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Author's Chapter Notes:

Thank you for the reviews, lovely people. :-D

It was early morning and Jo and Robin were already up and about. The Highlanders were arriving today and Robin was going to collect them from the station. Jo had been feeling a little under the weather for the past few days and Jem had ordered her to stay at home and rest. She had planned to collect them from Armiford station herself, but Robin had offered to go instead. Jo had gratefully accepted, knowing that she would have very little spare energy to keep going all day, otherwise.

“Are you all sorted, Robin?

“Yes. I have everything that I need. I hope their train hasn’t been too delayed through air raids.”

“If it has, you’ll just have to wait for them. Go over to the Lucys’ house if there’s time. I’m sure they’ll take you in until the train arrives. We don’t have enough petrol in the car to do the journey twice.”

“I will. It’s lucky we have enough petrol to get us there at all. Thank goodness that we don’t use the car very often, normally.”

“I know. I don’t know how we’d manage if Jack were at home, since he’d need the car to get to the Sanatorium every day. I suppose he’d have to stay over occasionally, to save the petrol.”

“I need to get going if I’m to be at the station in time,” Robin interjected, glancing at her watch.

“Go. If there’s a huge delay, ring me and let me know, won’t you? I don’t want to be worrying about you as well as everything else.”

“Of course I will.” Robin opened the door, letting the chill air into the hallway. “You get off back to bed. I’ll see you later.” She kissed Jo and disappeared, pulling the door closed behind her. Jo turned and went back up the stairs to her bedroom. She heard the engine start and then the noise slowly died away as Robin drove off. Removing her dressing gown, Jo was glad to climb back in between the sheets and curl up with the hot water bottle she found in there.

“Bless you, Robin. That’s just what I needed,” she thought drowsily. A few minutes later, Jo was sleeping soundly, not hearing anything else until the telephone pealed in the hall below.

“I’ll get it!” The shriek came from Daisy’s bedroom, followed by the sound of her bounding down the stairs to reach the telephone. A few minutes later, she appeared in the doorway to Jo’s room.

“That was Robin. The train’s delayed by about three hours. Apparently there were bad air raids last night around Leeds and Manchester.”

“That doesn’t sound good. I hope they managed all right. Did Robin say what she planned to do whilst she waited?”

“She was just going to go and visit the Lucys, then call into town to buy a couple of things she needs. She says she’ll hopefully be back about ten.”

“We’ll get some breakfast ready for then. Are you getting up now, Daisy?”

“Yes. I need to go into the village for some stamps, so I thought I’d do it now since Robin won’t be back for ages.”

“Okay. I’ll let you get on, in that case. If I’m not up at half past nine, come and wake me, please.”

“I will. See you later.” Daisy withdrew, closing the door behind her. Jo lay back down and closed her eyes once more.

An hour and a half later, Jo was roused by Daisy. She shook her aunt gently.

“It’s just turned half past nine, Auntie Jo. I’ve brought you a cup of tea.” Jo rolled over and smiled at her.

“Thanks, Daisy. That’s just what I need. Did you get your stamps?”

“Yes. It’s a glorious day outside. I’ll go and set the chairs out in the garden while you get up.”

“Good plan. We may as well make the most of the nice weather while it lasts.” Jo hauled herself into a sitting position and picked up her drink. Daisy smiled and went back downstairs to get out the garden furniture.

When she had finished her tea, Jo quickly washed and dressed and joined Daisy in the kitchen. Together, they prepared breakfast and were just putting the toast under the grill, when they heard the car pull up on the drive.

“They’re here! Watch the toast, Daisy, while I go and greet them.” Not waiting for an answer, Jo went out into the hallway to greet her new houseguests.

Talking away through sheer nervousness, Jo ushered them inside. The three newcomers were obviously tired out from the long and trying journey. Jo showed Shiena McDonald, the twins’ sister up to the bathroom first, before escorting her outside to the garden whilst Robin helped the twins. Before long, they were sitting round the table eating breakfast.

“It’s so kind of you to take us in like this, Mrs Maynard,” Shiena said.

“It’s no trouble. I couldn’t see you homeless when I have space to spare. We’ve set up one of the attic rooms for the twins to sleep in and you have the guest room for the time you’ll be with us.”

“Thank you. I think Flora and Fiona would like to go to bed when they’ve eaten. It was such a long journey and the air raids kept them awake, too.”

“Of course. Once we’ve finished, Robin will show them their room and, as soon as they’ve bathed, they can go to bed. You too, if you like. I’m sure you need it just as much as they do. Have you finished, girls?” Flora and Fiona nodded, too shy to speak. “Then go with Robin and she’ll show you your room. Don’t worry about the trunks, we’ll move them later, once you’ve had a good sleep.” The girls followed Robin out of the room and Jo ushered Shiena back into the lounge. When Robin finally re-appeared, informing them that they were both fast asleep, Jo showed Shiena to the pretty guest room and left her to it. Before long, she too, was slumbering peacefully.

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