Reaching the festive season soon. So have a good rest and enjoy what you can. Here ,as in Britain greed has risen its ugly head. Food prices following Jeremy Clarksons stupidly nasty comment that all food was too cheap. All prices now up 200 % higher across the whole board. Winter heating briquets a ton from 125 e to 400 over night . Most homes burn 4 ton over a hard minus 34c winter so it is too much for most out here. What is happening yet again is global drift into other nations. Government here nearly broke increase taxes and will regret it when wake up to see Latvia is down to half million people and they cant pay the EU membership it is Greece again and problems all around.
England had its prices and income board but here one can charge what you wish .Then tax hits the silly sods . Latvia is a lovely country in the hands of robbers and Governments that last for ever no matter who wins the vote . Soon it will be land charges and im hit that way . We cant predict what will happen but one thing seems sure that prices will still rise no matter what. Not enough people to take action and so I say farewell to all as blogging is not possible as even they have raised prices who supply me. I have canceled for end of January but do not intend to do any more .Sorry but less than 50 people subscribed thousands read every page and so its costing me over 200 euro a year plus power so thanks to all of you who helped me . Not a cent did I earn in 3 years over 200 blogs. With cost of living so high as it is it is one less payout . Be good be honest and be happy. Yours ever faithfully, Sir Kevin .If i can use free service blogs as some have mentioned I will reconsider later in summer.
Hello to all . Christmas just around corner but we have started early with unexpected snow falls. Colder days now and still planting iris tubers in the warm insulated soils covered with inch of snows on fields and gardens .
Time to rest in front of the great log fire in lounge room in house. Traditional Salmon soup served with garden herbs of summer stored. Making Indian Chutney is my job today.Glut of orchard apples gave me idea to make sixteen jars . Then turn to Marmalade making later in day . Two things Latvians do not sell or know of . Sevile oranges from market bought last week come in handy sooner than expected as days shorten and winter rides by like the huntsman cracking is icy whip at retreating Mother of Summer days .Nature abates and winter freezes earth.
For us inside it is preparation time for the festival of celebrations of bounties now being used from field ,orchard and gardens. Christmas to most.
Work inside is warm and cozy but Ill show you castles near by we visit in Spring before starting garden work .
Latvia is as said, a land of forest and lakes castles and history of nasty Russian overlord ship who ruined many historic places before given independence in 1990s. Over 16000 Latvians left and live now in England and her islands or USA.
It leaves less than a Million population and remote inland village and towns in romantic silence and only the cities are crowded.Riga the capital is a city of culture .The feel of Paris lingers over it . Buildings of real charm and skill craved in stone the figures of antiquity hold up the doorways and windows in the mansions that line the streets . Old Town is just that and a place worthy of world interest.
Rundale Palace Latvia .Built as summer palace for Empress Katherine the Great.
One can visit all of them . I have many more sites in Latvia and Estonia to visit for you if ever wish to visit this secret land of hidden values in history untold .
Yours Sir Kevin. Best wishes to you all and thank you for reading my work. This will be one of that last blogs I send. Sadly not one penny did I make from 3 years of research and writing. Today made plans to grow roses and sell bare rooted on market stalls .Slow small business but will pay in the end .In summer the blog cut hard into my day of garden build and hard work to set standard of a gardens outside of England not the understanding that exists outside it. So means ever best efforts to build heaven on earth is may promise to God for my survival was never certain in life and at 72 amazed still here
God be with you all .
Copyright Kevin James Parr Bt 2022 Winter of late November
Group leader Wing Commander of 617 squadron heavy bomber command Guy Gibson had flown 172 missions for RAF before taking over as Wing Commander 617 squadron .In 1942 he was only 24 years old and faced his greatest task .Bomber Harris and Churchill saw a need to stop German production of arms and machinery in Rhur Valley . So bomber squads trained to drop bombs from Avero Lancaster planes onto dams in that said valley of heavy industry.
Gibson was selected to take charge of the 11 planes involved and all Lancaster aircraft were delivered ready to fly that said mission.
Barnes Wallace was an inventor know to war office .He was tasked in designing a bomb that could do it. He did just that with his bouncing bomb .Round metal barrel stuffed with explosives and Lancasters had to be modified in bomb bay to be able to release this massive load as easily as possible.
