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Illingworth House: Chance Child - Part One: 25 - Brass To Brass

...As Clemence drove to Ashworth House, Rosemary sat silent and sullen. He tried to make conversation but soon shut up, regarding her from time to time from the corner of his eye. He knew how to play her and she'd come crying on his shoulder in time. She had tears in her eyes even before they left Illingworth House, unable to control her raging jealousy...

Rosemary Braithwaite is intensly jealous of the beautiful girl who has caught the eye of her cousin, John Illingworth.

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

Rosemary Braithwaite's jealousy grew the more she thought about the beautiful girl standing by her cousin's car. Rosemary had been used to getting her own way from the start and men were attracted to her just as women were to her cousin. Both of them discarded them like toys when they'd had their fun. She'd had a burning passion for John Illingworth, right from her early teens, but his affection for her had never gone beyond that of a brother and she despaired. She had tried everything to lure him, but to no avail and the older he got, the more he avoided her.

The Braithwaites lived at Ashworth House, six miles out of Keighworth up the Worth Valley. Rosemary's grandfather, Isaac Braithwaite, had made a fortune in the textile trade and, he'd married off his son to Victoria Illingworth, old Sir Luke's daughter. Wool to wool, mills to mills, brass to brass. The marriage proved profitable to all parties and the two dynasties seemed set fair for the future, especially when Rosemary was born and hopefully a son to follow in due course. Then war broke out in 1914. It devastated Europe and every family in it, including the Braithwaites. Life was never the same again.

Victoria's husband, Samuel, fought in the same regiment as Abe Illingworth, enlisting with him at the outbreak of war and fighting all the way from Mons till he was killed in action at Ypres. When he died, Victoria was left distraught, but rich. For a time she had played the merry widow in London, where Kingham-Jones, by then a penniless parasite, swept her and her fortune off their feet and returned home with her to Yorkshire as her new husband.

Rosemary was only four at the time and was all but abandoned by her mother when she migrated to the bright lights. She was taken in by Sir Abe and Rachel Illingworth, who treated her like their own daughter, and she and John grew up together.
He still thought of her as a younger sister but she grew out of the elder brother phase when she went to boarding school and came back a teenager. By then she had fallen madly in love with him and still had a crush on her cousin though nearly twenty. That passion for him had never abated and the more unattainable he became, the hotter burned her desire. So did her jealousy.

As Clemence drove to Ashworth House, Rosemary sat silent and sullen. He tried to make conversation but soon shut up, regarding her from time to time from the corner of his eye. He knew how to play her and she'd come crying on his shoulder in time. She had tears in her eyes even before they left Illingworth House, unable to control her raging jealousy.

Rosemary spiked her jealousy by making love, imagining it was her cousin who made love to her. She was anybody's lay when she was randy and jealous. Clemence was never one to reject opportunities when they came his way or to let destiny pass by him. So he sat back and let her rage all the way home.

But he didn't relish taking Rosie home. Ashworth House over-awed him. He'd never been inside when he'd dropped Rosie off at first; saying his hurried goodbyes at the entrance, then driving away. He knew that he was sadly lacking in the graces and he hadn't learned then how to drive his way through the social minefield he found himself in. He was still sensitive about the way he spoke, his hard flat vowels, his dropped aitches. He was ignorant when it came to chit-chat or serious conversation. You couldn't fault him on hard facts in the textile trade, but that's all he knew and people didn't want boring with textiles every time. All else was a blank, though he was learning fast and since his promotion he was being accepted by people like the Braithwaites.

A man of growing wealth and substance he had new standing with Rosemary's mother. She was easily charmed by men (man-fond, some said in Keighworth) and Harry certainly knew how to lay on the charm in his own matter-of-fact way. "No frill and fancies on me," he used to say. "I'm just a down to earth mill man. Take me or leave me as you will." His bluff attitude amused at first. Later, he was taken more seriously when he had come into his own, but these were early days and his brashness hid lack of confidence.

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