Lilly never really thought about it before, but now, as she listened to the silence, the song title slid into her mind. The Sound of Silence. It described the atmosphere in the house to a ‘T’.
Only the sunlight, fighting its way through the dust-storm created by wrenching open the heavy double-panelled wooden door offered any relief from the oppressive feelings she picked up when she walked into the vast, high-ceilinged hall.
Not even the sound of bird song penetrated.
She dug in her pocket for a handkerchief to stifle her sneeze and wondered why the urge to muffle the sound even entered her mind.
A wide staircase ahead of her rose to a half-landing then split, left and right. When she shifted to her right and looked up the sound of her high-heels on the wooden floor cracked like pistols shots and bounced off the walls.
“We’ve been expecting you.” The reproachful note in the soft female voice coming from behind her, stung. It wasn’t her fault the solicitor hadn’t found the letter until now. And against her better judgement, Lilly had allowed instinct to over-rule logic and driven to Hollow-End hall within twenty-four hours of reading its contents.
“I came as soon as I could.” Lilly swung round to face the woman. Where had she gone?
“We’ve been waiting for you for months.”
A man’s voice, full of accusations came from above her. She looked towards the landing but saw no one. Fear skittered down her spine. Perhaps she should have headed Eric when he’d told her to ignore the letter.
“Written by a crackpot,” he’d dismissed and slung the quality sheet of paper onto the solicitor’s desk. “Otherwise he’d have signed it.”
There were times when Eric’s manner set her teeth on edge. She’d fought the sudden spurt of temper. “He?”
Certainly the writing was heavy, and strong, and yes, she agreed silently, could be considered that of a male. But… something, and at the time Lilly put it down to her irritation with Eric’s attitude, she disagreed.
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