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A fortnight later, Mary-Lou was walking along the platform at Waterloo Station to get on the Penzance train. Maeve had replied to her note with a wonderful long letter, full of warmth and sympathy and had invited her to the Quadrant for a weekend.

‘Daddy’s had to take things easy since his little turn, so we’ve been rather quiet.’ Maeve had written, ‘but if you could make it for a weekend, that would be wonderful! I’d love the opportunity to see you again. The wedding is such a nightmare, and Freddie’s mother is the outside of enough! (burn this letter!) Mummy’s been in Canada for what seems like years and my only other female companion is Daphne, an eight year old! PLEASE COME SOON!’

She heard the guard blowing a warning on his whistle, so hurried into her compartment quickly.

It was fairly late in the afternoon when the train reached Sheepheys Junction. Mary-Lou gathered her things together and jumped down to the platform. Maeve had promised to collect her, due to the scarcity of trains to Channing St Mary.

Maeve was waiting on the end of the platform with Daphne, both of them were waving madly. Mary-Lou waved back at once.

“Mary-Lou! How are you? It’s so nice to see you again! This is Daphne, she insisted on coming to meet you as well, you’ve met her before haven’t you?” Maeve said at once, giving Mary-Lou a warm hug.

“Hello Maeve, hello Daphne! I last saw you when you were about three, I think,” Mary-Lou smiled.

“Hello.” Daphne replied, shyly, trying to hide behind Maeve, who laughed and started to talk to Mary-Lou about her plans for their weekend. She looked happy and very pretty, with her bronze curls tumbling over her shoulders. Daphne was a pretty child also, with a strong resemblance to Madge Russell.

“I’ve got Daddy’s car – oh, I couldn’t wait for this weekend! It’s going to be marvellous to catch up. I say, you mustn’t tell Freddie I’ve been driving, I’m supposed to get one of the men on the estate to drive me if I want to go anywhere.”

“Why on earth?” Mary-Lou asked, startled out of politeness.

“Because I’m such a rotten driver! Jackie taught me on the estate the summer I left school, but I was hopeless, he gave up on me! But I carried on with it, and I passed that stupid test – it took me eight tries but I did it. And the next day I smashed Dad’s car into a tree. Was he furious! But he calmed down eventually. I can’t wait for you to meet Freddie, he’s wonderful!”

Maeve chattered on as the three of them reached the car park. Daphne gave a squeal and pulling her hand out of Maeve’s, she dashed to the car where Rix was stood, his bag next to him. He laughed and picked the small girl up to hug her.

“Hello! I thought that was our car. I thought a minor miracle had occurred and I’d actually been met by the welcome committee instead of having to walk home like I usually do. Mary-Lou, we must’ve been on the same train. It’s nice to see you again. Hi Maeve.” He kissed his sister, and shook hands with Mary-Lou.

“You never tell us when you’re coming home, that’s why.” Maeve retorted.

“True, but then I hardly ever know in advance when I can take the time off. Are you staying for the weekend, Mary-Lou?”

“Yes, I am. I’m looking forward to seeing the dear old Quadrant again.”

“Well, I’m not looking forward to this journey – crashed into any more trees lately, Maeve?” he teased, putting Daphne down and taking Mary-Lou’s case from her.

“You’re so mean! But you can drive if you want.”

“I was joking, you’ll be fine. I suppose we should make a move.”

“Yes, or Daddy might be worried. Mary-Lou, will you sit next to Rix in the back?”

“I want to sit next to Rix.” Daphne said, glaring at Mary-Lou.

Mary-Lou looked at Daphne in surprise. The little girl tossed her long, dark curls defiantly, all traces of shyness gone. Maeve had told Mary-Lou that Daphne was eight, but she looked more like six. She was obviously a delicate child and Mary-Lou was suddenly reminded of Margot Maynard.

“I hope Daphne hasn’t got a Devil!” she thought, trying to suppress a grin.

“That’s not very polite, Daphne, Mary-Lou is our guest,” Rix said, mildly. Daphne immediately looked upset and her eyes filled with tears. It was clear she adored her eldest brother.

“Come on, Daph, get in the car.” Rix said, exasperated.

“Will you sit next to me?” Daphne asked, sniffing pathetically.

“Come on then!” Rix said, opening the front passenger door for Mary-Lou, who got in and thanked him, before jumping into the back with Daphne.

