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It seemed like the start of a perfect day in late summer. It would be many weeks before the leaves began to turn red and gold.
A black car threaded its way slowly along a deserted country road. Its journey had begun in the city centre and now, after an hour, it was in the depths of the countryside. The car entered a narrow lane and stopped outside the only sign of habitation, for miles, a small thatched cottage.
Suzy and her mistress stepped from the car which drove almost silently away and became lost from view amongst the trees.
The two women walked up the path to the door and pulled the rusty handle of an ancient door bell. A wooden sign reading ‘Honeysuckle Cottage’ hung from the wall beside the door. The paintwork on the door and windows was fresh. The small front garden was neat and tidy.
Before the girl has a chance to see more, the door opened and a small plump woman in her late fifties stepped out and welcomed them warmly.
“Oh how lovely to see you again Pam dear.” She said as she kissed the older of the two visitors.
“Do come in … that’s it …” And she quickly ushered her two guests inside. The door closed with a soft click followed by the sound of the key being turned in the lock.
Once inside the lady turned to the younger of the two arrivals.
“And this must young Suzy.” She said with a warm smile.
Suzy took a step forward and shook her hostess’s hand. “How do you do Miss Lambourne.”
“Oh my, you are a pretty one. I’m very pleased to meet you. Your mistress here has told me so much about you Suzy S! And please, do call me ‘Betty’ my dear.”
“Why don’t you both sit down after your long journey?” Miss Lambourne continued. “I was about to make a pot of tea.” And with that she disappeared into the kitchen, from where, after a few minutes, came the sound of a singing kettle and a clatter of cups and plates. Miss Lambourne reappeared with a tray of tea things.
The two visitors settled themselves on an old but very comfy sofa, tea was served and soon Pam and her hostess were chatting about past event and holiday plans.