Hello and welcome back to my Victorian Legacy.

It's been a couple of months, but I've been busy and taking a short break from writing and playing as much as I was. I suggest that you read the previous chapters, but last time we were in Regalton, the fourth generation heir Edward discovered his wife Marielle on their marital bed with another man. This came as a great shock to him, but there was one bright spot: her infidelity allowed Eddie to petition for divorce, and Eddie threw her out of the house. Grab your cup of tea, and let us find out what is now happening in the world of my Victorian sims.

Marielle hesitated at the gate to the cottage. After Edward had thrown her out she had travelled to Craig's house in Simford. She hadn't known what she had expected to find but coming face to face with the lady of the house, his wife, wasn't part of her plan. She had therefore been forced to fall back on the small amount of money she had squirreled away before her marriage. It was less than she had thought, and she would need a sizable portion of it to retain the services of a solicitor, but there was enough to rent a small cottage from a local farmer. A very small cottage. She sighed and pushed open the gate.

Inside the cottage was a little the worse for wear. The whitewashed walls were cracked and stained, and the place smelled of damp. She sneered as she looked around. She had thought, she had hoped, that she had left homes like this far behind her.

Clear as day she could hear her mother's voice. "Well are you really surprised Marielle? Wot did I olways tell ya? You're a whore's daughter, brought up In the muck, you’ll die in the muck, and there ain’t nuffink you can do abou’ it.”

"Anyway, this place ain't 'alf bad. Do ya know 'ow many 'ahrs I'd of 'ad to work to pay rent on a place like this? This place 'as free rooms, an' its own privy, it's far better than the ‘ovels we lived in back in the slums.” "My life should not be like this." Muttered Marielle turning and heading to the parlour.

"Says 'oo my girl?“ Mary Hutchins's voice followed Marielle as she went to leave the room. "You? You fink you are better than this do ya? You fink that you should be livin' tha 'igh life in a fancy 'ouse wiv a rich 'usband and nice kiddies do ya?"

Marielle whirled round and started shouting at the memory of her long dead mother. "YES! I AM better than this hovel, I am better than the slums I grew up in! I deserve a nice life, I do not deserve to be back in a place like this!"

"Oh really?" Marielle could imagine her mother raising a quizzical eyebrow. "So tell me wot 'appened when you got that rich 'usband missy? Did ya drive 'im away? Did ya expect everyfing to just fall inta ya lap wiv no 'elp from you? Did ya fink it would all be 'appy ever afta?“ "Stop it!"

"Truf 'urts don't it Marielle, when you finally face up ta it?“ "Truth, wot do you know about truf?“ "Oh I know plenty my girl, and I tried oh so 'ard to make sure you knew it too, but you bought inta tha fantasy that you could live anuver woman's life, a woman 'oo was born inta money."

"It wosn't just a fan'asy, I made it 'appen!“ "And then you frew it all away. The only reason you seduced that rich 'usband of yours wos for the money.“ "I never did it for tha money!“ "Wot for then? Tha influence? Tha position in society? Tha fings that come wiv that money?“ "Yes! I wanted to be more than a tart's daug'er, more than a piece of dirt on society's shoe!"

"But Marielle my dear, you cannot escape where you came from. You will always be from the slums, no mat'er 'ow 'ard you try to deny it."

"Stop it, stop it." Marielle sank to her knees and wept for the life she had thrown away, and the truths she thought her long dead mother would have uttered had she been alive.

Over at the Legacy Society John Legacy, third generation spare Henry's middle son and heir, was settling in well. He was finding the society a much nicer to place to live than the halls of residence. For a start there was no one listening over his shoulder when he was on the telephone. "Father, how are you and Mother keeping? Good, good, and Alfie? That is good to hear. I am well, thank you for asking. Timothy?"

"He is also keeping well. We had a small incident the other day because he had forgotten to clean out the ashes in the stove, but it was dealt with very quickly.”

