The Ellsdon Affair under way
The coach rolled to a stop in the small Northumberland village of Ellsdon, the door opened and Miss Rosa Brewster fell out onto the stony track. By sheer chance, her cousin Louise, impatiently awaiting her arrival, dashed forward, caught her by the arm and prevented her from pitching headlong in the dust.
“Careful!” she cried. Young enough to laugh at mishaps, they clung together, chuckling. “What were you doing?”
“Thank goodness you were waiting for me,” Rosa gasped. She held her cousin at arm’s length and scanned her fair curls and amused blue eyes with pleasure. “I’ve been so cramped the entire journey I think my foot has gone to sleep because I can’t feel a thing. Do you think we might dare a quick stroll?” She waved at the village green behind her.
Louise darted a glance at the house behind her. “Quickly then. The others will hear the coach and be out in a moment.”
With Louise to steady her, Rosa hobbled a step or two until feeling came back into her foot. “I could not wait to get here,” Rosa declared. It was the truth, but she declined to speak of the reason for such longing. Time for such disclosures once she was settled in with her cousins.
Louise snatched an assessing glance at her companion. “We shall have such fun.” For a moment, her fair brows drew together. “We even have a little mystery I think you ought to know about. It involves Grace.”
Rosa stopped brushing dust from her gown. “Your sensible older sister? What can Grace have done to cause alarm?”