Bees in the Butterfly Garden

Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang Read Free Book Online
Authors: Maureen Lang
Tags: FICTION / Christian / Romance, FICTION / Romance / Historical
gaze around the rest of the room, to the desk between the two windows, full of records Ian shared with no one. Opposite that was the fireplace, and above that the landscape oil that had been left behind by the former owner of the house.
    He thought the place neat enough, especially considering he hadn’t expected any company.
    “Is this my father’s room?”
    He shook his head.
    “Yours?”
    No sooner had he nodded than she swung her feet to the floor, inviting Roscoe to lurch forward. Ian held him back again.
    “This is quite a large room for a secondary,” she said, but when she tried standing, she must have done so too quickly because she sank back down to the blanket as if dizzy.
    “Look, you’re obviously overwrought. Can I get you something? A sandwich? Perhaps it would help to eat something.”
    Meg nodded. “Yes. I’m afraid my head is still spinning, but this room—you, being here—isn’t helping in the least. Could you send up a maid with something light? I’m afraid in my haste to arrive, I forgot to eat.”
    Ian understood a lack of appetite; he’d barely eaten anything himself since finding John the day before.
    He led Roscoe away, though Roscoe clearly didn’t want to leave the newcomer and cried when Ian grabbed him by the scruff and made sure he followed. He put the dog in another room—the guest room John had used—and went in search of someone in the kitchen.

    Apart from the blanket offering the faint scent of an animal, the room was quite pleasant. Too dark for Meg’s taste, of course, but with the little light illuminating it, she could see the wallpaper was fine quality, complementing the design in the velvet curtains. She used the bathroom, noting that it was decorated tastefully too, if a bit stark. Other than the tile, it was plain and lacked any hint of the toiletries she was so used to seeing: bottles, oils, perfumes, various size mirrors, and so on. This one offered a single mirror on the wall, a cup for soapy cream, a discarded blade for shaving, tooth powder and brush.
    Back in the bedroom, she opened one of the drapes. The house, as she suspected, was on something of a hill. In the distance she saw the river beyond a multitude of green trees. The yard was nearly barren but for hardy grass, and she couldn’t see the porch at all from this angle.
    She supposed it wasn’t odd that Maguire would have such a large room here, in her father’s home. He’d been the son her father never had. She turned to look at the room again. This might have been my room, had I been a boy.
    “Meggie?”
    She turned at the gentle voice, seeing a woman entering with a covered tray, a small cup and teapot rattling on the edge. But she was no servant; she was the woman Meg had spotted on the porch, properly dressed in black.
    She was lovely, Meg noticed as she neared. Perhaps a bit old to be Maguire’s wife, but she didn’t look the right age to be his mother, either. A sister? Yet there was no family resemblance at all.
    “My name is Kate, and I’ve brought you a little something to eat. Are you comfortable here at the desk, or would you like to move elsewhere?”
    “Is there another place I can go where I won’t have to see anyone else?”
    Kate nodded, leading back over the threshold, tray still in hand. She went to the opposite end of the hallway, around the hollow rotunda, to a small room where sunlight beckoned from a dazzlingly bright sunporch. It overlooked a considerable segment of the outlying countryside, past the trees surrounding the house, to the river beyond.
    Settling the tray on a table between two comfortable chairs, the older woman invited Meg to sit as she stacked a couple of books out of the way. The tea was tepid but tasty. Meg couldn’t tell if it was hunger or if the food truly was exceptional, but she quickly ate the lobster salad and chicken pie. She would have preferred eating alone, but the woman lingered nearby, pushing open one of the windows—it was on a hinge

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