"You are aware he was planning on asking Miss Lauri Simself to marry him?“

*** LauriEmpress writes The Legacy of Jubilee.

"She accepted, of course....Erm...I have not really had time to do much socialising myself Father...Yes I realise I must marry and carry on our family line...I will make you proud Father, I promise. I have got to go, I have a late lecture starting in fifteen minutes. Give my love to Mother."

At 1 King's Square Bertie, the fifth generation heir, was resisting his grandmother's attempts to get him into bed. "Let me just finish this picture Grandmamma.“ "No Bertie, it is time for you to go to bed. The carriage will be here early tomorrow to take us to Simmouth.“ Bertie's crayon paused on his piece of paper. "I know that you are excited darling, but if you do not get a good night's sleep you will be too tired and will not enjoy yourself tomorrow.“ Bertie stared at his picture. Excited. Yes he was excited, but...he also didn't want to leave his papa, but he couldn't tell his grandmamma that because she would tell him not to be so silly. With a sigh he put his crayon down and got to his feet. "Good night Grandmamma.“ "Good night Bertie." Said Beth stooping to kiss him on the cheek.

Bertie lay down in his bed and closed his eyes tight, waiting for sleep to come, but it didn't. Before too long he heard the sound of the rest of the family retiring for the night, and still he wasn’t sleepy.

Heaving himself upright he decided that he was too hot, and so he would go and get himself a drink of water to cool himself down.

As Bertie padded through the hall on his way to the kitchen he looked out at the garden. In the moonlight it looked so inviting, and he could see the flicker of fireflies by the hedge at the bottom of the garden. He stood by the French doors listening to the quiet within the house. Very carefully he tried the door handle: it was unlocked, so quietly he eased it open and stepped out onto the raised patio.

It was lovely and cool outside, and without really thinking about it, Bertie crept down the steps onto the lawn. The grass felt cold and wonderful beneath his bare feet, and by the wall next to the kitchen garden was a old jam-jar his father had used as a child to collect bugs. With a bit of effort he unscrewed the lid and, sticking his tongue out in concentration, he bent low and started to try to catch some insects.

Sometimes he was successful in scooping one or two up, but most of the time he ended up empty handed.

He stayed out until in his tiredness he wandered too close to a bee hive. He had forgotten it was there until the angry buzzing warned him, and by then it was too late. As he ran around the lawn trying to get away from the insects he started to think that this hadn't been a good idea after all, and how he wanted to be in bed instead.

It was therefore a very tired and irritable Bertie who was woken up by Beth the next morning. "Wan' to sleep more.“ "You cannot Bertie, now come on, get up, get washed and get dressed."

Fifteen minutes later Beth hadn't heard Bertie leave his room and so went to check on him. She found him sitting on the floor playing with a wooden horse. "Bertie what did I tell you?“ "But Grandmamma...“ "No buts young man. Put that horse away and get dressed.“ "Five more minutes.“ "No Bertie, now. You do want to go to Simmouth do you not?“ Bertie looked sullenly at his toy horse. "Yes."

"Well then.“ So under his grandmother's supervision he put his toys away and started to get dressed.

Alexandra, her four children and a whole pile of luggage arrived just as Bertie was lacing his shoes, and for a time the house was full of the excited chatter of children and Alexandra's strident tones as she began to organise things. It was with some relief then that William started to take the packed trunks out to the waiting carriage. He loved his princess dearly, but when she was in full flow she was a force to be reckoned with.

Bertie exited the house with his trunk a little while later, looking back over his shoulder to see if his papa was also coming outside. He really was looking forward to the trip, but...he kicked at the path and headed towards the carriage without finishing his thought.

Eddie of course did make it out to see Bertie off. "Bye Bertie, be good for grandmamma and grandpapa. Have fun, and I will see you in a few days." Eddie grinned and waved wildly at his son, but all Bertie managed in response was a small smile and a quick wave before he felt tears start to prick at his eyes and he had to stare at the seat opposite him.