They flew at night without sights and with no lights . Match stuck with gum to the face board instrument cover top . This was how they hoped to score hits no other way as given. 5 planes 53 men lost in this suicide mission that did knock out two of the three targets, amazingly as it is.
Gibson was now a celebrated VC holder and was the pride of the RAF. Guy Penrose Gibson VCO and bar DFC and bar born August 12th 1918 in Shimla hill fort town India .His parents civil servants overseas . Guy was educated at Saint Edwards college Oxford.
Now we move on .He was now in 1944 26 years old flying a mission along with another Sq leader . A fighter air craft. It was a mission over Germany not know to us even today. Seeing a plane fly low over coast of Holland some one shot it down thinking it a raid. The aircraft hit the ground killing both men . The Nazi occupation thought it best just to bury and forget. Then a name tag hidden in Gibsons sock gave the game away. Churchill was told soon afterwards where the grave was . Harris decided to inform that senior staff but not the men. Both he and Churchill hid the secret as thought best not to worry the public .Loss of moral sort of thing.
The movie and music The Dambusters made in the 70s thrilled many of us and helped to immortalize those brave crews who flew missions in Avro Lancasters and all else that flew for Britain against a foe called Hitler.
Guy Gibson will live for ever in the minds on men who know duty to England is a must.One hero among so many in operation Cherise will stand as proof against all odds it can be done .
God bless them all. Until mankind says NO to war, they will stand as high as mountains to warn us peace is best
The dying light of the sun flickered through the forest of trees that blocked, in part, my progress made.
Soft the mossy floor of this timber cathedral arched and bowed as giant limb be told. The way to the light far off did haunt the vision on high the tired frame of man behold.
The path half sunk in mounds of upturned earth .The gentleman in the velvet coat beware the stumble .The sound of pain that thus do rise above the ceiling of this darkened place of witches and devils called woodland at night .Hark a twig breaks the silent under foot.
There was a path under lichen and bracken that has long since fallen into its spell and is no more a path to see the way home. Then once,long ago it was so used .I found its trace . The dead now its route and take me the rest of way .
Tant le desiree it echos in time to my footfall .I hear in the wind over and over so .My advance breaks the silence as I crash through the golden bracken and fall headlong onto my lawn. The curtain slides softly behind me . There was a path,they were right , that now belongs to ghosts .
I have come to this subject through many years of trials. What will fit the garden soil and what will survive .What is truly healthy and what needs pampers. Here in my gardens in Autumn is just turning over into early winter . Zone 5a but acts as if zone 4 on exposed front of our land . Until hedge reach full height its hard to judge what needs protection .If so it goes as gardens need only plants that will thrive not try to waste time and money arguing with mother nature . Therefore this blog deals with only survivors .
Over some decades I have come to see scent is not always so vital . What thrills me is the plant itself. That male strength in structure .The cutting swords of thorns .Then the gentle silks of so heavenly the female .Scent also illustrates my meaning in truth the rose flower is everything sweet lady must be.
I do not have Hybrid Tea roses in my gardens so we can move on with what my choice became. Madame Legrass de Sant Germaine is an old French rose of great garden value. Pinkish white as strawberry and vanilla ice cream .A mass of silks in every display. She graces my rose gardens coming in with old rose scent as one of top five roses for any garden with space. Flowers only once over almost 6 weeks .
The rose Fantin Latoure is a great pink mass on 1000 silky pink petals that flowers twice and arches in splendor seeing the blue skies above her in bloom one on the best sights around. Large rose but worth it.
The old Moss Rose Salet is the hardest worker in this garden .Always in flower .Good amount of moss to a point almost .She blooms all together over a large plant .Deep cerise pink and if a problem needs a bit of thinning out as so thick a patch suffers with bad air. I do this after all flowering is over then in with cutters and remove older steams .It is the only pruning old roses need .Best left if not a problem . This garden was designed for all to put on a show and relax without corsets .
My top rose must be Chapeau de Napoleon. Another crested moss Centifolia. This means many sepals many petals and by its shape before bloom appears look so exactly the hat worn by the Emperor of France we beat on the playing fields of Eaton and took it as victory at Waterloo in 1815. This rose sort of reminds us of so worthy an enemy he was . In 1827 it was bred by French officer in Paris . It, like most old roses has the sweat scent of powerful riches but flowers only once . For around a month only. I look forward to it in flower every summer with much joy. Great wide spread lax plant and hard to place in a small garden it is still a talking point in larger ones .One can train it easily into a climber with care . The second photo is this rose in full late Spring early summer bloom. Used in so many paintings of still life by great artists. First photo is John Davis climber .