Maeve’s driving was fast and erratic, so the seven miles to the Quadrant passed quickly.

“Did you say you normally walk from the station to the Quadrant, Rix? It must be miles.” Mary-Lou commented.

“It’s about seven miles. I quite like the walk, gives me space to think. I do quite a lot of walking when I’m home.” Rix said. “On the cliffs mostly.”

“What do you think about?” Daphne asked, happy now she’d got her own way.

Rix laughed, embarrassed. “Operations, mostly. Very boring, I’m afraid, sweetheart. Anyway, what have you planned for the weekend, Maeve?”

“Well, just a quiet night tonight, and tomorrow Freddie’s taking us out for a drive and we’ll go to Brentford Hall for dinner. Other than that, we’ll just hang around the Quadrant, go for some walks, whatever you want, Mary-Lou. It’s probably too cold for swimming, but we can go for some nice walks on the beach. Oh look, there’s Daddy!”

Maeve swerved in front of the house, scattering gravel and the four of them got out.

Dick Bettany looked fine, much healthier than Mary-Lou had expected from David’s comments and the younger Bettanys’ obvious concern. He was exactly as Mary-Lou remembered and very welcoming.

Rix carried her bag up to a pretty guest bedroom with Daphne as his shadow, and Maeve took her off to the drawing room for afternoon tea and a good long chat.

Uncle Dick looks really well,” Mary-Lou said, “I thought he’d been ill?”

“Yes, did Rix tell you? He had a heart attack last Christmas when Aunt Joey and Uncle Jack came to visit. It was only a tiny one though and he’s fine now, more or less. It’ll be better when Maurice finishes national service and comes home, he’ll take over the running of the estate you see.”

“Good. And is Daphne ok? She looks quite frail.” Mary-Lou asked, carefully. In her schooldays she had gained a reputation as chief butter-in amongst her peers but on this occasion Maeve didn’t mind her questions. She knew her Mary-Lou!

“She had a bad doing of bronchitis and it’s left her with asthma. She has awful attacks sometimes and can’t breathe. That’s why we pet her a bit. I’m sorry she was rude to you in the car, but Mother and Dad have had to give into her demands, almost from the word ‘go’, otherwise she frets and gets ill. I suppose the fact that she’s so much younger as well means she’s been a bit spoilt. I remember how awful Maurice and I were when we first came over from India, but the others squashed us. I suppose it’s different for Daph, as we weren’t here except in the holidays and I’m often out and about even now. She should go to a decent school really, but she’s been too ill. I know Mother wouldn’t part with her, but Dad thinks she could go to Glendower House when she’s ten, as long as she improves as she is doing. She’s much better than she was before I came back home.”

“She should go to the Gornetz Platz.” Mary-Lou suggested, without thinking. “Jack could look after her and you know how motherly Joey can be.”

Maeve looked away, “It’s not possible at the moment. But as I said, she’s much better now than she was. Rix comes home when he can and he doesn’t take any nonsense from her even if I’m a bit soft. And she was very upset when Dad was ill. Have you – kept in touch with Aunt Jo?”

Mary-Lou shook her head, “You know me, always the world’s worst correspondent. I wrote to her a few weeks ago, but I’ve not heard back.”

Inwardly she was agog to know what was wrong between the Bettanys and the Maynards. David had spoken of a rift but it must be extremely serious to make the usually jolly Maeve look so upset.

Mary-Lou couldn’t bear it any longer, “Maeve, please tell me to mind my own business if you want to, but what’s happened? You used to be such a close family and now there’s obviously something wrong - is there anything I can do to help?”

“Oh, Mary-Lou, it's just dreadful. There was an awful row last Christmas. Uncle Jack and Aunt Joey said that Rix…” Maeve stopped speaking abruptly as they heard footsteps coming towards the drawing room.

“Is there anything left to eat? I’m absolutely starving,” Rix said cheerfully, before noticing Maeve’s expression. “What’s wrong?”

Maeve tried to appear nonchalant and failed utterly. “Oh, nothing. Just - Freddie’s mother.” She gave a little laugh. “You won’t believe what a dragon she is, Mary-Lou.”

Mary-Lou felt a little shocked at Maeve’s fib; she hoped it didn’t show on her face. Rix was looking right at her and she could feel herself starting to blush.

