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 To Walk In Another Man's Shoes....
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Rob Carson
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carlisle
United Kingdom


340 Posts

Posted - 24/07/2020 :  09:18:11  Show Profile Send Rob Carson a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We left the banks of the River Kirtle and made up way back towards Kirtlegrange. I paused to catch a breath upon the ascent. There was a high wire fence at the entrance to a disused quarry with an ominous warning sign. I passed by without much thought as we made our way past a discarded fridge and other household junk and then into the grounds of the former mansion. Kirtlegrange had once been an imposing property the Big House in the immediate area. Devastated by fire the decision was taken to put a roof on the ground floor. Although the house, whose owners had sat posing in a Rolls, or maybe they called it a Royce, with their chauffeur and maid in attendance, had lost much of its prestige the rooms remained large and well-proportioned and it still had a gravitas to it. We had come to help harvest the large orchard and set to work. Our host, the owner Elspeth Trimble (not her true name) organised us with her two young sons whose main contribution, after an initial rather half-hearted burst of enthusiasm, was to catapult apples at the cows in an adjacent field. With all the long shelves full of apples we went inside for refreshments. I was shown the photograph of the owners outside in the Royce and commented on the spent World War One shells, the guns and other memorabilia on the walls and mantle shelf. Mrs Trimble, Elspeth, said she disliked them but they were a passion of her late-husband, Robert. I went over to examine them and glanced into the garden where there was a small white cross leaning against a low stone wall. I mentioned it and Mrs, Elspeth said that she had put it there with the boys to memorialize their father was the way she put it.The others went out with the boys to explore the grounds and we remained at the long wooden kitchen table. 'One day, Robert just disappeared,' Elspeth said, with a distant reflective expression on her face. Never really understood why he didn't leave a note you see. That's usual, she continued..when someone, when someone takes his life, isn't it?' The police were called, the usual procedure, There was still no sign, no real explanation. 'Robert's mother came down from Edinburgh. She climbed into the quarry and found...Robert's body. Robert had shot himself.' Why wouldn't he leave a note?' I was taken aback to be asked so directly and my mind raced to find something to say which might be helpful and not too completely ludicrous and inapposite in the circumstances. 'Is it possible your husband, Robert, just didn't want to be found. What if the attempt hadn't worked, if he had severely wounded himself and not died. Were a search mounted on the notes being found he might have been found and saved.' Immediately I thought my explanation improbable and unhelpful but she nodded as if it hadn't been as unhelpful as I had thought. 'Robert had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, you see. He was only in his early thirties. I told him, I told him, I didn't care, I would look after him. Care for him. Robert didn't want that. 'The party returned with the children and we prepared to leave. Elspeth Trimble drew me back. 'Robert bought a new pair of n shoes he had never worn, perhaps you...?' Surprised by the unexpected offer I blurted out that I had rather small feet for a man. 'I am a size-7. shoe, I said,' almost apologetically. 'Try them on!' she said like a no-nonsense parent. handing me the handsome black leather shoes. They fitted perfectly. 'Robert was a size-7 too, Robert,' she said with a smile...


ROBERT CARSON.
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