“I still can’t quite believe it,” said Lord Hollingbury, looking pale and clutching a glass as he sat with the Jennings in the Cock and Bull.

“It must ‘ave been very shocking,” said Marie sympathetically. Lord Hollingbury glanced up at her with sad eyes.

“It was,” he said. “I fear my hands may never fully recover.”

“Are you…” started Sir John, “are you talking about the rowing?”

“Shush, “said Lord Hollingbury, “people will hear.”

“A man has died!” said Sir John.

“People die all the time,” said Lord Hollingbury petulantly. “It’s about the only thing they’re consistently good at. I never row.”

Sir John threw his hands up in despair then glanced down at the glass of brown liquid in Lord Hollingbury’s hands.

“Isn’t a bit early for that?” he said. “It’s barely 9am.”

Lord Hollingbury looked down at the glass in confusion and then back up.

“Oh, I haven’t been to bed yet,” he said. “After we parted I came back here to recover my nerves and see if the fishermen might tell me more. There was a lock-in, so I was here some time trying to find out something. Nobody spoke about the creatures though, no matter how much I plied them with drink.”

“So you’ve been here all this time?” said Sir John.

“Oh no. I went home with the barmaid,” said Lord Hollingbury, taking a sip of whisky. “And her friend.”

SS Ch 9“Barely 9am!”

Sir John muttered something under his breath. Just then there was a commotion in the main bar as a group of people burst in.  From the looks of them they were local fishermen. There were excited voices and laughter.

“Look who it is!” said one of the group. “It’s Wombly! He’s back!”

Everyone in the pub looked around, and the disappeared fisherman walked up to the bar surrounded by the group. They were patting his back and shaking his hand, large smiles all around.

“Well, well, well. Mr Wombly,” said the Landlord, warmly. “Where on earth have you been?”

“Oh, I couldn’t rightly say,” said Mr Wombly, sheepishly. “I’m just glad to be here.”

“Well, we’d better get you a drink then, a pint of the usual then,” said the Landlord, “A pint of water.”

There was much jovial laughter at this.

“Well you know me,” said Mr Wombly.

“How are you man?” said another person at the bar. “Are you well?”

“I feel as fit as I ever did,” said Wombly and a cheer went up.

The trio at table turned round to look around at each other.

“Well there you go,” said Lord Hollingbury. “There really was no need to chastise me about the missing man. If he’s anything like this one he’ll be turning up at the bar in a few days.”

Sir John looked perturbed at the scene.

“Whatever can this mean?” he said.

“It is like the priest said, n’est ce pas?” said Marie. “It is the resurrection.”

The Sunnyport Shadow: Chapter 10

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