Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Children of Green Knowe

The Manor in Hemmingford Grey, Cambridgeshire, the real-life version of Green Knowe

Toseland stood just inside the door and felt it must be a dream.

His great-grandmother was sitting by a huge open fireplace where logs and peat were burning. The room smelled of woods and wood-smoke. He forgot about her being frighteningly old. She had short silver curls and her face had so many wrinkles it looked as if someone had been trying to draw her for a very long time and every line put in had made the face more like her. She was wearing a soft dress of folded velvet that was as black as a hole in darkness. The room was full of candles in glass candlesticks, and there was candlelight in her ring when she held out her hand to him.

"So you've come back!" she said, smiling, as he came forward, and he found himself leaning against her shoulder as if he knew her quite well.

"Why do you say 'come back'?" he asked, not at all shy.

"I wondered whose face it would be of all the faces I knew," she said. "They always come back. You are like another Toseland, your grandfather. What a good thing you have the right name, because I should always be calling you Tolly anyway. I used to call him Tolly."

(p. 11)

As he went along the entrance hall, past one of the big mirrors, something caught his eye. It looked like a pink hand. The glass reflected a dark doorway on the other side of the stairs. Behind the doorpost, flattened against the wall on tiptoe to make themselves as thin as they could,their faces puckered with holding their laughter, he saw Linnet and Alexander. It was Linnet's hand on the doorpost. Their black eyes were fixed on him. There was no mistake, he knew them.

"I spy!" he shouted, whisking round to chase them, but they did not run away, they simply vanished.

(p. 67)

~From The Children of Green Knowe, Lucy M. Boston

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