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Author Topic: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Five  (Read 2935 times)

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Offline Evie

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Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Five
« on: December 09, 2011, 10:14:29 am »
   Chapter Five

   St. Hilary's-Within-The-Walls, Abbot's Tower
   August 20, 1136


   Helena carefully folded the last of her few spare gowns and placed it neatly in the small travel chest she planned to bring with her on her brief visit home to Llannedd.  The next term at the Schola would be starting again soon, and most of the scholars who had left for the summer months would be returning to Rhemuth in just a few weeks, but the rector had assured her there would be time enough for her to make a brief visit to her father's home first, and if she didn't happen to make it back to Rhemuth before group classes resumed, the other magistri would divide her handful of advanced scholars between them until she returned.  Princess Rothana had agreed to continue the individual tutelage that Helena had undertaken with the few students who had opted to remain at the Schola during the summer months, and thus it was Helena had found herself unexpectedly free to make the journey south.

   She looked up from her packing as Sister Therese entered the small bedchamber they shared.  The nun pulled a folded parchment from her pouch and handed it to her wordlessly.

   Helena took the missive and began to read it, her brows flying upwards in silent surprise as she read the letter.   "Oh dear!"  She sank onto a nearby bench, looking up from the letter she held, her feelings quite mixed.  "I suppose the news isn’t entirely unexpected—poor Sir Gilrae’s health has been failing for quite some time, even before his remarriage—but Ædwige is so young to be a widow!"

   "Yes, poor little duck!" Therese murmured sympathetically.  "Not even turned seventeen yet, has she?  And married barely over a six-month at that.  But she’ll be able to have her pick of a husband next time around, so that’s something at least."  Therese unfolded a fauldstool and sat down, fanning herself briskly.  

   Helena, noticing her flushed face, stood again to open the window shutters a little wider so that her roommate could enjoy the faint breeze that stirred outside the tower walls.  "Kitchen duty again, Tessa, or did you just get winded coming up the stairs?" she asked, concerned for her friend.

   "Neither," the infirmarian assured her.  "I spent the cool of the morning gathering medicinals in the garden, then the rest of the morning boiling them in batches and straining the infusions in the courtyard."  She gave a wry smile.  "Of course, it’s nearly noon now—hot work for a summer’s day, but especially at noontide."  The nun doffed veil and wimple and tossed both aside with a careless flourish.  "The scholars are gathering in the refectory for the noon meal, and I came up to remind you it’s time to eat.  Brother Everard met me at the base of the stairs with Ædwige’s letter, and I got distracted."  She stripped off her outer robe with a quiet moan of satisfaction, pulling the perspiration-dampened linen of her undergown away from her skin to allow it to cool off more quickly.  "You can go eat if you like; I’m too hot.  I think I shall have a short nap instead while I may."

   "Are you sure?"  Helena said, walking over to lay a cool hand against Therese’s skin.  It was warm, but not dangerously so.  "Shall I bring back something for you?  A bit of small ale or watered wine, perhaps, or perhaps some bread and cheese?"

   Therese chuckled.  "Nay, I’ve had a small bite already, and I’m keeping my liquids up.  Don’t worry, I shan’t require a Healer.  I am a healer too, you know, even though I’m a different sort than you Deryni lot.  Go on, there’s naught wrong with me that a little bit of rest and a few more years of perseverance won’t cure."

   "A few more years of perseverance?"  Helena asked, baffled, tucking Ædwige's letter into her pouch.

   Therese laughed.  "Yes, just so.  Just wait until you’re going through the change; you’ll understand then.  You’ll be nice and toasty in the winter, but summers are the very devil."

#

   St. Hilary's Refectory
   August 20, 1136


   Helena slipped into her place at the refectory High Table just as the Bishop stood to offer a brief prayer over their meal.  "Oremus.  Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen."   He flashed a quick smile at the gathered scholars and magistri, adding an invitation to begin the noon meal.   "Edamus!"  As he sat again, the rest of the community did likewise, setting into their meals.   A young server—one of the summer students whose parents lived in Rhemuth year-round—brought a ewer to Helena so she could wash her hands with the rose-scented water he poured over them into a basin held by one of his friends.  "Almost missed you, magistra," he whispered to her with a grin, "you slipped in so quiet-like!"

