The Baker's Daughter

The Baker's Daughter by Anne Forsyth

Book: The Baker's Daughter by Anne Forsyth Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anne Forsyth
But if I went with you?’
    Rona’s face brightened. ‘That would be wonderful,’ she said. Her mind drifted towards a week of sunny days and lazing around the swimming pool and waltzing in the ballroom every evening—and maybe walks under the stars with someone.
    â€˜Hey,’ said Nancy, ‘wake up. What about it?’
    â€˜I’ll ask Father,’ Rona promised. ‘But I don’t expect him to agree. His idea of a holiday is a few days in a caravan in the rain, if you’re lucky. Or a stay at Aunt Maisie’s where there’s no-one under sixty.’ She looked gloomy. ‘But I’ll try it anyway.’
    Meanwhile, things were going well for Angus. The business was thriving, Rona had worked hard, and the new girl—well, she seemed to be settling down.
    And the whole town of Kirkton, in fact the whole country, was agog. For it wasn’t long till the Coronation, the crowning of the new Queen, Elizabeth II.

AN ENTERPRISING IDEA
    â€˜So, Mr Maclaren. We’ll confirm the numbers early in the week. All the primary children and maybe a few bags over just to be on the safe side. I don’t think,’ smiled Miss Jessop, ‘we’ll have many absentees that day.’
    â€˜A grand occasion—the Coronation parade—and you may be sure we’ll do you proud.’
    â€˜I’m sure you will, Mr Maclaren,’ said the deputy headmistress. ‘After all, it’s not every day we have the crowning of a queen.’
    â€˜Just so.’ Angus held open the door for her. ‘Good day to you.’
    â€˜That’s a good order,’ he told Rona later. ‘The bairns get their bags when they’ve marched along the High Street and down to the park. Sausage rolls, scones, iced buns, and they’ll get a drink of lemonade and an ice-cream. Oh, it’s going to be a grand day. I just hope it keeps fine.’
    Father was in a good mood today, thought Rona. For months, there had been growing excitement about the crowning of the new Queen.
    There were souvenir mugs and tea towels, and biscuit tins. There was to be a Coronation parade with all the school children waving flags and finishing up in the park for their tea.
    Some people had bought or hired television sets for the great day, June 2nd, and were arranging parties for families and friends, to crowd round the set and watch the flickering black and white scenes from Westminster Abbey.
    The shop across the road from the baker’s that sold wireless sets had a larger television set and a few old folk had been invited in to watch the event.
    Aunt Lizzie was eager to see the Coronation on the screen. ‘I think I’ll have to listen on the wireless, and go and see it when they show it at the picture house,’ she said. Meantime, she contented herself with reading everything she could about the event.
    â€˜It would be grand to be there,’ she said wistfully. ‘I wouldn’t even mind sleeping out in the Mall, seeing all the flags, and waiting for the procession.’
    Rona smiled to herself. Since Aunt Lizzie had returned she was a little quieter, not so sharp-tongued. There had even been the occasional word of praise for Rona’s efforts.
    And who would have thought that Aunt Lizzie would become so sentimental over a Royal occasion?
    Angus—now he wasn’t one for display. However, there was no harm in asking.
    â€˜Father,’ Rona said, hesitantly, ‘do you think I could decorate our window, just for the Coronation?’
    â€˜Ah, well,’ said Angus slowly. ‘We’re not needing to. Folk won’t stop buying pan loaves and tattie scones. They’ll come to the shop anyway.’
    â€˜But everyone else is going to have a window display,’ Rona protested. ‘Gibson’s the ironmonger, and the toy shop and the bookseller, and Miss Douglas at the haberdasher’s.’
    â€˜Well, if you like,’ he conceded.

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