Ground cover rose that flowers from May to late October without a break. New from old French rose breeders Ducher in Lyon . Called Rosier buisson Petillante de Saint Galmier .A true star of any border in sunshine .19inch high spread of some 6 feet
David Austin roses are not hardy enough here . In the main this is so but I have trialed a few with bad results .This one came through.
Hyde Hall .A lovely ever flowering deep salmon pink flowers that cover the tall wide growing mass of light green leaves. I do not cover it and it has survived well now for 3 years . Never cut it or pruned it until it reached this years height .Will next week try but all roses still in flower that will flower happily until frost ..Last summer went on until 22th October with many lovely warm days .This year we just cant tell as now is cold and wet 30th September 10.42 am
Next is John Davis climber.A Canadian tribute to an English sailor. The Morden research rose that is one of the most lovely ever bred. Spreads like a true old English rambler but flowers all year until Christmas over gazebo . Again a shade of pink I grow with blue skies clematis and white swan clematis.
On the rose trellis I have Pauls Hymalian musk rose that dies back a bit but rambles well in summer into mass of bloom . Must reach 60 feet across to Pergola and maybe next Summer will not just reach but cover it . More of late Spring flowering rose .Great for hanging solar lights on as strong branches all the way up .
I like the Alba roses too I have the great Jacobite rose Alba Maxima growing strong but young as yet in my alee to the postern gate .Now Im working on that gate, self supported though.,it would benefit from old brick columns each side .
If asked what single rose I would have in a small space garden and one I grow in a large garden too. I have to say pick Jacques Cartier as best all rounder and value for money. Ticks all points .
I grew a Hansa rose hedge of about 15 plants across rose garden border with main drive beds other side. Grow so well in clay that people comment on seeing it. 6 feet tall 4 feet wide. Deep red velvet flowers terrific scent and prolific all summer. Thorn is big and nothing gets trough it. Another great hedging rose I use is Terase Bugnet same size but pink shell like many petals other wise just as good as Hansa grows anyplace. Delight when rose hedges can be planted watered and forgotten. But once grown and in flower what pride I have in seeing it all before my gaze .
Many more roses of real worth but for now that I hope is enough for you to consider. A garden needs roses and the ones here I have given are time tested hero mix. Maybe ill try growing my own rose from cross breeding .Big long winded job it is but here have the full range of the rarest jewels outside of Empress Josephines gardens in France. It just takes imagination and learned history of old garden roses. I say to all that pass through these portals every rose has a story and of real interest many of them .Who in the past held this same plant and flower that we have in front of us now . Then the mind opens up My cat Archer who follows my progress everyplace in garden is captured on photo as she hates to be left out. From workshop through arches to gates of Edwardian garden she loves as voles and mice have no chance under her gaze .
I do so hope that you enjoyed my rose talk. Thank you for dropping by .
Strange title one may say .I would agree with you . It all happened long ago in my youth.
As children none of us would venture out after darkness fell. It was not just we children had early bed times and story told before lights out at 8pm in winters. It was something that lived in the vapors from the earth that rose like a sheet from the bed and drifted across the lawns under its own power.
That was the ghost of a woman from two hundred years before our time. For all in the village below our gates this was legend . Talked of under baited breath in dark corners over a few beers at at end of working days .
It was hard even to have postal services as few would travel from the gates to the house alone in a van . No one would walk up or across the fields to see us. .During daylight it was not as bad and in summers long days up to 9pm we could play on the grass and enjoy life as children . In fact we had a very good time as children. Uncles and Aunts made big fuss of us .
I once disgust with an aged great Aunt about our ghost. She told me it was a lady of this house who was killed by her horse in the driveway that comes back to find her horse she was thrown from .
I asked if she had ever seen this ghost when she was a child here.
She said no but one of my grandfathers footmen had and it brought on a nervous breakdown and he left for hospital and died that very night .
One evening my pet spaniel bitch got out .I was 15 I think at time and I had no choice but to take a brolly from that hall stand and search the gardens for her. She came running back rather scared and soon back inside the warm kitchens she was rubbed down. Soon food was served to her and all that may have scared her was soon forgotten .
