There's an Old Mill...


Snow came early that year; even London woke to an unaccustomed brightness before the day's traffic churned it all to dark-gray slush. Warmly dressing-gowned Bodie stood at his kitchen window spooning in instant porridge and staring out appreciatively at the snow-bowed plane branches, their white burden as yet undisturbed; he could feel his spirits lifting absurdly, even that vague apprehensive flutter at the pit of his stomach which had plagued him ever since he'd finalised their holiday plans was gone. Just like a bloody kid, he admonished himself, can't wait to get out there and find a smooth, untouched patch to mark out for your own. Probably said something deep and significant about his sexual urges, but if so he didn't want to know about it.

But it was going to affect today's journey, he realised. Better make an early start after all. He went to the phone, greeted by a less than enchanted grunt as his call was answered.

"Not up yet?" Bodie said brightly.

The grunt translated itself into a groan. "I was," Doyle mumbled pointedly, "but you woke me up before I got to an interesting bit." There was a rustling sound in the earpiece which Bodie interpreted as Doyle settling even further down under the covers. For some reason he felt that nervous flutter again.

"Don't go getting comfy," he said loudly. "In view of the weather I want to be on our way in half an hour. I'll be round in fifteen minutes." Ignoring the urgent demand to know, "What about the weather?" he went on, "And I shall expect you to be bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and sweet-mouthed!" hung up to forestall argument, and made for his bedroom shedding dressing- gown and pyjamas as he went.

"You're bloody mad," Doyle said flatly as the toaster offered up its contents. "Weather like this and you still want to go harin' off to the middle of nowhere when we could spend Christmas comfortably in Town."

"We'd still have to pay for the place," Bodie pointed out, filching both slices from under Doyle's reaching hand and beginning to butter them. A second breakfast never came amiss, especially in weather like this. "And everything we agreed about getting right out of range so we don't get called in no matter what happens still applies. You're going to love it when you get there too," he promised rashly.

"Doubt it," Doyle said gloomily, extracting more bread from his bin. "And you can bloody well hand one of those pieces over here or I shan't make you any more coffee."

"Can make my own."

"That'll be the day. Come on, hand over."

Grumbling, Bodie did as he was bid.

"Still think we're crazy," Doyle said, somewhat thickly around his liberated toast; Bodie always had a lavish hand with the butter and marmalade. His partner merely grinned. "And where are we goin' anyway?" Doyle went on. "You've been bloody cagey about it up to now."

"You'll find out," Bodie told him, afraid if he revealed their destination too soon Doyle's heels would dig in so far he'd be down to bedrock, "all in good time. Dressed up nice and warm, are we? Thermal undies on?"

"The state of my underwear is for me to know," Doyle said with dignity.

"And wear wellies," Bodie said, sticking his own green-clad feet into view.

"Very Sloane Ranger," Doyle grinned. "'ere, where are you off it?"

"I'm going on holiday," Bodie said patiently, "and you're coming with me, so hurry up. You can leave the washing-up," he added, always considerate.

"So where the hell are we going?" Doyle demanded as the Capri accelerated onto the motorway. "Suffolk?"

"Bit further north than that."

"Oh Christ!" Doyle leant his head on the headrest and groaned loudly. "Bodie, you wouldn't do that to me! You wouldn't!"

"Wouldn't do what?"

"Not the Broads! Not at this time of year. Oh God, not the bloody Broads! It's flamin' freezin' already and you want to spend Christmas up to your armpits in cold bloody water. You're mad. Oh God, I knew I should never've left it all to you."

"No, I'm not. And it's not the Broads anyway, so stop getting your knickers in a twist."

"Why don't you get your mind out of my trousers," Doyle retorted, turning to stare at his partner. "That's the second time today you've dragged in my underwear."

Dragged in his... "Wouldn't touch 'em with a bargepole, thanks. Do we 'ave to 'ave the bloody heat up so far?" Bodie complained, opening his window a crack. "Can 'ardly breathe in here." But Doyle was shivering, burying himself deeper into his sheepskin collar. They lapsed into a silence that lasted until they left the motorway. Later, as they inched through heavy traffic into Thetford it began snowing again, quite heavily.

