A Summer in the Country

Free A Summer in the Country by Marcia Willett

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Authors: Marcia Willett
in the most perfect flat in Salcombe. Right on the waterfront”
    â€œGoodness.” Margot sat up, alert. “Don’t tell me Richard left you some money.”
    Frummie hoisted a disdainful shoulder. “He didn’t leave
me
anything. But he left a tiny bit to Jem.”
    â€œI have to say, Fred,” Margot accepted her tea with a nod of thanks, “that 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€œDiarmid was different” Frummie sipped dreamily, her sharp face softened by memories. “I’d never known anyone like him before. And I was young and impressionable.”
    â€œImpressionable?” Margot raised her eyebrows. “You? Well, I suppose that’s one way of describing it. And Richard?”
    â€œWell, 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.” Silence. “Oh, don’t do that disapproving thing again,” said Frummie irritably. “I didn’t 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 couldn’t face it and he agreed that it hadn’t 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€™1 can see his point” Margot glanced at her old friend, not unsympathetically. “At least he could give her security. Richard wasn’t what you might call the reliable type, was he?”
    â€œYou don’t run off with reliable types, do you?”
    â€œYou
don’t,” observed Margot Knntedly. “If I remember rightly, William—William
was
number three, wasn’t he?— played in a jazz band?”
    â€œOnly occasionally,” replied Frummie with dignity. “He was a stockbroker:”
    â€œOh, honestly…“’
    â€œHe was very clever with money—”
    â€œAs long as it was other people’s. The truth of it is you shouldn’t have been let out alone, Fred. For one so cynical you were an absolute pushover when it came to con men.”
    â€œDid you come all this way simply to be unpleasant?”
    â€œNo. I came all this way to see you. You haven’t been too easy to track down lately and—”
    â€œAnd now I’m rather conveniently placed between Salisbury and Cornwall,” finished Frummie sweetly. “A useful stopping place, wouldn’t you say?”
    â€œBetter than the Little Chef at Buckfast,” agreed Margot, unruffled. “I hope you do as good a breakfast.”
    â€œSince when did you eat breakfast? A cigarette and cup of’ black coffee shouldn’t be too challenging for me.”
    A car drove up the track and pulled in beside the other cottage. Louise’climbed out, waved to Frummie and disappeared inside.
    â€œWho’s that?” Margot peered after her. “Pretty girl.”
    â€œShe’s one of Brigid’s regulars. Comes twice a year while her husband plays golf.”
    â€œReally?” Margot sounded sceptical.
    â€œQuite. My reaction exactly. But you never know. I suppose some husbands are faithful…”
    â€œName three,” suggested Margot idly. “If you can.
You
could certainly name three who
weren’t,
of course, but Diarmid was pretty loyal.”
    â€œOh, don’t start on that again,” said Frummie wearily. “You’re getting dull in your old age. What about supper at the pub this evening?”
    â€œWhat pub?” Margot sounded interested.
    â€™Ten minutes away. You can drive us.”
    â€œI think we’ll stay here.” Margot

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