As I grew I made that walk back to house my car at the gate . Walked back in pitch darkness .Stumbling on uneven driveway gravels and suddenly this white thing some 30 foot ahead of me looked terrifying in the darkness . It grew taller and my heart stopped as it slowly drifted toward me . Frozen to the spot it came closer .The wind in the trees each side of the dark dark black tunnel made a sudden rustling and the white ghostly moving thing bleated as it collided with my leg. My whole body crumbled in laughter at my total silly fear. It was no more than one of our sheep who must have jumped the hedge and found itself stunned .
I eventually came to my car and went back to help milk the cows .I had the bottles from home for the suckler piglets that was why I had walked down the drive in the first place.
I had finished uni and was back home waiting for results .I took history and law degrees and now sat waiting.Not one on my best modes . I decided to look through our old selves of books in the study . It took me best part of a week but among the books I hoped to find the case of this ladies death who is out ghost I came across my great grandfathers diary . I read into parties in 1890 and dates with his girl friend who became my great grandmother I found one page that dealt with theft of eggs from hen house that must have been half way down the drive in the old yard that used to be used to feed the hounds for hunt. Gone long before my birth . It said in his neat writing ‘I thus came to a thought that rather than move all I could stop invasion of no goods by inventing a ghost to haunt the drive way and woodland. A strong case of fear helps keep all away from my property. A head less rider . No .I can use that death of the rider who was thrown . No one will think back that far.So dear dairy talk with gossips and see how long it takes to spread the fear of hell in these midnight walkers up to no good .”
I say back in my armchair and howled with laughter ,handing the dairy to my sister to read and enjoy .
I can say even though we knew the story if on dark nights we had to go outside in total dark no moon it still gave us shivers .
Hope this true tale you too enjoyed.
Thank you for reading this and God be with us all.
The afternoon sun ablaze in the south wing Lounge room windows fell in patterns of pinks and yellow upon the Chinese carpets .The old arched stained glass windows as good as they were after 500 years in situ.
Door opens in comes Plumer with afternoon tea and cream and jam sandwich cakes .
‘Thank you .Cook has been busy.”
‘Yes my Lady.My daughter made these cakes as cook is cleaning the copper pans today . The police rang my Lord. “
“Ah! progress one must hope.”
” Sam the man found silver plate and coffee pot with sugar trug sir. The crest is your family design. Seems they have arrested the fence too”
“The fence, Plumer?”
” Indeed a police expression for someone who takes in stolen goods and sells for the real thief at a percentage of take. Fencing it seems to be called sir.Will that be all ?”
“Yes, ask Lady Emma to join us will you.”
“Indeed I hear she is in the city my Lady.Caught the 7.45am milk train to London .”
“What ever for man?”
“She did not confide in me alas Maam “
The train whistled on to Kings Cross station. On the platform waited a tall uniformed Colonel of Horse. His crop tapping this polished high leg ridding boot . His young face shinning in joy at the sight of the woman he loved as she slighted the carriage door away along from where he stood,motionless and abated .
The yard at home now filling with police as the young Ostler was lead away in handcuffs as all stood open mouthed .
“I say Inspector are you sure its him.”
“Yes sir .Fingerprints maybe new but a clear print from your brothers house matches the plate and coffee pot . He is our thief with out doubt. It was his mother who sold to Sam the dealer. We set watch and trapped her this time. Sad affair my Lord but justice will be done. “
” My word to think he had keys to all buildings in stable yard. Have you searched it Inspector?”
” No sir but was about to ask just that?”
“Of course get on with it.Never now what else is in there. Well! that sort of settles it .My idea of a motor car and replace horses stables and all to garages. “
‘ but none of us can drive the wretched things dear.”
” My dear wife it is but a trifle . Hire a man who can . We have no stable lad now anyway. Lady M will be happy . ”
“What did she go to London for anyway . Wayward of late is our daughter ?”
Hour was striking midnight on the long cased clock in the stair well as she tipped toed to her bedroom in the stillness of the house. Her dress held up to mount the stairs was watched from the Butlers pantry in silence as he locked the side door and went to his own bed.
