The audience claps. McBride hands out drinks. On
a back sofa, finished with watching Annabell’s performance, the Squire
reaches for a brochure brought from his rooms. “I thought
you might take a look at this, my dear. Thomas Cook. Greece! You and me a cruise before our walk through the
Alps. Tunisia! Cyprus!”
“Is this to make sure I come to our wedding, Ronald?”
Constance begins to laugh but stops when his hand touches
“I had thought it might be the determining factor, my
. . .
In the kitchen McBride wanders carrying two empty
“Have they finished with the food, Woolly?”
“The table is full, Missy. Mostly interested in the drinks
“I’ll tell Nelly she can be off.” Mrs. Minton breathes a
thankful sigh. “Tomorrow will be soon enough for the rest
of the dishes.”
McBride sits by the kitchen table. “Come here my love,”
he pats his knee.
“Woolly! All the time for that later.”
“Come, give me a kiss.”
Mrs. Middleton wouldn’t mind a sit-down even if it is on
Woolly’s knobbly knees, except that moment Lucy pushes
open the back kitchen door, waves at Tom as he turns back
to the stables.
“Nice to see you, this evening, Lucy.”
“Nice to see you, Mr. McBride.”
. . .
“A new moon tonight, Laurie,” Edward helps his mother
into the carriage for the journey home. Lawrence did not
come with them in the Brougham, telling them he preferred
to ride to the manor.
“The stars will see me fine. Don’t wait up. I might take
a romp out on the moors.”
“Well, watch for tradesman’s potholes, especially this
first stretch. They can be treacherous.”
Annabell kisses Edward. The carriage door is closed.
Henri grasps the reigns. The horses take them away.
The Squire shakes Lawrence’s hand. “Hope you enjoyed
“I did, sir. I’ll see if the fellow is still up in the stables
and wake him if he’s not.”
“It’s Tom, he’s doing duty tonight,” the Squire points
around the manor towards John Hopkins’ farm. “The son
of the farmer over-way.”
As the young man walks towards the stables, the Squire,
Constance, Annabell and Emily take the steps to the manor
. . .
After the spasm of contractions, the breathing softens.
Emily rolls upon her back.
Naked, Emily plays broodingly upon Annabell’s most
private, delicate area.
The soirée had been a success.
Edward has shown no resentment of her, not that she
can discern. He seems to like to be in her presence.
“Do you like this?”
Annabell moves so that she is even more exposed.
“Yes! I like you.”
As one hand holds the womb, the second follows the
curves of the body, an intensity again enflaming.
“I like you!” Emily taps.
The hands play and build.
“Ummmmmmm!” Annabell murmurs. “Ummmmmmm!
Do that again! I like how you do that.”
Excitement being sent along the divinely arched region.
Nipples hard, nipples red in their engorgement, the tongue
winds its way upwards into the glistening mouth.
Mouths joined, the two lie tongues together in their
intoxicating feminine scent.
It is their souls they enter, the two joined together.
Open, vulnerable, they are one.
As they fondle, their bodies glistening, the aroma of rose
and spice drifting.
. . .
Lawrence had a sense even in Biddiford that he was not
here for the wedding, not to collect money from his father,
though he still hopes to do that. These past years he has
become familiar with how this ‘Other’ manipulates him.
It works on his pleasure, his need.
When he had taken the prostitute and smothered her,
he was guided. Smothering her, he did have the choice to
kill. He did obey!
There is so much he doesn’t know. How can you kill
another person? He should have turned away, that is what
he should have done. He must become his own
master. He must leave the coven, disappear, take a ship
anywhere. He will have have a chance then.
Playing cards Friday evening, Enid has asked Edward
where Annabell’s friend was staying in the manor. “In a
room on the second floor,” Edward had replied. “She is the
only person on the second floor.”
He hadn’t thought of it at the time, but this morning
when she entered the carriage, sat beside him, he knew he
was going to share his seed with her.
This “Other” wants it. They want his seed to create her
child. She is of the bloodline, she has to be. This Emily
knows it’s to be done, he is sure. There would not be such
insistence were she not aware. In these high matters he
has learnt they always make you aware. You always have
choice. It is important to them that you always have choice. When you are aware of choice.
Lawrence guides the horse to the wooded area across
Oath Highway. He has no intention of going to the moors.
His purpose is to speak with Miss Adams, this Emily.
Once Evil tires of him he will be brought to trial for
the prostitute. He will be hanged. But they, at this higher
level, have decided that Lawrence will give ‘The Other’ that
which it wishes. If he submits this last time perhaps he will
be allowed to go free. What better than to do it tonight if
she is in agreement!
Then he will go to Ronald Bexfield, tonight or tomorrow
morning, ask for a sizeable amount. His father to come with
him to the bank in Biddiford.
Bella and he will take ship.
In the woods across Oath Highway, Lawrence ties the
horse to a sprawling oak. Covering the horse’s eyes with a
blind, he crosses into the garden on the Manor south side,
slips by the bandstand, the lily pond.
After the concert, he had unlocked the solarium door
that was opposite the dining room. The servants would not
bother to check this far door. He tries it. No resistance. It
Good! These inner forces are working with him. All
that remains is to step up to the first floor, then to the
Thought of words that he’ll speak come to him. His
voice will be soft yet the power will flood over him. ‘The
Other’ will prepare him.
