... The Dimming of the Light... (Part 30)

by Peter Hunter

the dimming of the light (Part 30)

Peter Hunter

    it seemed appropriate

    it seemed right that having become a murderer, although feeling justified in the circumstances that I take a low profile for a while

   Sharon and Chris had the good grace not to refer to the incident unduly whether from consideration of my feelings or from embarrassment I do not know but life continued

    with all three of us adjusting to the loss of my husband

   and surprisingly, the absence of the Colonel

   We obviously looked closely at the contents of his house searching for anything

that might add to our own survival efforts the main items being the twelve-bore shotgun with which he had killed my husband and also another shotgun, a smaller single-barrelled four-ten...

    a typical countryman's rabbit gun

    and a useful supply of cartridges for each weapon

   Now all three of us each had a shotgun

   my twenty-bore, the twelve-gauge for Chris and the little four-ten for Sharon

   mthree of us each armed - plus the air rifle and the hunting bow with a sheath of arrows

    we felt strangely secure and confident


   Now, we saw hardly a sign of life whether most of the villagers had died or were, like ourselves keeping down low and avoiding contact with others to minimise contact with disease or confrontation

     we did not know

   although the contents of the colonel's large domestic fuel tank would enable us to run his Land Rover for as long as we could envisage, our use was pitifully low - restricted to about twenty miles each mouth up to the high downs to the north, where I would shoot a sheep with the bow careful to save our cartridges for possible hostile human targets

   The rest of our food came from our own property fish from the lake rabbits and squirrels, which Chris and I shot in the Old Orchard with the air rifles

   Birds were also plentiful on our property, pheasants, pigeon and if we were hungry rooks and crows the lake provided plenty some swans, moorhen and coot and always numerous duck mallard, tufted and shoveller plus the occasional teal

   Heron and little egret were also acceptable although not so easy to kill the most abundant bird was the Canada goose - often fifty or sixty on the lake in normal times that would be considered pest proportions but now they were a bonus

   Best of all, whenever we saw a deer on our property and I was able to get close enough to hit it with an arrow

    it provided a welcome and delicious addition to our diet..

   To save shotgun cartridges I had been designated as the hunter using my late husband's hunting bows and although we had a plentiful; supply of arrows, they were mainly reusable and we also had the time and skills to make more

    soon producing ones of acceptable accuracy

    we had all the materials necessary wood in plenty feathers from the wings of swans and geese for fletching and we could carve arrow heads from oak and hardene the points in a flame

   a perfectly good solution that pre-dated metal and was quicker than knapping flint

   We were very aware that even if we survived the country, our country - the southern part of it where we lived and were determined to survive, would inevitably change

    as Chris so eloquently put it

   'The way things are going, things like deer will increase, wild pigs will roam again

    the few wild big cats will multiple

    maybe southern England will one day, once more see the return of the eagle'


   In this manner our life continued in its way, considering the circumstances it was acceptable and better then most. How long it would be so we could not tell

    but there was not any alternative that would not be worse even if the power was somehow restored it would take years, if ever to return to normal

    for me, without my husband there would never be any true return

(To be continued)

Peter Hunter 2012

part of return Of The Eagle

the sequel to Time Of The Eagle on Kindle

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