Evan Only Knows

Evan Only Knows by Rhys Bowen Read Free Book Online

Book: Evan Only Knows by Rhys Bowen Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rhys Bowen
smelling like a Continental myself.”
    Evan laughed. “I’ll pour the tea then, shall I?”
    Tea was poured. Eggs on cheese were produced and they sat down to eat. Evan was glad they had something to keep them all busy for the moment. He had hoped that his mother would take one look at Bronwen and embrace her as a future daughter-in-law. This obviously wasn’t going to happen. And he supposed he hadn’t really expected it to.
    “So how is it that you have the Welsh then, Miss Price?” he heard his mother asking. “I thought only poor folks grew up speaking Welsh, but you sound like you’ve got the hang of it rather well.”
    “I spoke it as a child, Mrs. Evans. My father worked for an international bank and was posted around the world—sometimes to places that were not very safe for families. So I was left at home with my grandmother near Denbigh. My father’s family were the local squires and of course he didn’t speak the local language, but my mother was the schoolteacher’s daughter. So my Nain always spoke Welsh to me. My parents were rather angry when they found out I preferred speaking what they thought was a backward language to English. That’s when I was sent away rapidly to boarding school.”

    “A backward language, indeed.” Mrs. Evan sniffed. “One of the oldest, finest languages in the world, isn’t it? We had poetry when the English were still running around in goat skins.”
    “I agree completely,” Bronwen said. “I always made sure I spent as much time as possible with my grandmother just to keep up my Welsh. Of course now I use it all the time, so it’s become my first language again.”
    “And you’re teaching at the school, Evan tells me.”
    “The village school, yes. I only have twenty-five pupils, all ages, so it’s quite a challenge. And the building is ancient. Have you seen it?”
    “No. I haven’t yet been invited to visit my son.”
    “Oh, come on, Ma,” Evan said quickly. “You know you’re welcome. It’s just that I only had a room, lodging in someone else’s house, until recently. And what I’ve got at the moment isn’t properly furnished yet.”
    “When we’re married, you can come and stay with us,” Bronwen said.
    Evan’s mother gave her a sharp look. “Oh, so it’s getting married now, is it? I hadn’t heard more than you were courting.”
    “We didn’t want to tell anyone officially until we had met each other’s families.” Evan glanced across at Bronwen. “But yes, we’re planning on getting married some time soon. We haven’t set a date yet, or a place.”
    “And where are your folks then, Miss Price?”
    Evan noticed that she was not going to abandon the formality.
    “They live in Monmouthshire now. My father retired from the bank, and they bought a property in the Usk Valley. Very pretty.”
    “And you’re going there after this?”
    “That’s right.”
    “You’ll only be here a few days then, is it?” She looked wistfully at her son.
    “This time, yes,” Bronwen answered for Evan. “Evan’s going to show me all his old haunts.”
    “Old haunts? Makes him sound like a ghost.”
    Bronwen laughed. “I meant his school and the rugby club.”

    “Speaking of the rugby club, you’ll never guess who I saw at the market the other day.” Mrs. Evans’s face brightened up. “Maggie. Looking very fit and well, she was. Asked after you, Evan. She seemed very excited when I told her you were going to be here, so I asked her to drop by whenever she felt like it.”
    “Ma, you didn’t! I wish you hadn’t done that. What makes you think I want to see her again? And I’m sure Bronwen doesn’t.”
    “A lovely girl, Maggie, even if she didn’t speak Welsh properly. We always liked her. She had a lot of get-up-and-go, didn’t she? She used to make your dad laugh. He always said she was a real looker.”
    “I doubt if Bronwen and I will be home much while we’re here. There’s a lot I want to show her, and I suppose I

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