False Enchantment by Helen Magee

By Helen Magee

Not anything used to be ever a similar after Perdita entered Abby's existence. She was once wearing rags, yet nobody spotted that, in basic terms the extreme great thing about the exhausted baby which grew much more haunting because the years handed. So too did the air of chance that clung to her, and Abby was once plunged right into a net of worry as Edmund, whom she had regularly enjoyed, was once stuck up in Perdita's spell.

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I don’t think either of us had realised the way in which Miss Pettigrew had formed a bridge between us and it was almost like getting to know each other all over again. I was not so much in awe of Perdita as I had been when we were children although she still managed to get her own way most of the time. Our days were spent in feminine accomplishments like playing on the piano, sketching and painting, and of course riding which we both loved. I could never keep up with Perdita of course. Moonfleet was far faster than my Princess and she would gallop off across the moor with never a backward glance.

I do not think we would have chosen to be friends in the normal course of events, but given the particular circumstances of our lives and the fact that we were thrown so much together, we had arrived at a mode of co-existence that was pleasant enough and that passed for friendship to all but the most observant. Our only point of friction was centred on Edmund and since this had been tacitly understood by us both for years, neither of us gave it much thought any more. ‘You were right, it does suit you,’ Abby said.

I laughed at the mock tone of doom she had used and took the outstretched hand she offered me. ‘He never would be the prince,’ I said, ‘do you remember? ’ There it was again, that smile contented and yes, satisfied, like the cat that got the cream and something more, something almost secretive about it. * * * There was a sharp, rhythmical banging sound and her smile seemed to linger in the air before me like the Cheshire cat’s in the book by Mr Lewis Carroll. I felt dizzy. I could still feel the warmth of the sun on my face and hear the echoes of my own laughter ringing in my ears but I was no longer up on the moor by the ruined church.

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