Chapter ten: “I never knew.”
The two women went through the gate and turned their horses along the hedgerow- which was looking remarkably neat and trimmed after Jenny’s attention the previous day- to ride back to the twin oaks.
“This is a sad place,” Pamela said, “You do know that this is where Matthew died don’t you?”
“I know.” said Jenny. She stuck two fingers in her mouth and whistled piercingly (Which is one of Jenny’s skills!)
“Please watch,” she said “I have brought you here on purpose.”
For a while nothing happened, then very faintly came the sound of galloping hooves. The sound grew louder, Sailor and Dorothea began to throw their heads and whinny, they wanted to gallop too. Then in a sudden flash of blood red scarlet, Rockwork and Gareth appeared as they sailed over the twin oaks hedge. Rocky’s hooves hit the ground and he galloped on into the next field, Jenny and Pamela turned their horses and galloped after him.
Eventually they stopped, Dorothea had looked after Pamela -like the good school mistress horse she was- Pamela was flushed and bright eyed after the exhilarating ride.
They all dismounted and Pamela launched herself at Gareth again with another bear hug. This time however he was expecting it and was braced for impact.
“I’m sorry Gareth, “ said Pamela again “It’s just...just that...-”
“I look like Matthew? I know. This is his old scarlet jacket and Rockwork looks very much like Phoenix.” Gareth unbuttoned the scarlet coat and took something out of the inside pocket. It was an envelope. He handed it to Pamela.
Pamela adjusted her glasses and looked at the envelope, she read the name on the front then turned it over to release the flap. She took out the letter that was inside, unfolded it and read it. Jenny and Gareth stood silently holding the horses and waiting to see what would happen.
Pamela began to cry.
“I never knew,” She wailed “I never knew, oh why didn’t he tell me?” and with that she began to sob violently. Gareth found a linen handkerchief in his breeches pocket which he gave to Pamela to dry her eyes with.
“What does the letter say?” asked Jenny. Pamela handed her the paper and Jenny read the copperplate writing that was on it.
“ A marriage proposal? What’s going on?” asked Jenny, puzzled.
Gareth began to explain slowly
“It’s like this. When I opened Matthew’s old room and moved this jacket I disturbed Matthew’s ghost. He has been contacting us to help him be freed so he can move on. He said that he was stuck here, anchored to this jacket by a piece of unfinished business. The unfinished business was two fold.
Firstly he wanted to clear Twin Oaks hedge. Phoenix has managed to complete that part for us really well, although, thanks to Jenny’s topiary skill Twin Oaks hedge is now much smaller and safer than it was. I didn’t want to take any big risks with a horse that wasn’t my own.
Secondly he wanted his final message delivered. He was going to post that letter to you Pamela, because you and he had argued the day before the meet and he knew that you wouldn’t be there on that day. He was going to post it, see there’s a first class stamp, but he never lived long enough to do so. He wanted you to know how he felt and what he was prepared to do for you.”
Why didn’t he telephone Pamela like he telephoned us?” asked Jenny, confused.
“Simple, he didn’t have her number, Pamela moved away from Fletcher’s Farm not long after Matthew died. However the number for the stables never changed, he knew that from 1973.”
Pamela had stopped crying and stood quietly wringing the handkerchief.
“So is my Matthew free now?” she whispered.
“I think so,” said Gareth, “I did all the things he asked.”
Pamela went to return the handkerchief and stopped short, there was something small tied to the corner. Closer inspection revealed it to be a gold ring with a solitaire diamond in it.
“That must be your engagement ring.” Said Jenny. "Perhaps Matthew wants you to have it now as a goodbye present?”
“Maybe he does,” replied Pamela.
Later that day Jenny walked into the office to find that it had been returned to its usual cluttered state. Matthew had definitely moved on. Gareth went over to Havillands house to explain all the strange events to Mrs. Mc Kinsey and Jenny began to phone the local breakers yards to see if any of them had old caravans that they wanted taking off their hands!