Beth looked over at her grandson and patted his knee. "Your papa will be here waiting for you, you know. We will only be gone a few days, and I am sure you will enjoy yourself when we are in Simmouth.“ Bertie chewed at his lip. "It is just...I have never been away from him before." He said in a small voice. "I know dear." Beth would have said more, but at that moment Bethany and Christopher bounded into the carriage. "How long will it take to get to Simmouth Grandmamma?" Asked Christopher excitedly. "I am not sure darling, but it will be a few hours." Replied Beth amused as her eldest grandchildren bounced around on the opposite seat. This was going to be a long trip.

With all the trunks finally secured and William sitting next to Beth (to give the twins room) it was time for them to leave. Eddie stood and waved until the carriage was out of sight. He was worried about his son's reaction to leaving, but Bertie would be with his parents, and they would make sure that he would be alright.

After an eventful journey which had done little to calm Bethany and Christopher down, the carriage arrived at the cottage William had bought for Edward on the occasion of his marriage. As William and Beth set about taking the trunks inside and opening up the cottage Christopher tried to get his cousin to join him in a game. "Come on Bertie, I will be an infamous thief and you can try to catch me.“ "I do not...“ "Come on, it will be fun."

It took only a bit of persuading before Bertie joined in, and by the time Beth and William came back out if the cottage, the game was in full force. "It seems almost a shame to disturb them." Said Beth smiling. "I know love, but I'm sure that they will want to explore the town. We are only here for a few days and I am certain that our grandchildren will want to fit as much into them as possible.“ "That is very true." And so they gathered their three eldest grandchildren and set out along the shore to the promenade.

At the children's insistence they stopped at the pleasure beach, and whilst they dashed off to explore, Beth looked out at the sea. There were dark clouds rolling in and it looked like it would start raining soon, but for the time being, watching the waves as they hit the shore was bliss. She was sure that she could feel the stresses and strains of the recent past melt away.

Bertie meanwhile was having a whale of a time at the wheel of the old pirate ship that had been moored at the shore line as a tourist attraction. He spun the wheel dreaming of adventures on the high sea and buried treasure.

Christopher had found an unattended Myshuno! machine and was happily calling out the numbers much to the amusement of the usual caller sitting in the front row. He had to admit that the little boy had plenty of beans, but he wasn't worried for his job.

As for Bethany, well she had discovered the hot air balloon, and when the attendant's attention was elsewhere she slipped into the basket and released the mooring line. It was the attendant's shouts that drew Beth out of her reverie, and she was far from happy with what she saw. "BETHANY ELISE SMITH! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?"

In many ways it was a good job that Beth was occupied. It had started to spot with rain as she ran towards the dirigible, and Bertie, now bored with being at the wheel, had decided to climb to the crow's nest. If Beth had of seen him climbing the slippery planks, she would have had a coronary right there and then.

Bertie didn't think of how dangerous it was though, all he cared about was the view he would get from the nest. As he gazed out over the ocean, he had to admit it was worth the climb, and, his lip wobbled slightly as he thought about it, he was certain that his father would have appreciated the vista too.

Back at the balloon, Bethany's little trip had ended and she now had to face her grandmother. "Bethany do not ever run off like that alone, and you certainly should not have ridden the balloon all on your own. You could have fallen and injured yourself.”

"But Grandmamma I wanted to see the town, and the balloon looked like fun.“ "Be that as it may, promise me that you will not go off on your own again.“ Bethany glanced at the ground, before looking brightly at Beth. "I promise Grandmamma, can I go play with Bertie now?“ Beth suppressed a smile as she looked at granddaughter. There was something so appealing and winsome about her that she couldn't stay angry with her. "Of course dear, but stay where I can see you." With a grin Bethany ran to the ship to play with her cousin.