"It's going to be OK," Bodie promised the small thundercloud sitting on his left and hoping like hell the brochure hadn't lied. If he'd brought Doyle all this way under false pretences he'd never hear the last of it. Liked his creature comforts, did Doyle, especially at Christmas. But there'd be a pub, local talent... even if the flat turned out to be a disaster they could surely salvage something; after all it was the first real break they'd had over Christmas since they'd started working for CI5 and Bodie had determined it was not going to be spoilt for anything short of a national emergency.

Through Norwich and well onto the Cromer road Bodie pointed at the glove compartment. "There's a letter in there, gives instructions on how to find it from here on."

Opening it Doyle extracted the slip of paper and straightened it out, thereafter staring from it to Bodie in dawning horror. "A water mill? Bodie, you have gone off your rocker. I thought at least we were going to a pub for the week... a water-mill at this time of year!"

"Converted," Bodie said tonelessly, spirits sinking to a new low.

Doyle snorted. "An antiquated cooker and an Elsan no doubt. We'll bloody freeze to death, I tell you."

"So, it'll be good for our souls," Bodie told him flatly, slowing down to make the left turn into Aylsham, commenting as they arrived at the small town centre, "And it's very pretty here with all this snow."

Doyle snorted again, unimpressed by nature's artistry. "There's quite a nice-looking pub over the other side of the Market Place," he said wistfully, peering over his shoulder as they waited in the narrow street for an impossibly large coach to inch its way past. "Could always see if they took paying guests."

"OK," Bodie agreed, "just so long as you're paying for both of us. Where now?"

"Turn right further down," Doyle said, having checked the instructions again. "Oh God, it's the back of bloody beyond. Not even in what they laughingly call the town."

"Well no," Bodie said reasonably, "it's down on the river Bure, of course. And there's a small general store, look, by that pub." He pointed at these evidences of civilisation.

"Grotty looking place." Doyle was not to be placated. Having seen prettier pubs Bodie wasn't going to argue. "Right," Doyle said, slightly too late for the turning.

"You sure?" There was no signpost.


Sighing, Bodie backed, turned right and drove about fifty yards down the narrow sideroad. The snow was deeper than ever here.

The building was unmistakable, large and four-square across the river, its uncurtained windows like blank, unseeing eyes. Bodie drew to a halt beside the open ground in front, its snowy- whiteness marked by a score of webbed footprints. A small group of ducks raised listless heads their way then tucked their beaks away once more in the comfort of feathered backs.

"Is this it?" Doyle demanded, unwilling to believe the worst until it had been confirmed.

"This is it," Bodie said, his own heart sinking. The place didn't look exactly welcoming now, whatever it might seem in the height of summer. And the bit they could see was most definitely unconverted too. "Entrance must be further along the lane. Yeah, there look. And parking space at the end, under cover."

"Car'll be better off than we are," Doyle grumbled, trying and failing to peer in at the ground-level windows as they drove by.

Pulling into the parking space Bodie slammed the brake on rather too hard, lips pressed tightly against rash speech. If it was as bad as he feared he'd drive Doyle back to Norwich to catch the train, but come what may he intended to stay and make the best of it. Unlocking the boot he threw Doyle's holdall at him, scarcely caring whether he caught it or no, and pulled out his own. Doyle sent him a hard look but, not catching his eye, kept whatever he'd been about to say, to himself.

"Number two," Bodie said loudly. "Just inside the glass door, look, that's our front door." The small lobby was glassed in, a respite from the raw air.

"Have you got the key?" Doyle thought to ask.

Bodie shook his head. "Door's open, they said. Key'll be inside on the work surface in the kitchen."

"It's got a kitchen, then," Doyle said, tempting providence.

Bodie offered him a look of pure dislike, thrust past and lifted the latch.

Warm air gusted out.

Faced by a plethora of closed doors in an otherwise empty hall Bodie opened the one directly opposite and found only darkness within, a warm damp darkness that smelled of liquid cleanser. "Bathroom," he said nonchalantly, locating the light switch outside the door. An extractor fan roared into life as the light went on.

"Not bad," Doyle said grudgingly, peering over his shoulder. "And I could do with a pee."

Bodie backed out and left him to it, trying the other doors one by one, left hand about, and finding in quick succession the airing cupboard, a bedroom with twin beds, a storage cupboard containing a child's cot and two fold-up beds, a double bedded room and the vast main living area, by which time Doyle had finished his pee and joined him.

