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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 46… The Gwyllt (Part One)

A narrow path led off to her right, upward and through the thick undergrowth and toward the headland plateau above her. It was a steady and breathless climb and at one point she could just make out the top of some house or building structure. Then suddenly, she had reached the plateau. Her path had opened to a narrow area of what looked like old onyx pillars with ivy covered marble seating and beyond this she saw the house for the first time. It was derelict and crumbling and had not seen use for many years, perhaps the building she had glimpsed earlier.

She walked on. Her footsteps softened within the stillness of the place. Then strange thoughts began to enter her mind. At first she took them to be induced by this odd setting she now found herself. A woman’s gentle voice found favour in her head… “By Gwyllt Pond…A lovers bond…Lay Rebecca Haig’s remains”

She stood in front of the ruins gazing into its hopelessness. One time long ago a profound turre…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 45… A Sighting

It was that time of the morning when the trivia of the day before was forgotten and the ocean would open itself to the lonely walker. Around the Bay large curios gulls swooped over its soft sands and called out to a gentler Atlantic. She had not noticed him before and now her eyes were fixed on a single figure walking towards her from the far side of the Bay. She thought it odd because Margarita had said that she would not meet anyone. The person seemed to be coming from the direction of the outcropping rocks near where the sea was crashing into the headland. Perhaps there was a path around the head, she told herself.

A burst of sunlight ran into her eyes for several moments and she cupped a hand to her forehead. When the watery eyes began to clear. The figure had gone. Esme took a few steps forward, straining for another glimpse of the stranger. There was none. She thought the figure could have been a man, perhaps a young man. His stride was purposeful and ener…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 44… Reason

He looked at Charles with open eye. ‘Beats your town living Charlie!’ he remarked.
It was only the second time Esme had ever heard anyone call Charles: Charlie. In her mind he was a Charles not a Charlie. The surprise on her face was self evident.

Charles picked up on it. ‘It’s ok… Bill’s allowed… After all, he’s the finest painter I know… Apart from Picasso!’

‘You know Picasso!’ Bill burst forward with total percussion. ‘You’ve never said!’

Esme suddenly went into a fit of laughter at the expression on Charles face, then Bill fell in with it and laughed loudly showing his great white teeth once more.

After breakfast Bill insisted he wanted to show Charlie his latest work and other works yet to be given a public airing. ‘Tell me what you think in all honesty.’ he asked.

Esme said she would like to take a long walk along the shore line and enjoy the fresh sea breeze. ‘I want to blow London right out of my mind.’ she had said to Margarita, after they had finished the …

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 43… Good Company

There was much small talk over supper and Esme seemed to take to Bill and Margarita, odd couple as they appeared, with some delight. There was even agreement that she would pose for the painter sometime during their stay. By way of return Charles said he would take pictures of Margarita one morning in a walk along the shore line.

It was the Herring Gulls that first woke Charles and Esme the following morning. In the bric-a-brac of the early morning light they seemed to swoop and call in ever increasing numbers. It was cold in their little room and even cuddling together during the night had not kept them warm.

‘I said it would be freezing!’ Esme muffled her head firmly under the covers.

‘Don’t worry.’ he replied. ‘You’ll be ok once your up and dressed, put on some warm clothes. I guess breakfast can’t be far away.’ He could detect the enticing smell of bacon frying. He pulled the covers back and sat on the edge of the bed.

‘What time is it?’ came her muffled v…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 42… Arrival

He was instantly likeable, as with so many of Charles odd arty friends and Charles was not surprised at his friend’s enthusiasm for Esme, his reputation as a painter was widely recognized. The reference to their “Commotion” on arrival was due to Bill Porrit’s acute hearing. It was the very reason the Porrit’s had left London in order that Bill could paint in quiet solitude.

‘Come on inside both of you. We’ve got supper on the go.’ However, just before they could do so, a miniature woman with bright red eyes and a Humming Bird head stepped into the light of the doorway.

‘Margarita!’ Chanted Charles almost at once. ‘It’s lovely to see you again.’ His eyes danced over her. She was diminutively beautiful and unashamedly proud of her looks. He had seen many nude paintings of her over the years and had long admired her perception and gallantry in showing off her body against much public narrow-mindedness.

‘Charles my darling! and you have brought your lovely friend. She …

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 41… Journey (Part Two)

‘Well, this is about as far as we go with the car.’ announced Charles. ‘We’ll have to do the rest on foot.’
Esme groaned.
‘Don’t worry, it’s not much further. We can do it in about ten minutes.’ added Charles. He went to the car for their overnight bags and locked the doors. ‘I’ll pick up anything else we need in the morning. Stick close to me. There is a very narrow path a little ahead.’

She said nothing. Anger it seemed, was something of wasteful subject.

It was getting dark by the time they reached ‘the Porrit’s’ cottage. The frail light from an oil lamp spread dimly from a downstairs window and crept out in to easing night. It was a stone cottage of flaking white paint. Four small rooms. A small kitchen and an out back stone lavatory.

When the small front door opened spreading more feeble light on the two visitors, a tall, thick set man with an astonishing jet black beard stood with an outstretched arm and a beaming smile.

‘Charles…Charles!’ his voic…

The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp...

Episode 40… Decision

‘Esme… I’ve been giving our situation a lot of thought.’ Charles looked at her with careful consideration. She seemed to him to have more maturity now than ever he realised. She had grown into a fine woman. She sipped from a small cup of coffee whilst her crystalline eyes studied him back.

She lowered the cup gently to its saucer. ‘Charles, If I were a smoker, this would be the moment I would light up!’ She grinned lavishly.

He smiled back a reply and said: ‘I want us to stay with some friends of mine that live in North Wales. Toby can run things here for a while and his brother Barney will help out. Look we both need a break…Get away from London for a while. It would do us both some good.’

‘But North Wales Charles… Snowdonia! It will be cold this time of year.’
‘You won’t feel the cold I promise and you will just love ‘the Porrits’.