They stayed at the pleasure beach until the sun went down, and by the time they were back at the cottage, the three children were fighting sleep. Having made sure that they were tucked up in bed Beth entered the master bedroom to find William sitting on the bed. "The children seem to have enjoyed themselves today, do they not?“ "Yes, certainly, and I am very happy that Bertie seems to have stopped missing Eddie.“ "Well it is the first time he has been away from him, and Eddie is the only parent that child has known. Our daughter-in-law has never had any time for her children.“ "I realise that William, but still he should not be so clingy when it comes to his father. I cannot help but feel that it will not be good for him."

William pulled his wife close. "I know, and I share your concerns Beth, but Bertie is young still, and will more than likely grow out of it. Now how have you enjoyed the day? This little sojourn is for your benefit you realise.“ Beth kissed William tenderly. "Today has been nice, although Bethany and Christopher make me feel old, they have so much energy, and I fear that I will not be able to keep up with them.“ "They really are tiring, that is true, but I want you to relax on this holiday Beth.“ "I will William, I promise."

The next day the family rose early and after a filling breakfast headed along the promenade to the grand pier. As Bertie and Christopher ran ahead to check out the kiosk at the end Beth called after them. "Take care, these planks are uneven. You do not want to trip and graze your knees."

William took a deep breath of sea air and smiled. "Beth, do not worry so much. They will be fine.“ Beth turned to say something to her husband when she suddenly realised that one of their party was missing. "William, where is Bethany?" She asked panicked.

"Relax Beth." He said, taking her hand. "Bethany is on the beach making a sandcastle. I made her promise to stay close and not wander off.“ "She should not be left alone William.“ "She promised me Beth, now why do you not sit down on one of the benches and admire the view. I will keep an eye on our grandchildren, including Bethany."

Soon the pier echoed to the sounds of Bertie and Christopher playing with their grandfather, and Beth, sitting looking out to sea, was feeling very at ease. The mood was broken by an exclamation of pain and Beth looked over to see William approaching her, holding his nose. "William what is wrong?" She asked concerned. "A case of high spirits my love. Christopher threw the ball a bit hard and his aim leaves a lot to be desired.“ "Let me see." She said. "There is nothing to see." Said William taking his hands away from his face. "It is not even bleeding. I do think that I will take a seat for a short while though."

Christopher and Bertie were still playing catch, and hitting his grandfather in the face had done nothing to temper Christopher's throwing arm. "Be careful!" Cried Bertie as he turned his face away from a particularly hard throw. "You have already hurt Grandpapa, I do not want you to hurt me too."

Christopher gave an impish grin. "I am sorry little cousin, but if you cannot catch the ball, maybe you too little to be playing with the big boys.”

Beth looked over in time to see Bertie look down at the ball in his hand, his bottom lip starting to quiver. She made to get up, but William laid a restraining hand on her arm. "I was thinking about taking the boys to the bathing beach. Do you agree that that would be a good idea?“ "I think that is an admirable idea." Agreed Beth. A spot of sea bathing, might calm her grandsons and get rid of the excess energy she was certain had led to the exchange they had just heard.

When they got to the bathing beach, things did not get off to the start William had hoped. He had declined the use of a bathing machine, thinking that the combination of Christopher, a horse, a hut on wheels and the sea, would not be the best in the world. He had been proven correct when he had turned his back to pay for the rental of a changing hut and Christopher had run off to get a closer look at one of the horses. A number of apologies later and the occupant of the bathing machine being pulled by the horse that had bolted was able to laugh about his experience. That little incident sorted William and the boys finally got changed into their bathing costumes and made their way to the shore. Christopher and William waded in, but Bertie stood at the shore, not liking the sensation of the waves rolling over his feet, the sand sucking at his toes.

"Come on scardy cat!" Shouted Christopher swimming away from the shore. "Now Christopher it is not very nice to call your cousin names. Whatever would your parents say if they could hear you?" Admonished William. Christopher thought for a little bit. His parents would not be happy to hear him pick on his cousin, that is true. In fact in his mind's eye he could see both his parents standing over him, their arms crossed, and disapproval etched on their features. "What I meant Bertie is that there is no need to be scared." He amended.

