The Ladies Of Eastgarrow – Episode 12

Em and Thomas sat in the sunshine one fine autumn day, on a great log that had lain for years on the long slope up to the cliff. The seat was out of sight of the house, and though Em knew he had taken her there for privacy, to discuss the murder, she dared hope that he liked to be with her, too. “Have we spoken to as many of the villagers in Garrow as we can?” Thomas was asking. “I cannot help but think that someone will know something that will help. There’s always traffic back and forth from Garrow. Surely somebody talked with, or just saw, Mr Delaine that day when ”“Oh, Mr Meredith!” Em interrupted. “I clean forgot the man in the lane.”He turned to her. “What man?”Em quickly told him about the rough man she had seen in discussion with Mr Delaine in Garrow. She was full of apologies at being so forgetful.“It seemed such a small thing at the time,” she said. “I forgot it in the plans for the wedding.”He picked at the splinters of the beech log. “I don’t want to think,” he said, “that Patrick Delaine had . . . had a skeleton in his cupboard, or someone who wished him ill. He was such an open, honest man.”“But people can be deceived,” Em said quietly.“That’s true. If this man followed Mr Delaine here, for revenge, or compensation, something of that sort, and did not get what he wanted, then perhaps he followed him to the cliff and . . .”They sat in silence for a moment.“It must be done,” Thomas said.“What must be done?”“We must know any guilt on Mr Delaine’s part, one way or another. We must go to London and visit that gunsmith’s shop. We know he was employed there because Mr and Mrs Benson confirm it, but . . . ” Thomas’s hand pressed down hard on the beech log “. . . what if he was scheming, even as a young man, to get a fortune from a rich widow? What if Lady Barnabas was his prey?”They sat looking at the earth until Em spoke.“I just can’t see it, Mr Meredith. It doesn’t fit. Do you see?”“I agree,” he said. He turned to look at her. “You must call me Thomas, you know, if we are to continue this work together.”


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