Samson whinnied his usual morning greeting to Adam as he came into the stable. Goliath shifted his bulk and eyed him warily as he began to fill the feeding trough. Adam smiled. These horses were just like people with their own personalities. Samson liked him and showed it. Goliath was harder to please, more suspicious. But, thankfully, they were docile creatures. Tam put his head round the stable door.“An early start this mornin’, son. We’ll hae tae harness the big yin tae a slipe.” He nodded at Goliath, who was slightly bigger than Samson.Adam had no idea what a slipe was but supposed it was some sort of cart. “I’ll gie ye a hand. C’mon.”The stables mucked out and the two Grange horses turned into the paddock, Adam washed his hands and face at the tap in the yard, then lifted his jacket and made his way through the fields to the bottom gate. Anxiously, he scanned the road winding towards the Grange. Perhaps Constance was regretting their moonlit encounter, or perhaps her mama had forbidden her to come? His gaze fell on the trees fringing the river, where there was a flutter of white as a girl stepped out from their shelter. Constance began to run towards him. They sat on the riverbank in the shade of a willow tree, her head resting on his shoulder, his arm round her waist. At last, she looked up at him, blushing.“You must think me very bold.” “No.” His grip tightened. “We’ve known each other for so long now. Mind you, I thought you a wee bit bold that first day at the art school, when we had our picnic.”Her blush deepened.“Aren’t you glad we did?”For answer, he tilted up her face and kissed her soundly.Adam described waiting by the bottom gate morning and evening, wondering if she would come.“I couldn’t get away,” she explained. “Mama is trying to fill every minute of my day with diversions, to take my mind off going back to Glasgow at the end of the summer. But I’m determined.”From her expression, Adam was confident she would win through.“I must go and see Blossom,” Constance said at last. “I’ve been neglecting her.” Her face lit up as a thought occurred to her. “We could saddle up and go riding! You could take Ebony. He’s a carriage-horse, and very agreeable.”“Constance, I’ve never ridden a horse! And as for saddling up, well, the nearest I’ve come to that is polishing tack for Samson and Goliath!” “We’ll soon put that right,” was all she said, as they walked towards the paddock.Blossom had consumed the sugar lumps that Constance had brought in her bag, and the sun was well up in the sky when she glanced at her fob watch and gave a little shriek.“Oh, Adam, just look at the time! I must get back, or there’ll be questions asked. I can’t impose too much longer on poor Kirsty.”At the bottom gate they stood close together, hand in hand, making plans for their next meeting. They were so wrapped up in each other that both started at the sudden sound of a voice.“Good morning, Miss Constance.”A small dark girl, carrying a basket, stepped out from the shelter of the riverbank. As she moved past them, she darted a curious glance at Adam and smirked slightly.Constance groaned.“Oh, no! That’s Lily. She works up at the house. And she’s a gossip . . .”At that moment, a cloud cast a shadow over the sun.