She was standing next to the shed where he kept his gardening tools with her hands behind her back. She had a shifty look about her and Erasmus looked from her face- which was not exactly unpleasant to look at- to the door of the shed which was still locked with giant new padlock.
” You must be one of the new residents up at the Manor” he said pushing his wheelbarrow full of tools in front of him.
” My name is Jingle, Jingle Gravesend. I’m here to learn how to write. Maybe sculpt too, I like sculpting. I mean, I was pretty good at..”
Erasmus motioned her away from the door before Jingle could finish.
” Well I’m Erasmus, and I’m the groundskeeper. I don’t like people hanging around locked doors that they don’t have any business being around.”
Jingle made sure she had Erasmus’ full attention and then she pointedly looked down the path which was a tangle of weeds and herbs and flowers, wildflowers she guessed. ” Are you new here too? Because, wow…”
” I’m guessing you’re out here sketching or taking notes or communing with nature-” Erasmus said with just the coolest, lightest touch of sarcasm running through his voice like venom from a spider bite to a wound. ” So shouldn’t you be doing that?”
Jingle ignored him.
” Are those flowers or weeds? I’d commune with them and ask but it looks like they’re being strangled by those vines and I don’t think they could talk even if they wanted to.”
” I’ve got work to do and lots of it Ms Gravesend, so if you don’t mind.”
” No. I’m good. I think you’re inspiring , me right now. I don’t want to leave. You know, I don’t want to lose the vibe”
Erasmus pulled a shovel from out of the wheelbarrow jammed it into the ground in front of himself and leaned against it. ” Inspiring how? ”
” Jingle put her hand on the shovel and pushed her face towards Erasmus until they were almost touching noses. ” I’m no child Mr. Erasmus, I’m much older and loads more vicious then I look. Don’t try to play the scary old Groundskeeper routine with me.”
” Well Miss Gravesend. I am exactly as old and mean as I look. Don’t play the Dev-”
They both heard a truck engine roar to life.
” My stuff is here, is it here? Why didn’t you say so?”
” They were dropping off three crates- no luggage. That’s coming in later.”
Jingle turn and ran back towards the house and as she ran Erasmus saw she was limping and he was pretty sure by the stiffness in her gait it pained her to run at all. But she did it anyway.
He looked concerned.
” That’s not right. That’s not right at all.”
He tossed the shovel against the shed and decided it was time to have a talk to Georgina. He wondered where she was at, because Untalented Groundskeeper or not, Erasmus knew better then anyone that a wounded beast was a dangerous beast.