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Author's Chapter Notes:

Many thanks for your lovely comments.


A week later saw Robin and Daisy putting the last items of clothing into their trunks ready for taking up to school the next day. Jem was calling round to collect them on his way as he was taking those of his own household. The three of them spent a quiet evening together, making the most of each other’s company whilst they could. In a couple of days, Robin and Daisy would be at school and Jo wouldn’t see them again until the weekend.

Jem knocked on the door early next morning. Robin answered it with a smile for her guardian when she saw him.

“Morning, Robin. Are your trunks ready?”

“Good morning. They’re all packed and just waiting to be moved. Do you want a drink? The kettle’s just boiled.”

“Thank you. A cup of tea would be nice. I’ll just fetch your trunks down and get them loaded first.” He headed upstairs and Robin followed to show him where the trunks were. They were soon downstairs and loaded into the car. Jem came into the kitchen and sat down at the table.

“Hello Uncle Jem. Do you want some breakfast?”

“Hello Daisy. No thanks. I’ve already eaten, but a cup of tea won’t go amiss. Where’s Jo?”

“I’m here. Did you want me, Jem?” Jo came into the kitchen and sat down opposite her brother-in-law. She poured a cup of tea for herself and looked quizzically at him.

“Not really. I just wondered where you were since I hadn’t seen you.” Jo laughed.

“I kept out of the way. I had no wish to be shouted at whilst you were fighting with those trunks.” Jem grinned back at her.

“They were rather heavy. I have no idea what you two have packed in them, but I’m sure they were heavier than those belonging to our crowd.”

“I thought I’d put a couple of bricks in the bottom of mine to test you, Uncle Jem,” Daisy teased.

“Cheeky brat! It’s to be hoped Matey doesn’t find them then or you will be in trouble. Speaking of which, I’d best be off or I’ll be late.” He finished his tea and stood up. Jo accompanied him to the door to wave him off.

“You have an appointment at the Sanatorium next Thursday morning, Jo. I’ll have a proper talk with you there, when I’ve more time.”

“Okay. What time do I need to be ready for?”

“Be ready at nine o’clock. I don’t know who’ll be collecting you, yet, but they’ll not want to be kept waiting. I know what you can be like if you start writing.”

“Cheek! I’m not that bad.”

“You can be and well you know it! Oh, and Madge wants to know if you’ll come for dinner on Saturday, since it’ll be the last time we’ll see Robin and Daisy for a few weeks once school starts.”

“Yes, of course I’ll come.”

“Good, I’ll let her know. Do you think you can manage the walk up to the Round House? Or shall I send Andreas with the car?”

“I think I’ll manage it.”

“Ring and let us know when you set off and someone will walk to meet you.”

“Can do. I’ll see you on Saturday.”

“I’m not sure if I’ll be there. If not, I’ll give you a ring during the week to let you know who’ll be picking you up.” At this, Jem climbed into the car and started the engine. Jo stood back and waved as he set off towards the school.

*****

The next few days passed all too quickly and suddenly it was Monday morning. Jo was up early to make sure that Robin and Daisy were ready on time. They were going to cycle whilst the days were still light enough for them to do so safely. Once breakfast had been eaten, Robin went to fetch their cycles from the garage. Jo came out to wave them off.

“Are you sure you have everything you need? If you’ve forgotten it, it’ll have to wait until the weekend.”

“Yes, Auntie Jo. Are you ready Robin?”

“Just about. Bye, Jo. We’ll see you after school on Friday.” Robin came up and hugged her, before taking her bicycle from Daisy. Jo kissed Daisy and then stood back.

“Bye, girls. Have a good time.” They set off down the lane and Jo waved until they rounded the corner and she could see them no more. She went slowly back into the house and towards the study. Sitting at the desk, she debated whether to continue writing. She decided against it and headed into the kitchen and washed up the breakfast pots. Once this was done, and the kitchen was spotless, once more, she wandered restlessly round the house.

“This is no good,” she thought. “I may as well go for a walk now to shake the fidgets out of me. Then I may be able to settle down to write this afternoon.” She quickly changed her shoes and picked her coat off the hook. Then, locking the door after her, set off in the direction of the fields.

When she arrived home an hour later, she was feeling much happier and was quite content to settle to writing for the rest of the morning. The rest of the day passed relatively well, but when it came to evening, Jo found the time hanging over her. She tried to read, but found herself unable to do so. She realised she was missing them more than she thought she would. It was different from when she had been alone a few months ago. Then, she had only had Jack to miss, since Robin and Daisy had been in quarantine and hadn’t been living with them. This time, she realised she was missing all three of them. She paced around the lounge for a few minutes, then purposefully went back to the study and started a letter to her husband. This filled the time easily and when she glanced at the clock, she realised it was time for bed.



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