Tuesday morning greeted the
people of Inveralba with sunshine and a cloudless sky.
“I think I’m going to have a
tea party today,” Anne said. “Mairi and Fiona, bless their hearts, have had
such a bad time with the break in. It’ll cheer them up.”
“Good idea, Anne, but will
this mean I have to take Murdoch, Callum and the dogs with me and stay out
of the way?” Malcolm laughed, teasing his wife.
“It does mean that, Malcolm,
especially the dogs. I don’t think Devlyn and Creanth are on Mairi’s best
side right now,” Anne said. “Keep the lads away for the afternoon too. I’m
sure you can find something to do. Go fishing. It’s been a long time since
we’ve had trout. Where’s Callum?”
“He’s still asleep. Do you
want me to wake him up? Wait a minute, what about school?” Malcolm sat down
at the kitchen table and sipped his coffee.
“They’ve only got half a day
today. Callum can just miss school this morning. It won’t kill him,” Anne
said. “I’ll talk to his teacher on Wednesday and help him make up the work
he’s missed. Besides that, she said they were only going to watch a movie
today. Wake him up, will you. I’ve got an errand for him to run.” She sat
down next to her husband and made up some invitations, drawing tiny purple
flowers up the sides and along the top. When she finished, Anne said, “These
look quite lovely, if I don’t say so myself.”
Before Callum ate breakfast,
he had to deliver all the invitations.
“Take one to Mairi and
Fiona’s, to Elspet and her mum, Catriona, and don’t forget to go to Flora
Stewart’s, Elsie’s B&B, Nellie Crawford, and Jenny McDonald’s house. Their
lassies are invited too.”
Callum complained and whined,
but did as he was told.
“Malcolm, when Callum gets
back, you be off. You’d better tell Jimmy that you can’t take him out today.
I’m sure they’ll keep themselves occupied for one day,” Anne said. “I’ve got
a lot of work to do. Before you leave, will you please get the wee round
tables out for me and set them up in the back garden. Oh! I nearly forgot.
Would you please clean off the gazebo too! Spray it with the hose and wipe
all the bird droppings and cobwebs off. Thank you, luv.”
* * *
Callum knocked on the door of
Elsie opened the door. “Well,
hello there, Callum. What brings you out this early in the morning?” She
invited him in.
“Mum’s having a tea party
this afternoon for Mairi and Fiona. Did you hear what happened to them?”
Drayton got up to go the
bathroom and heard Elsie and Callum talking. He stood at the top of the
stairs listening to the conversation.
“What happened? Mairi’s not
hurt is she, or wee Fiona?”
“No, but someone broke into
their house and made a big mess. They threw food all over. It took all night
to clean it up. Mairi’s feeling sad, so my mum’s giving her a tea party. I
hope you can come. I’ve got to run now. Goodbye Elsie,” Callum said and ran
Elsie put the invitation down
and went to start breakfast for her guests.
Drayton crept down the stairs
and opened it up. “So, Mairi’s going to be gone this afternoon and her brat,
Fiona too. Maybe it’s time to go back to her house and remind her I’m still
here.” He put the invitation back and went up to shower and dress.
After the tables were put up
and invitations had been delivered and Malcolm and his sons left, carrying
their fishing poles over their shoulders. The leashed dogs ran ahead,
barking and chasing squirrels.