   "I'm glad I made it in time," she whispered back, drying her hands on the towel the other server offered.  The two lads continued on, and Helena turned to smile at Princess Rothana, who sat alongside her.  Normally Lady Sophie occupied that spot when she took meals at the Schola, but she was currently on leave, spending most of the summer at Tre-Arilan.  Beyond the princess sat the rector, and beyond him were the male magistri currently in residence.  Bishop Duncan looked to be engaged in a conversation with Sir William the fighting master, whose animated gestures pantomimed some lesson he had evidently taught earlier in the day.  Their voices were pitched too low for Helena to make out much of their conversation, but it was evidently amusing, for Sir William's anecdote was punctuated by occasional chuckles from the bishop and, at one point, with a burst of laughter.

   Helena returned her attention to the platter of food set before her, thanking the server and indicating which of the various items offered upon it she wished to have served on her trencher.  A second server offered watered wine, which she gratefully accepted.

   "How is Therese?" Princess Rothana asked.  "I saw her briefly earlier.  She looked quite worn out by the day's heat, poor thing."

   "She's having a nap," Helena informed her.  She reached into her belt pouch, pulling out the letter it contained.  "I don't suppose you've seen this yet, have you?  I think it just arrived today."

   Rothana unfolded the parchment, looking curious.  "No, who's it from?"  As her dark eyes perused the message, she looked startled, then saddened.  "Oh, poor girl!"  She glanced up at Helena in concern.  "Her family lives close by her late husband's manor, do they not?"

   "Fairly close, I believe.  Why?"

   The princess's expression cleared slightly.  "Well, I'm sure they'll be on hand to lend their support and assistance as she sets Sir Gilrae's affairs in order.  Not that I doubt that his steward and the rest of the household will do the same, but...well, she's not known her lord's retainers all that long yet, has she?  Having her family on hand to see her through it all will be some consolation."  Rothana bent her head to the letter again, reading to the end of it before looking back up.  "She says once she has settled things there at Eddington Manor, she's hoping to return and finish her studies here."  She smiled.  "It will be good to have her back in the Schola, once she's ready to come back.  I'm sure Briony Morgan will be thrilled, not to mention Sivorn's daughter Siany and Cass Draper; weren't the two older girls in the same classes with Ædwige?"

   "Yes, they were."  Helena considered the girls' interactions.  "Briony will certainly be glad to see Ædwige return, and I think Siany was a friend of hers as well.  I'm not so sure about Cass.  Cass never did warm up to Ædwige for some reason, I don't think, though I don't know why.  Not that Cass hasn't always been perfectly civil, but...."  She shrugged.  "At any rate, if Ædwige does decide to return, they'll need to get used to working together, since they'll both be doing their group work with me.  At their level of training, most of their instruction is done on an individual basis, but certainly not all of it.

   "Well, I'm sure that they—and you—will manage to work it all out, should it come to that," Rothana reassured her.  "In the meantime, how are the preparations for your journey coming along?  You and Cass leave at first light tomorrow, don't you?"

   The older magistra smiled.  "Yes, as soon as Prince Nigel can get free to offer us his escort.  The King is sending him on to look into some matter in Concaradine, and so he's offered to escort us that far, and my father’s factor there has agreed to escort us the rest of the way home to Llannedd.  Cass is excited; it will be her first trip beyond Rhemuth, much less outside of Gwynedd."

   Rothana raised her eyebrows, her dark eyes reflecting quiet mirth.  "An excited Cass must be a sight worth seeing."

   Helena chuckled.  "Well, I'll grant she's not as given to showing her feelings as most maidens her age, but she finished her packing three nights ago and has been offering to help me with mine ever since."

   Rothana grinned.  "How much are you planning on bringing with you?"

   "Only the one travel chest.  It's not like I've got the largest wardrobe in Rhemuth, and even if I had, I hardly expect to need much Court finery at home."

   The princess's gaze fell back to the letter from Ædwige.  "You know, Eddington Manor is not all that far off the route to Concaradine.  Since you're traveling so light, perhaps an extra hamper with a kitten in it wouldn't go amiss, if you have time for a short side trip?  I'm sure Ædwige could use the comfort of a friendly face right now—even if Cass isn't among her favorites here at the Schola—and the kitten might help take her mind off some of her present burdens."

   "I had already thought of that, even before I got her letter," Helena confirmed.  "I had thought she might have need of a mouser, and now that her circumstances have altered, I was pondering dropping by her manor to check on her on the way back home, and perhaps again upon our return trip.  I plan on asking Brother Everard tonight if he thinks the kittens are ready for new homes yet."  A quick glance at the other end of the High Table confirmed he was not present at the noonday meal.

   "Oh yes, he's already given the large ginger tom to Queen Araxie," Rothana informed her.  "She's named him Atheling."

   Helena laughed.  "Well, that certainly suits him; he acts like a little prince."

