Two Claresby Village Mysteries
By Daphne Coleridge
Copyright © Daphne Coleridge 2011
The Coach House Mystery
It was one of the hottest days of a dismal summer, coming a bit late as September ousted August. At midday it was too hot for the fair-skinned Rupert to enjoy the heat of the sun, and he had found refuge in one of the dilapidated outhouses of Claresby Manor. There were stables, a coach house and an old granary; none of which had been renovated since his wife, Laura – the Lady of the Manor – had discovered treasure on the land of her impoverished family and rescued Claresby Manor’s fortunes. When Laura came out to find her husband, she was holding the hand of a tottering Florence – now nearly two years old and a vision of prettiness in a flower-sprigged dress and a straw hat on elastic, which kept slipping from her head. Rupert had opened wide the rickety doors to the coach house and saw them coming. As befitted a young father, he immediately stopped what he was doing and exclaimed,
“What a pretty dress, Florence! And I love your hat.”
Florence beamed happily at her father and said, “My hat!” whilst attempting to rescue it again with her free hand as it slipped rakishly over one ear.