“Lady Brentford is an unpleasant person.” Rix agreed, sitting down and helping himself to a sandwich. “But you look really upset and she isn’t worth it really, is she? She’s just an insecure and lonely old woman. Anyway, you won’t see that much of her when you’re married, you’ll be with Freddie in London.”

“Will you be in London? Oh Maeve, that will be wonderful!” Mary-Lou said, happily. “Does Freddie work there? What does he do?”

“He works in the City, but I don’t know exactly what he does.” Maeve said, doubtfully.

Rix laughed, “He’s a financier, Maeve. You are hopeless. He invests in firms and deals on the stock market, things like that." He turned to Mary-Lou. "You know, like Geoffrey Drake and Gerard Ellingham and that lot. He’s got enough money to keep even Maeve in new clothes.”

Maeve stuck her tongue out at him, childishly, but Mary-Lou froze.

“Do you know Gerard Ellingham?” she asked, trying to keep her voice steady.

But Rix shook his head.

“Not really, I’ve only met him a few times. We don’t exactly move in the same circles in London. Rayner knows him from school and he’s trying to set up a committee to get some funding for our hospital. We want to build a new wing for children who have, well, a certain type of cancer of the brain or spine and we need some private donations. It’s an NHS hospital, so we haven’t got any money. Do you know him then?”

“He funds some of the exhibitions at the Museum.” Mary-Lou managed. She felt as if she would faint.

“Oh, I’m so glad you do know him. Freddie asked me to invite him to the wedding,” Maeve commented, starting to clear away the plates.

“How lovely.” Mary-Lou said, weakly.

“And back to the social event of the year,” Rix joked, handing his teacup over. “I think I’ll leave you to it and go to the estate office. Dad wanted me to look through the accounts with him. Are you all right, Mary-Lou? You look a bit pale.”

“Oh Mary-Lou, I’m so sorry!” Maeve wailed. “Here I am talking about the wedding when you’ve just broken up with your fiancÚ!”

“He wasn’t my fiancÚ – it wasn’t serious. Don’t be silly, Maeve, of course I want to hear all about the wedding. I think I’m just a bit tired. I didn’t sleep well last night and it was a long journey.”

Maeve looked more cheerful and started to discuss the bridesmaids' dresses. Mary-Lou fixed a smile to her face and tried to listen, but she wanted to escape to her room as soon as possible.

~

The next morning, Mary-Lou awoke very early. She hunted for her watch and was surprised to see it was only five.

‘I’ll get up and go for a walk,’ she thought, throwing back the covers and running some water into the basin in the pretty bedroom. She loathed her bed except when strictly necessary and especially when it promised to be a pleasant April morning.

She opened her door, expecting to be the only person awake, and saw Dick Bettany. He grinned at her.

“Good morning!” he said in low tones. “You’re up early.”

“I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. It looks beautiful outside, so I thought I’d go out.”

“I always like to look over the animals at this time. You know we’ve got livestock, don’t you. I say, you won’t wake the others will you? Daphne’s already up but I want the other two to catch up on some sleep.”

“OK. Can I help you around the farm?”

“I’ll give you the tour if you like.”

Downstairs Mary-Lou put on borrowed Wellingtons and walked to the farm with Dick. The Quadrant’s grounds were large and the farm a good fifteen minutes’ walk away. They chattered about Mary-Lou’s work and about Dick’s grandchildren, and then Mary-Lou changed the subject to how beautiful she thought Devonshire was.

“Do you prefer it to London?” Dick asked.

“I used to love London, but now – well, I’ve recently started to realise how lonely it can be. I don’t seem to have any real friends there anymore.”

“No, it can be a lonely place.” Dick agreed. “I didn’t think Rix would stay there as long as he has. I rather hoped he’d decide to go into general practice and work around here – but still, it’s his choice, not mine.”

“Didn’t you think he’d work in the San?” Mary-Lou asked, remembering how she had resolved to help Maeve by trying to mend the quarrel in the family.

But Dick changed the subject back to the farm and the next minute they reached the henhouses and found Daphne waiting for them. The subject didn’t arise again.

“Would you like to come and feed the hens with me?” Daphne asked, slipping her hand into Mary-Lou’s own. “It’s my job on the farm.”

“I’d love to.” Mary-Lou smiled at the small girl.

“Well, I’ll leave you ladies to it and go and check with the men in the cattle yard. Breakfast is at eight today, but do get something from Cook if you’re hungry, Mary-Lou.” Dick left them together.

