A Bridge of Letters HTML version

Copyright 2012 Duncan James
by Duncan James.
arjorie Northcot died quite suddenly. It turned out to be a heart attack, but it
was a great shock because nobody was expecting it at all. There were no real
signs, early on.
There is never a good time to die, but, although she had no real say in the matter, this
was about the worst time she could have picked.
Her husband, Maurice, was abroad. He was „something’ at the Foreign Office,
although no-one, not even Marjorie, was ever quite sure what. Neither was anyone
quite sure where he was. One thing soon became clear, though. He was not
„abroad’ in the sense of „gone to a conference’ or anything like that. He was
travelling abroad. One official at his office thought he had flown to Singapore, while
another thought it had been Hong Kong. One chap, a clerk of some sort, even
suggested he had gone to Korea, but nobody took much notice. Not that Maurice had
a proper office either, really. Not the sort one commutes to every day, because that is
something Maurice never did. Commute.
In the end, when they did eventually track him down, it turned out that they were all
wrong, as he had intended.
He had gone to Helsinki, but only a couple of people knew.
So it took some time to find him, and even longer, since he was travelling, for him to
get home for what, in the end, turned out to be a much delayed funeral for Marjorie.
Not that it made much difference to her, of course. The one who really suffered was
son Peter.
He was only ten at the time, and devoted to his mother. She was gentle and kind and
loving, but strict just the same. She spent as much time as she could with Peter, and
realised that what he really needed was a father. Peter realised this too, but he never
saw much of him because he was always travelling. When he was home, though,
they got on like a house on fire. Football, fishing, long walks with the dog, playing
with the train set – everything. But only ever for a day or so at a time - never for
Published by Duncan James