A vast change of wind was blowing over the estate and life was never going to be quite the same in the future .Then for now we leave them unware of fate and blissful in a world that would fall into the pages of history soon enough . Cars replace steeds, marriage takes a young heiress away . The Earl retired from public service and his wife tries on modern cloths in city store . The telephone lives in all rooms. The dark clouds of war loom over the start of this new century but Plumer stays on to serve . With in 20 years the cost of living would rise and the old manor sold for flats and gardens turned back to fields by cash available development companies for more house later ahead in time. Only Lady Emma benefited and lived on married as simple Mrs Smith. She did marry her young Colonel and both lived well and into the 1950s . Based roughly on my Grandfathers home 1834-1926 By time I was born only the title was passed to me .Government own the estates today under guise of national trust.
Thank you for reading .This being the last part of this extended blog.
It was a crisper harder frost that brought Plumer to his feet . Stretched and made ready to feed his horse. Hay was good and sweet and he gathered the looser piles and loaded her manger . It was good horse hay made from the meadows of grazing grass and wild flowers. Dried in the summer sunshine and packed on the upper level of the barn . The fallen bits gathered gave enough to keep her busy half hour. He pulled water from the yard well and gave her drink .He stood back watching her checking her over with a horsemans eye.
Suddenly the Ostler arrived with some oats for the animal. Plumer thanked him and felt able to leave his mount in the young mans capable hands .He wandered towards the kitchen back door and knocked with his crop .
‘Sleep well Mister Plumer did you. Hard frost this morning .”
“Yes well enough. Is your master available Butler?”
:Indeed he awaits you in the library. I can order you breakfast sir .what is your liking?”|
“Thank you Bacon in bread with perhaps fried egg in it. “
“Be ready anytime you finish talks with the Earl .”
So it was the two men meet after nearly 34 years .
‘Lance Corporal Plumber indeed.Come in man .Glad it is to see you .”
“And you my Lord .”
“Good heavens Plumer how little you have changed. “
” Good living Sir. Have a game keepers job for Lord Strickland in Essex County.”
“Really thats good news. Ever marry.”
” No My Lord . She died in the plague before we got that far. “
‘Oh! sad it is to hear your troubles. ‘
‘ I have to told you of my recent trouble sir as yet”
” I see .Sit down man .Now tell me all.”
” It was October of last. I was rearing ducks for the shoot. In the bushes came forth a man so bedraggled and wet he collapsed in my arms. He came around to a dram from my flask. Seems he was robbed and beaten by forest scoundrels and all he had taken from his person.” . ”
“Great Scott you mean to say this goes on in Essex today. “
“No my Lord this man came from London . I searched the lanes he spoke of and yes a great scuffle had occur as he had explained. Yes in Essex ,as you say strange. “
‘ Im not sure where I come in to this problem Plumer?”
‘ The mans name was Gregson. He was the man along with others that robbed your brother and was therefore followed and robbed himself sir .I had this from police as my master sure fired rang them when he was the state of the man who fell from the bushes . I could have sent you a post card .Only im not good at forming sentences my Lord. Besides it is good to see my old Colonel after all this time since Africa. “
‘My thought two . So this Gregson where is he now. “
“In jail Sir in Harlow. As no goods on him police are waiting for these new fangled finger prints and see it they match the robbery at your brothers home .If so he will be be charged and hopefully name names. My master had heard from police that you had a death by murder of a man named John Payne.”
‘Him again. Bertie my brother lost a lot to thieves he told me. How can I help you Plumer. ?”
“Police told us that what ever was taken may well be part of a larger haul. Including what your brother lost sir.”
” I see.Well s my brother aware of all this ?”
? No Sir he is away in Italy as police could not get hold of him. Seems he owns a villa near Florence.”
” Yes it was my mothers family property left to us both. ”
“Has anyone located the contacts home as police must have gone into all of this in a murder case .They then say on no fixed abode was he now dead.”
‘Vicar said he rented an old cottage in need on great repair. You need to speak with him dear man.”
The day was milder and the sun tried hard to smile as the two men said their farewells near the gates of the old horse yard .
“Ah Lady Emma .Your father was just in the yard if your looking for him?”
“No Plumer. it is you I need for now. “
“What is it My lady?”
” Police are stripping that cottage the dead man used . Seems haul is not there .”
‘I wonder not really.”
“That is why im here .You know where it is dont you?”
‘Not exactly as yet, no my lady. I came across a marketeer and asked him to look out for the Earls brothers belongings if handed over for cash trade.”
