Exploring the Moors

She arrived earlier than she had planned to and Benson informed her that Mr. Müller had gone for a walk. “Perhaps you will like to wait in the drawing-room until he returns,” he said.

“Do you know where he went?” she asked. “Perhaps I can join him.”

“I believe he might be somewhere on the grounds or in the garden. Perhaps you should call him on his cell.”

“That’s a good idea. Thank you.” She took out her cell and dialed Gerhardt’s number. He answered on the second ring. “Hi,” she said.

“Hi.”

“I’m here at the manor. Where are you?”

“I’m by the remembrance tree.”

“I’ll meet you there.”

“All right.”

She ended the call. “I’ll be joining Mr. Müller in the garden,” she informed Benson.

“Very good, Miss.”

Leaving her handbag in the drawing-room but taking her cell with her, she let herself out of the manor and headed for the remembrance tree where Gerhardt was waiting. They greeted each other with smiles. She thought he looked rather handsome in his jacket, turtle-neck sweater and jeans. “I know you weren’t expecting me until a couple of hours from now but I thought I would come by early.”

“I’m glad you did.”

“I see you’ve put fresh flowers at the base of the tree.”

“Yes. I put fresh flowers every week. I do the same for her grave.”

“How sweet.”

“Do you feel up to exploring the moors?”

“Sure.”

“Let’s head out then.”

“Where’s Cinder?”

“He’s somewhere, probably taking a nap.”

They set off. It was a bit cool but a pleasant, sunny day. She had never been on the moors before. Had only read about them in books like Wuthering Heights, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Secret Garden. During the day, they may look breathtaking and inviting but she wouldn’t want to be tramping about them at night. The moors spread about them like a blanket, dotted with wildflowers. She saw dragonflies and other insects flittering about. “That’s a beautiful dragonfly” she exclaimed, pointing. “I’ve never seen one that color before.”

“No. That’s a damselfly. Damselflies look very similar to dragonflies but you can tell the difference between them based on the placement of their wings when they land. When dragonflies land, their wings rest perpendicular to their body or fanned out and when damselflies land, their wings rest alongside their body or tucked in.”

“Wow. I’ve never seen a damselfly before. I thought it was a different kind of dragonfly.”

“Like you, I couldn’t tell the difference either until Helena explained it to me.”

“I envy her growing up here in the countryside.”

“She loved the countryside and couldn’t see herself living in the city.”

“What other birds can you find here?”

“Warblers and songbirds.”

“Have you ever been on the moors in the night?”

“No. Why would you like to see it at night?”

“No,” she cried, shaking her head. “I’ve seen how it looks in movies and I don’t want to be caught anywhere near it. It looks creepy.”

“You’re right, it does.”

“Still, I sometimes image the moors as Havens and hideaways.”

“Yes, they are a haven for wildlife.”

“And a hiding place. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes was hiding out on the moor instead of being in London like he was supposed to be. I can’t imagine hiding out in the moor at night but then, again Holmes was always a very eccentric.”

“I expect it would be an ideal place for an escaped convict.”

“Yes. In the book, The House at the End of the Moor, there was an escaped convict hiding near the house. I would imagine that before he got there, he had hidden in the moor.”

“Maybe one evening, you and I should come here just to see what it would be like.”

“Not on your life.”

He looked at her, his eyes twinkling. “Where’s your sense of adventure?”

“It has deserted me.”

“Okay, what about a moonlight swim in the lake?”

“No. I’m only going to imagine all sorts of things swimming in the water with me.” She shuddered at the thought.

He chuckled. “All right. So, a moonlight swim in the lake is out too. What about riding a horse?”

“What about teaching me how to play pool?”

“Sure, I can do that. When you’re ready, let me know.”

“I will.”

“What about riding a horse?”

“Let me think about it.”

“All right.” At least she was going to think about it.

“What else do you like to do beside shoot pool and ride horses?”

“Play tennis, Squash, swim and read. What about you?”

“I enjoy reading, working out at the gym, going for walks, cooking, drawing and watching documentaries.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is alejandro_rodriguez_sight_management_studio_17.jpg

He glanced at her. “You draw?”

“Yes. I have been doing it since I was a child. I find it very relaxing especially when I’m stressed or burned out.”

“What do you draw?”

“Nature and people.”

“I’d like to see your drawings sometime.”

“Sure.”

He stopped and turned to face her. “Alexandra, I was wondering if you would like to have dinner with me next week Saturday?”

She was about to reply when her cell rang. “Sorry,” she apologized as she took it out of the pocket of her jacket. “Hello?”

Gerhardt shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket and moved a little distance away to give her some privacy. He really hoped that she would accept his dinner invitation. They could have it there at the manor or he could take her out to a nice restaurant in London. Her choice.

He turned as she approached him. “The crew for the setting up the tables is here,” she informed him.

“We’d better head back now then.”

As they started off towards the manor, she glanced at him and said, “By the way, I would be delighted to have dinner with you.”

He smiled.

Sources: BBOWT; Edmonton & Area Land Trust; enotes; Happier Human

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