Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (48) A Man to be Trusted (Part 05)
Once they had checked out they had plenty of time before their first appointment so they took a leisurely drive from Finchbottom to Highfinch which Clare spent with her eyes shut although Martin wasn’t sure if it was because she was suffering or she was still embarrassed.
After concluding their business in Highfinch and nearby Kingfisherbridge it was close to lunchtime and as it was such a lovely day they decided to take their lunch at one of the local sights before we headed on towards the Dulcets.
They both agreed on Pepperstock Castle as it was on the way they were headed.
“I haven’t been there for years” Clare said “not since junior school”
“Nor me” Martin agreed
“Yes but they were still building it when you were at school”
Clare said and laughed raucously, a little too raucously as she winced and held her head
“That will teach you” he said
Pepperstock Castle had once been an imposing sight up on its hill overlooking the eastern end of the Vale though now it was just a collection of ruins, which could still be clearly identified as having once been a Castle, but ruins nonetheless.
While they sat on the huge stones and finished eating sandwiches Clare once again pressed him for the information he refused to give her that morning.
“You can tell me now”
“Oh I don’t think so” he retorted “you need to try and remember it yourself”
“But I can’t” she snapped
“There’s no such word as cant” he replied “Come on let’s get going”
“I used to like you” she shouted after him
“Ah now that’s a clue” he said
“What?” Clare said trotting after him “what does that mean, what’s a clue?”
After Pepperstock Castle they took the scenic route through the densely wooden hills that formed the natural border between the Pepperstock Nation Park and the Finchbottom Vale.
Clare continued to pester him all the way to their next port of call which was Brocklington and again when they drove on to the Dulcets which were a collection of villages and hamlets comprising of Dulcet Meadow, Dulcet St Mary, Dulcet Green and Dulcet-on-Brooke, to name but a few, and of course their destination, Dulcet-on-Willow which was a large sprawling village beside the gentle shallow River Willow, which ran unhurriedly from the Pepperstock Hills to the more vibrant River Brooke.
It was an exceptionally fruitful visit and they had secured some very good items but they spent much longer in Dulcet-on-Willow than they had planned so they decided to head towards the Hotel they were booked into and then complete their business in the Dulcets on the way back.
Their destination after leaving the Dulcets was the Seaview Hotel in Sharpington where they would be spending the next two night.
Martin was spread any further pestering as Clare fell asleep before they even left the village.
Which gave him time to think about whether or not to tell Clare what she said to him the night before.