Frank: Hello Martin, donít often see you inside during the day.
Martin: Well, I donít have much time to be wandering through here. A gardenís never finished, as I tell Shirley. But I like to poke around occasionally, see how things are coming along. Johnís cleaning up outside, so I have a few extra minutes.
Frank: There has been some grumbling, but the house really is looking better. I think they like that itís being taken care of again.
Martin: You know Frank, you really should spend more time outside. In here, listening to all your voices, itís not good for a man.
Frank: But youíve been here all your life Martin. You know the memories and people in the house are still here.
Martin: Oh thereís memories all right, but I spend my days in the sunlight. It donít do to dwell on the past. Thereís always another season in the garden.
Frank: And each season as it passes leaves a trace in the ground to enrich the next.
Martin: Well thatís true. All we are in the end is fertiliser for the next generation. Not such a bad ending in my book.
Frank: No indeed.
* * *
Shirley: Oh, itís you. Wondered what was crawling around in here.
Chester: I was merely trying to ascertain if there had been any damage to the floorboards.
Shirley: Oh, so youíve a reason this time for crawling around the house. I suppose youíre aware that Simonís off on some ice cruise. Did the film crew harm the floors then?
Chester: No, it wasnít the crew, and yes, I was aware that Simonís away. Youíve no doubt heard about the discovery in the church of the dreaded death watch beetle. I though I should come here and check for similar infestations.
Shirley: Well, you can look as long as you fancy, but we donít have infestations here! I keep this house clean, I do. You come in here suggesting I let bugs in the house! Iíve looked after this place for almost sixty years.
Chester: I assure you this was not a comment on your housekeeping. The Xestobium is a voracious creature, and doesnít let a duster or a mop stand in his way, no matter how skillfully wielded. He and his mates could be anywhere, and unless you heard them, youíd never know. Perhaps I should check in the basement. If you see Ann, please tell her where to find for me.
* * *
Ann: Oh Emma, you scared me. Really, it seems so quiet around here with Simon gone.
Emma: To say nothing of an entire film crew.
Ann: I canít say I miss them. It was fun, in its way, but itís great to have the house back again.
Emma: Any word from the frozen North?
Ann: Yes, I had another message. Even in the deepest Arctic heís having a good time. While weíre in chaos here heís watching walruses Ė or is it walri? - frolic in the sea.
Emma: Do you mind him being gone?
Ann: I thought that it would be good timingóthat I could collect my thoughts and get organised--but it hasnít quite worked like that. Youíve heard about the beetles in the church?
Emma: No. Why should I? I donít live at the vicarage any more, you know.
Ann: You donít need to be so sensitive. I just meant it seemed to be general knowledge.
Emma: I'm sorry. Itís just life is getting a bit complicated and everybody assumes things.
Ann: Nigel thinks they may have to close the church for more repairs. After all theyíve already done. Heís pretty upset. Anyway, weíll just have to wait and seeÖI have noticed youíve been around here a lot more since the filming ended.
Emma: Frank was so upset and wellÖ
Ann: Is John talking to you yet?
Emma: No, and neither is Shirley. Is that her now?
Ann: Shirley? Shirley, whatís the matter?