An Ordinary Girl by Betty Neels

By Betty Neels

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Her eye fell on the bag he was carrying. ' `We are putting you to a great deal of trouble. ' `No, no. It's stewed beef and dumplings, and there is plenty of it. ' There was the table to lay, more potatoes to peel, plates and cutlery to get from cupboards and drawers. Mrs Selby and Flora talked as they worked but Sybil stayed silent, fuming. A spoilt only child in a wealthy household, she had never done anything for herself. There had always been someone to wash and iron, cook meals, tidy her bedroom, to fetch and carry.

Yes, I'm so cold and hungry, and we should be in London. ' He stopped speaking as the door opened and two girls came in, both fair-haired and pretty and smiling. `We heard the car. ' One girl offered a hand. 'I'm Flora and this is Rose. There are three more of us, but Lucy's spending the weekend with friends and Katie's finishing her homework. And PhiIly A door at the back of the kitchen opened, letting in a great deal of cold air, and Philomena, wrapped in a variety of coats and scarves, with her head tied in some kind of a hood, came in.

He sounded amused. `And if that's typical of a girl living in one of these godforsaken villages--frightful clothes and so plain--then the less we leave London the better. And did you see her hands? Red, and no nail polish. ' He glanced sideways at the perfect profile. 'You're very uncharitable, Sybil. Ah, here are the crossroads. ' `I never wanted to come. ' The house was at the end of a narrow lane. It was a large, rambling place, and the sweep before the front door was full of cars. Sybil sat in the car, waiting for him to open the door.

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