Time Will Tell

Time Will Tell by Fiona McCallum Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Time Will Tell by Fiona McCallum Read Free Book Online
Authors: Fiona McCallum
mock consternation. She sipped her tea silently while trying to put her thoughts in order.
    â€˜So where’s the letter?’ he asked after a few moments of silence. ‘Sorry,’ he said, holding up a hand briefly in apology before returning to his coffee.
    â€˜You said no pressure.’ But she was smiling gently. Of course she’d show it to him.
    â€˜I know what I said, but this is bloody excruciating.’ He started squirming in his chair. ‘You do still have it, don’t you?’
    â€˜What, you think I’d throw it out?!’
    â€˜I don’t know. I wouldn’t put it past Elizabeth.’
    â€˜I’m the one who’s held onto a jar full of old buttons just because they were my Gran’s, remember?’
    â€˜All right, all right, I get it; you’re soppy and sentimental. Are you going to show me this damned letter or not?!’
    Emily went to the pantry cupboard and got down the large cardboard shoe box in which she now stored Gran’s pile of old recipes tied up with her trademark grey string. Back at the table she took off the lid, untied the bundle, and began carefully taking out each fragile and stained piece of paper and well-thumbed book, turning them over to keep them in the same order. After she’d read it the first time, she’d put the letter back in exactly the same place, between the recipes where she’d found it. She liked the idea that it might have been there for over sixty years, filed between Mother’s Irish Stew and Quince Jam the whole time.
    Emily finally found the folded blue sheet of paper she was looking for.
    The letter looked so out of place it was hard to believe it could have been missed for all those years. But then again, there were lots of other odd pieces of paper with recipes from various friends and family members.
    Now Emily thought about it, Gran had always been extremely protective of her recipes – but not the recipes as such, just the originals. If you wanted one of her recipes, she was more than happy to share it, but she would find it, write it out herself, and then hand over the copy – no one was ever allowed to rifle through her papers willy-nilly. Emily thought she knew why.
    She unfolded the letter and handed it to Jake, then sipped her now lukewarm tea and watched his face light up as he read.
    October 18th 1947
    Dear Miss Rose,
    It really was the greatest pleasure to again make your acquaintance in London this last year.
    Your uncle tells me you are betrothed to a grazier and soon to be married and then make your new life in the interior of the wide brown land that is Australia. He tells me the place is a small village called Woop Woop, but the twinkle in his eye, not unlike your own, and the fact I could not find the name on any map, suggests he may have been doing what you taught me Australians are very apt to do; that is, ‘pulling my leg’. You are indeed an intriguing people with a peculiar language. But I digress.
    Please accept my gift for your nuptials of seven (a sacred number in my land and faith, and I believe your own) of Golconda’s finest – left rough for you to have cut and set as you desire. They are, I think, almost the exact shade of your unusual and enchanting eyes.
    You and your husband would be extended the most gracious welcome should you ever find yourselves in my, what would you say, ‘neck of the woods’? (See, I have managed to retain some of what you taught me in our short time together!)
    I wish you all the very best of health and happiness for the future.
    With the kindest regards,
    Prince Ali
    After a few minutes Jake carefully put the note aside.
    â€˜Wow, Em, that’s beautiful,’ he said, gazing at her. ‘You’ve got the same coloured eyes as she had, haven’t you? I didn’t really notice before, but they’re quite like the diamonds too. And very lovely.’
    â€˜Thanks.’ She felt uncomfortable

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