We occupied a small hunting lodge on the outskirts of the estate. Our mutual friend had allowed us the liberty to use this place for some time of quiet to get over the hectic term. We were, and are, quiet chaps so we relished the retreat to the country despite that, in deep winter, there was no game to be hunted and away from the house there was a lack of festive camaraderie.
Termed ‘Scrooges’ from the recent story by Dickens we were at home and content. You could say that we were happy there. We would drink our sherry and bitters, smoke our pipes and relax in our respective books. The one drawback from being so far away from the main house was that the service was erratic. We were sympathetic even when we ran short of comestibles, like game pie, or the bare necessities like bitters or sherry and one night, not too far off Christmas Eve, inside we ran short of wood for the fire. (more…)