They said she was a liability. They said she was not to be trusted around married men. They said she would come to a sticky end. None of this was said to her face mind you. She'd cheated with the vicar, the doctor, the publican and plenty more beside. There was a frankly filthy joke doing the rounds in the village featuring her, the plumber and a flexible hose.
At the village show the W.I. were attempting to make the largest pot of marmalade Yorkshire had ever known. Mrs Burton-Joyce stood majestically in her apron stirring an enormous saucepan of boiling orange liquid. In a blur of sheepdogs the pan was over. Mrs Burton-Joyce screamed. The tent went up in smoke. Initially no one moved.
She strode across the boiling marmalade, scooped up Mrs Burton-Joyce and carried her out of the flaming tent. She kissed Mrs Burton-Joyce tenderly . They said nothing.
17 November 2012
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