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Illingworth House: Chance Child - Part One: 11 – A True Illingworth

...Rosemary was in her element. "Sod John Illingworth!" she thought. "If he can't be bothered to see me, I can't be bothered to wait for him!" She was at once elated yet angry; angry with her cousin John, elated with Harry Clemence's new car. He was a good driver and she thrilled with its speed...

Rosemary Braithwaite is a real Illingworth, but she can’t resist an invitation to ride in “commoner’’ Harry Clemence’s new Aston Martin.

To read earlier chapters of John Waddington-Feather’s novel please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/illingworth_house/

Rosemary Braithwaite looked superb! Tanned, long-limbed and attractive you'd have taken her and her cousin for siblings. She was five years younger than he and had had a crush on him for years. Her mother, Victoria, was Sir Abe's sister, and Rosemary was an Illingworth in temperament as well as in frame. She had their blue eyes and blonde colouring, the same mouth, the same arrogance. She was determined always to have her own way.

When she first met Harry Clemence she considered him beneath her, but she'd changed her opinion as he climbed the social ladder - not that high in Keighworth, though those living there made sure it was steep. As Clemence became richer he became more acceptable. His new car, new assurance, new gold watch and a hundred other little new expensive things showed he was moving up. You were gauged by the size of your wallet in Keighworth and Clemence's was growing fatter by the year.

When he arrived at the tennis club, Rosemary quizzed him about her cousin. Clemence was useful to her like that, a sort of go-between. He let her know who John Illingworth was dating, who he was chatting up at the office, where he went. He fed to the full the flames of her jealousy, for she was jealous. She was obsessed by her cousin.

She was sitting on verandah of the clubhouse when Clemence arrived. As he approached Clemence ravished, her letting his eyes wander freely over her tanned long legs and body as she chatted to a group of admirers. John had phoned her to offer his excuses and said he might drop by later, so when she saw Harry Clemence, she asked if John was coming.

Clemence shrugged his shoulders. "Dunno," he said. "We're busy. Could be any time or no time. You know what John is." He took off his glasses and pretended to be absorbed cleaning them, but Rosemary's frown didn't escape him nor her sullenness. Then the umpire called them out to play, which cut short further conversation about her cousin.

Clemence wasn't a bad tennis player and they won their match. It cheered Rosemary, for she was a bad loser. She congratulated him on his play as they returned to the clubhouse where he bought her a drink. That mellowed her, too, so he decided it was time to play his next card and asked, "D'you fancy a run-out in my new car, Rosie? As far as Skiproyd? We can come here afterwards to see if John's turned up."

She glanced across to the car park and asked which was his car. "Not the red Aston Martin?" she said lightly.

Harry grinned, relishing his reply. "Yes," he replied as offhanded as he could. "I bought it yesterday."

The gleaming two-seater stood invitingly with its hood folded down. Rosemary had wondered whose it was. It had pride of place in the car ¬park and stood out from the battered Fords and the rest. Harry had spent a bomb on it after a hefty pay-rise and a bank loan. He liked his cars. They were designed to impress, to give him status and macho. Rosemary was clearly impressed.

"Like it?" he asked casually.

"You're not kidding me, are you, Harry? It is yours, isn't it?"

He nodded and grinned. His grin widened when she said she wouldn't mind a spin in it. Then they'd return and meet her cousin later that evening.

Harry didn't enlighten her. John Illingworth wouldn't be there. He'd gone flying. As soon as they'd left work he'd driven to his flying club at Yeadon and wouldn't be home till after dark. Nothing would drag him from flying, certainly not his cousin Rosie. Clemence knew it but kept quiet. He had stood in before and had to sweeten her up when John Illingworth had left her sour.

They had a glorious run up Airedale. The warm sweep of summer played across their faces as the car hummed along open-topped. Rosie loved every second, letting the sensuous breeze play with her hair, snuffing warm gulps of newly mown hay as they entered the Dales, revelling in the speed when Clemence put down his foot. When they reached Skiproyd, they had a quick drink there before they motored further up the Dales to Grasby, skimming past limestone walls which snaked to the hilltops above.

Rosemary was in her element. "Sod John Illingworth!" she thought. "If he can't be bothered to see me, I can't be bothered to wait for him!" She was at once elated yet angry; angry with her cousin John, elated with Harry Clemence's new car. He was a good driver and she thrilled with its speed.


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