Branscombe Hall: Part Thirteen

This the thirteenth part of a fiction serial, in 750 words.
My thanks to Sue Judd for the use of her photo.

The first I heard about Julian showing up was when Gregg got back from work one evening. Lord Branscombe had appeared at the auction house, excited by our forthcoming sale of the family silver. We had found a treasure trove indeed. Hallmarked in London, most of the silver was from the Georgian period, and of superb quality. It had also not seen the light of day since the old Lord had bought it, and included over one thousand pieces. We had advertised the sale, with reserves no less than two thousand pounds on even the smallest item.

Sixteen pieces had been sent for sale in London. Many of them had been crafted by the royal silversmith at the time, and each one was expected to fetch twenty thousand or more. The antiques world was very excited by both our local sale, and the one in London. Telephone bidders from all around the worls had registered to bid, so Julian had naturally heard about the two auctions. But he had chosen to visit out auction house first, not the Hall.

And that is where he encountered Gregg.

As I dished up dinner that evening, Gregg looked edgy. He had already had two large beers before I served the food, and didn’t appear to be hungry enough to start eating.

“So, who is this Lord Julian then, Alicia? He turned up at work late this afternoon, and got involved in a serious discussion with your dad. Then he comes out the office and shakes me hand, tells me he knows my wife really well, and I am a lucky man. What’s that all about then? And please don’t lie”.

I explained the connection with Julian, leaving out going to lunch with him. That proved to be a grave error on my part.

“Just work then, and photos, I get it. So why did he take you to lunch in Gloucester? And why did you drive him there? What was going on when I was fighting for queen and country? Were you making a mug of me with that aristocratic useless ponce, ‘Licia? Don’t lie to me, or I will know”. He looked so angry, and hadn’t touched his food.

My decision was to dance around the truth. I told Gregg I had gone to lunch with him so that he could take photos around Gloucester. Then I confessed that he hadn’t done that, and that I suspected that his motives were more than about taking photos. So I had told him I wasn’t interested.

It was a bad decision.

When he threw his pasta bake at me, I really wasn’t expecting that. But instinct made me dodge the plate, even though I got a lot of hot cheesy chicken pasta over my left shoulder. Before I could recover my senses, he was out the door, and I heard his car start up and screech away at high speed. As I cleared up the mess, I was shaking. I was also cursing Julian for turning up and opening his fat mouth with some snide comment. Gregg was fragile enough, and that seemed to have tipped him over the edge.

With no appetite for dinner, I consoled myself with some garlic bread and a large glass of white wine. I had no idea where Gregg had gone, but I was hoping it wasn’t the Hall, where Julian would obviously have been staying. I waited up until after eleven to talk to Gregg when he came home, but eventually had to go to bed, stressed and worn out.

The next morning, Gregg was asleep on the sofa, snoring. So I rang into work and booked him off sick. I was too scared to wake him up.

Julian was around when I got to the Hall. I hoped he would say nothing, but he was obviously cock-a-hoop.

“Oh, I met your loving husband, Alicia. What a catch! If you like knuckle-dragging morons of course. You are wasting your life on that cretin, my dear. I cannot even imagine what you saw in him”.

At the risk of losing the entire project at Branscombe Hall, I stood up to Julian. I told him that my personal life was none of his business, and that he could never even begin to understand what my husband had gone through in the Falklands. He was as cocksure as ever.

“He is not for you, I can see that. I can wait”.

32 thoughts on “Branscombe Hall: Part Thirteen

  1. (1) The earthenware had not seen the light of day until the old Lord proclaimed, “Let there be light!”
    (2) Molly Ringwald wants to know if the sixteen pieces sent for sale in London were silver candlesticks.
    (3) Overheard:
    Gregg: “Why did Lord Julian take you to lunch in Gloucester?
    Alicia: “It was closer than Cheltenham. Plus, I don’t like ham.”
    Gregg: “Why did you drive him there?”
    Alicia: “The airport was closed due to fog. So we couldn’t fly.”
    Gregg: “What was going on when I was fighting for queen and country?”
    Alicia: “Julian and I had fun playing strip poker in the living room.”
    Gregg: “Were you making a mug of me?”
    Alicia: “Let’s just say we snuggled like two bugs in a rug. Are you going to call us on the carpet for that?”
    (4) The Dodgers always aim for home plate.
    (5) “I got a lot of hot cheesy chicken pasta over my left shoulder.” So which one took it to the face, the little angel or the little devil?
    (6) Julian was obviously cock-a-hoop, although he sounded more like a cockatoo that had drunk too much liquor.
    (7) Knuckle-dragging morons are so adorable! They’re getting married hand over fist!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a mess….not only was the writing on the wall from the beginning…but now fuelled by alcohol, Julian bating etc…..who knows where this will go? In my opinion Greg is a loser and for that matter so is Julian……..Father and daughter need to re-group.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Three strands of the English class system discovering that having their lives intertwined doesn’t work. Well educated middle-class business woman, working class ex-soldier, and upper-class entitled twit. Not a natural combination in this country.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

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