A Time To Reap – Episode 53

A Time To Reap

“What’s funny?” Crys asked. “You look great. And I know just what to do with your hair. Why don’t you wear Elizabeth’s dressing-gown until I’m ready for you?”

Peggy sat on the bed, her hands clasped round her knees, while Crys swept Elizabeth’s hair up into an elegant style.

She hadn’t realised how glamorous her cousin could look – like Peggy herself, Elizabeth usually wore no make-up and had her hair tied up any old how. Her usual garb was old dungarees for working and a skirt and blouse for best.

Looking the way she did now, the men would be flocking round her at the ball.

Peggy ran through the neighbourhood’s bachelors in her mind. Not many of them were what you might call eligible, except perhaps for . . .

“Is Andy Kerr going tonight?”

She was surprised to see Elizabeth give a start.

“I believe so,” she said.

“Will you dance with him at the ball, Mummy?” Libby asked.

“Don’t play with those hairpins, Libby, you’re bending them,” Elizabeth said, rather sharply.

She looked up to catch Peggy’s eye in the mirror.

“How’s Alec feeling? Looking forward to tonight?”

“Grumbling, but he’ll be fine once he’s there,” Peggy said.

Was there something going on between Elizabeth and the vet?

“He’s promised he’ll give the car a good clean before he comes to pick us up,” she said. “We should have a carriage and four white horses, of course.”

“Like in stories?” Libby asked, coming to join her on the bed. She was a bit hot-looking, now that Peggy saw her close to.

“Peggy, I should have said. Lady Annabel’s insisted on sending a car down for us.” Elizabeth stood up and motioned for her cousin to take her place.

Thank goodness, Peggy thought. Despite her husband’s best efforts, their car was sure to have lingering traces of the farmyard about it.

“I’ll tell Alec we’ve engaged another chauffeur,” she said as she sat down.

Crys put a little cape round Peggy’s shoulders.

“Let’s see what we can do for you, madam.”

*  *  *  *

Peggy felt a little breathless as she went to answer Alec’s knock at the door. A glance in the hall mirror confirmed what she’d seen upstairs.

Not miracles, maybe, but Crys had wrought wonders with her little pots of magic and her clever fingers. Perhaps Alec wouldn’t even recognise his wife!

“I’m sorry, but my cousin and I will be proceeding to the ball in style,” she said, putting on a posh accent.

“What?” Alec looked her up and down bemusedly. “Is that new?”

“Lady Annabel’s arranged a car for us,” Peggy said in her normal voice. “Crys borrowed the frock. Do you like it?” She twirled around.

There was a spark in Alec’s eyes but he made his usual grunt.

“It’ll do. I’ll see you up at the house, then.”

“You certainly will.” Skittishly, Peggy blew him a kiss as he turned to close the gate.

Alec tipped his cap to her. He was in a good mood!

And there was the car from Rosland House, slowing down outside the house.

“Elizabeth!” Peggy called. “Our carriage awaits.”

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.