"I take it all back," Doyle said, looking about appreciatively at the two inviting sofas, the fake-coals gas fire, TV, honey-coloured pine furniture and fittings and the well-fitted kitchen area. "A double oven even--with a spit too. Wonder if it works."

"Instructions for everything on the table here," Bodie said. "along with a Christmas card...'to Mr. Bodie and family, Happy Christmas and have a good holiday'. Nice touch, that... and a Christmas decoration on the dining table, too."

"And central heating," Doyle said, running a loving hand over the radiator and snatching it swiftly away again. "Lord, that's working all right."

"Told you," Bodie said smugly, worries forgotten. "Said it'd be OK, didn't I. Can I pick 'em or can I pick 'em!"

"You can pick 'em," Doyle agreed generously.

Good relations faded again in the late afternoon. The snow having eased they walked up the hill to the town to lay in essential supplies for the Sunday--they could shop for Christmas itself on the Monday or Tuesday which was Christmas Eve--and all went along amicably until Bodie insisted on buying a tree.

"Well, all right," Doyle said eventually, it having become obvious he had no choice in the matter anyway, "but you're paying for it."

"Never suggested anything else," Bodie sulked, only obstinacy preventing him from chucking the whole idea... and it had seemed such a good one when he'd first thought of it, too. Just to be irritating he picked out the biggest still in the shop and left Doyle holding it while he dived into the newsagent's across the square to buy fairy lights.

Even Doyle had to admit it looked good set up against the wall by the window.

"Just a bloody kid, you are," he said, tousling the cropped hair with rough affection and going off to put the sausages and oven chips in to cook.

Pursing his lips Bodie surveyed his creation and decided there was something missing--presents. He'd deal with that on Monday.

"Toss you for the double bed," Doyle said, switching off the box. He lost, to Bodie's satisfaction; single beds always made him feel claustrophobic. He went off to his comfortable double and slept like a baby, the sound of the mill-race mingling with his dreams.

It snowed again during the night, heavily. Doyle opened his eyes to find it drifted three feet high against his bedroom windows. Thanking heaven he was not only on holiday but that it was Sunday to boot and they had nowhere they must go and nothing they must do he wriggled further down and went back to sleep. He finally surfaced to find it was nearly 11.00 and his system was demanding a pee, coffee and toast in that order. There was no one in the living area; that lazy bugger must still be asleep. His breakfast complete he made his way quietly across the thick carpet, sodden J cloth cradled between careful palms... but his quarry was long gone, the double bed neatly made. Baulked, Doyle went to the window and opened it, squeezing the cloth into the mill pool directly below. It was crisp out and he shivered, but paused in the act of closing the window, caught by the beauty of the scene, a symphony in browns, grays, and the cold, clear white of virgin snow. Tall, snow-laden trees ringed the pool, the bushes beneath them tangled and obscuring, and the water that ran under the mill and the now-stilled wheel was running fast and muddied, brown and white-flecked. No point in looking for Bodie out this way. Checking his watch Doyle realised Bodie had probably gone up to the pub, there was after all nowhere else he could go at this hour on a Sunday morning at the back of beyond, but he couldn't help feeling peeved that the rotten swine hadn't seen fit to wake him up to go along. Thrusting his feet into the wellingtons he'd parked by the front door Doyle turned up the collar of his jacket and stomped off into the great white yonder.

There was little evidence of movement out in the narrow lane, one car and a few pedestrians was the sum total, and only one set of footprints led out from the flats' entrance. Doyle followed them, but to his surprise they led not on along the lane towards the road, the pub and civilisation but round the end of the building to the right, through the padlocked gate and onto the small bridge across the front of the mill where it straddled the river. The padlock was undone.

Pushing open the gate Doyle ventured gingerly out onto its snowy boards, not fancying a quick dip in weather like this.

"Bodie! You over here? Bodie?" He had to be somewhere around, unless he'd fallen in, because the footsteps only went one way. Yes, there he was, and... what the hell was he doing?

"Always said you missed out on childhood," Doyle said, his feet creaking on new snow.

Bodie looked up, unsmiling, but the soft look in Doyle's eyes offered no challenge and he relaxed. "Well, don't just stand there, get to work."

Doyle set to. "How tall d'you wanna make him?"

"Oh, five feet at least."

"Blimey, you don't believe in doing things by halves, do you! OK then, but we'll have to shift a hell of a lot of snow."

"So get on with it then and stop yakking."

