“You are such a liar”, hissed Angus, glaring at his little sister. Ailsa was primly perched on the wide window seat, a piece of shortbread delicately balanced in her small white hands.
Mrs. Ainsley drew in her breath, carefully replaced the tea cup in the saucer and looked straight at her son. “Angus, dear, that is not appropriate. Now please apologize.”
Ailsa tipped her head daintily to one side and gazed at her big brother. He thought she resembled one of those creepy china dolls that lined the shelf in Mother’s dressing room. And how did she stay so clean even after playing outside? He licked his thumb and scrubbed roughly at the grass stains on the knees of his pants.
“No, never! I’m telling you, she’s lying.” His mother arched one perfect eyebrow. “Umm, she’s fibbing,” he hastily corrected himself. “The window was broken before we even went outside. The cricket ball never went near it. Why would I even be over at the hot house?”
He threw himself down on an over-stuffed sofa causing a small whirlwind of dust motes to dance up from the cushion.
Stupid sofa, stupid window, stupid everything, he thought. I’ll bet the other kids don’t even have hot houses with windows just asking to be broken. They get to live in normal houses without libraries and portraits of great, great, grandfathers lining the walls. They probably don’t even have to sit down to tea at four ‘o clock every bloody afternoon.
“Well, Angus, Wilson says all the windows were intact this morning when he went to water the tomatoes”.
Oh great, now the head Gardener’s word was being taken over his.
Angus scuffed his shoes on the carpet, deliberately causing the tasseled edge to curl up and then flop back. His mother sighed; a long, dramatic expulsion of air from between her rosy lips. He ceased wrecking the carpet and bent to pick up the cricket bat he had earlier dropped to the floor. A faint smell of linseed oil wafted up to him as he lovingly stroked the wooden bat. His father had given it to him on his tenth birthday and Angus could recall how every dent had been made.
I’ll bet I could score a “six”, if only father would practice with me a bit more. But, he is always busy with the estate. No way do I want to become the next Lord Ainsley, it’s seems so dreadfully boring.
“Angus, I’m waiting for an answer. How was the hot house window broken? Ailsa says you broke it when you were hitting cricket balls down the lawn.”
Angus gazed over his mother’s head at the walls of leather bound books. Who calls a child Ailsa when their surname is Ainsley? Arthur Ainsley was bad enough, but really, Ailsa Ainsley?
Arthur sighed deeply, stood up and gently bounced the cricket bat in both hands. “No I did not break it hitting cricket balls. I broke the glass when I deliberately threw the bat, specifically because I could NOT hit the balls.”