The door to the house had been left ajar … a firm push needed though to get in
He stepped over a heavily soiled outdoor coir mat and into the hall ~ a cornfield yellow – painted hallway
A heavy smell of cabbage hung in the dry airHe stepped to the footwell and called out the painter’s name …nothing. He excused himself and called out a second time putting his left foot on the first step
He looked up as the stairs at the landing over his head creaked
He called again gently
He then saw the book lying across the long edge of a low well-worn oak table
attached to its cover there was a short note … shakily hand-written .. it read
Evening to you sir … do make yourself comfortableI hope that you have removed your boots … I thank you ..
Please leave your outer-coat and over-breeks in the porch-hall … I hope the weather has been kind to you..
The fire has been prepared and will soon illuminate your reading … but first please decant from the Flore jug some refreshing wine to assuage your thirst ..I hope that the journey being lengthly and mainly uphill has not tired you too much …
He sat a while cascading ideas and light across his thoughtful face
Then a faint cold breeze crossed his face … he looked up
across the room and at the small front window
The gentleman thought he saw someone .. he rose from his chair and parted the curtains of the dividing door