With his cousin's encouragement and under the watchful eye of his grandfather, Bertie stepped into the water and essayed a few strokes. He was surprised to find that actually he was enjoying himself and that he quite liked sea bathing.

He liked it so much that William had a job getting him out of the water, and when he did, it was obvious that Bertie had spent time in the sun. He did not mind though, he was a bit sore, but very happy, and for the first time really wasn’t missing his father.

Beth was not particularly happy when she saw how red Bertie was however. "Your grandfather should have got you into the shade sooner.“ "But Grandmamma I was having too much fun to go and sit in the shade." Beth couldn't help but smile at light in her grandson's eyes. It was good to see him so happy.

She said as much to William as they sat in the parlour of the cottage that night. "I enjoyed spending time with the two boys." Replied William "I do not mind looking after the children again whilst you unwind. The last few years have been so trying for you.“ "They have been trying for all of us William." "That is very true. In so many ways I wish our son had never married that woman, and yet if that had been the case we would not have our two lovely grandsons."

Back in Regalton I was sitting in the hall when Indy arrived home. "What's this?" He said with a grin. "My fiancée sitting waiting for me to get home. Couldn't wait to see me then?“

*** Indy Vetinari is originally from DrSupremeNerd’s Vetinari Dualegacy.

I got up smiling. "Well there is that." I said before kissing him tenderly. "But that is not the only reason.“ "It’s the only reason I want to hear." He said pulling me close. "Seriously though," I said, "you were in front of the Court of Chancery today. How did it go?"

Indy let me go and fixed me with a serious look. "Eddie's getting his divorce.“ I breathed a huge sigh of relief. "Thank goodness.“ "But...“ "What? No, no but. Why does there have to be a but?“ "But Marielle is petitioning for custody." "She can't!"

"She is. It shouldn't be a problem: the judge is very old fashioned and I should be able to convince him that she is," Indy grinned, "morally corrupt and unsuitable to raise a child.“ "You really find the morality here amusing don't you?" I asked. "Sure I do. The middle classes attitude to woohoo is a bit...“ "Daft?" I supplied. "Yeah.“ "Their condemnation of women who indulge in pre- or extra-marital woohoo is extreme I admit. I mean the morally corrupt could be..." I trailed off, a smile spreading across my face. "I know that look. You have a plan.“ "I have a plan, one which will ensure that Marielle is not given custody of her children." I looked over my shoulder at the hall clock. "I have to go and see Robert before it is too late to politely call on someone.“ "You'll tell me all about it when you get back?" "Of course."

At 1 King's Square Eddie and Alexandra were enjoying their evening meal. Alexandra had worked hard over the last two days, sorting through the pile of correspondence Marielle had left, replying to every letter, updating the visiting book, making a list of acquaintances Marielle had seemingly not returned visits to in a timely manner, and sending notes informing people of Eddie's change in circumstances. A cursory inspection of the household accounts had shown that her mother had continued to deal with them as efficiently as always and Lucy had kept the house clean. No doubt that too was down to Beth's supervision. What was worrying her now was not the amount of work she had to do, but rather her brother's demeanour that evening. "Eddie, Mr Vetinari's visit this evening appears to have upset you. Did he have bad news?"

Eddie shook himself and looked up at his sister. "Mr Vetinari brought good news: the judge has granted me a divorce.“ "That is splendid Eddie." Exclaimed Alexandra, genuinely pleased for her brother. "Yes, but he also said that Marielle is petitioning for custody of the boys. I cannot lose my sons to that woman.“ "But that is ridiculous. No judge in his right mind would allow that woman to bring up any child. Do not worry on it Edward, Mr Vetinari will make sure you keep your children.“ Eddie didn’t reply. The truth was that this was not the only thing playing on his mind.

