Monday, October 24, 2005

Our boots sunk into the rain softened soil as we walked. The rain had ceased for a while but we knew it would return. Neither Margaret nor I were particularly interested in the hunt. Our shotguns unloaded, tucked under one arm with the barrel down. We were more interested in conversation.

“Has Gavin told you that Frederick and I are having a baby,” she asked? “No!” I exclaimed, “You must be so happy?” She smiled and nodded wistfully. “I was beginning to think I wouldn’t have the opportunity.” Margaret is the mistress who became the wife and I guess she is in her late thirties. Given our outfits, Gore-tex raingear over heavy sweaters, I couldn’t see how large she was. Later when we returned to George and Constance’s house we headed for the hot tub to warm, then I could see the bump that would barely be visible in street clothes.

“Come on you two, get with the business at hand.” Frederick called, he, Gavin and George were working a hedgerow behind the dogs. The gamekeeper and his son were attending to the details. “I guess we should fire our guns and make them happy,” I said to M, “We should have taken Constance’s suggestion and stayed at the house. I’m freezing.”

We walked toward them and I broke open my gun and inserted the shells. The son came over to instruct me. He was maybe fifteen, handsome with expressive eyes; I wondered if he knew the effect that he could have on girls. He was shy and referred to me as mam, as in yes mam, no mam. Earlier I suggested he call me Miss Kimberly, he said yes mam and glanced at me trying to suppress a smile; Gavin said he would never call me simply Kim, he was right.

In a serious tone he explained what the dog would do and what I was to do, he said he would stand behind me and tell me the optimum time to shoot when a bird flushed. The others stood back to watch us as we walked at the edge of the high grass. The dog pointed, I lifted the gun to my shoulder, the command was given and the dog charged the spot. A bird broke cover; my eyes followed it over the barrel of the gun, ‘now’ the boy whispered loudly. I pulled the trigger releasing the noise and smoke and the bird flew off across the field. We repeated this exercise a few more times with the same result till the even the dog was giving me dirty looks.

Margaret was a bit more successful, shooting one bird, a quail I think. The men returned to the hunt and we picked up our conversation. “You should have Gavin find you an apartment in London,” M suggested. I’ve been at this point before having been seen with the client too often by his friends to simply be a date, there is an assumption the relationship is greater.

”No, I don’t think so; I’ve too much going on in Paris now with my business and besides, Gavin loathes London, he’d want me here.” I replied. “Would that be so bad?” She asked. “Yes,” I replied and we both laughed. “But an even larger reason is that Gavin will never divorce his wife and I won’t spend my life having holidays alone and wondering when he’ll tire of me.” M didn’t respond to that. As soon as I said it I knew that I shouldn’t have, it hit her too close to home. She shifted the subject slightly; “Have you ever met Carolyn?” She asked, referring to Gavin’s wife. “No, tell me about her,” I replied.

Kim

3 Comments:

Blogger Pete from Cal said...

It isn't easy being the other woman in a relationship. Besides, I don't think that is something for you because you deserve so much better, Kim. Do you guys actually eat what you hunt or it is just for the fun of it, which I don't think killing for the sake of hunting is right. Thanks for missing your shots and it was funny that even the dogs gave you dirty looks. :D

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Vixen said...

I'll believe it about the dogs dirty looks. I foiled my cat's attempt at capturing a bird and he gave me a look that would have included swear words if he could talk.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Pete, my missing was not necessarily intentional but it was fortunate. Birds from the hunt became dinner that evening and the extra were dressed and sent to a social service agency. So nothing was wasted.

K

12:39 PM  

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