Pilgrim’s Rest

Pilgrim’s Rest by Patricia Wentworth Read Free Book Online

Book: Pilgrim’s Rest by Patricia Wentworth Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patricia Wentworth
Tags: det_classic
go down on their bended knees! But Ivy, the other girl that was here, the one that’s been called up to go in a factory, she slept in till she couldn’t bear it no longer, and then my mum give her a bed, and we’d come and go together. Ever such a nice girl she was. But of course you’d never think it to look at Mr. Jerome. He’s ever so quiet to look at, only he don’t like you to look at him, because of his face. My mum says he didn’t ought to be give way to about it. It isn’t nothing to be ashamed of, she says, and he did ought to be roused up and got to come off of it- that’s what my mum says.”
    Judy had a feeling that she was going to hear more than she wanted to about Gloria’s mum. It was a relief when she departed kitchenwards. But oh, what a lot of cleaning there was to be done, and what a little time there was going to be to do it in!
    When she heard the click of the door along the passage and saw out of the tail of her eye something large and male in a dressing-gown limp over to the bathroom, she went hurriedly in to do the room.
    Rooms are interesting. They tell you a lot about the people who live in them. This one told her something about the Pilgrims. Because it was, she thought, the nicest room in the house, and only nice people would give the nicest room in the house to a more or less penniless cousin who had been landed on them as a permanent invalid. It had two windows looking over the garden, and a deep alcove nearly all glass, so that as long as the sun was out at all there would be some of it in this room. She stood looking out, and saw a garden with high brick walls. Most of it seemed to be paved, with round, square, and rectangular beds in which dwarf conifers made a green contrast with the brown winter twigs of what she thought were flowering shrubs. There were snowdrops in bloom, and all manner of bulby things coming up. All the walls were covered with neatly trained fruit trees, with here and there the stark spread shoots of a climbing rose. The end wall was pierced by a really beautiful pair of wrought-iron gates leading to a second walled garden beyond. She was to discover that there were four of these gardens, one behind the other, each larger and less formal than the last.
    She turned back to the room and looked at it between curtains gay with flowers. There were a couple of deep, comfortable chairs, and a spacious sofa, as well as the bed, which had a most expensive and up-to-date spring mattress. There were bookshelves against the walls, books piled on the bedside table, a radio set-everything, in fact, that kindness could suggest to soften an invalid’s lot.
    As Judy got on with her work she felt pleased about this. She thought slightingly about Frank Abbott, who had tried to put spokes in the wheel and stop her coming down to such nice people. These feelings were confirmed when she presently ran out into the garden to see how Penny was getting on and found her playing ecstatically on a sand-heap. She had a trowel and a lot of three-inch pots provided by old Pell, and she was turning out rows and rows and rows of lovely castle puddings and decorating them with white pebbles and scarlet berries, while Miss Collie, vast in navy slacks and a fisherman’s jersey, sieved earth into seed-boxes and sowed her early onions. The sun shone, and a great ramshackle greenhouse kept off the wind.

chapter 7
    The sun shone for two days. Roger Pilgrim went away up to town. Penny played in the garden. Judy worked harder than she had ever done in her life. Then it poured with rain. Penny had to stay indoors. Judy gave her a little dustpan and brush, and a duster. But when Gloria departed downstairs Penny’s interest in house-work waned. She came and stood in front of Judy and turned a commanding gaze upon her.
    “It’s bored of being a little girl. It’s a lion-it’s a very fierce, stamping lion. Make it a tail to go swish, swish!”
    Judy pinned on the duster, and for about half an hour all

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