The Captain's Sap Rises

The Captain watched as Lady Tor tended her winter roses.

“To bloom so beautifully,” he mused, “even in the snow.”

“An old English rosebush,” she replied, “decades old, yet seldom dormant.”

Caressing a blossom, she turned to him. “Sometimes it is the most mature which display the greatest vigour – once one learns how to set the sap rising.”

The Captain reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder, where she allowed it to remain for a moment before gently removing it.

“I am sorry Captain,” she said, “but Lord Tor would not approve.”

He moved closer. “So? He is just a boy.”

She smiled. “No Captain, I meant my husband, Laurence.”

“What does it matter? I was never aquainted with the man.”

“Nor would you expect to be, for he has been dead these past fifteen years. And yet,” she continued softly, “my Percy has become somewhat aquainted with you…”

An icy breeze seemed to blow through the garden; the Captain shuddered.

“Percy?” he croaked.

“Yes,” she said, “my late husband – Laurence Percival Tor.”

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