A Time To Reap – Episode 59

A Time To Reap

Mamie and Neil would probably be over at Elizabeth’s, Peggy thought as she cycled along the back road on Monday. They had come up to Glenmore Farm the day before, on Sunday evening, to let Peggy and Alec know the good news that Libby would be getting out of hospital in a couple of days.

Both Mamie and Peggy had forgotten to discuss – out of Alec’s earshot, of course – whether the driving lesson they’d previously arranged for this morning would go ahead. And Glenmore wasn’t on the phone.

Smoke was rising from the cottage chimney. Drat! Now the arrangement would stand.

“Tibbie’s coming home today,” Mamie said, ushering Peggy in when she arrived. “She’ll be putting the house back in order! We thought we’d go over after today’s hospital visit – only Elizabeth’s allowed in to see Libby. Peg, do you mind if we don’t have a lesson today? All this has knocked me for six.”

“Of course not, Auntie Mamie.” Thankful, Peggy sank into a chair. “I’ll just sit down for a minute. I shouldn’t be here – we’re starting the dipping this morning. But, of course, I couldn’t let you know.”

Neil tapped his pipe out on the fireplace.

“Why was Andy at Elizabeth’s the other night, Peggy? Is something going on between him and Elizabeth?”

Peggy thought of Elizabeth, dazzling in her borrowed frock as she ran from the ballroom, and the puzzled look on Andy’s face as his eyes followed her.

“I think he’s smitten,” she replied. “They danced together at first, but –”

She shrugged. It was hard to explain, but it hadn’t looked to Peggy as if her cousin felt likewise.

“And who’s this American fellow who took her home?”

“He’s the one who knows Alec’s cousin Hugh, remember, Uncle Neil? He happened to be standing near Lady A when Crys phoned. I think that’s how he got involved.”

“I’ve known Andy all his life,” Neil said. “If Elizabeth’s looking for a man, he’d be my pick.”

“I hope you’d give Elizabeth a say in the matter,” Mamie said tartly.

Her aunt and uncle both looked rather strained, Peggy thought, so she changed the subject.

“You’ll have something to eat with us, Peggy?” Mamie said at twelve o’clock.

Peggy jumped up. She should have left ages ago.

“Goodness! No, thanks. I must get back. All hands on deck.”

Why had she and Auntie Mamie thought Monday morning would be a good day for a driving lesson?

She’d done her household chores extra early – washing hung out, breakfast dishes washed, pot of soup and sandwiches prepared.

Then Alec had told her she’d be required to help with the sheep and he hadn’t been pleased when she said she had to see Mamie.

Halfway home the bike’s front tyre went flat. Peggy had no mending kit with her, and it was after one when she wearily parked the bike and made her way to the sheep fank.

Alec hauled a sheep out of the dipper.

“What the blazes are you up to, Peg, swapping recipes with Mamie when you’re needed here? Go and help Col hold that gate.”

“I had a puncture –” Peggy began, but her husband was in no mood to hear excuses.

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.