The year was 1960. I was a young woman, on a trip with my best friend, Victoria, and we were out in the middle of nowhere. For hours, Victoria drove through the countryside and it was rather depressing, staring at the similair trees and moss that covered the ground. There was nothing to look forward to. Both Victoria and I had came to England to see the beautiful sights, but we suddenly got bored of them. Unfortunately, we found ourselves getting lost, and I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated, both with Victoria and myself for getting ourselves in this mess.
"So, why did you want to come to England in the first place?" I asked Victoria, wanting to understand her motives.
"Well, Angela back at home told me that England was good for sightseeing. She was obviously wrong", replied Victoria, still remaining completely focussed on the road.
"When do you think we will get out of here?" I asked impatiently, knowing that that question would not bring us any closer to finding the solution to this dreadful problem.
"I don't know", Victoria predictably replied.
"It's not useful when you cannot remember the name of the place you were going to. We would have been able to go and ask for help. How could you forget a thing like that?" I asked Victoria. I could not believe that she forgot the name of the place we were going to. If she had at least told me, I would have remembered and we would not have got lost.
"I have no idea. I'm still trying to remember, but it won't come back to me", replied Victoria, who seemed to be purposely winding me up.
"You could have told me, then we wouldn't be in this mess!" I replied, raising my voice slightly.
"I'm sorry, the stress of this trip was too much for me. We are in a foreign country, we have absoloutely no idea where we are, and we have no idea where we are going! I'm so useless at planning trips!"
"I wish we could telephone Angela at home. She would know what to do", I said sarcastically.
"I don't even know why I took her advice. I don't even like her!" replied Victoria, clearly showing that she had regretted coming on the trip.
"Remember the time you and Angela accidentally wandered into the men's rooms?" I said, trying to take both mine and my friend's minds off the situation that we were in.
"How can I forget? Anyway, that was a long time ago, when we and Angela were best friends. I try to avoid her these days, but unfortunately, she seems to be everywhere I go".
"Perhaps she's jealous that you've found a new best friend", I laughed.
"Probably. Anyway, we need to think about how we are going to return the car", said a conscientious Victoria.
"We were supposed to be here for another three days, remember?"
"Well, I don't know what's gonna happen now, so we'd better just hope for the best. I wish we never come on this trip now!"
Victoria saw a sign on the road, and she suddenly turned in that direction.
"Why did you turn in that direction in all of a sudden?" I asked her.
"I just have a feeling it might bring us luck", replied my best friend, who was fairly superstitious.
"If you say so".
"I still can't get over this!"
"Neither can I, but you can't blame yourself, you know".
"Of course I'm gonna blame myself, how can I not?"
I struggled to answer to that honestly, as I knew that deep down, this mess was entirely down to her.
"See", Victoria said, "I can't do anything right!"
"It was just a mistake, not telling me where we were going. Why can't we ask for someone to give us directions to the Great Mining Memorial Museum?"
"It's probably miles away, now".
"We could ask if anyone knows what it is".
"It doesn't seem to be common knowledge around here, so it would be pointless".
"What if we are close to it?"
"Alright, we'll drive around for a little while longer, and if we do not get any further forward, we will go and ask for help. If only I could remember the name of the town it was in! God, this is stressing me out!"
Since she was American, Victoria was used to driving on the right, so as our luck was already on short supply, we were hit even worse when Victoria somehow managed to lose focus of the road and crash into a tree. We got out alive, and suffered only cuts and minor bruises, but the car was definitely never going to be on the roads again. We could not believe ourselves when the car had crashed. I was extremely frightened, since we had just crashed in the middle of nowhere.
Both Victoria and I stepped out of the destroyed car. Her brown, curly hair was sticking up in many places around her head, and mine was covering my face. Victoria's short leg had a small cut on it, and my arms had three small contrusions on them, but other than that, we were not harmed at all, so we considered ourselves very lucky.
"What are we going to do now?!" I screamed to Victoria.
"I don't know", my friend replied, "we're gonna have to find some help".
