The Mystery Of Anna Grace – Episode 39

Robin was in the middle of showing the guests some photos Charlie had taken when the projector screen went blank.

“Has someone tripped over a cable or something?” he joked.

“Main light’s off, too,” Wynford replied.

“Excuse me a moment,” Robin said.

They had only just had the electrics updated in the dairy room. It was Don the farmer’s electrician who had done the work and he was as good as they came.

Just then, a text came through on Robin’s mobile phone. It was Charlie.

“Power’s off in main house.”

What was the best thing to do? Absolutely everything rode on this weekend being a success.

There was nothing for it but to telephone the power company.

Robin dialled and got Handel’s “Water Music”. He was on hold. Why did it always seem like just as he had finished dealing with one set of problems, another one came along?

Eventually, Robin got a pre-recorded message, telling him that there was essential maintenance today, but that there should be only sporadic interruptions to the power supply.

Sporadic, my foot, he thought. The power had now been out for 15 minutes.

He could hear Wynford chatting to the guests and trying to keep the momentum of the workshop going. However, the light would eventually fade and they wouldn’t be able to do much more without electric light.

His mobile phone chirped.

“Reckon someone’s drilled through a cable somewhere,” Albert said.

“Pity we got rid of the old gas cooker last year,” Robin said. “We might have to start thinking about giving refunds to guests.”

“Not a bit of it! Charlie has some ideas of her own. You just keep the guests amused as long as you can,” Albert said, ringing off before Robin could ask him any more.

Just then, Robin looked out the window of the little atrium in the dairy room. It was Dean, pushing a wheelbarrow, heading in the direction of the cottages, closely followed by Charlie, carrying what looked like a big dish covered with tin foil.

What on earth were they doing?

He put his head round the door of the main studio.

“I’m just going up to the main house to fetch something,” he lied, grabbing the wellies that he kept by the main door.

*  *  *  *

When Robin got up to the kitchen, Katarina was whipping cream. She handed Robin a bowl of peeled potatoes.

“Take those down to my cottage and tell Dean to par-boil them for twenty minutes.”

“But the electric’s off!” Robin said.

“Not in the cottages,” Katarina said. “It was Charlie’s idea. The cottages are on a different circuit. They take the food down there in the wheelbarrows and the meal will be saved!”

At that moment, Charlie came back up.

“Dean’s timing everything on his mobile. The pot roast is in the cooker in your cottage, Katarina. I’ve put all the bacon and milk for tomorrow’s breakfast into my own fridge since we don’t know how long this is going to last.

“Harriet’s on her way with Grant and they’re going to pick up some torches at the supermarket.

“If the power stays off all night, we can give the guests torches so they’re not groping around in the dark. Now, I’d better light the fire in the dining-room.”

“I’ll get you some more coal,” Robin said.

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.