His niece and nephew had recently celebrated birthdays and since having three small children running around the house would prove very distracting to Alexandra, Eddie had taken them out for the day.

They had ended up in a park in Simford, and after feeding the ducks, Edward had taken them to play on the playground. The children were soon having a lot of fun, and the sound of his son giggling with delight mixed with Sarah-Jane's excited chatter and David's cries for him to watch him on the monkey bars, brought a smile to Eddie's face. Here and now he could forget his disastrous marriage and feel happy again.

Unfortunately that feeling didn't last. He became aware of an elderly couple approaching, the lady talking loudly to her husband. "Look dear, do you see who it is?“ "Who dear?“ "Edward Legacy.“ "The prestidigitator?" "Yes.“ "We caught a turn of his over at the theatre last autumn.“ "I remember. I am amazed that he puts himself in the public eye.“ "Whatever do you mean?“ "For a start it is widely known that he has been cuckolded by his wife.“ "You say widely known, but it is all society gossip."

Faith ignored Herbert and continued speaking. "The entire family is morally dubious. If Mrs Smith's eldest two children are the issue of her husband, I am the Queen of Sheba, and as for the elder Mr Legacy...well he may be a respected businessman now, but there are those of us who still remember his spell in gaol. Possession of stolen paintings or some such thing was it not? It is now a case of waiting to see how this innate moral corruption manifests itself in the children. No good will come of them, you mark my words.”

This was too much for Eddie, and with barely a glance at the children he strode over to the couple. "I beg your pardon," he started, "but you are not privy to the circumstances surrounding any of the 'events' in my family's history. How dare you pass judgement on us all, and especially the children."

"Well I never!“ "Never what? Thought?" Asked Eddie, his temper flaring. "My sons, my nieces and nephews, are full of so much potential, do not ever judge them. I wonder how my mother and sisters can stand to be acquainted with people such as yourself.“ Eddie turned on his heel and walked back to the playing children.

When he got back to them, Stuart looked up at him, his green eyes wide. He had heard everything Eddie had said, and although he didn't understand what was going on, he had never heard his papa raise his voice before.

"I am so sorry you had to witness that Stuart," said Eddie scooping him up, "but sometimes you have to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.”

"Eddie are you listening to me?" Alexandra's voice shook him out of his reverie. He looked at her, trying to decide whether or not to share the incident with her. "I am sorry, I was miles away. What were you saying?" He said eventually.

William and Beth's eldest grandchildren were full of beans when they woke up the next morning. Today was their last full day in Simmouth, and they were obviously determined to make the most of it, even if it meant being told off by one of their grandparents for doing something like sliding down the banister.

As it was their last day there were a number of things that William and Beth wanted to pack in. Their first port of call was the botanical gardens. Eddie had told his mother so much about the greenhouses and the exotic plants they housed that she was determined to see them. The children however weren't so keen, and started dragging their feet when they got to the entrance. William turned to Beth. "Why do you not go in and I will see to the children.“ "I cannot keep having you look after the children.“ "Why ever not? It is a pleasure to spend so much time with our grandchildren, and besides this break is for you Beth. Go and take a tour of the hothouses.“ Beth knew when it was pointless to argue with her husband, and so, leaving him to look after the children, she crossed the bridge into the botanical gardens.

With Beth gone, William turned his attention to the grandchildren. They were playing in the street oblivious to the carts and carriages of people trying to go about their daily business. "Come on you three, out of the road. You can play in the gardens over here." He thought at first that they were ignoring him, and was getting ready to use his authoritative voice when their playing brought them to the side of the road.

"Grandpapa." Said Bethany approaching William. "Yes my dear.“ "Christopher and Bertie are being very boring with their playing." She stated. William looked over at his grandsons. Since his gentle admonishment the day before, Christopher had given up teasing Bertie and the two had become fast friends. "Are they?“ "Yes. I want to play with you instead. "You do?" Asked William happily. "What do you want to play then?“ "I want to play on the swings. Will you push me?"