   "And your Fritha has already taken to sleeping with you at night, for all she enjoys spending her days curled up with her mother or exploring the strange new world just beyond the bishop’s study.  That leaves only three to find homes for, and Brother Everard seems to be doing his level best to ensure that I end up with one of those dratted little nuisances."  Rothana toyed with her food, a slight smile playing at her lips.

   "Go on, confess.  You'd love to end up with one of those 'dratted little nuisances.'"

   "I'll admit that smoky gray kitten you call Llwydion may be growing on me, despite my best efforts to avoid getting stuck with one."  Her smile grew.  "And Bishop Duncan appears to have been adopted by the gray tabby, whether he wants a kitten or not.  I spotted him with her quite contentedly draped over his shoulder last night, purring loudly enough to be heard across the room as he tried to get some work done without disturbing her.  And whenever Pouncer is on the hunt, that kitten follows the bishop everywhere, mewing for attention."

   "I suppose that leaves the little black and white miscreant for Ædwige, then.  He seems an adventurous sort; hopefully he won’t mind a short journey."

#

   St. Hilary's Scriptorium
   August 20, 1136


   After the midday meal, Sister Helena continued on to the scriptorium to collect freshly made copies of some of the more delicate manuscripts and fragments that had more recently come into the Royal Library’s hands, so that the originals could be stored away and protected from further damage.  The copies would serve for personal study and, once the next term began, for student use.  Young Jemmy had been put to the task of gathering the copies for her, and now he stood before her with a stack of parchments collected in a small box.  "Brother Everard said that as you’re traveling, you’d need something to keep the documents safe and dry."

   "Oh!  I hadn’t thought of bringing them with me, although now that I think on it…."  Helena considered the journey ahead.  She had originally planned on traveling by horse, though upon remembering that her young companion for the journey was city-born and of commoner stock, she realized that Cass had probably never learned how to ride, not having been born to a rank and station that would necessitate her owning a horse or, indeed, even be able to afford one.  But since they would be traveling in the Prince’s company for the first part of the journey, they would make the trip to the Free Port of Concaradine on the Royal Barge, and from there would likely sail on one of her father’s ships along the coasts of Gwynedd and Llannedd until they reached Pwyllheli, unless her father’s factor decided an overland route would be best and secured a coach for the ladies’ use instead.  "It would be nice to have something to study along the way, I suppose," Helena admitted.  

   Jemmy flashed a quick grin at her.  "Brother Everard thought you might come around to thinking so, once it entered your mind."  He secured the latch on the coffer and handed it to her.

   "Speaking of Brother Everard, is he available?  I was thinking, since we’ll be passing quite near to Ædwige’s new home, I might stop in and bring her one of the kittens."

   Jemmy’s smile faded.  "Aye, she’d likely appreciate a friendly face right now.  She’s mourning a loss…or had you heard yet?"

   Helena looked startled.  "I had, but only an hour ago.  How did you happen to hear so soon?"

   The lad shrugged.  "Walls have ears, and Lady Briony was reading her letter aloud, so it didn’t seem to be any great secret.  Why, should I keep mum about it?"

   She considered, shook her head.  "No, I don’t think it was meant to be secret, I was just surprised the word had got out so quickly.  Sister Therese and I received a letter from Ædwige about it only this morning.  I hadn’t realized she’d sent others, but of course she’d have wanted to write to her friends here as well."

   As if summoned by the mention of her name, the door to the scriptorium opened and Briony Morgan entered, glancing around the room.  As her gaze fell upon Helena, she smiled.  "I heard you’re setting off for Llannedd in the morning, Magistra Helena.  Are you excited to be going home?"  With a quick glance at her fellow scholar, she added, "Jemmy, do you happen to know where Brother Everard might have left those charter copies he was working on for Queen Araxie?"

   "Aye, I think I saw them in back.  I’ll go check for you."  Jemmy sauntered off, though Helena was amused to see him linger in the doorway, casting a lingering glance at the pretty golden-haired maiden before disappearing through it entirely.  She drew Briony’s attention back to herself, answering her earlier question.

   "I am glad for the opportunity to return home again and to meet my father’s new family.  He’s taken a new wife since my last visit, and I’ve not had the opportunity to meet her or her children yet, although he's told me a fair bit about them in his letters."

   "Oh.  Are you nervous?"  The girl's gray-blue eyes gazed up at her in bright curiosity.  "I can't bear to imagine what it would be like if, God forbid, anything were to happen to Mama and Papa were to bring home a new mother for us."