“Sam the man.”
” Yes but how do you know?”
” I see him in the town often . He is a well know dealer of antiques .”
” That is why I went to him as if anything is about he will be the best one to sell too.”
‘And has he.I mean -“
‘Yes miss I know your meaning. Yes this silver cup . It is engraved with your family crest . He gave it me ans said he will seek reward as he had to pay for it to encourage more his way from whom ever it is.”
‘You mean to say he did not see who sold it to him?”
“No its by messenger boy ‘”
The day was at an end. The dinner over and The Earl sat with his wife examining the silver cream jug that sat on the coffee table before them.
“Its my brothers yes crest on both sides . My grandmothers went to him as i got the china Derby dinner set . We will have to keep it until he ships back from Italy in a Moth from now. “ “In the safe dear is best.Will there be more ?”
“I hope so my love as Plumber is in the diving seat should be a better chance of such .”
Thank you so much for reading .Part five next weekend.
The house was silent 6am on a sunny bright but cold windy morning.
‘Good morning Lady Emma . Your father is in the conservatory .Shall I make tea or will you await for breakfast ?”
“Tea now please Holland. Father busy then?”
” No miss resting after session in the house last evening. “
“Right .Serve tea to me here and take one through to Father as planed .Your right politics make him so tired poor thing. Let him rest as you say.”
” Indeed my Lady .Tea coming up. “
The morning events about to happen. Knock at the main doors
” Rupert Harding Sir .”
” Ah! come in Rupert. Its my neck. Twisted it climbing in a taxi at midnight shared with the member for Hutton . “
” My Lord its really a nerve trapped I presume. I know of a really good masseur that will soon have you right .”
“Bring her on then man.Pain is building just to speak. “
‘No no my Lord she is he .A Scot from Glenco built like a London tram in fact stronger Id say”
” Really .”
‘ Shall I send for him. Lets see. Be on the 10.23 train .So by 3pm all troubles will be over. “
” Yes, yes, carry on dear boy. No golf for me today. In this state anyway. “
In the Kitchen the cook was busy and her aid Mary was rolling pastry when in walks Holland.
“What is the reason for this call then mister Butler.”
“Well cook its Lady Emma brother Lord Bertram .I received word he is on his way here from London . His man Bingham rang me just now to announce he is instructed to drive his master down today.” I have announced this to the Earl who is not happy as he has an all night sitting in Commons tonight.So he will be on his way to London as is son is on his way from London here.”
;Ships in the night Mr Holland. What is it Pheasant game pie ?”
” Indeed dear lady . Best ask butcher for a pair as none left from shoot. I checked this day. “ ” Rest easy your daughter and i can sort that out for you.Cant we Mary?”
‘ Yes cook.”
As the day progressed the next thing to happen was already in focus.
” Mister Gutteridge my Lord?”
“The the Vicar? What ever for man?”
‘ He said I must speak to the Earl on an important matter.”
“Means church organ fund no doubt. Send him in Holland please. “
‘Your Grace . I have bad news. The gardener .Groves is dead. “
The Earl sat waiting but the Vicar was composing his words.
“You see sir’ Groves was shot through the head .Found at a 8am by my Sexton Jennings. Dreadful sort of thing to happen before weekend. Bishop is coming over from Bristol On Saturday .Expected to see the gardens id say.”
‘Groves was well like by you then?”
‘What! I spoke to him each morning .Good chap with the new mower .Grass close shaved as i asked him to do. He said train grass its a crop.”
“Really. Well Vicar come to the wrong man .Police you need one would say.Good day to you sir, I have lot to get through today.”
The day pushed passed and Holland was serving dinner when Police arrived .
“‘ What again.Tell them to wait in the hall . I need my food. “
‘Yes I have done sir .They say they need a word over a murder nearby. “
“Great Scott is it me in the frame. Did not even know the that man. “
‘Daddy it is just routine . Take your time let them wait we are not servants . “
The main course over the Earl made a break .
‘Now Inspector.Groves did not work here its the Vicar you need.”
“Yes Sir we have spoken and he has given us a statement . So too the Sexton. It is a fact that we checked the gardeners record .He was an army deserter and name of John Payne .Wanted for robbery in Bournemouth . “
‘ And pray what the hell has it to do with me?”
” Your cousin Lord Fellows was the man he robbed.”
