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Jo Bettany was already on the mountain path to the Sonnalpe when the rain began to fall. It was only light drizzle to begin with but, it soon became heavier, the drops falling relentlessly. Luckily, she'd brought her raincoat with her and she quickly donned it, pulling the zip right up underneath her chin and the hood over her head.

"Trust the weather to break just when I'm on my way home," she thought out loud to herself. She continued on up the mountain path, taking more care, now. The rain had made the path slippery and she had no wish to have an accident whilst she was alone. When she reached the steam which ran over the path she discovered a miniature torrent. Carefully, she crossed it, clinging onto the rocks nearby. She had reached the worst part of the climb now.

"Onwards and upwards. The quicker I get to the top, the quicker I'll be in the warmth and the dry again." She set off, toiling slowly on up the path, weaving around the boulders strewn across it at intervals.

Eventually, Jo saw the alm on which the Sonnalpe was situated looming up ahead. She adjusted her rucksack as she paused to regain her breath before setting off once more. The heavy rain had lessened in intensity and was a fine drizzle at this height. Now, she could actually see the end of the path and she was glad. She knew that she would be able to have a hot bath and a warm drink when she finally reached Die Rosen.

Jo came out onto the alm and was surprised to see a car at the end of the path. As she came closer, a figure climbed out and called to her.

"Jo! I'll give you a lift." It was Jack's voice. Jo smiled and turned towards the car, thankfully. It was another mile before she would reach Die Rosen and she was already tired with the climb up the mountainside. Normally, she enjoyed the last mile as it was a relatively flat walk and she could admire the vista over the mountains and the Tiernsee. However, the rain had made her climb up so much more difficult and she was relieved not to have to walk any further.

"I didn't expect to see you, Jack."

"I know. Madge rang to say that you were on your way up here and that the rain was pouring down at the lakeside. She thought you might appreciate a lift."

"I do. Thank you. It started just as I'd got onto the main path. The rocks are so slippery and the rain was really quite heavy for most of the way."

"Yes, I’ve been caught out, myself, on that path. Did you manage to cross the stream okay?"

"It was a small torrent but, there were plenty of rocks to hang onto. I was glad when I reached the other side, though." Jack pulled up outside the gate to Die Rosen.

"Here you are. Are you staying for long?"

"Just for tonight. I told Madge I’d return tomorrow."

"It's my day off tomorrow. I was wondering if you'd like to do something."

"I'd love to. Did you have anything in mind?"

"Well, I had thought of going for a walk but, if it's like this, I think that's out."

"I don't fancy walking in this weather. Not after the walk up here."

"Is there anything you'd like to do?"

"What about a trip to Hall or Innsbruck? We could go and look at some museums so we'd at least be in the dry."

"Let’s go to Hall. I don't think I've been there."

"Okay. I'll ring Madge and let her know I won't be back till late tomorrow. Will you stay for Abendessen afterwards?"

"That would be lovely, thanks. I'll pick you up in the morning, then. About nine sound good?"

"That sounds great. I'll see you then. Thanks for the lift." Jo climbed out and ran to the door where she quickly let herself inside. Jack watched her enter before driving on to the Sanatorium. He was already looking forward to spending the next day with her.

Jo changed and made herself a hot drink. She rang her sister to let her know that she was home and her arrangements for the next day. Afterwards she settled into the Salon with her book to read and looked forward to enjoying some time alone with her friend. The rain had produced one cloud with a silver lining after all.



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