Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hilda XIX: War

I am a bit pressed for time tonight.

So  here is this week's Hilda snippet.



1914
The high street of Ettington village was still all but blocked by groups of people. People laughing, chatting, enjoying the August sun. England had declared war on Germany on the past Tuesday. By Wednesday the news had spread throughout the country. Ettington had half a week in the planning of the parade. The excitement at the declaration of war had rippled through the community. The Park had been gripped by it as well, speculation had been rife that Lord Shirley would allow the staff the morning off to see the parade to cheer a company of the Warwickshire Regiment as they set off of for France and Battle.
That speculation came to a quick end when the butler revealed that a group of the Regiment’s officers would be dining at Ettington Park later. Hilda had not been as disappointed as the others, after all she would be enjoying her precious afternoon off in any case.
Hilda had to weave her way up the street. Many of the folk villagers from Ettington, but others from smaller places nearby like Newbold and others off the farms all around.
A shrill voice called out, ‘Here she is!’
Hilda searched the mass of people. Wilf’s bounding movement as he ran toward her caught her eye, ‘I think you have grown this past week!’
It almost seems he has, Hilda thought, he’ll be starting Fifth Grade this year. Getting close to finishing school. She watched her ten nearly eleven year old brother capering around, am I selfish being glad he shan’t be old enough to go off to this war?
‘Hello Wilf, are you here on your own?’
‘No, Ginnie and Dolly are here too.’ His hand pointed across to the village green, ‘We’ve been watching the parade!’
‘I guessed you might have been.’
She waved at Dolly and Ginnie as they made there way toward her. Ginnie was eighteen now and looked quite the young lady. She spent more of her wages from the village shop on clothes and the like than their mother thought was seensible. When Hilda thought about it she supposed she agreed with her mother, why waste money on a dozen dresses when a few serviceable ones would do the job? But then Ginnie always did look nice. Dolly had been working for nearly two years now as well, she had stuck to her guns and was working in a shop as she had said. Not as far afield as Stratford, Mr Jones the dry-goods merchant had given her job. At fourteen she was taller than the rest of her family, she wanted to be seen as willowy, but lanky was more like it.
Ginnie smiled, ‘It finished a while ago, but we thought we’d wait and walk home with you.’
‘That’s nice.’
‘That’s us,’ said Dolly taking her sister’s hand, ‘we’re nice!’

3 comments:

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Yes, "nice". That's a good word. Nice writing.

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