I hope that this week is kind to all who follow my diverse writing: and that this tale is not to melancholic.
A gentle mist settled over the New Forest dampening sounds and shrouding the commoners animals. Matthew buttoned up his waxed coat then pulled his collar up. The last thing he wanted the week before Christmas was a flare up of ill health. So many years first spent working as a gamekeeper, and later walking the heaths in all types of weather had played havoc with his joints. He decided that arthritic joints were a nuisance, but the dammed pneumonia that had almost killed him that had been foul.
Well it was not going to deny him the pleasure of a pint at his local. The walk might leave him breathless, but the captains chair was waiting. He had never taken being a Verderer lightly, and that was not going to change now. Once a Verderer always a Verderer. Matthew smiled as he smelt the furze, then froze at smell of tobacco, too late he saw the swinging butt of a shot gun. Having the power of a magistrate cost Matthew dear that night.