Demons Slain - Cover

Demons Slain

Copyright© 2011 by Texrep

Chapter 4

It was late September before I got back to Tavistock. The colours had changed now with a predominance of rust and gold in the foliage. The Corn and Barley had been harvested and the soil ploughed and harrowed, revealing the rich red earth of Devon before planting with winter Wheat. Along with the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness I found a mellow Mrs. Winton on my arrival.

"Hello Mr. Hammond. It's good to see you again." She handed me the key to room nine. "Your usual room." She smiled, and it changed her appearance completely. I had thought she was good looking although her unhappiness clouded her face before. Now I had to admit she was beautiful.

"Thank you Mrs. Winton."

"I have reverted to my maiden name now, it's Miss Grainger. It helped dispel ... well you know." I nodded.

"Yes. I understand."

"Please call me Millie though."

"And I am Greg. When people use the name Mr. Hammond I look around to see if my father has crept up without me knowing." She laughed at my attempt at humour.

"Will you be dining tonight?"

"If I went elsewhere I think John would come to find me and drag me back. So yes I will be dining tonight."

"I am told he is making a Steak and Kidney Pie. Rumour has it that his pie is one of the best in England."

"I can confirm the rumour. I have no need to look at the menu now, my mind is made up."

The evenings were getting a little chill now, but walking in the garden was just as enjoyable. I was using Arthur's throne to sit and smoke when Millie came by. She was wearing a cardigan against the chill.

"If I'm disturbing you, please say so Greg."

"No, not at all, that is if you don't mind my cigarette.

"I am glad you have at least one vice. According to Angela you are perfect."

"Nowhere near perfect." I shook my head."But I hide my faults well." I moved slightly on the bench, and she accepted the gesture and sat down. She handed me my handkerchief washed and pressed immaculately. I had forgotten that I had given it to her to wipe her tears.

"Thank you for the loan of your handkerchief, I really came to make my apologies for the way I treated you. I'm afraid that you became the target for all the anger I had against my husband. I am very sorry about that. Angela speaks so highly of you, and she explained a little about what happened to you. I agree with her, you have every reason to hate all women."

"I have reason to hate one woman, although my feelings are more pity now than hate. I don't tar all women with the same brush so I couldn't hate all women. But it's in the past now. Millie, are you managing to put it in the past as well?"

"I think so, Greg. It's hard at times, but I'm getting there." She changed the subject abruptly. "Do you smoke a lot?"

"Not now. A year ago I was never without one alight. Now I enjoy just one or two during the evening. Never when working though."

"You don't smoke in your room?"

"No, and never in the car."

"Good." She smiled. "It takes a lot longer to get a smoker's room clean. Angela's made me a sort of housekeeper so I get involved in the upkeep of the rooms now. She hinted that you suggested that."

I shook my head. "No, I am sure that if she did that you earned it. She thinks a lot of you."

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