Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hilda XXI: Doug

Well the cooler weather continues for the moment.
Many of the fires across the country have been contained. But the heat is forecast to return in the next few days.
A waiting game really.

In this week’s Hilda scene: Hilda has gathered the courage to go back up to Lieutenant Tilley’s room.

The cup of cocoa rattled on its saucer as she carried it back to his room on a wooden tray. A plate of biscuits and her candlestick stood beside the cup. Balancing the tray on one hand she knocked with the other. She waited an instant before opening the door.
He’d changed, sitting now on the edge of the bed in a dressing gown. That was something she supposed, perhaps he was pulling himself together. ‘Here you go sir, a nice cocoa.’
‘Thank you. Hilda wasn’t it?’
‘Yes sir.
‘You said you’d chat for a moment.’
She hesitated, there did not seem to be any malice in him, ‘For a while sir, I have to be up early.’
‘Have a seat.’ he gestured at the chair by the desk.
He waited until she’d turned it to face him, ‘You see,I don’t know I shan’t go into a blue funk the moment we face the enemy.’
‘You won’t.’
‘How can you say that?’
‘I don’t rightly know sir. But, in respect of the fact that you are facin’ your fears now I imagine you will be alright when it comes to it.’
‘You see, there is so much I’ve never done. I’ve been in the Army since I finished high-school. I’ve done nothing, I’ve had no time for poetry or literature, I’ve never traveled outside England, I have no sweetheart to write to, or to grieve for me, I’ve never kissed a girl.’
A moment of doubt, was that what this was about? A ploy to bed one of the servants?
She glanced at him, no she didn’t think so, his eyes were downcast,focused inward. He wasn’t dangerous, she thought, rather he was frightened, pathetic. Helpless was closer to the mark.
‘I’ll write to you if you likes.’ She was amazed at herself, he might take such a thing as very forward, ‘While you’re over there I mean. I…’
She stumbled to a halt, his eyes were fixed on her. ‘You would?’
‘I would sir.’
He surged to his feet, ‘I should introduce myself properly. If you are going to be… going to be my friend I can’t be “sir” and longer.’
He held out his hand, ‘Doug Tilley.’
Hesitantly Hilda held out her hand, ‘Hilda, Hilda Attewell.’
He took her hand, ‘Pleased to meet you Hilda,’ he brought her hand up, bending forward he brushed it with his lips.

1 comment:

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh that's sweet of her! And poor Doug, with no one to write to...