“Long before you joined, Featherstone, something happened to me.” Old McMoneagle shifted in the red leather armchair.
“I was young, fresh out of Oxford. Master’s in agriculture. Anyway, on my first Christmas Eve here we’d gone to the Wheatsheaf before the service at St. Mary’s. It was snowing heavily.” He paused. “You remember Mary Skellern? Well, she’d passed me over for Jack Broughton, but I didn’t want jealousy to stop me going.”
He continued, “it was a cheery affair, us chaps belting out carols with gusto!”
I imagined the happy scene in the tiny rural church.
“Due to the beer I soon needed a pee. Outside it was frightfully cold and completely silent, snow everywhere. I made my way round the side and relieved myself. On my way back something peculiar happened…”
“Someone grabbed me from behind – I couldn’t move! Then the ground shook with an earth tremor and some huge tiles fell a few feet in front of me. If that fellow hadn’t held me I’d probably’ve been killed.”
“Who was it then?”
He shook his head. “There wasn’t anybody there!”
“There must’ve been!”
“That’s just it Featherstone, the snow behind me was pristine, no footprints anywhere…”