By early afternoon the finished snowman stood nearly as tall as Doyle and bore an uncanny resemblance to a certain Scotsman; its creator was flushed and sweaty, his scarf and gloves long since abandoned, the former adorning a solider, snowier neck; Doyle had never seen him look so happy. On an impulse he reached out and brushed off the excess snow lodged in the dark hair; it was an oddly intimate gesture taking both of them by surprise and for a few seconds they were still, watching one another warily. Doyle let his hand drop.

"Dunno 'bout you but I'm starvin'. How about some of those chops?"

"What? Oh, er... yeah." Bodie followed, reluctant to lose the moment but seeing no alternative.

Monday evening they ate out; the waitress was cute, pert and fascinated by Bodie; amazingly, Bodie seemed no more than embarrassed by her obvious interest.

Tucking into well-matured Stilton Doyle waved an expressive knife. "She's yours for the asking, you know."

"Probably." Bodie pulled a face. "Must be getting old or something but she looks more like me kid sister than bed-fodder."

"Didn't know you had a kid sister."

"I haven't. And besides, how would I explain you away?"

"Wouldn't 'ave to. I'd slide in ever so quietly and go to bed."

"Nah." Bodie shrugged. "Too much trouble, innit. Course, if you want..." he paused, lifting an interrogative eyebrow, but Doyle wasn't feeling that bothered either and the two of them crunched their way home through the frosted snow together, rendering the night hideous with their version of 'In the bleak mid-winter'.

It was while Bodie was in the bog that Doyle noticed the parcels under the tree, both of them for him. It hadn't even occurred to him to buy anything for Bodie, they didn't go in for that sort of thing as a rule and these were probably examples of Bodie's weird sense of humour but even so... Lucky thing he had one more day to do something about it.

Next morning however found Bodie in restless mood and, Doyle not being ready quickly enough, he explored upstairs in the converted wing, finding a baby grand piano on the first half- landing, a washing machine on the second, and a huge room running the entire length of the mill, chilly under the exposed rafters and with driven snow lying in places under the old tiles. It contained a sink, tumble drier and ironing board complete with iron and, to Bodie's delight, a darts board and table tennis table. A few dilapidated bats lay in a box to one side and a dozen or so balls, most of which were dented. He clattered back down, taking due care on the wooden stairs where snow had drifted in through an unglazed window, and went to report the good news to his partner.

"'s bloody freezin' up here," Doyle pointed out, arms clenched vainly about his body to ward off lurking draughts.

"Few games of table tennis'll get you warm." Bodie could sound depressingly hearty on occasions.

Bodie was ahead in the fifth and deciding game when disaster struck. Running to retrieve a ball a small rectangular trap door in the floor gave way under him and fell awkwardly, agony ripping through his thigh as it impacted with the hard edge of the tiny access area. A flood of intemperate language heated the atmosphere.

"You OK?" Doyle dropped his bat and approached at a run.

"Do I look bloody all right," Bodie enquired snappishly. "Of course I'm not... probably broken me bleedin' leg if you must know." He nursed himself tenderly.

"Trust you to try and ruin my holiday," Doyle told him, watching in relief as Bodie moved the leg with exquisite care. "Can you wiggle your toes still?"

"Not in two pairs of socks," Bodie retorted, testing. "'s OK, it all seems to work. Give us a hand up, will you?"

Once upright it was obvious there was nothing broken, but it was equally clear Bodie was in considerable pain for all his denials. Progress downwards was slow and cautious, Bodie accepting Doyle's shoulder as a prop on the steep wooden stairs, hanging tightly onto the rails of the two lower flights.

"Sit yourself down on the sofa and get your trousers off," Doyle instructed, making for the fridge.

"You wouldn't take advantage of a wounded man, would you!" Bodie said, shocked.

"You should be so lucky! Go on, get 'em off."

"What for?"

"Never mind what for, just do as you're told."

Bodie distastefully viewed the offered ice cubes, inadequately wrapped in kitchen paper. "No thanks, mate, it's cold enough already... and you forgot the whisky."

"You slap 'em on where it'll do some good," Doyle advised him. "Come on, do as you're told and get those trousers off or I'll do it for you."

"Kinky! Never knew you loved me for my body," Bodie fluted, doing as he was told.

"Only for your mind, ducky, only for your mind. There."

"Oh Christ! they're cold," Bodie complained, his retreat cut off by the back of the sofa.

