The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 19…The Letter Part One

‘You are quite preoccupied child, may I see what you have there?’ His voice was suspending and silently positive. He spoke as if he were talking to a biting miner. Her throat simpered with an abrupt confusion. ‘ Oh… It’s just my hairdresser.’ she replied weakly.

‘Your hairdresser?. Why would you hairdresser write to you? I wish to read the letter!’

His words were a calculated spite. There was no room for maneuver. Nervously, and with trembling fingers she lifted the small envelope from her hip pocket and placed it on to Edward’s outstretched palm. His eyes picked over the primitive handwriting like an interested vulture and his thoughts crackled with bought respectabilty. After some minutes he looked up at Esme once more… And then his face screwed with laughter!

‘This is just ridiculous!’ he snorted, ‘Who does this man think he is!’

Esme’s face sallowed at his glare. Choleric feeling penetrated her mind, sharp edged, like a diamond. It begged an answer. A Willow cracked compulsively outside and a window steamed in the quick constricting air.

‘Well?’ His voice was thrown at her invitingly and morosely. The curve of his face was full of determination. His head twitched and he watched her intensely.

‘He’s…’ her voice skittered, and then with some remarkable courage, she said calmly. ‘He’s a man that mother knows.’

‘You are lying to me, aren’t you, I can see it in your face!’ his voice suspended her and his eyes bulged with dispatch.

About Patrick

a photographer, writer and blogger, a studio and press photographer since the mid 1960's, first published writings in 1974
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