The Glens of Stone – Episode 09

“It’s such a transformation!” Kirsty walked from room to room, Malcolm Porteous by her side. “In only three days.”

A truly remarkable change had taken place in the old building off the Canongate. The rubble, and dust had been swept away and the walls and windows washed until they gleamed.

“It’s the furnishings that give it life,” Malcolm said.

Malcolm and Alison had somehow managed to lay their hands on extra chairs, cupboards, tables, kitchenware and linen.

When Kirsty had asked Alison how this had been achieved the girl had simply laughed.

“Father has connections.”

Kirsty’s thoughts were broken by Malcolm.

“Come and see this,” he urged.

She followed him along the passageway to the meeting hall where she clapped a hand to her mouth in wonder. A squad of men was positioning a wing-shaped spinet at the far end of the room.

Kirsty found it hard to speak.

“It’s lovely, Malcolm. But who will play it? I can’t.”

“Alison plays,” he replied, “and she’s agreed to teach you if you wish. It’s the perfect accompaniment for psalms.”

Kirsty gently fingered the keys.

“You’ve a nice touch.”

Alison had appeared at her side.

“That will help when you start your lessons.” She picked out a short melody with one hand. “Handel. I have lots of music.”

Duncan bustled into the room and joined them.

“Marvellous,” he said, “absolutely marvellous. I can hardly wait until we open on Saturday night. They’ll surely think the Lord has sent angels to this old building.”

“We’ve heard you’ve a lovely singing voice, Kirsty,” Malcolm said with enthusiasm.

“Haven’t we just,” Alison said coldly. “Excuse me, I have other matters to attend to.”

An awkward silence fell on the group as Alison departed.

“I don’t know what gets into my sister at times,” Malcolm muttered.

Kirsty forced a smile.

“She’s probably just tired. Saturday’s but two days hence, with lots still to be done. How would it be if I went to the printers to collect the handbills?”

“I’d nearly forgotten them,” her father admitted. “They have to be distributed among the local folk, advising them of the mission house’s opening.” His eyes closed and he yawned.

“I’m fair tired myself, and I’m sure you’re both exhausted, too. Leave the leaflets until the morning. Let’s away and have a wee sit-down.”

Gratefully, Kirsty and Malcolm followed him upstairs, where one of the four rooms had been refurbished as a sitting-room. On the way they passed Alison, but the girl studiously avoided their gaze.

“A strange lass at times,” Duncan murmured, frowning. “Aye, a strange one for sure.”

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.