The Mystery Of Anna Grace – Episode 07

Charlie spent a happy evening with Katarina and Albert. Albert was Anna Grace’s handyman, and a gentle hippy sort, with an earring and wavy hair that he tied back in a pony tail.

“I came here in the 1980s when there was a pop concert and never left,” he joked.

Katarina explained that Anna Grace no longer provided an evening meal, but Mrs Cecilia had a habit of just announcing that guests should come to dinner.

Katarina had put her foot down a few years back and declared Friday night a takeaway night.

“So on Friday nights, Albert nips down into town and gets pizza and garlic bread.”

It was late when Charlie got back to the cottage. She picked up the manuscript and started reading the rather blotchy old-fashioned type face.

Today, we went to church for the first time. I insisted upon it as I wanted to show that we were part of the village now.

It is also good to give thanks to the Almighty, although I confess that Lottie, Eva and John were fidgety all the way through.

It was cold in church, so I was glad of my heavier cloak, and I made sure my children were wrapped up.

Several folk greeted me afterwards and I wished that my husband had not been engaged in conversation with two of the neighbouring farmers.

The folk did not introduce themselves, of course, but they knew my name.

We took the carriage. If it had just been Jacob and me, the walk would have been bracing on such a bright morning, but it was simply too far for little legs.

Mrs Fanshawe is correct and will not do unnecessary work on the Sabbath.

So luncheon was chicken in the pot. It is an old French recipe that came from my grandmother’s family.

Mrs Fanshawe looked at me as if I had two heads when I added a sprig of rosemary from the garden.

I did not wish our new neighbours to think that I had raised a crowd of heathens, but neither did I want the children cooped up indoors.

So I said that they could play in the little kitchen garden.

Nor do I wish the village to know that we have few servants.

That they will know soon enough, but I do not wish the fact to be made known before it need be.

I will engage more help, but in the meantime I wish to take stock, as my father would say.

He always said that it was wiser to wait, to pray and to seek wise counsel before deciding on a course of action.

So I shall bide my time and engage trustworthy staff. I would also wish to wait until our finances are more healthy. Jacob’s uncle has left us this house, but also his debts.

Charlie was interrupted by a text from her mother, so she put down Uncle Tom’s typescript to reply.

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.