in the most perfect flat in Salcombe. Right on the waterfrontâ
âGoodness.â Margot sat up, alert. âDonât tell me Richard left you some money.â
Frummie hoisted a disdainful shoulder. âHe didnât leave
anything. But he left a tiny bit to Jem.â
âI have to say, Fred,â Margot accepted her tea with a nod of thanks, âthat you were the most god-awful picker of men. Whatever did you see in them? Of course, Diarmid was rather gorgeous in a kind of untidy, absent sort of way. That tall, lean, fair look. Terrific legs. Brigid is just like him.â
âDiarmid was differentâ Frummie sipped dreamily, her sharp face softened by memories. âIâd never known anyone like him before. And I was young and impressionable.â
âImpressionable?â Margot raised her eyebrows. âYou? Well, I suppose thatâs one way of describing it. And Richard?â
âWell, Richard was fun. And I was tired of competing with Bronze Age circles and Neolithic man. I went up to London one day and somehow just never came back.â Silence. âOh, donât do that disapproving thing again,â said Frummie irritably. âI didnât just consciously walk away without a backward glance, you know. It was just too impossible to come back. And as the days passed it became more impossible. I wrote to Diarmid and told him I couldnât face it and he agreed that it hadnât been easy, and that I must do what was right for me, but that he was keeping Brigid. What could I do? I could hardly come down and kidnap her.â
â1 can see his pointâ Margot glanced at her old friend, not unsympathetically. âAt least he could give her security. Richard wasnât what you might call the reliable type, was he?â
âYou donât run off with reliable types, do you?â
donât,â observed Margot Knntedly. âIf I remember rightly, WilliamâWilliam
number three, wasnât he?â played in a jazz band?â
âOnly occasionally,â replied Frummie with dignity. âHe was a stockbroker:â
âHe was very clever with moneyââ
âAs long as it was other peopleâs. The truth of it is you shouldnât have been let out alone, Fred. For one so cynical you were an absolute pushover when it came to con men.â
âDid you come all this way simply to be unpleasant?â
âNo. I came all this way to see you. You havenât been too easy to track down lately andââ
âAnd now Iâm rather conveniently placed between Salisbury and Cornwall,â finished Frummie sweetly. âA useful stopping place, wouldnât you say?â
âBetter than the Little Chef at Buckfast,â agreed Margot, unruffled. âI hope you do as good a breakfast.â
âSince when did you eat breakfast? A cigarette and cup ofâ black coffee shouldnât be too challenging for me.â
A car drove up the track and pulled in beside the other cottage. Louiseâclimbed out, waved to Frummie and disappeared inside.
âWhoâs that?â Margot peered after her. âPretty girl.â
âSheâs one of Brigidâs regulars. Comes twice a year while her husband plays golf.â
âReally?â Margot sounded sceptical.
âQuite. My reaction exactly. But you never know. I suppose some husbands are faithfulâ¦â
âName three,â suggested Margot idly. âIf you can.
could certainly name three who
of course, but Diarmid was pretty loyal.â
âOh, donât start on that again,â said Frummie wearily. âYouâre getting dull in your old age. What about supper at the pub this evening?â
âWhat pub?â Margot sounded interested.
âTen minutes away. You can drive us.â
âI think weâll stay here.â Margot