One Summer In France – Episode 17

Bruno and Agnes were among the first riders to return and Agnes immediately joined Libby to help serve the food, which seemed to be disappearing at an alarming rate.

“Don’t worry, they’ll slow down in a moment,” Agnes whispered.

“Is everybody here?” Libby asked, frantically trying to count heads. Had more than the 30 people she’d been told to expect turned up? “Have I made enough food?”

“Lucas isn’t back yet, a couple of bikers have probably gone straight home and Pascal will be late,” Agnes said. “So, yes, I think we have enough. It’s delicious, too – so stop worrying.”

Libby cut a generous slice of chocolate cake and put it to one side.

“Pascal,” she said, “has asked me to save him a piece.” She glanced across at Chloe down at the other end of the table talking animatedly into her mobile phone. Her heart sank.

Chloe flashed her a quick smile and gave her a thumbs-up sign. Did that mean she’d got the job?

“Ah, here’s Lucas,” Agnes said as the mud-splattered vintage car drew to a stop.

As Lucas stepped out of the car and made his way over to Libby and the food, Chloe switched off her phone, looked at Libby and mouthed, “I’ve got it!”

“Your daughter looks happy,” Agnes commented with a smile.

“Hmm,” Libby replied absently. “I think she’s just got a job back in England.” She sighed.

“Is that a problem for you?” Lucas asked, taking the plate of food she handed him.

“I’m pleased for her, but I shall miss her terribly. I’d hoped she’d be here for the entire summer. The main problem, though, is that I shall now have to find another car quickly.” She’d promised Chloe her car when she returned to the UK, knowing she needed to buy a left-hand drive one once she was settled in at the auberge. “I thought I’d have more time to find one.”

“You know about cars?” Lucas asked.

“Not really. Dan – my late husband – always used to deal with things like that. I’m a total dunce when it comes to all things mechanical.”

Lots of things had been a steep learning curve when Dan died – finances, insurances, surviving – but Libby knew she’d never master the art of telling a good car from a bad car. She’d have to trust the garage on that.

“Me, I know a lot about cars,” Lucas said. “If you like, I can help you find one?”

Libby looked at him, surprised.

“Thank you, if you’re not too busy that would be lovely. I have to warn you, though, I can’t afford vintage!”

“I will ask around. I also have friend with a garage in Quimper. He will help as well if necessary.”

As Libby went to say thank you again, a taxi pulled up on the canal path and she watched as the driver got out and looked around before making his way over to Agnes.

“You have guests arriving today?” Lucas asked.

Libby shook her head.

“No. My first guests aren’t due until next weekend, as far as I know.” She waited as Agnes and the taxi driver made their way over to her.



Margaret Scott

Margaret is a sub-editor within the Production Team on the "Friend". Her main job is to work on the stories and make sure the magazine leaves us in its best possible guise. When not doing that, however, she either has her head buried in the old “Friend” volumes or is out and about giving talks or going on Warner trips (fab!). She hates cheese.