Copyright 2014 by Gerrard Wilson
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It was a cold November evening, so cold the weak, autumnal sun made no inroad into the heavy frost that had descended the previous night. As I approached my friends’ house, I looked forward to the warmth of their fire, the congenial atmosphere, and a glass of warm Madeira wine. It was a custom, a family tradition to offer their visitors this warming imbibe, a custom that had survived the passage of time, including the family’s migration from the tiny outpost of the same name, far out in the Atlantic Ocean, to merry old England. Generations of guests had enjoyed this warming drink on such cold wintry nights.
Opening the gate, I walked along the path, admiring the garden that was always in such pristine condition, no matter what time of year or how bad the weather happened to be. Lifting the doorknocker, a facsimile of a lion’s head, I gave the door an assertive knock. I waited for my hosts to respond.
“Is that Jeremiah?” Christine asked, calling to her husband, upstairs.
“Yes, darling,” Charles replied, making his way downstairs, to the door. Opening it, he greeted me. Seeing how frosty and cold it was outside, he said, “Welcome, Jeremiah. You must be frozen – come in. Hand me your coat and hat, then get yourself to the sitting room.”