Daphne chattered on eagerly about her hens and about the Quadrant generally.

“Are you looking forward to going to school, Daphne?” Mary-Lou asked when she could get a word in edgeways.

“I don’t go to school, Miss Trevannion comes here on her bicycle every day. Not weekends though. I might go to school next year but I don’t know.”

“The Chalet School? Will you go to Wales or Switzerland?”

“I don’t think I’m going there.” Daphne said, uncertainly.

“Not go to the Chalet School?” Mary-Lou failed to hide her amazement, “But – why on earth not?”

Daphne coughed, then said, “I’m not going to that horrid school. Auntie Madge told Daddy I should go, but I cried and he said I didn’t have to.”

“But – it’s not a horrid school, Daphne, it’s a marvellous one. I should know, I had eight years of it myself. And wouldn’t you like to see Switzerland and have all the fun of ski-ing? Not to mention having so many other girls to play with. And you could see your Auntie Jo and Cecil and Phil…” Mary-Lou continued, thoughtlessly.

Daphne coughed again and went pink. She threw the bucket of feed down on the ground, sending the hens clucking, and stamped her foot.

“I told you! I’m not going to Switzerland! I hate it! And I hate Auntie Jo!” She cried, then seemed to choke and collapsed onto the floor, struggling for breath…

For an instant, Mary-Lou was frozen to the spot in horror. Then her innate common sense took over and she crouched next to Daphne, helping her to sit up and calling for help at the same time. Daphne could breathe, just about, but her obvious panic was making the situation worse.

“It’s OK, Daphne. Try to calm down.” Mary-Lou soothed, though inwardly she felt just as terrified. What on earth was she to do if Daphne had a full-blown attack?

Luckily, someone had heard her shout and the next minute, Dick was running towards the henhouses.

“She just – couldn’t breathe.” Mary-Lou said.

Dick nodded, “I know. Come on, Daffy, try and breathe. I’m going to take you back to the house. Do you need your medication?” He took her from Mary-Lou and swung her up in his arms, carrying her away from the hens and towards the path back to the Quadrant.

Daphne started to cry, “Don’t want - to go to Switzerland, Daddy,” she managed. Dick found her inhaler in the pocket of her coat and gave it to her.

“What are you talking about, darling? Nobody says you have to go to Switzerland.”

“She did! But I’m never going there! You promised!”

“I know I did. You aren’t going there, you’re staying with Mummy and me. Now calm down, please. You know what happens when you get upset and it worries us. Now I’ll take you back to the house and Rix can take a look at you, OK?”

“OK, Daddy.” Daphne said, wiping her eyes.

“I’m so sorry,” Mary-Lou began, “I was talking about the Chalet School – I am sorry, Daphne.”

“It’s fine.” Dick said at once. “It wasn’t a proper asthma attack, thank God. Are you all right?”

Mary-Lou nodded, but she wouldn’t forget the scare Daphne had given her easily.

Back at the Quadrant, Dick laid Daphne down on the drawing-room sofa.

“Could you watch her while I fetch Rix?” Dick asked Mary-Lou, who agreed at once. She was relieved that Dick didn’t blame her for the attack and resolved to hold her tongue in future. How could she have been so careless?

Dick left them alone and Mary-Lou sat on the floor next to Daphne’s sofa, taking hold of her hand.

“Daphne I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.” She said.

Daphne looked up, listlessly. She was still making faint wheezing noises and her eyes were red. She nodded and gave Mary-Lou a faint smile.

Maeve came downstairs, followed by Rix, and took Mary-Lou off for a cup of coffee in the kitchen, leaving Rix and Dick to see to Daphne.

“Drink this – I can see you’ve had a shock. But it happens all the time. Dad took her to a specialist and he says she’ll grow out of it. What started it off this time?”

“I was just talking to her about school, and then she – well, she flew into a temper and then went all red and couldn’t breathe.”

“Oh, no wonder… She’s got it into her head that she’ll be sent away to school and never come home. Don’t worry about her any more, Mary-Lou. Oh Cook, can we have breakfast early today please? We’re all up, you see. And is there any coffee in the pot?”

Mary-Lou drank her coffee at the kitchen table, only half-listening to Maeve’s reassuring chatter. She felt dreadful.

Rix came into the kitchen and joined them, throwing himself onto a chair and yawning. He looked very tired and needed to shave.

