Is that the bride? Where on earth did she get that dress? " Grama
"Honestly, Nell, if Gramps had known what you were going to do with
this place when he left it to you, he'd have had forty fits. It's
so..." she wrinkled her small nose 'so. "
"Enterprising?" Nell suggested drily.
They were in the book-room. And the bride whose pretty white dress her
stepsister had so disparaged was making her way on the arm of her groom
beneath an archway of roses into the marquee that Nell and her small
staff had spent the whole of the previous day putting up and
"Enterprising or not, I still say Gramps wouldn't have approved. And
you know it."
That was the trouble. Nell did. Her grandfather had been one of the
old school: a stiff; military gentleman, fiercely proud of the
tradition of his family and its service to its country. Fiercely loyal
to everything he believed in, and that included an old-fashioned and
outdated belief that he owed a responsibility, not just to his
immediate family, but also to the small village that nestled less than
a mile away from Easterhay's front gates.
The village had been there long before the first Hugo de Tressail had
built his home there, but it had been under his auspices that the
shabby collection of untidy dwellings had been superseded by his
manorial hall, and the Norman church with its square tower that
overlooked the gentle roll of the Cheshire plain.
In the small church itself, a tomb marked the burial place of that
first de Tressail, his stone effigy lying at rest on top of it in the
classic medieval pose. Alongside him lay his wife, a small dog curled
at her feet.
She had been a Saxon Thane's daughter, well born but poor, and it was
supposed to be from her that every now and then throughout the
generations a de Tressail woman would inherit her wheat-blonde Saxon
Nell had it herself, a straight waterfall of pale straw which she...