Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (28) To Catch a Thief and Steal a Heart (Part 08)
The next day Leslie’s flight landed on time and she was back home by lunchtime but Frank being Frank left her to unpack while he went off to play Golf.
She tried to pretend that she didn’t really mind but she wasn’t fooling David so he offered to take her out for lunch.
“You really don’t have to do that” she said
“Nonsense get your bag” he insisted and he drove her to Dulcet-on-Brooke and they ate lunch at The Waterside Inn and they weren’t the only couple from Sharpington sharing an intimate meal together.
“So how was the holiday?” he asked
“The Hotel was nice” Leslie replied
“But it would have been nicer if it wasn’t next to two Golf courses”
There was a sadness in her eyes so he didn’t press her further and changed the subject and they spent a warm summer afternoon in the beer garden on the banks of the River Brooke.
A couple of weeks passed and things had been quite quiet in Sharpington and he stepped out of his kitchen into the sunlight to find Alison Williams working up a sweat cutting the grass.
She had just stopped to empty the grass box when she saw him coming.
“Morning” he called
At that moment Wendy appeared wearing identical dungarees as Alison carrying some empty sacks.
“Hello” she shouted
“Hi Wendy” he shouted back
Then in a lower voice he asked Alison
“How’s she doing?” nodding in Wendy’s direction
“Excellently” Alison replied beaming
“She a quick learner, hardworking, eager and reliable”
“I couldn’t ask for better, and she’s a real sweetie” she said
“I’m so pleased” he said and left them to their toil in the soil and drove into Abbottsford to buy a new suit.
David dried, perfumed and powdered himself and changed into his dinner suit complete with cummerbund and bow tie, he gave his reflection a cursory glance and wished he hadn’t worn a clip on bow tie.
“Too late to worry about that now” he said as he heard the taxi blow his horn.
After picking up Dennis on the way they made it to the Yacht Club with minutes to spare.
The ante room was jammed with an array of stunningly turned out women but he couldn’t see Leslie anywhere.
While he and Dennis stood on the periphery Gwen Quinton-Smith appeared.
She was normally a rather plain looking woman just the wrong side of 60, quite small and slim and normally choose to dress in the twin set and tweed style.
But not that night, that night she was looking very presentable indeed, if in a rather retro fashion way, but there was clearly more to Gwen than immediately met the eye.
“Hello David” She said warmly “thank you so much for finding Wendy for me, she’s been an absolute Godsend”
“I’m glad she’s been useful” he said and then he noticed she was no longer making eye contact with him but was looking at Dennis instead.
“Gwen, this is my brother in law Dennis” he said
“Hello Dennis” she said