of her being talked about.”

“This time I’m not going to let it go by!” Elizabeth expostulated. “She upsets everybody, that woman. I’ll go and see her this evening.”

“She’s away for a few days. Visiting her brother, apparently,” Tam said. “It’s a relief for June, but she’s in a right tizz anyway because we’ve had a letter from Rita, Sadie’s mother. She wants to come and see Sadie before . . .”

The byre door was pushed open.


It was Lady Annabel. She was followed by a man who had to duck his head coming through the door.

“You met Mr Brock at the show, I believe. He’d like to see round the farm, if you’ve got time. You’re the best person to answer his questions.”

She turned to Tam.

“Congratulations and thank you, Morrison,” she said, nodding her head towards the red rosette. “I know the part you played in Bonnie Boy’s recovery. Can I have a word with you about the milk requirements for the house? I’ve brought a note from Cook.”

Tam took off his cap.

“Of course, your ladyship. Come over to the dairy.”

Elizabeth pushed a strand of hair behind her ears, noticing that her fingers were grimy. She wiped them on her dungarees.

Her face was probably grimy, too, and undoubtedly she didn’t smell too good, having just helped Tam muck out the byre.

There was nothing she could do about it. Why would she want to, anyway?

And why would some big noise running a construction company in California want to see a little Scottish farm? She couldn’t think of a single thing he might be interested in.

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.