“Is there anything else I can do?”, asked the tall stranger - with just the barest hint of an unplaceable accent.
“Would you mind going for help? I need to get my sister to the hospital as soon as the baby is delivered.”
“How far is the nearest hospital?”
“Not above 10 miles....” Agatha chose that moment to yell...and swear in an unladylike fashion. “Oh dear, I think it might be time. Perhaps you could hold your umbrella over us while I see what I can do?” Ariadne backed gracefully out of the car and opened the back door, just in time to neatly catch the baby. As the baby gave a lusty cry Ariadne carefully wrapped it in the man's scarf and handed the small bundle to the stranger. “Could you hold him for just a moment?” The man tucked the baby inside his burberry - where it was warm.
“Agatha, you’ve got a nice healthy looking young man on your hands. Let’s get you tidied up a bit and we’ll see about getting to the hospital.” As she finished up, Ariadne turned to look at the man...and promptly fell in love.
“Oh dear. Thank you so much for your help...Mr....?”
“I think in the circumstances you may just call me Tjaard.”
“Tjaard? What an unusual name. So much for Agatha naming the baby after you. Do you think you could drive us to Nether Wallop?”
“Nether Wallop? Now there’s an unusual name for you." Tjaard said, with a mocking lift of his eyebrow, "I’d be happy to drive you.”
Tjaard gave the now sleeping infant to his mother, then opened the front door for Ariadne. “I hope you don’t mind,” she said, “It will be a bit of a squeeze.”
As Tjaard eased his not inconsiderable bulk into the driver’s seat he said,”I don’t mind at all...you’ll have to direct me - I am rather unfamiliar with the area.” Tjaard eased the little car back onto the road. Ariadne noticed that there was a Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe parked just in front of where they had been. “Is that your car? It’s rather fabulous, do you think it’s safe to leave it here?” Tjaard gave a nonchalant shrug. “It’s the only thing to do under the circumstances.” I’ll get someone to bring it along.”
Ariadne was slightly horrified at the thought of how wealthy Tjaard must be to be able to shrug off a car like that. Her spirits sank at the thought of being in love with someone who was so very obviously far above her tax bracket. She told herself to buck up - it was an adventure - soon to be forgotten. But she knew she would never forget.
Tjaard was also thinking. He had never beheld such a beautiful sight...never mind the coppery hair hanging in damp tendrils around her face and the unspeakable mess that the delivery had made of her clothes. She was unforgettable.