The Secret Of The Silver Locket – Episode 15

SO you decided not to invite the young gentleman in?” Emma looked up from the tray cloth she was embroidering as Grace walked into the kitchen after her walk.

“I thought it best not to.” Grace went over to the sink and filled a tumbler with water. “Where’s Alfred?”

“Speaking on the telephone to his lordship.”

Emma pushed her sewing aside. “Are you all right, my dear?”

“I’m fine. Oh, Emma, why does life have to be so difficult.”

Emma nodded.

“You don’t need to say any more. I can tell from your face what’s going on. Does he feel the same?”

“He has invited me out to supper tomorrow evening but it doesn’t matter if he really means it or does not.”

Grace told Emma how she and Harry Gresham had got on so well, too well in fact, given that they’d exchanged kisses. And then how she’d said her name was Grace Maxwell.

She sank down in the chair opposite Emma and put her head in her hands, but Emma didn’t rush to comfort her.

“You told him your name was Grace Maxwell? Whatever made you say such a thing?”

“I don’t know!” Grace wailed. “I was carried away. The odd thing was that Harry told me when he first saw me he thought I seemed familiar. He’s friendly with the Maxwell family who live in Edinburgh. Obviously they’re top drawer because he spoke of Lady Maxwell being a dark-haired beauty.

“I tried to draw him away from the subject because I was embarrassed that I’d lied to him. I know my parents worked for them but if I look anything like Lady Maxwell, that can only be down to a strange coincidence.”

Emma was staring at the satin stitch she’d been working on. Her usually serene expression was now like a stormy sea and she opened her mouth as though to say something but had thought better of it.


But Emma shook her head and her face, far from being pale, now flooded with colour. Grace, having had an awful thought, was agonising over the distinct possibility that by meeting Harry Gresham, she might have uncovered some dreadful secret about her parents and why they’d moved from Edinburgh to London. What if they’d been caught stealing from the family? Had they fled the Maxwell household for London and forged a reference in order to obtain positions at Seymour House?

“I never dreamed something like this could happen,” Emma whispered. “I can’t stop you seeing this man again but please, please try to divert him from asking too many questions. Say you know nothing about the Maxwells.”

“But I don’t, do I? Emma, what is all this about?”

But Emma shook her head and pursed her lips.

“I can’t say. Not yet. Go out with Mr Gresham by all means but remember we’ll be back in London soon.”

Grace stared at her. Emma hadn’t spelt it out that Grace mustn’t expect her position to be elevated merely because the American had taken a fancy to her but it was obvious this was true. Her suspicions about some murky episode involving her parents during their time in Edinburgh must be accurate. She felt sick at the thought but her anguish was interrupted as Alfred came into the room, wearing a very pensive expression.

“Well, you could knock me down with a feather,” he said as he glanced at Emma. “What’s up?” He turned his attention to Grace. “You two look as though you’ve seen a ghost.”

“We’re fine,” said Grace quickly. “I’m afraid I’ve been boring Emma, telling her about Mr Gresham’s fascination for fossils.”

Alfred laughed. He had that look on his face that heralded important news. Whatever troubled Emma would have to wait for now.

“Lady C has decided she wants to throw a party. Reading between the lines, I’d say she wants to show off this new beau of Lady Rowena’s before the London season gets in full swing.” He turned to Grace. “Will we see your young gentleman before we leave?”

“He’s taking me out to supper tomorrow evening so it’ll be a farewell meal. A short lived friendship kind of thing.” Grace nodded her head as if underlining what she knew must be right.

“We must find you something pretty to wear,” Emma said, still not looking up. “Remember Miss Rowena’s emergency stock of dresses. We can look them out first thing in the morning.”

In fact, she’d unwrap that silver locket she’d mentioned to Harry and show it off for once. How fortunate it was that whenever she travelled away from home, she always packed what was to her, the most precious possession in the world.

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!