Friends and Enemies in Unusual Places

Harry Archer, his 6 siblings, Mother and Father live on a farm in Dorset. His father had to leave for war unexpectantly and left his lovely home and his lovely wife and his lovely children. When Adelaide and Evander Windsor are sent far away from Mayfair they have to learn to survive in a world they have never known. Harry and Adelaide become friends whereas Evander is set to hate everything or one near him. Evander's destructive path leaves a mark on things around him and as time goes on it all starts to fire back onto Harry and Adeline. Evander and Adelaide are about to discover life in the country is a lot more dangerous then they ever would have dreamed...

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4. Looking For Babe

 

Harry was walking through the woods that surrounded his farm and dragging a stick along with him. He was supposed to be clearing out the horses but he had covered for Jack yesterday and now he'd gone and double crossed him...  Harry would make sure that next time he covered for Jack he would get it down in writing and have witnesses. Harry throw the stick into the lake that ran through the wood and sat on the log that he used as a bridge to cross it. With his elbows resting on his knees and his checks in his hands Harry sulked. Being only ten years of age he still 'ad the right to sulk as Harriet Archer says. 

Harry needed to think about what he was going to do about Jack. For too long he had terrorized him and stole his stuff. Payback was what he was thinking of but Harry preferred to think of it as 'just revenge.' As he thought he found that his thoughts began to drift. He started daydreaming about things, things that his father had told him about, war and the city... Bombs and trenches. Slowly he drifted into his thoughts and was so focused on them that he did not feel himself falling into a slumber and slip.... slip of the log and into the water...

***

"Where's the rascal gone now."

"Neva there when you need 'im"

"He bunked his chores and orl"

"You what?"

"No joke, I just checked the 'orses still walkin in muck."

"Your kiddin' us."

"Nope."

"Blummin annoyin' if you ask me"

"Well it's a grand thin' no one is askin' you, Peter!" Harriet Archer spoke loud and clear over all the groaning voices. "Now you all should be 'shamed of your selves. Babe's probably findin' some wood or seeds for me, like I asked him to last week..."

"Sorry."

"Sorry Ma'."

"Ma"

"Yeah sorry."

"Sorry Ma'."

"Sorr-Ma'."

"Sorry Harrie' love..."

The String of Archer children sat down and the vast table and looked at their mother. Maggie however stayed standing as she was arranging some flowers in a pretty wooden vase. George sat by his wife and looked like an obedient dog...

"Now." Harriet said addressing the string of children looking at her attently around the table. "Let's stop all this whisper'n and look for him!"

And so one, two, three, five, seven, nine, ten Archers got up and looked about them. Now I have mentioned before that the Archers were eccentric but  I will say it again and probably many more times to come, the archers were plain weird. They looked everywhere. They looked under the table. Looked under the chairs; under the sink; in the sink; in the cupboards; under the stairs on the stairs; in Harriet and Georges room; in Maggie's room; in Tom's room; in Alfie's; in Peter'; in Jack's; in Frank's and in Harry's. They looked in the toilet, in the bathroom and in all the spare rooms. They looked in the stye and the barn on the plough, in the plough, on the tractor, in the tractor, in the silo and in the farmhouse, in the truck and on the baler. Eventually after turning over the whole of the farm, including the fields of corn and of flowers, they returned to the house and sat, slumped at the table utterly put out.

"He's invisible or i'm a rathead..." said Frank slightly slowly and almost falling of his chair...

"Y'are a rathead." Alfie said

"George."

"Sorry pa."

"Grand thing, now Frank shutup."

"George."

"Sorry love."

"Hummm. Now where in hell is tha' idiotic boy"

As if on queue Harry trudged and stamped into the room soaking wet and sniffling. He swayed slightly and muttered to himself, cursing about the river that he normally loved. He looked around him and tried to find a seat completely ignoring the staring eyes of his family and found a small stall spare in the corner. He walked over and sat. There was a brief moment of silence everyone staring at Harry and then he cracked.

"Wha' you all lookin' at?" Harry asked fidgeting slightly under the eight of their eyes.

At once all the other Archers got up from their seat and started yelling at him.

"Wha' are you playin' at?"

"We've been lookin' for you everywhere?!"

"I checked in the stye and got my shoes all muddy!"

"I messed up my bed lookin' for ya!"

"And we wasted a lota salt tryin' to find you-"

"Wha' 'as salt gotta do with me, eh?" Harry interrupted rudely. He was never normally rude but he was cold, wet and he wanted to have come home to a nice warm blanket and drink some hot water or tea. He'd been dragged by the lake far outside of the woods and he'd had to walk all the way back, it was night now, though the Archers hadn't noticed it getting dark as they were to focused on finding Harry.

"Tha' aint the point-"

"Wha' is the poin' is, we looked on the stairs-"

"Don' forge' under the stairs..."

"In the sink, and under it-"

"And the stilo and farmhouse."

"And you didn' muck out the 'orses, which i discovered when I walked into 'orse shi-"

"Peter language!'

"Sorry ma- anyway the poin' is-"

"Don't anyway me Peter Irwin Archer." All the Archers sniggared at his middle name. Even George struggled to dampen a laugh, after all it wasn't his idea to name his son that. Peter turned a bright crimson and sat down. "Babe, where have you been and why are you all we'."

"I fell in the blumin lake I did! The curren' was strong and dragged me one and a 'alf miles out of the woods. I 'ad to walk back." He paused angry at his family. Slowly they sat down but Harry wanted to continue. "I 'ad to walk back and everyone was staring at me. SO, i'll thank you very much to all calm down."

Harriet's face burnt a bright scarlet and shuffled her feet slightly.

"We're sorry 'unny. We- er jus' er..."

Harry rolled his eyes and hugged his mother.

"So, wha' did you wanna talk abou' anyway?"

Harriet drew back from the hug with a smile on her face and then a look of puzzlement crossed her face. 

"Wha'- OH righ' everyone si' yourselves down. Me and your Dad 'ave somethin' to say to you all."

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