In the hallway, under the lone light over the stairs,
Lawrence steps to the first floor. The door to the second
floor has a narrow walnut chest at the side with chamber
sticks for lighting. He lights one.
With his hand around the candle, Lawrence proceeds up
the stairs to the doorway above. He peers into the passage.
A night lamp is lit on a table some thirty yards down.
Pacing first to the turn and the south passage darkness,
then back to the north passageway darkness, Lawrence has
not yet gathered the courage to enter Emily’s room. He
cannot startle her. If he enters and she is awake, she might
scream in surprise.
Those underneath likely will not hear, but he cannot be
sure. He has to talk, explain that this is the time. That
‘The Other’ has its will in this matter. That he is merely
fulfilling a role, as she also, some agreement she has made.
She will know he is sure. But he has to make certain.
He will only share his seed with her if she is willing. He will
take on no further burden.
Back by the night lamp, Lawrence taps on the door, “Mistress! Mistress Emily!”
Turning the handle, he slips inside.
. . .
“I will see you in the morning.”
Annabell smiles, “If that is what you wish.”
“I do. You cannot have the girls thinking I sleep with
you every night.”
“Tomorrow my love!” A last kiss, Emily forces herself
to shut Annabell’s bedroom door. Passing the white rattan
furniture, the soft blue paper of Annabell’s parlour, flowers
in a bouquet upon the writing bureau, the carved marble
lamp that remains softly lit in the hallway, she does not
want to leave.
Aunt Keren has been told of feelings she has when she
is with her love. She asked if some magic was possible so
that Annabell will not marry Edward.
“If you wish, my dear!” Aunt Keren had replied. “We
could bring forth a demon, supplicate its help.”
“But I do wish, I do wish.”
Then she had burst into tears. Her aunt had wiped the
Emily hurries past the black Japanned chair with its
‘Don’t proceed,’ the chair seems to whisper.
“If you create magic that Annabell must not be wed,”
Aunt Keren had softly stated. “There will come a moment
when you will no longer have her.”
“Allow your pain and you will have her always.”
Will she have her always! Can she share her! Passing the Squire’s rooms, passing Lady Middleton’s chambers, Emily stops at the narrow walnut chest where
the rosewood barometer hangs. Maidens all dressed in
burgundy gaze down from the walls.
Stairs below! Stairs above! What should she do?
All now she wishes is to scurry down those wide open
stairs that reach out to nowhere. Her heart torn to pieces,
she’ll open the front entrance door, dash forever outwards,
run and run and run and run.
“Follow your heart,” Aunt Karen had kissed her. “You
heart will never tell you to do ill. Where it takes you is
where you might wish. But where it takes you, only you
‘Oh, wonderful High Beings. Great Spiritual Sacred
Beings, I do now ask for your love and help. Help me in
this moment. Place me within your hands.’
Lighting the candle stick, she forces herself into the
stairs. On the silent carpet upwards she steps.
The top door opened, a lamp is lit down the hallway,
its soft hue covering her door.
‘I have decided, dear Annabell.’ her thoughts whisper.
Annabell turns her head to stare.
‘It is not reasonable for you to ask me to let you go.’
‘Let you go! I will never let you go!’
‘If you marry Edward, you will let me go.’
‘What nonsense you talk, I will marry you also. Do we
not have the rings!’
‘Dear, Annie. But I just wanted...’
Annabell giggles, ‘I know my darling. You will know
when we marry! Hurry my dear. No more delay. Let us
By the lamp, Emily turns the rose-wood knob.
The chamber stick wobbles, the candle flickers, for a
moment she believes she hears a sound from the hallway.
Emily lights the lamp placed upon the dressing table
In a moment of sudden panic, she cries out, ‘Annabell, are
you still with me!’
Annabell wickedly pulls a face.
Emily flops onto the bed, rolls across it, begins staring
at the ceiling. ‘Why are you looking at that picture.’
‘It is the church where I am to be married. You know
that! St. Brannoc’s! Such a lovely graveyard for my uncle.’
Voices murmuring. Voices warning.
‘Climb onto the highest gravestone,’ Annabell whispers. ‘I have done it. It is quite wonderful.’
Emily sits up.
Getting off the bed, taking off her blouse, placing it
upon a chair, shadows are at every angle, shadows at every corner of the room.
At the washbowl, the coldness of the water shocks.
Quickly she pats her face with the towel.
Unbuttoning her petticoat, the nightdress cotton cloth
over her, at the dressing table she combs her hair.
Reflecting from the mirror, the writing cabinet opposite. Turning, she looks about. She thinks she has heard a sound. A sound by the door.
“Is there someone there!”
The lamp carried across, she examines the door. The
lock is turned.
Then she thinks she sees the doorknob turn.
The sight so startles her that with her free hand, she
turns the knob herself, gives the door a good tug. It holds
firm. The door is locked.
Through the ghostly hum of the half-words she has been
hearing, she now hears clearly a cultured woman’s voice:
‘Emily, my dear. We are with you. He has gone. Sleep
well. You may be content now.’