I have always told you the truth, my dears, but never the whole truth. Have I ever told anyone the full truth? Will I ever? I do not know. The words Miss Lily thought but did not say to her four young
‘lovely ladies’ in the spring of 1914
SHILLINGS ESTATE, ENGLAND, SEPTEMBER 1936
The two planes flew above the trees, machine guns chattering, dark shapes within a darker night. Death erupted in the sky. The old man stared as night melted into flame.
His mind screamed. It was 1917 again, the hail of gunshot, metal burning green and yellow. But this was over England, not Belgium or France, the plane’s wreckage falling onto Shillings Hall. The victor’s wings waggled as it headed after further prey.
Was the falling aircraft the enemy’s or one of theirs? The old man didn’t care. Everyone he loved was in that Hall. He tried to run, but could not move. His heart cracked. He could not bear it. Not again …