‘Really, Bryony, people don’t just disappear into buddleia bushes,’ Bryony’s papa frowned his irritation, ‘I always thought you were the sensible one,’ he tapped his cane on the floor, something he did when he was unimpressed, ‘stop playing games and tell Bethany to come out from wherever she’s hiding.’
‘You believe me, don’t you, Mr Eyre,’ pleaded Bryony, watching Papa glare at her tutor. Mr Eyre was about to speak when Papa, Donald Goodwin of HMDS*, cut in: ‘and I’d thank you not to encourage such nebulous ideas in the girls, Eyre,’ he growled, stalking into the hallway.
‘Come, Bryony, if we’re going to search for young Bethany, we should start from where you last saw her,’ Mr Eyre extended an arm to shepherd his charge out into the garden, grabbing a cane from his employer’s collection, which was stored in an elephant foot stand, a souvenir from Goodwin’s service in India.
Mr Eyre advanced across the lawn and began to poke about in the buddleia bush; the cane snagged something in the undergrowth and he crouched down, reaching into the foliage. ‘Aha, what have we here?’ he swiveled round and proffered the object to her.
Bryony eyes lit up.
*His Majesty’s Diplomatic Service (the year is 1912).
Written in response to two challenges:
Bryony, Bethany and their wonderful tutor, Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and it looks like they’ve got their wish!
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