"So were gonna hitch hike?"
"Have you got a better suggestion?" said Victoria, who was extremely annoyed with herself at the fact that she had caused a crash, almost seriously injuring us both.
I had to go along with Victoria, since there was absoloutely nothing we could do. Fortunately for us, Victoria spotted a building in the distance. It looked quite far away, but it was the only one we had seen for at least twenty miles. To see if she could see it better, Victoria climbed the tree that she had just crashed into, and looked into the distance.
"Looks like we're gonna have to go there", said Victoria.
"What are we gonna say?" I asked her.
"Just ask them if they have a telephone, and if they do, we could pay them a little bit of money to use it".
It sounded like a good plan, so I went along with her, and we started our walk along the road towards the house. While we were walking, all I could think about was how we were going to get the money to pay for the damages to the car. It was an extremely stressful time for me. Victoria, on the other hand, seemed rather enthusiastic about it all, and I did not know why.
"How are we gonna pay for that car?" I asked her.
"We'll have to dig into our savings account", she replied.
That was also another disaster for me. How was it fair that I should have to put some money towards it when she crashed the car? I had nothing to do with it!
"I'll help you pay a little bit", I said, "but it was your fault! You crashed the car!"
"I know, but it was an accident! It's not fair - both of us rented that car, and therefore, both of us should pay an equal amount!"
"You were not concentrating on the road!" I cried, trying to argue my way out of it.
"Yes I was! Anyway, you were doing all the talking. Why should I get the blame for the crash? Anyway, I don't wanna get into an argument with you. We'll be at the house in a moment".
I was sick of Victoria! I was still in shock five minutes later when we were almost at the building. When we got close up to it, we could easily see what it was, and the sight made us quite astonished. It was an incredibly large mansion. It looked very old fashioned, but it still looked beautiful. The garden was huge, and it looked like it belonged to the richest people in England! We were amazed! I could not believe it when we approached the gate. To our utter misfortune, the gate was locked, and there did not seem to be anybody around.
"What are we going to do now?" I asked Victoria.
"We'll wait here until somebody gets here", she replied rapidly.
"What if nobody comes?"
"They'll have to come out some time".
We waited outside the house for ages, and we talked and argued about what we were going to do about the car, until eventually, about an hour later, a man who was doing the gardening appeared, and he noticed Victoria and I looking at him.
He just stood there, not mentioning anything. He looked rather shocked at what he saw - the house must not have had many visitors often.
"Yes?" he said, "who are you?"
Obviously, Victoria was the first to speak, because of her decisively outgoing personality.
"We're very sorry to bother you, but our car has crashed down the road, and we are wondering if we could come in to use a telephone. We have money, so we can pay to use the telephone".
The gardener replied, "well, it's not my decision to let you in. If you wait for a little while, I can see if you can come in".
"Thank God!" I said as the gardener walked inside.
"What would you do if he never came back?" Victoria asked me.
"Of course he'll come back. Why wouldn't he?"
"But what would you do if he didn't?"
"I would scream!"
"So would I!" I added, trying not to get paranoid about something that was not going to happen.
The gardener did return, and this time, he brought back a maid with him.
"I've been to see the lady of the house, and she said it would be fine if you would like to come in and use the telphone", the maid said to us.
"Thank you!" cried Victoria, entering the property.
"I'll show you in", said the maid, "and by the way, my name is Miss Douthwaite".
"My name is Victoria, and this is Janet", Victoria said.
"You sound American?" asked Miss Douthwaite.
"We are", replied Victoria.
"Well, I can see that. The point is, you won't know where you're going, will you?"
"We got lost", said Victoria.
"Well, you can explain it to Lady Violet", said Miss Douthwaite, "she's the one who owns this place".
"What's she like?" I asked her.
"She's fine. She's not nice, but not nasty, just fine", replied Miss Douthwaite.
When she said that, I turned round and noticed the gardener staring at us as though he had just disagreed with what the maid had just said. We then entered the house, completely unaware of the events that were about to take place.
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