The wicket gate

Soft candle light kissed her peach smooth cheek as she turned her raven black hair in the twist of her fingers. The darkened lattice of leaded windows looked down to the gardens and afforded a view to the crescent of the road. The moonlight flooded the scene as she waited to hear the horsehooves of her errant lover ringing over the cobbled yard .

The Kings road that lead all the way over the brow of Peddlers hill to the way down to the town where she knew he would be.

Thomas Throlby was at his beer and telling his tales of a highwayman as he was when in marched the redcoats of King George and off he went to his death on a long rope on a tall tree branch.

There he swung a dead gentleman in a velvet red coat and with French lace around his throat.

She knew in her heart that something had gone wrong. She heard the news over breakfast of the following morning. To this she read her hands thrown to the air above her pale white face. One move and she ran upstairs to her room never to be seen again.

Lady Lorna De Grace Forthing aged 20 had taken her own sweet life sometime within the hour of 9am of 18th of September in the year of Grace 1767 —————————————————

Summer 1921

“Some one at the door My Lord. “

” Who is it Soames?” Sighed Baron De Grace Forthing.

” Someone stuck near our gates sir. Motor carriage broken down and rain just started .Shall I offer shelter my Lord. “Announced his Butler.

‘Highly unfortunate for how many Soames?”

‘,Man and wife .Name of Beamley sir. “

‘Kitchen Soames, hot tea and bed them down in the east red room for one night only im not in the habit to offer more.”

” Of course sir. Cook went after dinner, hour ago sir.”

‘ Really ,Can you make them tea dear boy. Something to go with it may be cake. Or what ever you find that can be suitable”

“Red bedroom sir?”

” Why ever not Soames. Good room nice view over the gardens what more do they expect.Me move out and give them my bed ,is that it man? “

“No, no, My Lord ,your offer is pure Christian charity .Just that Red bedroom and the tale of your ancestors suicide there. “

” Ah! was forgetting that. Well! I have lived here all my life and at 78 have not ever seen a ghost or heard of one. They will be alright man they have no knowledge of that story. Now can you make them a tea and bring me a cup too please Soames. “

” Something in it me Lord?”smiled Soames knowingly.

” How very good of you, drop of the malt would be nice, now you mention it man, helps me sleep Il wager?” The old Baron sat back in his armchair reading the last adventures of Sherlock Holmes .


The excitement filtered away and at 2am the house in darkness save for a creaking wooden wicket gate that woke the hounds, all would have gone unnoticed.

The house now aroused found the couple from the red room gone. A full check of goods showed nothing missing but the man and wife.

“How very upsetting .What gets in to these young people Soames?”

‘ The Red bedroom sir window is open. Ill go up and close it over as gate can be closed too .Cant see how they left as it leads to the lake and rose gardens. “

” May have tied it and then seen the gates they came through to my door.”

” yes that could be just it. Ill check the gardens in the morning ?”

” Yes best plan indeed man .Now can we go back to our beds. I am anyway goodnight again Soames.”

” Sleep well sir. I will lock up ,again.”


Second part next week .

Thank you all, Sir K.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt November 28th 2020

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