"Why, there you are my dear" said a voice from behind a bush.
"You're late father. Why are you hiding in the shrubbery?"
Judge Garden fought his way out of the tangle of branches and brushed the leaves from his suit. He was an imposing figure, he imposed sentences mostly.
“Sorry about that, my dear. I heard rustling and you know the problems we’ve had with rustlers around here.”
“I believe that is a somewhat different matter, father. Ulolulo has gone to prepare dinner.”
"I hope it's gumbo tonight."
"It's gumbo every night, father."
"Well, she makes good gumbo does Ulvula"
"Its Ulolulo, father."
"You said it was gumbo!"
Miss Celany sighed. She was good at sighing. It was something that was expected of southern belles. Her mother before her had been good at sighing, so good in fact that she had won several prizes. She was particularly known for her telling sighs whilst playing cards. She had won the Sighs of Bridge cup three years running.
"Anyone home?" It was Bedding the gardener from the A'Gent estate next door.
"Good evening, Miss Celany, Garden" he nodded to each in turn, " I've brought your Rhododendron, Garden"
"I'll thank you to call me Judge Garden" the Judge said, his face reddening and his trousers flaring, " And you promised me a rose."
"I never promised you a rose."
"I beg your pardon"
"I never promised you a rose, Garden."
Miss Celany quietly slipped away, these arguments could go on forever as she knew from bitter experience (7) Besides, she needed time to think, her mind was in a turmoil, for she had a secret passion (8) .
For some time now (17.32 probably but she couldn't be sure) Max Vobiscus the ex -fruit tycoon (he was known as "Apple" Max to his friends and "that bloody greengrocer" to his enemies) and Riverboat gambler (so bad that he had lost three riverboats in this season alone, if he had been playing with anyone else heaven knows what might have happened) had been paying court to her. How she despised him, how she spat whenever she even thought his name ( a practice that had won her no friends in polite society), how she kept dreaming about his tight, firm ......oh, God it was happening again! No, this would not do, her heart belonged to Captain Verruca - they had a deal with the surgeon.
She found herself in the arbour where they had so many of their trysts (9). Her feet sloshed through the water and her father's toy boats bobbed at their moorings. Suddenly she heard a sound, had a twig snapped? (It was very likely, they were under a great deal of strain).
(7) She had also tried lager experience and mild experience but had plumped for the bitter.
(8) And we're not just talking rubberwear and chains here, I can tell you.
(9) Which were a bit like cysts but marginally more pleasant.
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