Castle, Mine 3 - The Family Grows by Paul Audcent - HTML preview
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Castle Mine 3 The family grows. Copy-write P. Audcent 2015
1 A child in disgrace.
I sat in my wonderful soft chair gazing out of that bay window, the one my ancestors had knocked a hole through the wall, well two holes actually as there was another bay window with a large oak seat further down the Library wall. I was musing why my two boys had just pulled up two more chairs and were waiting for my head to turn to face them.
'I'm enjoying the autumn leaves and their various colours so why are you here disturbing me, surely you have work to do?'
“We don't really think either of our Uncles are fitting in well here Father.” This from Nick.
'They are my brothers, this was their home.'
“True, but we all work on the estate and they just lounge about.” This from Robin due to get married in a month, formally I might add at the local church. They had a quick civil one at a town hall three months ago, nobody knew about, except brother Nick!
No, I did not reply just thought a little and looked out of the window where I spied young Fig pulling out what appeared to be some of Dulcie's flowering plants, yellow, alyssum I think, so I knocked sharply on the window. Nick saw it as well and dived out of the room to catch the little devil. In the meantime Robin stood up and watched his brother tear down the steps and grabbed Fig around the waist and haul him back into the house.
“He is becoming a bit of a pest Father,” pointing to a screaming Figaro as Nick passed him over to his Uncle Eustace.
'How so Robin?'
“Someone stole Brigan's pen set then Mini's exercise book and all was eventually traced to Figaro's door. Of course that sainted Aunt Jezebel denied it even though Uncle Eustace found those same articles under his pillow.”
'News to me.'
“We tried to keep it away from you Father.” Nick had arrived,”What's more in a fit of rage he threw a boot and broke a window in the orangery, Robin repaired that last week but no apology from my young cousin or parents!”
“Quite frankly we are fed up with Uncle Eustace and his constant protection of his step son.”
“Because he is afraid of upsetting the Italian goddess.”
'Ah', I said, 'Do you know I don't even know her name, not been formally introduced, do you have a name for her by any chance?'
“Angelic”. Both spat it out.
'A fine figure of a woman and my sister in law I'll have you know, but I thought Eustace said she was Italian not French? Still go and fetch Uncle Eustace and Figaro for me and you two better disappear please. Best get Finlay to ask them to come here.'
Well the two boys vanished and Finlay bought Eustace and Figaro in and followed, I might add, by Figs mother. No I did not bat an eyelid, she knew something was up and advanced behind her son in a most menacing way. I asked them all to sit and shooed Finlay out.
'Eustace, I've heard a few complaints about Fig stealing and I believe he broke a large pane in the Orangery, I would have liked you or Fig to tell me these things rather than find out from third parties.' Well both the adults bridled at this and I could see Madame Eustace brimming up for a fight and then she finally broke.
“You have no reason to take my son or my husband to task, those pens and book came from other spiteful people and the glass was an accident.”
'Ah, so Fig told you about the broken glass?'
“It was accident, you treat this house as your own but Eustace and Gideon are joint owners and I am Eustace wife and my son is his son.”
I sat momentary at a loss then I turned to Fig,
'I want to know the truth Fig', who had retreated into his shell all hunched up, 'Every morning you see all your cousins go out to school on the cart that Uncle Nick drives and this disturbs you because you want to go as well. You know that to go to school you will need a book and pens or pencils and at a guess I would say this was your way of trying to go with your cousins to fit in with them. Am I right?'
Fig nodded his head.
'But Fig you are only just past four years old so I wonder what you could do until you reach the age of five. Why were you pulling out Aunt Dulcie's flowers?'
This time he answered. “Weeds now, annuals, got to be rid of.”
'Yes I presupposed that, but in fact they are perennials and can last over several years, Aunt Dulcie would have been deeply hurt if someone had told her.'
“You tell her, no, you bully my boy he not know the difference.” The Goddess!
'Eustace you either ask your dear wife to remain silent or she leaves please.' Eustace said nothing but I could see the child was innocent, well except for the glass maybe.
'Eustace have you nothing to say?' I said this as gently as I could.
“Well Heir, I have to say you've worked out Figaro's problem, that's if he ever had one, so I think we should all be satisfied, and I apologise on behalf of my wife for calling you a bully. Apparently his boot was not laced up and flew and hit the pane.”
At last my brother was growing in stature and I think Madam would find him a tad more stronger in future, but then she went further having not listened to her husband.
“I do not like you calling my son Fig his name is Figaro.”
'I wonder how he came by that name Angelic?'
“It was the name of my....”
'Lover?' And so she stopped, whether it was because of Eustace being here or her son, probably I will never no, not that I ever want to.
'Eustace we will search, or rather you both can search for a kindergarten to send Fig to. I can understand his need to mix with children his own age and yet stand tall with his cousins, he is the youngest and the smallest so we must watch over him,'
Eustace just nodded.
These two brothers of mine were over half my age, father had temporarily given up chasing fillies and horses to exert his duty once again, and get a few spares. So ultimately they came along, just as daft headed as he was!