William agreed and for the next quarter of an hour that part of the botanic gardens echoed to the sound of Bethany demanding William push her higher and higher.

When Bethany grew bored of the swing, William was able to persuade the three children to come into the gardens proper. Keeping a watchful eye on them he went to find Beth. She was in the desert greenhouse and was having a fantastic time. "William you will not believe the amazing plants they have managed to cultivate here." She said excitedly. "They come from all over the globe, and have been collected by so may contributors."

William listened to her talk, a smile on his face. It was so good to see his wife happy and relaxed and looking and sounding like his wife again. "I cannot tell you how happy I am that you are having such a good time." He said. "Oh I am. There is only one more thing that I would like to do, and that is visit the spa.“ "Then you shall visit the spa. I doubt that the children will be allowed in, but there is a park next door to it. I will take them there and you can take the waters.“ That decided, Beth took one last look around the greenhouse before they went to gather up their grandchildren and leave.

With William taking the children to the park next door, Beth approached the spa. It was built around a natural spring and was the reason Simmouth had become popular as a holiday destination. Taking the waters, both internally and externally was meant to do one's health the world of good. The architecture was certainly a treat for one's soul thought Beth as she took in the elegant lines of the façade, so reminiscent of the classical architecture of the Greeks and Romans.

Beth smiled at the attendant as she entered the pump room. The classical theme carried on throughout, and the effect was very relaxing.

She was waiting for the attendant to get her a glass of the mineral rich waters when a local lady approached her. "Good afternoon, is this your first time visiting Simmouth spa?" Cara Nanale asked courteously. "Yes it is, but I have been in the town for the past few days.“ "I hope then that you have a relaxing stay here today," she leaned close, "and as a tip, do not drink the full glass. If you are not used to the waters, they can be a tad...unpleasant when you first take them internally.“ Beth thanked her and wished her a good day, wondering what she had meant by that last remark.

As soon as she took the first mouthful of the water she knew though. It was very salty and gritty, full of minerals she supposed, but she would not be at all surprised if it had an emetic or purgative effect. She put the glass down after a couple of small mouthfuls, smiled at the attendant and headed into the rest of the spa.

The next treatment she opted for was a massage performed with stones heated in the hot spring out side. All her aches and pains dissipated under the masseuse's sure and firm touches.

Massage over Beth headed to the next room where she soaked in a bath of cooled water from the spring. Although not as relaxing as the massage (Beth had never been a fan of bathing in tepid water), it was still refreshing, and she felt good when she got out.

Her final stop was a pool of water pumped straight from the hot springs. She was soon joined by another patron who introduced herself as Pamela Wade. "I trust you have been enjoying the spa Mrs Wade." Said Beth. "Very much so Mrs Legacy. This place has done my health a world of good."

Pamela paused. "I trust that it has also helped you to recover from whatever incident has befallen you." She pointed to the fading bruises on Beth's face. "Oh yes, I had the misfortune to have a fall a week ago, but I am now much recovered. Have you been here long?“ "I arrived yesterday.“ "Then you must take in the promenade and the botanic gardens. Also the bathing beaches. grandsons and husband said they are lovely.“ "You are here with your grandchildren?“ "Yes." Beth was suddenly aware of a commotion outside. "In fact I think that may be them now. I you will excuse me, it was a pleasure to meet you Mrs Wade.“ Smiling Beth took her leave of Pamela and went outside to see what her grandchildren were up to. My

She exited the building to see all three of her grandchildren sitting in the hot spring, their grandfather nowhere in sight, and a local watching over them. Not sure whether to be annoyed or amused, Beth made her way to the hot spring.

"Good afternoon." She said to the local introducing herself. "I trust that my grandchildren have not been too much bother.“ "Not at all. Children are not normally allowed in the spa, but we are willing to make an exception in their case.” Replied Tracy Royce.

