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Betty Neels

Henrietta's Own Castle

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    Catherine Annie Tatehar citeretfor 3 år siden
    ‘Five—six. There are two more cars on their way. The plane was full, but there are many killed.’ He started to walk away and then paused to say over his shoulder: ‘Mother? She is all right?’

    ‘She’s wonderful—do you want her kept away?’

    His grim face broke into a sudden smile. ‘Dear girl! No—she would never forgive me, but warn them again.’

    She went back into the hall and passed on his message and was glad that she had done so, for the victims carried in so carefully were a shocking sight indeed. It was to the credit of the helpers there that none of them turned away, only waited mutely to be told what to do.
    Catherine Annie Tatehar citeretfor 3 år siden
    was outside fetching in more coal when she went downstairs, and by the time she had showered and emerged, cosily wrapped in her pink quilted dressing gown, her hair hanging damply down her back, he had made the tea and set the tray on one of the little side tables. Henrietta saw, with a sinking heart, that there was only one cup and saucer. ‘You’ll have a cup?’ she asked him in quite a timid voice, ‘I’m sorry I was so rude and cross.’
    Catherine Annie Tatehar citeretfor 3 år siden
    weather had changed; the grey skies had given way to a pale, chilly blue and there was sunshine, though quite without warmth, for part of each day so that the icy roads never quite thawed. No weather to take out the car, but she had become a little restless, owing, she refused to admit, to the fact that she hadn’t seen anything of Marnix van Hessel for several days.
    Catherine Annie Tatehar citeretfor 3 år siden
    voice was different now; kind and friendly and quite uncurious. She heard herself saying: ‘No, not quite; I have a little money I’ve saved and of course there’s my super-an., but I can’t get at that until I retire or marry.’
    Catherine Annie Tatehar citeretfor 3 år siden
    Bacon…’

    ‘No, most people don’t eat your sort of bacon. What else?’

    ‘Eggs, cheese, butter…’

    ‘Butter? That is expensive in Holland, not many people eat it.’

    ‘Oh, well, margarine, I suppose. Where do I buy meat?’

    He said something or other to the woman. ‘The butcher comes twice a week, he will be here in half an hour or so—in the square. I will tell Mevrouw Ros that somebody must help you with the money and so on.’

    ‘Don’t you mean ask?’ she wanted to know. ‘You sound like a feudal lord.’
    Catherine Annie Tatehar citeretfor 3 år siden
    excited to drink more than a cup of coffee, she took an extravagant taxi back to St Clement’s and went at once to see Miss Brice. It was unusual for anyone to demand an interview at such short notice; the Admin. Sisters, sitting at their desks in the outer office, tried to fob her off with an appointment for the next day, but Henrietta, uplifted by the knowledge that she was now a woman of property, however small, and had means of her own, even smaller, refused to be put off. She walked into Miss Brice’s office, feeling a little topheavy with excitement and looking twice as pretty as she normally did because of it.
    Catherine Annie Tatehar citeretfor 3 år siden
    added vaguely.

    Mr Boggett consulted his papers once more. ‘Certainly, but the village is rural and the rates are low, I imagine that an outlay of fifty pounds or so annually would cover them.’
    Catherine Annie Tatehar citeretfor 3 år siden
    opened it without much curiosity and paused to sip her tea before she read it. It was from a firm of solicitors, informing her that her aunt, Miss Henrietta Brodie, had died a week previously and that, by the terms of her will, she, her niece and sole surviving relative, was to inherit the property known as Dam 3 in the village of Gijzelmortel, situated in the province of North Brabant, Holland, together with its contents and such moneys as remained after the payment of certain legacies. The writer begged her to pay him a visit at the earliest opportunity and remained hers faithfully, Jeremy Boggett, of Messrs Boggett, Payne, Boggett and Boggett.
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