The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 61… Barney

Unlocking the door, Charles had opened it to a slightly built youth with a tousled shock of black hair and a warming grin. ‘Hi.. I’m Barnabas’ he announced, ‘But everyone calls me Barney. I’m Toby’s younger brother. I’ve heard a lot about you from him, all good mind you. Sorry it’s so early, my College friends seem to be early birds too.’

‘Come on in Barney, we have been expecting you. I guess you could do with some breakfast. Just let me change from these pyjamas and I will let the others know you’re here. Bacon and eggs be ok?’

‘I can certainly go for that!’ came a rushed reply. ‘My friends don’t do much in the way of cooking and prefer to eat on campus.’

‘Just go through to the Parlour Barney. I will be with you in around ten minutes.’

As Charles climbed the stairs, he could hear Barney whistling to himself in quite a pleasant way. It settled in his mind that Barney was instantly likeable. “I’m impressed with Toby’s younger brother” he told himself.

By 8 o clock that morning, they were all sat around the dining table and tucking into his rather excellent version of bacon and eggs with fried bread. Barney, it seemed, was most happy to be again reunited with his brother and showed a great deal of interest in their recollections of events in North Wales.

‘Rebecca is still fast asleep upstairs. Do we wake her.’ suggested Esme at last. ‘Perhaps, she needs plenty of rest. The Doctor feels it’s all down to shock.’

‘Let her sleep, and please, no-one disturb her, until she is ready for us. I will be seeing Doctor Fellows later this morning. I know, we feel he does not fully share our views, never the less, he is a practical and very sincere man and his advice will be most helpful.’

‘You’ve known him a long time?’ forwarded Esme.

‘We were at Cambridge together.’ replied Charles. ‘Although, he was always a better student than I was.’ Charles smiled. ‘But firm friends… Do those bonds make. I was a dreamer, had my thoughts on the Arts, not really the studious type… More the Studio type!’ The other’s grinned, and he knew he was in perfect company.

‘Charles, I just love you… And just not for your bacon and eggs’, remarked Esme.

Toby and Barney looked at each other and smiled generously. Thoughts had passed between them. “We are off on another adventure” Became their common ground.

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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