“This is private property,” announced an angry male voice. “You shouldn’t be here.”
Sarah startled by the stranger turned to face his presence. She quickly stood up from where she sat. He was a handsome man with brown hair and brown eyes. He was dressed as a common farmer with brown pants, a light blue shirt and a tan fedora. He held a sickle in his hand, and he didn’t seem pleased.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be here,” Sarah said. “Philip didn’t mention it.”
“Philip Kent?” he asked.
“Yes, he’s my husband,” Sarah timidly said.
The man’s demeanor changed from anger to a friendly one.
“I do apologize,” he took the tan fedora off his head, and placed it against his chest. “I didn’t you realize you were the Misses. I’ve had a few trespassers lately that I’ve had to run off I thought you were one of them.”
Sarah weakly smiled.
“Forgive my civility,” he smiled at her. “I’m John Hawthorn, the caretaker. I take care of the gardens.”
“The gardens are lovely.”
“My family has taken care of this land for as long as I can remember,” he looked around. “My great-great-great grandfather was hired by the Kent family, and we have been here since then. Some parts of the estate need some repairs, but Mr. Kent is not in a hurry to repair them. He is adamant about keeping things as they are. Shame too. But, I do what he says, and just maintain the landscape. Have you been inside the castle yet?”
“Yes, I have,” I said.
“It’s seen better days,” he admitted it. “I’ve never been inside. My days are spent out here.”
“I saw some stables over there. Are there horses in the stable?” Sarah asked.
“I reckon, there haven’t been any for quite some time. Thinking of buying horses?”
“Well, I have work to do,” he said. “I’ll be seeing.”
John Hawthorn walked away, leaving Sarah alone in the gardens.