The Road to Port Haven (Chapter 2­, page 1 of 12)


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Breakfast, Señorita! Kara stirred, wondering if she'd actually heard those words or if they were part of the wonderful but elusive dream she'd been having. Then she heard Maria throw open the curtains to allow in the light of day, a soft grey light that was soothing, comforting, that made no demands. With a thankful sigh, Kara release the pillow she'd clutched to her chest for most of the night and sat up, looking vulnerable and dishevelled. 'Maria! You shouldn't have gone to so much trouble over me!'

'And why not?' the maid demanded, severely. 'Has no one ever made a fuss over you, I wonder? We all of us need to feel cared for now and then.'

'Well I hope someone takes good care of you- Maria, this is astonishing! Is this crab in the omelette? What sort of sauce is this? Is it hard to make?'

'I,' Maria told her as she went about straightening up the room, 'am married to the most wonderful man in the world, Señorita, and he treats me like a queen.' She cocked her head thoughtfully in a curiously Latin way, adding, 'To eyes such as yours he would not be much to look at, I suppose, but there is about him a love for all things good that is returned one-hundredfold. We live in Port Haven, and he is the owner of a shop on the esplanade above the docks that sells tackle and other necessities to the fishing boats. Our sons and daughters live in Port Haven too. The youngest two still live at home and work with their father.'

'Wouldn't you rather be working alongside your husband than here?' Kara asked her innocently. 'It must be hard living apart.'

Maria's face crinkled into a rare smile. 'What, and spoil the mystique I have gained by working for the Señora Castellan? Not for all the wine in Spain, my girl! I am held in high esteem in the village simply because I am employed here. And it makes my husband very proud as well! Now, out of bed and off with you! You compromise my dignity by amusing me!'

There was one structure that utterly fascinated Kara that lay high on a hill above the Casa- what appeared to be a genuine working windmill, constructed of mortared stone and wood. The building looked to be very old and probably was. Certainly it was very old-fashioned, which in itself greatly intrigued her. Dressed now in a similar peasant dress to the one she'd worn the day before, she removed her sandals and opted to walk barefoot up the grassy slope.

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