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Death Notes by Rayne Sarah


Death Notes by Rayne Sarah

Author:Rayne, Sarah [Sarah Rayne]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Published: 2016-08-16T04:00:00+00:00


THIRTEEN

At first Jessica had thought the supper for Donal with Mr O’Brien and his sister there, was all right. She had even quite enjoyed listening to the talk, because Miss O’Brien – Grania – said things that made people laugh. But then had come the mention of a man who lived in the Sexton’s House – a hermit – and the atmosphere round the table had changed.

Jessica was not sure if she had ever seen the hermit, but the O’Briens seemed to know about him. Rory O’Brien called him a tramp, and said he had lived here once before. With the words something seemed to drive a hard fist against Jess’s mind, and she had had to stare down at her plate, because the mind-pictures were trying to form. Something about the tramp, was it? I know about him, thought Jessica. But what is it I know?

Donal had asked who the man was and where he had come from, but nobody had really known, although Grania said something about him having been injured in a car crash. Then the aunts changed the subject, and supper went on and things were all ordinary again. Or were they?

Next morning, Tormod did not get up for breakfast, and Aunt Morna said he was not feeling very well. They must all be quiet and considerate. Donal came down to breakfast, but he was pale and his eyes were puffy, as if he had not slept. He refused everything except a cup of black coffee, which worried the aunts. Jessica thought they did not know whether to focus on Tormod who was definitely unwell, or on Donal, who might be slightly unwell.

She had hoped she would be able to go to Tromloy this afternoon without anyone bothering or noticing, but after breakfast Aunt Nuala suggested Jessica and Donal went into Galway for the day. Donal always enjoyed visiting the cathedral, and it would be nice for the two of them to be together. Jess, hating herself for lying and deceiving, said vaguely that she was going to sketch in the fields this afternoon.

‘But Donal’s not here for long, and he always looks forward to being with you.’

‘And he’s family,’ put in Aunt Nuala. ‘His mother was our cousin, and you’re like a younger sister to him.’

‘I’ll only be out for an hour or so,’ said Jessica. ‘I want to sketch the trees near the beck. I’m going to paint a proper picture at the weekend. But I could go to Galway tomorrow with Donal.’

‘We’ll do that,’ said Donal, and the aunts looked pleased.

After lunch Jess scooted up to her room to put a few of her sketches in an envelope, because Mrs Drury had particularly said she would like to see them. By the time she got out of the house, a pulse of half-fear, half-excitement was beating in her head. Was she really going to go inside Tromloy? Would she see that room with the fire screen, and the window-seat, and the photo of the man on the old stage? But did any of those things exist? Perhaps she really was going mad.



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