Daughter Of Conwy – Episode 50

Sara followed Hugh out into the sunlight.

“Thank you,” she said. “I know Taran is not the man you had hoped for as a son-in-law.”

“As I imagine my daughter would not have been your choice for your son.”

“No.” She smiled faintly. “But, in the end, we both want what is best for our children.”

“I nearly had to lose mine to learn that lesson.” Hugh swallowed hard. “I don’t ever want to own you, Sara, nor prevent you from pursuing the work you love and do so well. I want only good things for you. But I hope with all my heart that we will never be strangers again.”

She frowned slightly.

“Hugh, I am not the girl you fell in love with, all those years ago. She has long gone.”

“I understand that now.” He met her eyes. “But I would dearly like to get to know the woman she has become.”

Slowly, Sara smiled.

“That seems to me as good a beginning as any,” she replied, slipping her arm through his, as they made their way together through the city streets.

* * * *

The Snowdon View was bustling by the time Merlyn arrived with Taid. Visitors brought in by the new railway from Birmingham and London alighted from the carriages that had brought them along the rickety roads from Conwy. Most were in need of a strong cup of tea.

“You are more popular than ever,” Merlyn said as Alice came out to greet them.

“Yes,” Alice replied. “I was a little nervous when I first stepped into Aunt Sara’s shoes, but I don’t think even she could have made it any busier.”

She turned as Rhodri emerged from taking tea in the conservatory, his arm finally out of its sling but still stiff and held slightly awkwardly.

“I never thought I’d be grateful to a Tudor,” Owain muttered under his breath.

“There’s always a first time. Thank you,” Merlyn said as Rhodri joined them hesitantly. “It was kind of you to bring us to visit Bethan.”

“I was bringing the carriage anyway,” Rhodri said, colouring slightly. “Though you’ll have to find your own way home.”

“Yes, of course.” Merlyn suppressed an urge to inform him tartly that he might have mentioned this before. Was he really abandoning them both in Trefriw for the night?

“You’re welcome to stay here as my guests,” Alice put in, favouring Rhodri with a frown.

Just then a burst of excited chatter came from the dining-rooms of the Snowdon View. Guests were spilling out into the garden, pointing towards the river. Children were lifted high on their fathers’ shoulders for a better view.

“I don’t think that will be necessary,” Rhodri responded. He was grinning from ear to ear.

“Good heavens!” Owain stared at the rush of water being flung in the air as a shining new paddle steamer made its sedate way upriver, heading towards Trefriw quay.

“My last business venture turned out to be, shall we say, a little unfortunate,” Rhodri admitted, trying not to remember the mortifying details of Harris’s trial which had been splashed all over the newspapers. “So I’ve taken expert advice this time.”

He gazed rather wistfully at Merlyn.

“And a far better business partner.” He sighed. “One who is rather eager to take you back to Conwy himself, Merlyn. And who might even have called me out for pistols at dawn, if I had suggested otherwise.”

Merlyn blinked at him.

“I’m not sure . . .”

“Of course you are,” he muttered gruffly. “So is he. And since my father has decided that I should take over the running of Plas Arthur while he goes off to pursue life as an artist, I think it’s time I shouldered my responsibilities and behaved in a civilised manner, for once.”

“Thank you,” Merlyn whispered, clasping his hand tight, her eyes filled with tears. “Thank you. I’ll never forget this.” In an instant she was racing towards the quay, with Owain following more slowly behind her.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.