The Dividing Tide – Episode 35

Yes, I understand, Jenna thought as she made her way to the back door. I do. But surely I deserve some understanding, too?

She let herself out into the garden, and broke into a run. In her mind she heard Morwenna’s words.

“A lady walks, child, she never runs.”

Well, she didn’t care about all the rules and regulations any more. She wanted to go home!

Her steps only slowed when she reached the orchard, and she wandered beneath the blossoming apple trees, her heart a heavy weight inside her.

I’ll go anyway, she thought suddenly. I’ll only be gone a day and a night, no-one need know. I’ll manage it somehow.

With a new determination in her step, she made her way back to the front lawn. There, she stood looking up at the house, taking in the thick twist of ivy beside the landing window above the conservatory.

“I’m sure I can climb down from there,” she murmured. “Then, when I get to St Austell, I’m bound to find a cart ride down country. I can see Garren and Mamm-wynn, and be back by the following evening. I’m sure I can.”

A flame of excitement shot through her as her idea took hold. She’d ask Lamorna to cover for her and ask her to tell everyone she was ill with a headache. She was sure her plan could work.

She walked up and down the orchard, her eagerness growing as she went over the details. When she heard the faint ring of the gong sounding for luncheon, she hurried round to the back of the house once more, entering through the kitchen door.

Mrs Cate was hurrying around the kitchen supervising the loading of dishes on to trays. She looked at Jenna.

“Why, child, you’re pale as milk,” she said. “Whatever’s the matter? Are you ill?”

Quickly realising that this could work to her advantage, Jenna put her hand to her forehead.

“I’ve a terrible headache,” she said, at the same time realising it was true. She rubbed her temples. “Could I have my luncheon on a tray, please, Mrs Cate? I think I’ll go to my room and lie down for a bit.”

As soon as the meal had finished, Lamorna came to see how she was. Excitedly, Jenna explained her plan to her.

“Wonderful! How daring you are. But you’ll have to be careful,” she warned. “Uncle Arthek is coming this evening. He is to dine with us and stay overnight.”

“Oh.” Jenna’s shoulders sagged as she felt her plan begin to evaporate.

“I know!” Lamorna continued. “I’ll bring up your meals myself. No-one will be suspicious of that, for everyone knows we’re good friends.

“I’ll tell anyone who asks that you have a sick headache and must lie quietly in the dark. I’m sure no-one will guess anything.”

Her eyes gleamed.

“Goodness, what a marvellous lark. I thought adventures like this only happened in stories!”

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.