We were taken to the island by a fisherman obviously surprised by our lack of luggage.
“This is the last boat, sir,” he said, “if you are thinking of coming back tonight.”
“We weren’t,” Ella replied for me.
“Very well, miss.”
And in a boat that smelled of fish we made the short crossing to the island’s harbour. I was surprised to find a village beneath the castle walls, for in my mind I had already pictured Seton Castle as a place removed from our world; but I was glad to be in the “sweet pub” of which Ella had told me. She reserved two rooms before we sat down to dinner, giving her surname as Warrington. I nodded, understood and signed my own name – John Wood.
“My mother’s name,” she said quietly. “It wouldn’t be a good idea to sign Harewood on the island; we wouldn’t have a moment’s sleep because of all the attention we received.”
When we were sitting at a table in the cosy bar, she smiled at me. “So, here we are.”
“Is this what you wanted to show me?” I asked, feeling the weight of family history in the pub which had the Harewood arms on its sign.
“It is partly,” said Ella. “I wanted to show you the island and the castle. But there’s something much more specific that I want you to see.” She paused. “But it must wait until tomorrow morning.”
“But,” I began, a little surprised. “I thought this was your castle. Surely you’re not a tourist in your own family home?”
“No,” she replied, smiling. “Of course I could take you to lunch with Uncle Cyril and Aunt Elizabeth if I liked. I don’t think they would be particularly happy to see me, but they wouldn’t show that. But I can’t, of course, for obvious reasons.”
“Among which are?”
“Well for starters, you blind boy, the fact that you aren’t Charlie Stanhope. They wouldn’t like to see me here with anyone but him.”
“At least not until you’ve freed yourself?”
“At least not until I have, as you say, freed myself.”
“But there is another reason, too.”
“I’d much rather show you the painting in private. Oh, I don’t mind day-trippers; they won’t affect us. It’s family presence I want to avoid if I can.”adapted from: The Drowning People by Richard Mason
5.1. The fisherman advised Ella and John to return on the last boat. (!T) (F)
5.2. John had expected Seton Castle to be an isolated place.(T) (!F)
5.3. Ella’s surname was Warrington.(!T) (F)
5.4. Ella wanted to take John to lunch with her family. (!T) (F)
5.5. Charlie Stanhope was accepted by Ella’s family. (T) (!F)
5.6. Ella wanted to stay anonymous on the island. (T) (!F)