"It is because we are so nice and well behaved Grandmamma." Piped up Christopher.

"I am sure that is the case my dear, but it is perhaps time we made a move. grandfather?" Asked Beth amused. "Inside I believe.“

Where is your

"Well then, I will wait until he comes back outside and then get changed so that we can leave.“ Once again she thanked Tracy for keeping a watchful eye on the children and settled down to wait for William.

There were still a few hours of daylight left by the time they left the spa, and so they took a slow walk along the promenade. Whilst the children went to play on the beach, William and Beth sat down for a cup of tea in the nearby tearoom.

As they drank, Bertie and his Christopher were on the beach combing for seashells, and other buried treasure. "What have you found Christopher?" Called Bertie as he enthusiastically dug through the sand.

"Not much." Said Christopher disappointedly, coming up empty handed again. He wasn't sure he liked this, so he got up and kicked at the sand as he walked away.

"That's a shame. I have found some coloured glass that I think Grandmamma might like. What do you think?" He turned round to look at his cousin, but he wasn't there. Bertie shrugged and started digging again.

William had arranged a treat for them on their last night, and a few hours after the sun had gone down they were all sitting around a campfire, stuffed from the food they had cooked over it. "We leave tomorrow morning," he said to his grandchildren, "but have you enjoyed the trip?"

"Yes absolutely." Said Bertie. "Me too, it was so much fun going up in the balloon, and playing on the ship, and making sandcastles, and, and everything." Said Bethany excitedly.

"What about you Christopher?" Asked William looking at his eldest grandson. "Mmmph." Was the only reply he got as Christopher shoved a marshmallow into his mouth.

Beth, sitting a little way away looking out to sea smiled. Although she had been reticent at first, the break had done her the world of good, and she felt strong enough to face whatever she needed to do back home.

She said as much to William after the children had gone to bed, and they were laying on the beach, looking at the stars. "You are a genius William Legacy, this break is exactly what I needed.“ "It was our son's idea, not mine. I agreed with him, that is all.“ "Regardless, I cannot thank you enough for helping to persuade me to take this break. You are the most wonderful husband a woman could hope to have."

William kissed her tenderly. "And you are the most wonderful wife a husband could hope to have. I cannot tell you how worried I have been about you for the past few years. You took too much on, whilst that woman did nothing, and it nearly broke your health. I would be lost without you Beth." He finished quietly. She said nothing in reply; instead she shifted closer to him and put her head on his shoulder. could not contemplate life without her spouse. She too

It was raining when the carriage arrived to take them home the next morning, something which seemed to suit their moods. Everyone had had such a good time, no one wanted to go, but it was Stuart's birthday and there was no missing that, so with a bit of cajoling the children were soon in the carriage, and the luggage secured. As they neared Regalton, the rain stopped, the clouds lifted, and Bertie started to get very excited about seeing his papa again and telling him all about his adventures.

When they arrived home, they were greeted at the door by Alexandra. As Christopher and Bethany started competing with each other to tell their mother all that had happened on their trip, Bertie went rushing off to find his father and Beth headed to Stuart who was sitting on the landing. "Hello, my birthday boy. Did you miss your grandmamma?" She asked scooping him high into the air. "Yes!" He cried giggling. "Missed Grandmamma a lot."

Bertie finally found Eddie in the newly decorated music room, playing the violin. "Papa!" He cried running into the room.

On hearing Bertie's cry, Eddie put down the instrument and gathered him into a fierce hug. "Bertie, did you have a good time?" He asked, pleased to have his son home. "It was wonderful Papa." Bertie replied, and excitedly he started to tell Eddie all about the trip.

*** This is where I will leave this part. Part 2 is in the works, and will contain parties and weddings and all sorts. Until then, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks also to the creators of the CC I use. The tourists in Simmouth would not have looked the same without Judie's wonderful clothes from All-About-Style. See you soon. =>

Ouch, that looks like it hurts.

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