“She’s fine. I don’t even think it was a proper attack.” he said.

“Mary-Lou says she went into one of her rages.” Maeve said, getting up from the table. “I’ll set the table for breakfast if we’re going to have it early.”

“I think it was my fault. I’m sorry.” Mary-Lou said in a quiet voice.

Rix looked at her in surprise, “Of course it wasn’t your fault, why would you think that?”

“David told me there was – well, a row between you and the Maynards. I forgot and spoke to Daphne about going to Switzerland, to the Chalet School. She said she didn’t want to go, and I asked why not – and well, she got upset.” Mary-Lou trailed off, blushing. She felt like the worst kind of busybody that ever existed.

“David told you I’d had a row with the Maynards?”

“Yes. Well, sort of. Not just you, the whole family. Look, Rix – I know it’s none of my business, but if I can help at all – if you need someone to talk to…”

“I don’t think you can help, but I probably owe you an explanation. I don’t want to go into it here because of Dad, but… if you’re free after breakfast we could go for a walk?"

Mary-Lou agreed, and after breakfast, the two of them left for a walk along the Devon cliffs, each wrapped up warmly against the bright but chilly, late April weather.

Neither spoke for the first mile or so, but the silence was companionable. Rix appeared deep in thought and Mary-Lou felt suddenly reluctant to intrude.

“Do you want to go down to the beach? It’s more sheltered.” Rix asked, making her jump. She’d been lost in her own thoughts. She nodded, and followed him down a steep path to the sandy cove beneath the cliff. The tide was out and they walked across the beach.

Mary-Lou looked around with great interest. The beach was small and secluded and must be wonderful in summer. She looked up and saw the west walls of the Quadrant high above.

Rix cleared his throat, “What did David tell you?” he asked.

“He just said that Jack asked you to join the San and you refused. And Maeve said there was a – a row last Christmas.”

“It was the Christmas before last. But that’s basically what happened. He didn’t ask me if I wanted to join, he said there was a place available and when could I go over there. I tried to explain why I couldn’t go, and he got – unpleasant and said some things.”

“What did he say?” Mary-Lou asked, sitting down next to him on the rocks.

“Oh – just how I’d always been selfish, how much of a disappointment I was to Dad and Mother, that kind of thing. I lost my temper and said some awful things back. Mother overheard us and came in, asking what was wrong. Uncle Jack was pretty riled and he started shouting at her. I told him to stop and he turned round – and well, he hit me.”

“I don’t believe it.” Mary-Lou said, shocked.

“Well, he did. He apologised straight away, but Mother was mad, and so was Dad when he found out. There was a huge row and Aunt Jo said something about Mum and Dad dumping us on Aunt Madge to bring up because they couldn’t be bothered. And Dad was under a lot of stress with Daphne and with the estate finances, and he had his heart attack. Mother threw Jack and Jo and all the kids out of the house that night and nobody’s spoken since. The others know something happened, but they don’t know all the details. You won’t mention it, will you?”

“Of course not.” Mary-Lou said at once, her heart going out to Rix. He looked wretched.

"I don't even know why I've told you all this. But it's hard, knowing it's all my fault," he added.

“It’s not your fault.” Mary-Lou said automatically, intending to reassure him. She was shocked by Jack and Jo’s behaviour, it sounded completely out of character. But then again, she hadn’t seen either of them for years and people did change. She wasn’t the same girl she’d been at the Chalet School.

“I could’ve kept my temper. And I should’ve told him I wasn’t going to the San years ago. Maybe I am selfish not to want to work there?”

“It’s your choice, he can’t force you into working there, and they shouldn’t have said those things about your parents not being able to keep you in India.”

“I suppose so. Want to go a bit further along the beach or do you have to get back for your visit to the Brentfords?”

Mary-Lou realised Rix wanted to change the subject. She looked at her watch.

“It’s early still – can we go on? What’s that cave affair over there?” She pointed

“Oh that’s John’s cave – I mean, he found it years ago when we first moved here. We used to play all sorts of games there. Want to see?”

Mary-Lou jumped down from the rock at once. “I'd love to,” she grinned.

The cave was large and surprisingly light inside. Mary-Lou scrambled over the rocks at the entrance with Rix following her; and entered the main interior space. It had dark passageways leading off from the main area.

