“What did you say your name was, dear, Judy…?” Lady Salinger-Wallis had been miles away, thinking about notspots.
“JuDITH”, Icewolf said, “Judith Trachtenbacht.”
“Oh, such an unusually adorable name. Are you related to the inventor Ernest Trachtenbacht? He’s a great great uncle of mine… we could be related.”
“I’m not, unfortunately.” Icewolf admitted. “Actually, Judith Trachtenbacht is what I call myself when I go out with friends and meet people, instead of using my real name. I also usually forget to use it.”
“And your other name, then, Icewolf was it? That can’t be your real name, can it?”
“Well, it is in a way. It’s my blogging name.”
Lady S guffawed.
Scott patted Lady S on her arm. “Blogging name,” he said with a grin. “She writes an on-line blog and that’s the name she writes under.”
“Oh, a pseudonym. My friend Agnes Moorhead uses one of those so she isn’t asked if she’s the other Agnes Moorehead. I don’t know why she does it because she looks nothing like her and she’s ex-directory, but she’s always done it. I don’t think she does blogging though. I don’t know why people use so many names, but each to their own I suppose. I’m Lady Gertrude Salinger-Wallis, though you may refer to me as Lady S. And this, young lady, is Scott Slattery-Smythe.” Lady S gestured toward Scott.
“Hartley.” Scott corrected. “Slattery-Smythe is my mother’s maiden name.”
“Pleased to meet you,” Icewolf felt the urge to curtsey but restrained herself as she shook Lady S’s hand, who curtsied anyway. Icewolf eventually did the same, a little too late perhaps, but she hoped no one noticed. Lady S simply ummed and then gently chuckled.
Icewolf looked at Scott. “I know who you are. I watch you every week in ‘Stealth’. You look so good in that leather.” She gushed.
“Thanks.” Scott smiled, “Although it’s mostly special effects.”
“Of course it is.” Icewolf checked out the white T-shirt again.
“I have a splendid idea!” Lady S interrupted. “As my car’s somewhat out of action at the moment, and Scott’s is almost out of fuel, could you be a darling and give us a lift? Scott to the petrol station – I know it’s an ask to go eighty miles out of your way, but you would be a dear, and me back to my house in Mid so I could get my butler.”
“Eighty?” Icewolf pondered. “There’s a petrol station back up that lane, about ten miles or so. But, if you both need to go to Mid, yes, I’ll take you. I’m feeling charitable!”
“Oh, you’re such a dear, Icewolf!”
Icewolf chuckled. “I’m going to Mid anyway!”
It started raining. Heavily. Lady S reached into her handbag and obtained her bright yellow umbrella. “Always good to keep one’s brolly with one!” Lady S laughed.
The colour drained from Icewolf’s face. “Oh no. My car does not like the rain. It just doesn’t start.”
She ran back to her car, and turned the key in the ignition. Nothing.
“Sorry, folks. If I’d have kept the engine running, we’d have been fine, but I never do. I wasn’t expecting rain tonight which is why I came out.” Icewolf sighed. She checked her mobile phone, hoping for a signal, but like the other two she had none.
“Never mind, dears!” Lady S was always cheerful. “We’ll go up to this house here, The Willows, and see if anyone’s home who can help. They may have a telephone. Come along!”
She started walking in the direction of the arched gateway. Scott looked over to Icewolf, smiled and shrugged. “After you, m’dear!” and gestured for Icewolf to follow Lady S. Scott started walking a second later.
Lady S clanked the latch on the iron gate to open it, and tried to push it open. She then tried to pull it. She looked around her for a second or two. “It won’t budge!” She declared.
“Allow me.” Scott said as he lifted an iron rod out of the ground that was keeping the gate shut. He then pushed the gate open, which squeaked terribly as it did so.
“Such a clever boy!” Lady S said in a burst of laughter. “And handsome too – if you don’t mind me saying! You remind me of a blond Errol Flynn.”
Scott smiled, as he allowed Icewolf to follow Lady S through the gate before doing so himself, closing the gate behind him. “I look nothing like Errol Flynn,” he whispered to Icewolf.
“Oh, you do. A bit” Icewolf joked “A tiny bit.”
“I thought this place was called The Willies when I first read the sign.” Lady S laughed as they walked along the dark driveway. The trees that lined the drive sheltered them somewhat from the rain, as their branches reached over the road.
Lady S reached into her handbag and found her torch. With her free hand, she held the torch and lit their path ahead.
All three were shocked to discover that the path they were walking on was made up of very old gravestones from the early 1800s. The path started to rise uphill. In the distance, at the top of the hill, they could see the dark shadowy shape of a large house.
“I think you may have been right!” Scott joked.
This time, nobody laughed. Not even Lady Salinger-Wallis, which is unusual for her.
###TO BE CONTINUED###
(This is a repeat presentation, originally posted in 2015)