"That's the whole idea. You're going to have one hell of a bruise, you know," Doyle said, rubbing the impromptu ice-pack very gently up and down the well-muscled thigh.

"I know," Bodie said, depressed. "'s gonna spoil the whole ruddy holiday."

"Not for me it isn't," Doyle assured him cheerfully, and went off to make coffee.

Having drunk his he looked at his watch. "Better get off to the shops, hadn't I."

"But we did all that yesterday," Bodie reminded him.

"We forgot the stuffing," Doyle said. "I thought of it last night in bed. Maybe I'll be able to get it up the road, if not I'll have to go into Aylsham. I shan't be long either way. Want the telly on before I go?"

"No. But you could light the gasfire if I'm going to sit here and do sweet fuck all. Tell you what, you can get my book from the bedroom, too."

Doyle fetched it, and rummaged in the wardrobe for Bodie's track suit bottoms; they'd be more comfortable for him to wear for the moment.

"Shan't be long," he promised, grinning at his partner's would-be woebegone face. "I'll buy us a pack of cards or something. Safer than table-tennis."

"Good idea," Bodie said, brightening.

"Thought you'd done a Captain Oates," Bodie complained when Doyle returned an unconscionable time later. "Blimey, you been buying the place out?"

"Thought I'd better lay in some booze," Doyle explained, hefting a clinking carrier onto the pine seating that ran the length of one wall. "And I've bought a load of magazines and paperbacks. Oh, and I got the cards OK, and this." He thrust a long, flat box, wrapped in Christmas paper, into Bodie's hands. "Here, 'ave your pressie a day early."

"Scrabble?" Bodie said, ripping the paper in his hurry. "You any good at it?"

"I can thrash you anyway," Doyle promised.

By night-time Bodie's leg was stiff and sore and he limped off to bed feeling distinctly fed up with life. It was not only his physical problems bugging him, but also the fact that Doyle had got three seven-letter words during their games of Scrabble, and the only time Bodie had had one he could find nowhere to put it out. Doyle had been insufferably smug.

"Must be getting old, going to bed early and stone-cold sober on Christmas Eve," Bodie mused, hobbling round the bed to open the window a crack. The night was clear and bitterly cold, the stars bright and huge. More of them visible than in London too, of course. Made you feel small, looking out at infinity like this, aware of how ephemeral life was, how easy it was to waste. There wasn't a lot in his life he was proud of, not until recent years; not until the trust first Cowley and then Doyle had offered him over-rode the distrust in his own nature. Doyle's friendship was the best thing life had given him, the thing he treasured most.

"Definitely getting old," he muttered aloud, "standing here by an open window gettin' maudlin." He climbed into bed, finding a comfortable position for his bruises.

Something brought him awake, instantly aware of the figure at the foot of the bed. Still sleepy, still half caught up in a close, warm, already faded dream he lay and watched silently as it stood, apparently watching him. An inexplicable wave of feeling rushed through him, leaving him breathless. He could think of only one reason why Ray should come and stand at the foot of his bed in the middle of a freezing cold night and stay there staring at him as if he were something rare and precious. The feeling intensified, swelling his throat. He opened his mouth but no sound emerged. The figure moved, made for the door... lost his bottle, had he?

Panicked into speech Bodie said, "Ray? Ray, don't go. Please. Come here."

Doyle came and stood beside him. "What do you want?"

Reaching out, Bodie found a pyjama-clad arm, slid his hand down it to the cold fingers and twined his about them. Suddenly, it was easy.

"Get in," he said, "get in here with me. Come on, sweetheart," and he lifted the blankets in intimate invitation. "You been wantin' this too?" he asked softly, gathering a chill but not unyielding armful. "'s a good thing one of us 'ad the guts to make a move... could've taken the rest of our lives gettin' up courage..." Doyle turned in his arms, burying his face in the curve of Bodie's neck. His nose was icy. Covering the back of the curly head with his palm Bodie held him there, gingerly laying his bruised leg over Doyle's thigh, becoming comfortable as Doyle's knee slid between his. "Ah, that's nice. Feels good. You OK?"


Unsure of what to do next Bodie simply lay there revelling in the here and now and wondering how far Doyle would let him go, if he'd get it all, everything he now knew he wanted but was still too scared to ask for. Then he became aware Doyle was licking his neck, tiny tickling strokings with the tip of his tongue in a circular motion. His stomach lurched, settled, and a rush of blood heated his groin.