“Bertie was robbed way back in 98. ”
” Yes my Lord he was.Do you know what was stolen by chance.”
‘Not a clue man?”
” Stolen was the gold badge from your coat of arms. Along with the White stole of office sat on the red cape. “
‘Not a cape man.”
“What ever sir we had the receiver of goods locked up in cell in Bristol. He sold all to a man in Lincoln and we think he shot dead his contact mister Groves so called gardener to the Vicarage ?”
: So besides my cousin wrapped up in this story I can resume my dinner?”
‘For now my Lord we will be back thank you for your time.”
Holland had shown the police out and locked doors behind them. He ran back to serve next course but his daughter had managed the whole service.
“So Holland Mary here is as good as you in this side of job. Police trotted off then have they?”
“Thank you Lady Crompton. Mary is happy here she tells me .Yes all have left us now. “
The dinner over The family sat in the lounge off the man hall.
‘Police daddy rather live here now .We will be the talk of the village.”
Then up spoke her mother.
” To be honest dear she is right what is the need to talk with you.Perhaps they want an invite to the drinks party at Christmas. “
“Groves was really someone else.Payne they said. John Payne.”
His daughter looked up from her book. “John Groves Payne ”
‘Could be ,yes , why who is he .?”
“Who was he? He was the man in last nights newspapers. Here article 7 . Here. “
” Good gracious . Says he was Major in artillery . Did not desert he was shot badly overseas and sent back and medically discharged. Lot different than what the police have been saying. “
‘The plot indeed thickens father. Think Ill go up to my room .Good read this new book is . ”
‘Good night then my dear girl. “
“Yes good night my baby daughter.’
Good night to you both.” sighed Lady Emma as she closed the heavy wooden door and left the room.
The moon light spilled on the old gray roof tiles and shadowed even the mighty oaks of the parkland around the Abbey house. The drive lay as bright as daylight as the horseman trotted down it. He had lost his way but dogs had not barked in the stable yard.
” Who are you ?Stand and be seen.”Screamed the ostler .
;Dont shoot me im unarmed .just lost .Looking for the home of an Earl called Crompton.” cried the horseman.
“Well! who are you?”
“Harry Plummer . Ex British Army gunner. Crompton was my officer in 1879 South Africa war with Zulu .”
” Climb down I will care for the mount .You knock on that red door and tell who ever opens it your story sir.”
Reluctant to leave his horse with the boy he hovered until the red door opened and out came Holland whom had heard it all.
“Come this way Mister Plummer I have heard the master tell of you. All are in bed in the house .I can offer a mug of beer and slice of rare beef and a bed for the night. “
Ill gladly take the slice of beef but can I ask for a bowl of oats in a little warm milk .Ill sleep with my horses in the barn .She is my only real friend .Oats is for her .”
“If you insist sir. Blanket youll have then. “
“On the saddle blankets and bed roll. Bread in one saddle bag papers in other. “
Your slice of cold beef then and say Goodnight to you until 7am in morning when yard and house come alive. ”
So it was and taking over from the ostler he groomed her down and fed her with warm oats in a drop of milk. She whinned . He slung the saddle under his head and the blankets over himself and slept well.
Then morning broke over the roof tops as people started to arise and cockerels made voice in the darkness of the yard. . For the man on the horse at last the end was in sight for he found the man he sought .
One hopes you are all still interested in what happens. Yours Sir Kevin .
“My name is Inspector Jack Barret this is Pc John Marshal. We re here to spaek with Lady Emma Crompton .I presume the young lady is at home. “
“I check that for you gentlemen .Perhaps you should meet her father .Follow me chaps .It is this way. He directed them to a doorway and opened it to allow the two men inside.
“Yes thats better . And you are sir?””
“No not a sir Im Holland the Earls butler. Ill go and inform him you are here.’
Upstairs Lady Emma sat on her bed .She had no idea it was her that was the moment of attention .The knock came it was Holland.”Your father is down in the study with police my lady best you come with me .”
“Why ever so Holland is father in trouble?”
‘No Lady M .They insist on speaking to you?”
In the brighter light of the study her father sat at his desk the two policemen in the only available seats .
“Erm! sit here please.I rather stand anyway miss. “
” Hello are you Emma Jayne Crompton miss?” asked the Inpector.
