Apprehensively pushing the back gate open with his stick, he enters the empty garden slowly. A riot of colour and perfume, fruit of many years’ work. A hidden bird sings. Following the old brick path, passing the pot upon the wall, he picks a leaf of Lemon Verbena. The sun hot upon his head, he approaches the shady pergola, the teak bench beckoning him to rest. Lowering himself wearily, he squeezes the rough leaf, releasing its familiar tangy perfume as he catches sight of the garden fork still resting up against the stone wall in the corner.
Could she still be here – hiding in the garden? His heart leaps.
That was where they found him.