The End Of The Rainbow – Episode 82

Five years later, Adam Gray paused from digging over a verge and leaned for a moment against one of the trees that shaded the vast lawn of Avondale House, watching Davie, the gardener, hoeing a flower-bed. The sun was warm on Adam’s face. Behind him, through the garden door of the orangery floated the voices of children. His children. He smiled again, lingering a moment longer in the warmth of the summer sun, reflecting that he really should go inside and rescue Constance from the demands of Marianne and Thomas. Since he and his wife had turned the orangery into a studio, the children had responded by turning it into their playground. Somehow, it had become the most natural thing in the world Adam managing to paint, Constance designing panels for stained-glass and the children flitting around their feet with their toys.Turning, he looked at Avondale House. When Aunt Letty had insisted that they make it their home, she had predicted that they would make it come alive again, and they had. Suddenly, he was glad that he had accepted her offer.“Some day, it will belong to my dear Constance,” Letty had explained to him in that gentle way of hers. “It would be foolish to let it moulder and decay in the meantime.”While Adam had no wish to be beholden to anyone, even Constance’s dear aunt Letty, he’d known by the look on his bride’s face that living at Avondale would make her very happy. And that had been enough. Apartments had been reserved for Letty and Hugh so that they could visit any time they chose, but they rarely tore themselves away from the Gourock estate, unless it was to travel abroad. Living within walking distance of Adam’s formidable mother-in-law had proved no problem. Grandchildren had mellowed Louisa Tarrant-Smyth.Constance smiled up at him as he went into the studio.“Davie will have been glad of your help this morning. He’s not as young as he used to be, and he takes such pride in the garden.”Her voice tailed off as Adam dropped a swift kiss on her upturned face.“You’ve done enough for one morning, love,” he said. “Let’s leave the work behind and go for a walk with the children.”“Papa!” An indignant voice broke into the conversation. “Papa, you said you’d take me to see Grandmama, and I’ve been waiting!”Miss Marianne Louisa Gray, aged four and a bit, was perched on a chair in the corner, swinging her sunhat by its ribbon, two red spots of annoyance on her cheeks. She was dressed in her best lace-trimmed pinafore, blonde hair shining in the sunlight.“You’re late!” she added accusingly.“Does our daughter remind you of anyone in particular?” Adam, his arm round his wife, murmured in her ear.Constance giggled.“That’s why the two of them get on so well together!”Adam tried to lift Marianne off her chair. She slid under his outstretched arm and fixed him with a disapproving glance.“You’re all dirty, Papa, ’cause you’ve been in the garden. You must wash your face before we go to Grandmama’s house.”“Of course,” Adam said gravely. Constance’s giggle was drowned out by a banging from the corner of the room.“Thomas is mending his little cart. The wheel fell off,” she explained, trying vainly to stop her giggle becoming a laugh.A chubby Master Thomas Gray, aged three, was banging the wheel of his toy with a wooden brick. Brightly coloured bricks had tumbled out of his cart. Scarlet with exertion, he had been occupied in trying to mend the wheel for some time.“Let me,” Adam coaxed, bending over him.A furious little face glared up at him.“No, me fix it!”As Adam obligingly stepped back, Thomas continued to bang at the offending wheel. His parents looked at each other, trying not to laugh.“Who does your son remind you of, Adam?”“You know the answer as well as I do,” was the reply. “Our son is well named Thomas Gray!”“Papa!” Marianne tugged at Adam impatiently.Constance began to tidy up her paints.“Work finished for the day, then.” She smiled. “Duty calls.”


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