Image: Iliya Repin
Lady Grace often walked out at night. On moonlit nights you’d see her walking towards the Manor brook her hound Felix by her side.
Lady Grace stood before the brook, her hands clenched as she looked into the gurgling stream. We knew where her mind was. He hadn’t returned as he’d promised. He had been a reliable man.
Felix would lie at her feet, he as puzzled as we all were wondering why his mistress entertained such troubling thoughts.
We were not allowed too close to her for fear of waking her. Her sleep walking was concerning. Occasionally she would call across the brook. His name would echo through the night, the silent response the most haunting of all.
Then she would gather her skirts and return along the same well worn path. It had been six months and all hope among the staff had dwindled to a lost hope.
In her room she would change into her sleep attire, lay down and sleep till morning. Felix asleep beside her bed. Staff would clean her boots of the mud from the brook and not a word was spoken to her of her nocturnal vigil.
Lady Grace often walked out at night. Called his name, waited, bowed her head to the inevitable, resigned to being alone one more day.