Story Snip from Larksong: Chapter 8 and Photos from Swiss Vapeur Parc

Chapter 8 of Larksong!

Larksong is set in Montreal, July 1914.

In chapter 1, Alice, after her grandmother's funeral, arrived at the family cottage to take care of her grandmother's aviary, only to find that her parents had already leased the cottage to another family for the summer.

The only way she could have one more summer in her favourite place was to surreptitiously take on the role of governess to the two young girls...

In chapter 2, we met George, laid up at the hospital with a broken leg. Instead of joining his friends on a Grand Tour of Europe, he's being sent off to recuperate at a rented cottage in the country...

In chapter 3, we returned to Alice's point of view, and saw her bonding with George's younger sisters. Then she got a surprise -- George was arriving at the cottage that very day!

In chapter 4, we had a hint that Alice finds George attractive and interesting -- but also unbearably rude.

In chapter 5, they had their first argument.

In chapter 6, they argued once more, but the stakes were higher: war is on the horizon.

In chapter 7, George attempted a rapprochement. The chapter ended with him asking, "Why don't we both go sit in the parlour?"

Now, at the start of chapter 8, Alice has some feelings stirring...

Alice stopped herself in time from both refusing his offer and in the same breath asking why he cared to sit with her. Keeping up the pretense of a governess' role was made more difficult under George's questions, especially when her instinct was to reply in a straightforward manner.

And this was only the first day of his visit!

Perhaps she could alter the message she planned to send tomorrow to the real Miss Underwood, invent a reason for the mix-up and herself return to Montreal. She'd not have to maintain a summerlong charade. Only, if she did so, who would deal with Granny's aviary?

She poured her own cup and picked up the tray of biscuits. "As you wish. If you haven't a book, there are plenty on the shelves, or there's a jigsaw puzzle or two–"

"Is there a deck of cards?" he interrupted, eyes bright with a sudden eagerness. "We might play a hand of euchre."

"But we're only two. Unless you mean to tell me that Eleanor knows how to play?" She cocked an ear for any sounds from her charges, but rather than the telltale scurrying that might denote mischief, heard nothing. It seemed her first day as a governess had concluded well. It was only the advent of George that would cause difficulties in the days ahead.

Elsie had long since taken advantage of Alice's presence, disappearing as soon as might be after the suppertime washing up. If she was luxuriating in a hot bath, given the endless gurgling of the pipes, by now she'd likely wrinkled into a well-sunned prune. Alice did not begrudge her a moment's peace; the Cunnick family certainly were more than a handful.

She returned her focus to the kitchen, where George was saying, with a smile, "No, nor Lucy neither. But there's a variation that works with two players. I'll show you."

"I'm intrigued." By your smile. She shook her head to clear it of that errant thought as she might brush aside a fly. "Let me confirm that your sisters are in bed and asleep, then I'll join you in the parlour with the cards." She set both cups on the tray, hooked her sewing basket over an arm and bustled out before she could change her mind, pausing to set the tray in the parlour, then hurrying upstairs.

If I leave now, she thought, as she accompanied a drowsy Eleanor to the outhouse and back with a lantern–and ensured that the necessary rag dolls and stuffed rabbits were all on the beds–I'll likely never see Granny's house again.

George had mellowed, it seemed, as the night wore on–really, she must remember to refer to him as Mr Cunnick. Roleplaying might not be so difficult once she got used to the family, and having others in the house would certainly make the next few weeks less mournful.

Hearing the sisters' laughter had put her in mind of summers long since, when all her siblings and cousins had filled the place to bursting, rocketing up and down the stairs, clattering down the paving stones to jump off the dock into the cool lake. Before everyone else had turned to their urban pastimes and social calls, and ceased visiting the Townships.

She had been charged with the aviary, after all, and it would be awkward to present the birds to prospective buyers if she left and returned under her true identity, no matter what explanations she concocted. Like it or don't, she'd locked herself into the pretense.

It was evident, too, that George–Mr. Cunnick–needed assistance. She shouldn't leave without making sure he was provided for.

"I'll stay for a few more days, at least," she decided, as she bade Eleanor a final goodnight and returned downstairs with the lamp. George's smile had absolutely no bearing on her decision whatsoever.

Last month, we visited Swiss Vapeur Parc!

A family-friendly park featuring miniatures of important, historical buildings from across Switzerland, as well as miniature working steam trains!
Paddle boat seen from the train!

View of Chateau Chillon from the train

Swiss Vapeur Parc is in the canton of Valais (engraved on my heart)

Lovely port


Chateau d'Aigle (Eagle Castle)

Wee train!

Freddy Grimm Suspension Bridge, a reproduction of George Washington Bridge, New York

Saanen Church

Chillon on the return trip!

My contest for Summer Fire is still on!

Are you a fan of trains?


My nephew would LOVE to go here and see this park. I'm passing along this post to my brother-in-law so he can share the pictures with James.
Deniz Bevan said…
Aww, I hope they like them!
Hi Deniz - I love the way the story is developing ... I'm about to read the next two segments. Your Parc looks ideal for the kids - the little trains in their sheds at the end - immediately took me to Thomas the Tank engine stories. Lunch looks rather delicious too - cheers Hilary