Mystified Cottage it was called, a stocky one storey building snuggled in the lap of the Dales.
In the parlour two Carver chairs scuffed their backs against a worn sideboard, in the kitchen a Welsh dresser wore a motley of grease from generations of braised brisket and pigs head pies, gifts from the blackened range.
Tom Dunty the coalman would chuckle under the slick collar of his backing hat that the cottage was so called because all were mystified as to how the Crofts raised seven children inside. Though as Tom signed the register on his wedding day with an X, I’d guess he was parroting his snippish wife Mary.
He was wrong of course.
The name was no riddle to any who stayed a night beneath its eaves, any who dreamed of oily black feathers, of straw dollies swinging from dusty beams. Who heard The Lady call their name …