The Secret Of The Silver Locket – Episode 17

THE grey and cream chiffon.” Emma picked up the dress and held it against Grace.

Moments later, Grace stood before the cheval glass in the bedroom used by Rowena, gazing at her reflection, while Emma surveyed her critically.

“This one really does suit you, you know. Maybe a necklace of some sort would be the finishing touch. How about I lend you my string of pearls?”

“That’s very kind, Emma, but I think I’ll fetch the locket my mother left me and see how it looks. It hardly ever has an outing.”

Grace flew up the back stairs and into her small bedroom. She took the velvet pouch from beneath her pillow and slid the silver chain and heart-shaped locket out, swiftly clasping the trinket around her neck.

She ran lightly downstairs again and stood in Rowena’s bedroom doorway.

“Oh, my goodness! I should have known, of course.”

“Should have known what?”

“Nothing. Don’t mind me. It’s just that the closer you get to coming of age, the more you look like I imagine… um, I meant to say, the more beautiful you become.”

Grace shot her a suspicious look.

“Thanks, Emma, but I wish you wouldn’t keep saying things and then seeming to regret what you said. You’re making me nervous again.”

“Let’s have a good look at you,” Emma said briskly. “Turn around – that’s it – oh, yes. This is definitely the right dress for you.”

“I’ll change back into my skirt and blouse and prepare some vegetables,” Grace said, “Unless there’s something else you’d like me to do?”

“We’re pretty well organised, I think.”

Grace gave Emma a hug.

“I shall be back by ten o’clock but don’t lock me out, whatever you do.”

“You deserve to have some fun. That’s what I’ve been saying all along.”

Grace sank down on to the bed.

“I hardly know Harry but every moment I spend with him makes me want to be with him even more. Please don’t tell Alfred though. I know my place, Emma. But I’m determined to enjoy myself this evening and after that, the future must take care of itself.”

Emma stooped and gently touched the silver locket with her forefinger.


Harry arrived on the dot of six o’clock. He drove his Bugatti up the drive and parked it next to the Daimler. Alfred hurried through the front door, ready to admire the superb saloon the young American had told him about.

“What a beauty,” he said.

“Isn’t she? I can’t believe my uncle can trust me with it like he has. I take very good care of her, as you can imagine.”

“And I know you’ll take very good care of Grace too,” Alfred said.

Harry looked him straight in the eye.

“You know I will. I only wish there was more time for us to become better acquainted.”

Alfred bowed his head.

“You’re like a breath of fresh air. I wish I could get to the bottom of certain things but my fiancée is a stubborn woman. Grace will turn twenty-one soon and Emma has some information to impart. I know I shouldn’t say this to you but I do believe you have a certain young lady’s interests at heart and don’t just want a quick flirtation with a pretty girl on your arm.”

Harry stared back at the older man until Grace’s voice broke the moment.

“Have I kept you waiting? I’m so sorry. Emma insisted I mustn’t go out without a spray of lavender water.”

Her dark hair shone with health and there was a look of radiance about her complexion, her silver locket nestling in the perfect position above the neckline of her dress. The skirt of the smoke grey and cream chiffon frock floated around her slender legs as she walked with assurance in high-heeled cream leather shoes. She carried a pewter grey leather clutch bag.

“You look like you’ve stepped straight off the cover of one of my mother’s fashion magazines!” Harry exclaimed.

“Thank you. I’ve brought a scarf with me.” She looked pointedly at the open-topped car.

“Should I close the roof?” Harry looked anxious.

“Please don’t do that. I’m looking forward to the fresh air.”

Alfred backed away quietly as the American took Grace’s hand and kissed it. He went back into the house, closing the door behind him. He’d been on the verge of telling the young American the family’s London telephone number just as Grace appeared.

She tied the white silk scarf beneath her chin as Harry started the engine and they purred through the gates and down the lane leading to the main road.


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!