One Summer In France – Episode 26

Libby and Suzette arrived together promptly at twelve o’clock in the village taxi. Suzette, knowing there was still no way her ankle was up to walking to Agnes and Bruno’s, had invited Libby to share the ride.

They were both sipping an aperitif and Libby was telling Bruno about her new car being delivered next week, when Pascal arrived. Agnes quickly introduced Suzette to Pascal.

“Enchanté, mademoiselle,” he said, shaking her hand. “I hope you enjoy your stay in Brittany.” He looked at her for several seconds. “Would we have met before?”

Suzette laughed.

“I don’t think so. I only arrived a few days ago.”

“Evie lives in Paris,” Libby said. “Do you frequent the city?”

Pascal visibly blanched at her words.

“I hate cities so I rarely go – even to Paris.” He turned again to Suzette. “It must be that you remind me of someone else.”

Once their starters were finished – individual walnut and onion tarts with a side salad – Agnes placed the duck with asparagus and sautéd potatoes on the table to accompanying cries of delight.


“This is so delicious,” Libby said a few minutes later. “I have a favour to ask,” she said, addressing Agnes. “Is there any way you could spare the time to help me at the auberge with evening meals, especially at weekends? It would just be until I’ve got into the swing of things. Only if you’ve got time and want to, of course,” she added.

“Libby, I would love to. I am also thinking about starting a ladies’ lunch club here,” Agnes said. “I adore cooking and now I have this wonderful new kitchen I must put it to use, and if I feed Bruno too much he will get fat.”

“That is a brilliant idea,” Libby said. “Can I be your first member?”

“It is a shame to limit it to the ladies, though,” Pascal said. “Why not make it a lunch club open to all?”

“Maybe that would be a better idea,” Agnes said. “Perhaps a supper club?”

It was two hours later, after the rouleau had been eaten and the coffee and petit fours served, when Pascal pushed his chair back and apologised.

“Agnes, that was a wonderful lunch, but I am sorry, I have to go back to work.”

He turned to Libby and Evie.

“May I offer you a lift back to the auberge?”

“I need to do some things in the village before I go home,” Libby said. “But I’m sure Evie would appreciate a lift.”

Suzette nodded.

“Thank you. I was going to call the taxi. This stupid ankle of mine is taking its time to heal. I shall be glad when I can walk freely again, not to mention do some exercises.”

The telephone rang as they were all saying their goodbyes and Bruno went to answer it.

Agnes was alone and clearing the table when he went back outside.

“Who was it?” she asked, absently piling plates on top of each other.


Agnes looked at him sharply.

“Is something the matter? It is not like Isabelle to ring during the day.”

“She is coming up for a weekend next month,” Bruno said.

Agnes smiled.

“What a treat. How long is she staying this time?”

“She didn’t say,” Bruno replied.

“Is Alain coming with her?”

Bruno shook his head.

“No. She is coming on her own.”

“I expect he’s too busy at work to take the time,” Agnes said, before seeing the look on Bruno’s face.

“She said she wants to talk to us about the future.” Bruno paused. “I think Isabelle is maybe planning on coming back to Brittany permanently. But I’m not so sure Alain is in agreement.”



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.