Having shown me the Priest’s hole John recognised that I was not only intrigued but downright jealous of his and Sue’s stately home in miniature. We continued up the staircase with John calmly leading the way. At the top he stopped suddenly. This made me pull up with a start. “What is it, man, are you okay,” He smiled.
“This is probably what was once the long gallery but as you can see it is now just a series of rooms that we haven’t got round to fitting out yet, well, not much. We’ve put you in the one at the far end and don’t worry, there is a bit of furniture in there, no need to use the floor this time.”
”Great, “ I enthused, “but do you always keep all the doors open? Bit draughty isn’t it?”
”Well, funny you should say that but there’s a reason for it,” he put his finger to his lips. At that moment we heard Sue call up from the kitchen, “Haven’t you got him settled in yet John, the tea’s getting cold down here.”
”She means well, I’ll tell you later but don’t ask her about it. I can’t decide if she thinks I’m foolish or if she’s a wee bit worried.”
“Not long my dear, he’s been asking too many questions, wants to know the whole history of the old place,” he called back down. Turning to me he said, “We’d better get on, as you can imagine a place this old has stored up a few quirky habits that we can have a talk about later if we go down to the village for a drink.”
We proceeded along the corridor to the end. My room for the night was sparsely furnished, a double divan, a small bedside table, over large dark oak wardrobe, which had probably been in the house since it’s earliest days, due in part to the great difficulty anyone would experience in trying to remove it. A modern high-backed chair completed the tally. Leaving my bag on the bed we made our way back to the kitchen to rejoin Sue.
Whilst sipping our tea we discussed our plans for the evening but all the while I kept thinking about John’s enigmatic comment about the open doors. It was becoming increasingly difficult to contain my curiosity. Luckily the phone rang during our chat. It was Magdalena my partner checking that I had arrived safely as I had forgotten to ring her and confirm it. A cardinal sin in her eyes.
She then proceeded to announce that she had been able to leave work early and would we mind if she drove down to join us for the weekend. We agreed that it would be a great idea and settled down to await her arrival.
Knowing that Magdalena and I would be sharing the room I thought again about the doors. When Sue went out of the room I asked John if we could go out and move our cars around so there would be enough parking spaces on the gravel drive. He agreed guessing the true reason for my suggestion.
Immediately we were outside the door I voiced my concern. I asked whether Magdalena would be affected by the open door policy. He said that he had better tell me the curious story and later tonight would be a good test.
Sadly he was unable to elaborate as with a laugh, Sue came out of the house to join us thinking that we were hatching some conspiracy against her.