“This is fascinating – do those tunnels lead anywhere?” Mary-Lou asked at once.

“John says those two merge into one tunnel, which comes to a dead end, and that one on the left has collapsed part of the way in. I’ve never gone over this place like he has. I’m sure he said something about there being another passage that leads out on the cliffs or somewhere – he wanted us to explore it, but we never did. I can’t even remember where it was now. It seems years since we used to come here.”

“Is it dangerous?” Mary-Lou asked, wondering why Rix was hanging back.

“I don’t think so. Not when the tide’s out anyway. The current’s strong around here and even strong swimmers have had problems on the beach, but I think it’s safe enough to look round for a while. Like I said, John’s been all over it with no problems. You’ll need a torch to go through some of the tunnels. I could run back and get one?”

“Oh, no – it’s fine, don’t worry. It’s quite light in here already, isn’t it?”

“I know – chasms on the top of the cliff, I think.”

“Can we go in a little way – just to see if we can find John’s passage? I’ve got my lighter.” Mary-Lou asked, smiling.

Rix hesitated, but only for a second. He was enjoying Mary-Lou’s company and he didn’t want to disappoint her. He was thinking about the tide – he knew how fast it could come in and for once he hadn’t noticed how far out it was from the beach, due to his other concerns, but reasoned that they would hear the tide come in and could wade out if necessary.

“Of course, but we’d better keep together, and watch out for loose rocks by your feet.” he warned, taking her arm as they went deeper inside.

Rix, holding the cigarette lighter, soon discovered that it made little difference to the overpowering gloom of the cave. He turned to suggest that they made their way back to the beach, but was forestalled by Mary-Lou grabbing his arm.

“Sorry! – did you see that? There seems to be an opening there – see that overhang of rock? I just noticed it when you held the lighter there. Just beyond that – see? I wonder if that could be John’s tunnel?”

“I think you could be right. It’s a steep climb up the ledge before you get to it though. We’ve been going steadily uphill – did you notice?”

Mary-Lou suddenly froze and gripped his arm so tightly that Rix nearly dropped the lighter. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“I thought I heard something – like a whistling noise? Do you hear it?”

Rix listened intently, then hastened back the way they had come, keeping Mary-Lou behind him. They didn’t have to go far before they found themselves knee-deep in seawater.

“It’s the tide… oh, how could I have been so stupid?” Rix went white.

“It’s not deep – come on, we’ll have to swim for it,” was Mary-Lou’s response, trying to get past him, but he grabbed her.

“No! You’ll be smashed against the rocks outside the cave!”

“Well we can’t stay here, we’ll drown! What if we climbed onto that ledge? Does the water go that high? It looked dry enough!”

Rix appeared to snap out of his stunned state, “Come on then,” he shouted, above the sound of the tide which was now much louder, and the two of them hurried back to where they had found the overhang of rock.

“Hold this.” Rix said, handing the hot lighter to Mary-Lou. “Careful it doesn’t burn you.”

Mary-Lou wrapped her sleeve up above her hand and took hold of it.

“Now, make sure you keep the lighter focused on the ledge so I can see what I’m doing, and I’ll get you up there, ok? Whatever you do, don’t drop it into the water.”
Rix took hold of Mary-Lou around the waist and lifted her up to the ledge, she was able to scramble securely, if not particularly elegantly, up to it and found, as she had thought, that it was bone dry and obviously above the level of the tide.

Once safe, she turned anxiously to look down at Rix, who was making preparations to climb up, waving the lighter until she saw him.

“It’s dry up here – no sign of any water marks either – I don’t think the tide comes up this far.” she said, calmly.

His voice came back to her from the gloom below.

“Well that’s one blessing. Are you ok? You aren’t going to faint or anything are you?”

“Of course not!” Mary-Lou replied indignantly. “I’ll have you know I’ve been in worse situations than this!”

“Well, this is bad enough for me. Hold that blasted thing still, will you? I can’t see where I’m supposed to climb and the water’s nearly at my waist.”

“Here – take my hand.” Mary-Lou implored, leaning over.

“Don’t be ridiculous, you’ll fall off. I’m fine, I’ll be with you in a minute…”

He stopped speaking as the roar of the water became significantly louder and Mary-Lou, leaning over the ledge as far as she could, despite his orders, was horrified to see him knocked from his feet and thrown against the cave wall, to disappear under the water and completely out of sight.



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