False Enchantment by Helen Magee

By Helen Magee

Not anything used to be ever an analogous after Perdita entered Abby's existence. She used to be wearing rags, yet nobody spotted that, in simple terms the intense great thing about the exhausted baby which grew much more haunting because the years handed. So too did the air of probability that clung to her, and Abby was once plunged right into a net of worry as Edmund, whom she had regularly enjoyed, used to be stuck up in Perdita's spell.

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Example text

The door opened and Aunt Josephine came in but I could read nothing 39 from her expression. She came softly to my side and, bending over me, tucked the sheet that I had disturbed more closely around me, ‘The doctor is with your father now, dear,’ she said. ‘There is nothing for you to worry about. ’ I could barely speak. ’ She clucked disapprovingly, ‘Of course he is not dead,’ then she hesitated. ‘He is however very ill. Pneumonia the doctor thinks and in his weakened state . ’ Her eyes met mine, ‘This was your dear mamma’s room, you know.

35 At once all was confusion. Servants were called and despatched immediately to fetch a doctor. All I can recall thinking was that it was a pity the fraying at his cuff showed so badly and then he was carried off and I was enfolded in the ample embrace of the woman I learned later to call Aunt Josephine and hustled upstairs with much fussing and reassurance as to father’s well being. As we passed Edmund he said something in a low voice which I could not hear over the incessant murmurings of Aunt Josephine, but his tone conveyed the message and I was comforted.

Instead I spent the time making sure I would look my best and trying on one gown after another until I lit on the perfect one. It seemed like centuries to me as I counted the minutes until Edmund should arrive and then, when I had almost given up hope, 45 when I had decided that there had been some dreadful accident and he was lying dead in a ditch and I should never see him again, I heard the carriage on the gravel sweep of the drive and flew to the window. This was what I had been waiting for all day.

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