Entering her room, Kirsty kicked off her shoes and threw herself on top of the bed with a delighted sigh. She had been up since dawn, and it had been a tiring day, but she didn’t care a bit. Just coming back to this lovely room had been something to look forward to while she blackleaded grates, polished silver, dusted, scrubbed, fetched and carried.The Grange had far exceeded her expectations.She sat up and looked around her own little kingdom again in contentment. There was a washstand, a looking-glass, a big press for all her things, a soft bed, pretty, flower-sprigged wallpaper and her very own window-seat where she could sit and look out over the expanse of garden behind the house to the hills beyond.It was such a far cry from the cramped attic room she had shared in her last situation. But, then, Constance hadn’t been her employer or Miss Constance, rather, as Mrs Tarrant-Smyth had told her was the correct form of address. Mrs Tarrant-Smyth . . . Kirsty wrinkled up her nose at the thought of Constance’s mother.“Nothing’s perfect,” she reminded herself aloud as she climbed off the bed to wash her hands and face and don her evening apron. She still had to lay the table for dinner and then serve the meal. As she brought out the plates, Kirsty took care not to meet Constance’s gaze. Despite the fact that there were no dinner guests tonight, the big dining-room held its usual strained air of formality, Mrs Tarrant-Smyth sitting at one end of the large table and Constance at the other.There was hardly a sound as Kirsty served the food. She bit her lip, fighting the impulse to giggle, and was vastly relieved when Mrs Tarrant-Smyth dismissed her at last.“That’ll be all, Kirsty. You can clear away when we’ve moved to the drawing-room.”By the time Kirsty had helped Mrs Butchart, the cook, to wash the pots and scrub the table in the kitchen, the glorious summer day had faded into a balmy dusk. Kirsty let herself out by the back door to take her usual walk in the garden. In the few weeks she had been at the Grange, she’d come to love these solitary walks, breathing in the perfume of night-scented stocks, pinks and the mass of roses in the rose arbour. Now and then she would pause, marvelling at the silence.On this particular night, that silence was suddenly broken by the sound of Constance’s voice as she came up behind her. “Mama has retired a little early,” she said. “One of her headaches. The heat causes them. I thought I’d come outside for a chat.”As darkness fell, they perched on the seat in the arbour, and chatted as they had often done in Glasgow.“I got a letter frae Mither,” Kirsty said. “Adam’s coming tae the village for the summer, after all! He might be here by now. I’m sure he’ll come tae see me the first chance he gets.”Constance was silent for a moment or two. Then she looked up.“I haven’t told Mama anything about my friends at the art school, Kirsty. It’s better that way, I feel. I need to keep a little bit of freedom. I mean, well, she doesn’t know about Adam, or that you’re his sister . . .” Her voice faded. “I can keep a secret, Miss Constance. A’ that’s just between ye an’ me.”But in the darkness Kirsty was smiling, because the other’s words had proved something she thought she’d seen in Glasgow that her brother was very special to Miss Constance Tarrant-Smyth, just as she was to him.