The Ladies Of Eastgarrow – Episode 18

Edward Barnabas came back the following day from Portugal. With him he brought a lovely young woman with golden hair and a smile that lit up the rooms of Eastgarrow Court for the first time in months.“You’ll say I should have warned you, Mother,” he said happily, his arm tight around the young lady’s waist. “I caught myself a wife! But I hadn’t time, because things move fast around a barracks. Genevieve’s father he’s just below the Governor-General in rank, you know he threatened to take her back to India if I didn’t fetch the priest! Wasn’t it a splendid decision of mine, Mama?”Lady Louisa embraced both of them, over and over again.That day, the colour began to return to her cheeks. Her son and his new wife seemed to begin the healing process which the household had been longing for.Edward sat for many hours and talked over the death of Patrick Delaine with his mother. He brought with him the perspective of the soldier, that death was hard to bear but that life went on.Edward observed to Thomas Meredith that his sister seemed very much altered since he had left in ’91, and Thomas replied that girls did change a great deal. Lady Louisa fretted about her daughter, but her own health gradually improved until Dr Robertson pronounced her well.Celestine declared that she no longer needed a tutor, and that she desired a new maid. Lady Louisa asked many times why the excellent Em no longer suited, but Celestine was adamant, and by now Thomas had told his employer that he had fallen in love with Em, and meant to marry her.Celestine doted still on her mama, but it was a cloying love, and it was said in the household and the town that the girl had better get herself a husband. But she could never be persuaded to look among the men of her acquaintance. The marriage of the maid with Mr Meredith was a surprise to the village, but universally declared to be a wise pairing. The newlyweds set up home a very small but cosy home in Garrow, and Celestine remained in her mother’s house, spending much of her time alone.

The End.


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