Miss Antionelle Boulter quit the stage at The Plough Inn at Ightham Common, and stood with some trepidation awaiting the promised escort to her new home at The Mote.
"You Miss Boulter" a somewhat gruff looking old gentlemen shouted above the noise.
"Indeed I am. Are you sent from his Grace's household?"
"Hmmphh, far too young. You sure your t'new Guv'ness?"
This question seemed not to necessitate an answer as the burly gent merely heaved her trunk on his shoulder with another "Hmmphh" and strode off towards the small trap waiting just to the side of the Inn yard.
Having deposited his burden inside, he handed Antionelle up without another word, took his seat and gave the office to the fat brown pony to head out onto the narrow track leading uphill from the crossroad that the Inn sat upon.
Mist was beginning to wisp around as, in total silence, they headed into the gloom of the overhanging branches to make their ascent. Her companion, it seemed was disinclined to small talk, and therefore the only noise to be head apart from the dull thud of the pony's hooves alarmingly eerie call of Rooks somewhere ahead.
After about a quarter of the mile still ascending they reached another crossroads and took a left turn - it seemed travelling even deeper into the forest. With no sign of habitation along their route, Antionelle was growing more worried with every step the pony took.
Perhaps another five minutes later the trees began to thin, and then came across a small collection of cottages on a tight bend. This having been negotiated they then turned right and headed off down yet another track, this time turning and bending, at what sometimes seemed an alarming angle of descent.
Antionelle was left wondering exactly where His Grace the Duke of Wrotham actually resided. Surely, it would be somewhere with slightly more of an open and grand aspect? Had there been some terrible mistake made by the agency?
....................comments gratefully received.