It was uncertain, hesitant, clumsy even, but it was the most intense sexual experience of Bodie's varied life, the discomfort of his bruises notwithstanding. They spoke little, only to whisper hoarse pleas or instructions, and it was over far too soon.

"Never mind, do it again tomorrow," Doyle said sleepily, startling Bodie who was unaware of having spoken aloud.

"Is that a promise?" Bodie's voice shook.

Raising himself with a monumental effort onto one elbow Doyle leant over and kissed him, unselfconsciously and thoroughly. "Promise anything you like," he said, "now go to sleep."

The green eye was very bright in the gray light of Christmas dawn. Bodie blinked at it, swallowed hard, blinked again and said, "I didn't dream it then."

A warm mouth nuzzled the side of his nose, grazed his eyelids, licked sensuously along their lashes. "P'raps you're still dreaming."

"Nah." Bodie disposed his arms more comfortably around the accommodating body. "This is for real and I'm wide awake."

"Could've fooled me," Doyle said, chuckling.

"And I know what day it is," Bodie added. "Happy Christmas."

"And a happy Christmas to you too. You going to open your stocking?"

"What?" This time Bodie left both eyes open. "What stocking?"

Doyle's grin widened. "The one at the bottom of the bed. The one Santa Claus left you."

Cold air sliced between them as Bodie sat up. Sure enough there, fixed to the counterpane with a large safety pin, was one of Doyle's unmistakable tacky green socks stuffed full to over- flowing. From the top a soft fur face peered at him, beguilingly cross-eyed. Doyle began to laugh.

"Oh God! your face," he snickered. "Worth every penny just to see your face."

"Was that," Bodie said, a cold hand suddenly grasping something unidentified inside him and squeezing it painfully, "what you came in here for last night?"

"Yeah," Doyle said, still sniggering. "Caught me doing my Father Christmas act, didn't you. Was nice," he added, eyes glazing in happy reminiscence. He tucked an arm companionably about Bodie's waist. "Go on, open it. I've been looking forward to this since Monday night. Wasn't sure 'ow I was going to make sure of a grandstand seat though. Nice how it turned out."

"Was it?" Bodie said, the sock clutched rather too tightly between his palms. Had he taken too much for granted? The thought was unbearable.

Doyle's free hand came up to press his cheek, turning his head so their eyes could meet. "Look, I'd had that ruddy sock pinned ten minutes and more before you woke up. I was just standing there, wondering if I'd got the nerve... what you'd do if I got in with you when..."

"Really?" Bodie checked.

"Honest," Doyle said, lying in his teeth with a fervour that would have convinced even Cowley.

Content, Bodie began opening his stocking.

"'s been a smashing week, hasn't it," Doyle said, slamming the boot shut on their luggage and climbing into the driving seat. Bodie's leg was still rather too stiff and sore to make driving any distance anything but unpleasant. "Did you remember to leave the keys?"

"Yeah. And the money for the electricity," Bodie said, aware Doyle had forgotten all about that detail.

"Well done. Good thing the snow's all gone, innit!"

"All except him," Bodie said, pointing to the opposite bank as they drove slowly past the front of the building. Their creation, now only an unidentifiable mound, still bore the scarf Bodie had placed about its neck.

"D'you want to go and get it?" Doyle asked, pausing the car.

"Can't be bothered. Besides, gate's padlocked. Go on, I can get another scarf if I want one."

As they joined the main Norwich road Bodie said quietly, "D'you want on when we get back to London?"

"Do you?"

"Yeah. If you do."

"Want to keep carrying on for good, actually," Doyle said, clearing his throat.

"Do you? You do?" Bodie said, amazed, astonished, astounded and flabbergasted and all at the same time.

"Well, of course I do," Doyle sounded affronted. "You're very special to me, Nellie Dean."

"Nellie Dean?" Bodie asked, puzzled.

"Yeah." Doyle flicked him a glance and grinned. "Think about it."

Bodie did. A smile, soft, delighted and awed, spread across his face. "Me too," he agreed, "very much indeed."
There's an old mill by the stream, Nellie Dean,
Where we used to sit and dream, Nellie Dean,
And the waters as they go
Seem to whisper soft and low,
You're my heart's delight, I love you, Nellie Dean."
-- THE END --

Christmas 1987

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