Five years ago she had intended to go to university. But everything had suddenlygone catastrophic at home. She had been coming up to eighteen, her place atuniversity assured, when her grandfather Mannion, her mother's father and a manwho had never had a day's illness in his life, had suddenly died.She had been upset, her mother distraught. It had not ended there. They hadalways lived with Grandfather Mannion. Romillie's father, despite his frequentabsences, had lived with them, too.Her mother had adored Archer Fairfax and had put up with his womanising, hisidleness, his spendthrift ways, making excuses for him whenever GrandfatherMannion would frown in his direction.Romillie had known her father had other women. She had seen him driving along onetime with a pretty blonde by his side. And another time, when he was supposed tobe in Northampton for ajob interview, and she had been in the school coach somemiles from home after playing in an away game hockey match, she had seen him armin arm, with a brunette this time.He had returned home the next day, having not got the job but related that, aftera very detailed and extensive interview, it had been felt that he was too wellqualified for the job. Her mother had swallowed it all and Romillie just hadn't hadthe heart to tell her that he had been nowhere near a job interview.But it became plain that Grandfather Mannion had been wise to his son-in-law inthat when Archer Fairfax was of the opinion that he would now rule the roost, hediscovered that his well-to-do father-in-law had left him not one penny. The bulk ofhis estate had gone to his daughter, Eleanor, with money left in trust for hisgranddaughter until she attained the age of twenty-five. The house, the largerambling house, had been left to Eleanor during her lifetime, or until she no longerrequired it, when it was then to be handed down to her daughter.