” Do you know a woman named Mary Tippet of 43 Moulton Road Flaxton Yorkshire miss?”
“Well miss she says she know s you .What you make of that them miss .”
‘My name is Lady Emma not miss. I have not a clue who this woman is.I have no idea where Mouton road flaxton is. What is this all about please ?”
“Where were you on the 3rd on MAY at 7pm ?”
” Three nights past .I was here playing cards with Rupert Browning. “
‘ And where is this Rupert Browning now then?””
‘ I have no idea I am not his guide in life.”
‘So he just wandered in to play cards .Is that it missy.”
” Daddy will you say something.”
” Yes dear . Now you two tell me what the devils going on she was playing cards with Rupert we all dambwell were.”
‘So who is Rupert then Sir?”
” Rupert is my doctor .You can no doubt look for him at his surgery . number 12 Harding Street .In the village .If you rush he will be back there for the morning line up of the deadly crew as he calls the amount of sick that need a note on Monday mornings, surgery day .”
‘ You dont know this Mary Tipping then squire ?”
I am am the Earl not the bloody squire . I dont know her, no. Now Holland will show you the door; thank you. “He marched off in direction on the lounge where his wife sat reading.
‘What was that all about Henry?’
‘Some policemen that asked if any of us knows Mary Tipping from Falxton?”
‘Pour me one will you darling .Flaxton where is that ?”
” Yorkshire dear, he said.”
” Emma how would she know her .This whiskey is the last of that case you bought at Christmas Henry dear. ”
” Is it really, its only June dear .No they must be mixed up she was here playing cards with all of us .”
‘Indeed only Rupert left early dear .Around time Holland made tea .I would say police have little to do if this is all they have to occupy them. ”
“Who is the Tipping girl I wounder?”
At this moment the door sprung open and Lady Emma stood gasping then crumbled into a heap on the floor in faint.
All ran to save her .Holland carried her to the lounge bed and her mother removed her daughters pearls and opened her blouse top button. Emma then came too.
“What ever ails you child. demanded her mother .
“No air cant breath. ”
“Stand back Ill called the Doctor .Holland whats his name again?”
” Murton sir .Shall I deal with this .I mean your better talking with Lady Emma if that helps sir .”
” Yes ,yes you phone him.Ill see what caused her to faint. Must be something Holland.”
Outside the rain fell hard on the gravel driveway. The gardens beyond the smell of wet Yew and the far off call of Peacocks . The police ,even farther; off had Mary Tipping in interview room with investigation team asking questions .
‘So description of this female who told you see what Lady Emma Crompton and daughter to the Earl is all wrong. We think now you have been robbed by Anne Downington a known fraud miss. “
“I see .Well she was very convincing . Will I be able to have back my 50 pounds do you think?”
‘We have arrested this said woman before miss. It is unlikely but we will do our level best . “
Many miles way doctor Harding had the job of dealing with the real Lady Emma Crompton . He had found the trouble .
“Eating disorder what next Harding. ?”
‘She is not eating enough . Her slimness is her wish my Lord . We must talk with your cook who will prepare broths only and see if she can get herself out of this .Or hospital is the only way sir .”
“Good heavens .Not eating. Thats why she avoids dinners .I thought it suitors she had no time fore. Bit of relief really Harding. Im sure your right broth may do the trick .Get on and sort it man will you . Have a meeting now with my landsman. Trouble with deer he says. “
‘Right my Lord, good luck. “
Anne the fraudster was sitting opposite Mary Tipping and her lawyer. The Inspector and two police stood in.
‘ You took 50 pounds from my client while pretending to be someone she could trust . You told her she would be paid 60 pounds back in two hours as you have only to phone your father the Earl to pay you. . On that alone you took cash from my client on lies intending to fraud her . “
” One born every minute mate. Yes guilty as charged .Spent it on perfumes and a taxi home . .”
‘Perfumes we took from your flat belong now to my client . You are a base wretch with no heart. Mary Tipping is but a nurse and can ill afford the loss .She loaned you as gentle woman of high breed .Your impostership is a crime too. Lady Emma wishes you to be prosecuted .So do I .”
Enough thank you we take over now she has confessed. She will be dealt with severely and anything she has we sell to pay your client back her funds . “
‘Thank you so much, not custom. but kindness is endearing Inspector. “
End of part two .
Thank you all for reading. The end game is next week.