One Summer In France – Episode 27

“I’ve put you upstairs in the apartment with me,” Libby told Helen. “Technically it’s Chloe’s room, but she’s not here.” Libby shrugged as she looked at her sister-in-law. “I thought you’d prefer to be up with me rather than downstairs in a guest room.”

“Definitely,” Helen said, following Libby up the stairs. “I’ll just dump my stuff and then you can give me the guided tour.”

“The Bichets are in a couple of the rooms and Evie is in another, so I can’t show you those, but the rest of the auberge is open for your inspection,” Libby said.

“I’m not sure I could take complete strangers into my home,” Helen said. “Don’t you think it’s a bit of a risk?”

Libby laughed.

“Never thought about it. It’s what auberges and B&Bs do. Besides, the Bichets have been coming here for years. Agnes speaks very highly of them.”

“But this Evie. What do you know about her?”

“She’s a guest. What do I need to know about her?” Libby glanced at Helen, puzzled.

“Strangers. You never know what they might do. Murder you in your own bed and run off with the silver!”

Libby looked at her sister-in-law in astonishment. She hadn’t been here five minutes and already she was questioning Libby’s judgement like she had done so often in the past.

“Oh, Helen, I think you’ve been watching too many repeats of ‘Midsomer Murders’.” Libby laughed. “Come on. Let’s do the guided tour bit and then we can go back down and have a cuppa. You’ll meet everyone later and you’ll see then how nice and ordinary everyone is. Not a closet killer amongst them.” It was going to be a long week if Helen continued to be so suspicious of everything and everybody.

“So tell me, how do you and Peter like having a teenager in the house?” Libby said once they were back downstairs in the communal sitting-room.

She knew Helen had found her inability to have children with her husband Peter distressing. It had taken years for her to accept the situation and Libby hoped having Chloe in the house for several weeks wouldn’t drag up all the old emotions for Helen.

“I haven’t seen a lot of her,” Helen said. “It’s long hours, so she rarely gets back to us before eight or nine. She’s definitely enjoying the job, though – not to mention the social life.”

“She sounded pretty tired the other evening when she rang,” Libby said. “Burning the proverbial candle at both ends, by the sound of it.”

“We all did it at that age,” Helen said. “And some of us fail to outgrow the habit.”

Libby looked at her.


“Yes. Since his promotion he’s been busier at work. He’s chasing all over the country by day and then entertaining clients in the evenings. I can’t tell you how many dinner parties I’ve had to go to and organise recently.”

“Can’t you get him to slow down? Remind him what happened to Dan,” Libby said.

Helen shook her head, but before she could reply a car horn being pressed in a series of joyful toots sounded outside.

“That will be Lucas,” Libby said excitedly. “He helped me buy my new car. Come and see!”



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.