Part Two in the Lady Olivia series. Will and his brother are hiding out in Olivia's barn where she is helping them recover before they go back into the wild.
Part Two - 5 months later
I walk down to the dining room. Sun is streaming through the windows.
Today. Today I will have to tell them. The News Papers are more full than ever of William.
The Boy Who Vanished From The Noose
Have you seen this dangerous robber?
He attacked our beloved Lady Olivia while she was on her way to the dress shop. If you see this dangerous criminal come to the police office immediately. We have decided to take on a search in barns, stables, sheds, outhouses and such like so that we may find this evil boy.
Archer and William are hiding in our stable and the police will be here any day now.
‘Ah! There you are my dear. Emerged from you room have you?
I smile at father as he holds my hands and looks into my face.
‘You have become a most beautiful young woman. You shall be a wonderful Queen.’
I ignore this last comment and sit down at the table.
‘Here’s breakfast my lady.’ I smile as Marya lays down a steaming tray laden with toast, egg and porridge.
I push the porridge round my bowl and squash some butter onto my toast.
I sigh and leave the house. Unable to eat a thing. The boys are sweeping up in the stables. I smooth out my skirts, adjust my hair and walk in.
‘Hey Will.’ Archie kicks me in the shins and I sit up.
‘Bread. Eat.‘ I yawn and take the hunk that he’s offering me.
‘Look who it is!’ I look up to see Lady Olivia coming towards us out of the mist. I scramble to my feet and bow my head.
‘I... I need to tell you something.‘She fiddles with her pearl necklace.
‘Fire away!’ Archie smiles.
‘You have to go.’ His face falls.
‘Your bound to be found. The Police are searching all stables, barns and sheds. They will find you and kill you. I have packed some provisions onto Charlie, Arthur and Lancelot. They are good, fast, reliable, horses. I am sending a stablehand with you. Just so that I can... Well yes.’
‘What’s his name?’ I manage to mutter.
‘His name? Oh. His name is... Oliver.’
‘So we have to go?’
‘You know what happened last time that you had a run in the Police.
My hand flies to the back of my neck and Archie puts his arm round my shoulders protectively. Olivia winces.
‘Well goodbye.’ She hugs Archie and then approaches me.
‘Will... I. I.’ She brings her face close to mine and then stops.
‘Bye.’ That’s all she says to me and then she runs off.