The story has a lot of twists and turns as the story unfolds. By the time the train had reached Manchester Muriel was more than half way through the novel. She had been on the train five hours now and got up and walked around to stretch her legs. Many gentlemen sat reading the newspapers as she walked down the carriage to the ladies room. It was a bit of an ordeal trying to use the toilet with the motion of the train but eventually she managed and washed her hands in a bowl of water left for that purpose.
She dried her hands on the towel hung on a rail then returned to her seat. They reached Stafford at five o’clock that evening. Muriel had eaten a sandwich in Piccadilly and was now nearing the end of her novel. Two women sat opposite her but never spoke as she carried on reading. She had just finished the last page as the train came to a halt in Coventry. Looking at the clock in the station it was seven thirty.’
When everyone had left the station and the train continued on its journey to London Muriel stood with her case looking around. A young man dressed in a chauffeurs outfit approached her. “Miss Marshbanks.’
“I’m Harold Tomkins Miss, I’ve been sent by your Aunt to pick you up. If you would like to follow me the car is outside the station.’
“Your case Miss said the young man as he took the brown beaten leather case from her and carried it to the black Crossley that carried up to six passengers. There was a spare tyre on the side of the car as she got into the passenger side. Harold placed the case in a compartment at the back then got in and drove away.
“Are you here for long Miss asked Harold?’
“Well, about three months I think.’
“I hope you enjoy your stay Miss.’
“Thank you Harold.’
“Please Miss I wouldn’t be using my first name in front of Mrs Martin; it is seen as unladylike.’
“Whatever for Harold, I mean Mr Tomkins?’
“Mrs Martin forbids it see.’
All the servants are only addressed by their surnames only, apart from Charles Cowe the butler.
How many Staff does she have Tomkins?
“Well there’s Mrs Pettigrew the cook and Miss Andrews and Mrs Williamson the servants, then there’s the cleaning lady Mrs Beattie and me. I am the driver and stable boy.
“Does My Aunt have horses?
“Yes Miss, there are six fine horses. Four are used to pull the carriage in the summer months and the others by Abigail and your Aunt.
“The house must be a fair size then is it?’
“Yes Miss and it comes with a few acres of land too.’
Muriel wondered how she had inherited all this estate when her own father lived in a hovel in comparison. The car drove through the countryside and the scenes were breathtaking, sheep and cattle grazed on the hills with miles of greenery.
Tomkins drove for about three miles then turned onto a pathway which led to the Manor house. The building was big alright with a wooden building to the right which she gathered were the servant’s quarters.’
The main building had a gravel path and four large columns supported the entrance porch way. There was a crest with lions on each side above the doorway. All the windows were leaded.