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The Long Gallery (standard:mystery, 1490 words) [1/6] show all parts
Author: Brian CrossUpdated: Oct 02 2015Views/Reads: 10473/877Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Daisy Truman has inherited Harvest Hall, a rambling country house on the Sussex/Kent border. But why has her uncle left it to her, and what are the memories surrounding her childhood that she cannot recall? Chapter one of my new mystery/drama.
 



The Long Gallery 

Chapter One 

Adam Belmont shook his head, shot a sceptical look at the woman by his
side. ‘Doesn't it seem strange after all these years – I mean to be 
back at your uncle's old house? If you ask me he hasn't done you any 
favours leaving it to you, what with the maintenance of all this land 
and everything that goes with it. And the change to your lifestyle, are 
you sure you can cope with it? It's going to be too much for you, if 
you ask me.' 

‘I wasn't aware that I'd asked you.' Daisy Truman bit her lip; ignored
Adam's resentful glance. She clutched her hands together and held them 
down by her waist, then slid them down the fabric of her blue denims. 
Yes, it did seem strange, but no stranger than the circumstances that 
had brought her back to Harvest Hall. And now that she was the unlikely 
inheritress of the old manor, she was going to see it through. Besides, 
this was no time to display reservations, to appear flustered. Of 
course she could bloody well cope, and no, it wasn't going to be too 
much for her. She'd always had resolve, and although she couldn't say 
why she felt it exactly, there was a sense of challenge here, one she 
was going to take up ... 

Daisy took a deep breath, brushed away the rogue strands of long curly
fair hair that swept around her oval face and gazed at her friend long 
and hard. She fought back the acid Adam's comment had brought to her 
throat and chose a more reflective stance than she'd intended. 

‘There really isn't a choice; I have to take it up.' 

Her mind wandered momentarily as she stood on the edge of the forest
staring downhill, taking in the finery of the place, with its four 
imposing chimneys reaching up towards the windswept heavens, proud and 
indomitable, whilst below them the estate's grassy fields rolled upward 
across the acres to where she stood. This was a place that evoked mixed 
memories of her childhood, some unexplained, some cloaked in mystery 
that her mind struggled but failed to unravel, but notwithstanding 
that, this was an estate in need of attention since her uncle had 
passed away – the pleasant, expansive greenery was in danger of 
becoming a wilderness. However, with a little work and care, maybe – 

‘Why do you have no choice? You can always sell it, fetch a pretty
penny,' Adam was saying, not prepared to let the issue drop, ‘Perhaps 
if you find the right agent – there are people who specialise in ...' 

‘No, the covenant decrees against that, besides the family have lived
here for generations ...” Daisy said firmly, cutting him off in 
mid-sentence. 

‘Then there you go, job done. Lease it out to the family ...' 

‘Absolutely not, now drop it Adam.' Daisy clenched her teeth. Irritated
by Adam's stance, what did he know about her connections with the Hall? 
It wasn't just something that could be sold for a ‘pretty penny' as he 
put it, or simply hived off to the family for that matter. And anyway, 
she'd not asked him along to cast his vote against her intentions. She 
sighed, silently, unwilling to give him reason to think he was making 
headway. He wasn't, of course, but still, he was voicing concern and 
possibly justifiably; it was going to be a monumental task. She was on 
a tightrope balanced somewhere between resentment and appreciation, and 
it resulted in a moderated tone. ‘Look, there has to be a reason why 
the place was left to me, and besides, I wouldn't give them the 
satisfaction.' 

‘I don't understand all this needle between you and ...' 

But Daisy Truman was no longer listening. She stood, arms crossed now,
her eyes roaming over the large house and estate. Childhood memories 
had begun to overwhelm her cognition, piercing lances of recollection 
her mental armour was too weak to fend off. 

She was in the Magic Garden as they named it – she and William that was
– playing their little games on the sunken oval lawn, surrounded by a 
privet hedge and a circle of stone animals which William incessantly 


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This is part 1 of a total of 6 parts.
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