The twin weeping willows of Birchtickle pond looked out on a sorry scene. Not since the days of Hawthorn Cobble and Lilac Lillywhite had the tiny hamlet borne witness to such sadness.
All the cottages that had so short a while ago housed the small community were now empty. Sam and Todd had been taken into care and the only people still living there were Alice and Martin Tickpant.
That couple, closer now than they had ever been, had petitioned the authorities to allow them to foster the boys. It was debatable whether the powers that be thought Alice capable.
Whatever the outcome of that particular tragedy, the pond and the area that encircled it seemed desperately silent. It was as if the spirit of the place was in mourning for the loss of lives but also the terrible situation in which two innocent children had been left.
A set of empty cottages: Harry’s, Agatha’s, Jean’s, the Trimeots’ and the Goslings’ were now vacant. Within days all, apart from Harry Hertlasp’s, would be up for sale.
That night, as the nearby residents of Fekenham Swarberry slept peacefully in their beds so a mist hovered over the glassy sheen of the chill waters of Birchtickle pond.
If anyone passing at that late hour looked, they would have seen the shape of two spectral images seemingly floating across the water.
Perhaps it was the ghosts of Hawthorn Cobble and his true love Lilac Lillywhite.
This is the end of Book Four and a Bit.
The next book in the series will be…
“The Runaway Cadaver.”.
Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.