   Helena chuckled.  "Well, I am a little nervous, though truth be told, I doubt I shall be thinking of Marared as a second mother anytime soon, for all that she's my father's wife now.  For one thing, she's a full decade younger than I am."  She smiled at the maiden's aghast look.  "But she was a young widow in need of a husband's protection, and my father still hopes for sons to carry on his business after him—both of my own brothers died young, you see—so I'm happy enough that they've found each other.  And I do hope Marared and I will end up getting on well with each other.  She's made Father happy, and it would be a shame if we couldn't reach some level of accord."

   Another thought occurred to Briony, making her frown thoughtfully.  "Have you heard about Ædwige's news yet?"

   "I have, and I'm told you received a letter from her also."

   "She shan't have to remarry, shall she?  At least not unless she finds someone she actually wants to be married to?"  Briony gazed at her worriedly, looking in need of reassurance.

   "No, I'm quite certain Sir Gilrae has left her well provided for," Helena assured her, "so you needn’t worry on that score.  In fact, the letter I received says she is hoping to return to the Schola to finish her studies."  She glanced towards the back of the room as Jemmy re-entered the scriptorium, holding a bound stack of documents carefully and handing them to the Queen’s young attendant.  

   "Here you go, Lady Briony.  I took the liberty of securing them so that none would blow away when you’re making your way back to the Castle.  Remember that time when one of the King’s messages escaped Duncan Michael and went sailing off towards the fishpond, and he barely caught it back in time before it could get dunked or soiled?"

   The girl laughed.  "I heard about that.  And how the King might never have even known about the mishap, if the little lad hadn’t blurted out, ‘I brought it back as fast as I could, Sire, and none the worse for wear for its little adventure!’  to his father’s great horror."  She giggled.  "Children!"

   Helena was hard pressed not to laugh herself, given that the thirteen-year-old maiden was only a few years older than the ‘little lad’ whose antics she found so amusing.  The older lad who stood before them grinned appreciatively, his warm brown eyes sweeping Briony’s animated features.  She eventually noticed his perusal, and a light flush colored her cheeks.  She turned away from him slightly, though a smile still lurked at the corners of her lips.  "Have a safe trip, Magistra," she said in farewell to Helena, dipping in a polite curtsey.  "I’d better get back to the Queen’s solar; she’s expecting me."

   "Would you like an escort back, Lady Briony?" Jemmy offered.

   Her cheeks bloomed from pale pink to rose, nearly matching the satin bliaut she wore.  "Thank you most kindly for the offer, Jemmy, but there’s no need.  Brother Everard might have need of you here, and I’d hate to inconvenience him.   But thank you for finding the Queen’s copies for me."

   The young squire bowed.  "It was my pleasure," he assured her.

   The maiden left.  Helena turned a speculative eye on her pupil, raising an eyebrow at him.  Seeing her look, he laughed, a blush coming to his own face.  "Don’t worry, Magistra," he told her.  "I know she’s a Duke’s daughter and well beyond my reach.  But I reckon even the formidable Duke Alaric isn’t going to have my head on a block for just looking at his darling!"  The squire gave his teacher an irrepressible smile.  "You’ve got to admit, she’s well worth looking at.  If she’s even more of a beauty by the time she’s of marrying age, I might just give His Grace a whetstone myself.  He’ll need it to keep his swords sharpened."

   Helena gave in to a reluctant laugh.  "Just make sure looking is all you do, young man!"

   Jemmy grinned.  "Don’t worry.  My knight would have my head even before His Grace did if I were to step out of line with any of the Court maidens."

   "Hm.  That might give me more assurance if I didn’t know who your knight is," Helena teased, "but Lady Sophie has regaled me with enough tales of her wayward brother-in-law to make me somewhat dubious."  

   The young man laughed.  "I never claimed Sir Sextus was a saint, especially before he wed!  God would strike me dead on the spot if I told so bold a lie.  But my lord’s a stickler for proper courtesies towards noblewomen nonetheless."  He sobered slightly.  "And besides, if I hope to wed a knight’s daughter someday, I can’t be making a reputation for myself at Court as a wastrel, now can I?  A maiden’s father might overlook my common birth if I show myself worthy of the favor King Kelson has shown me in allowing me a Court education and a chance to make a good name for myself, but if I squander that coin, I’ve naught else to offer for a good match, have I?"

   The magistra nodded.  "Wise lad, Jemmy Kitchener.  Make your name one to live up to rather than one to live down."  She tucked the coffer containing her documents under one arm.  "I need to head on.  I still need to track down Brother Everard, and I told the rector I’d bring him my class notes before I leave so that some other magister can begin next term’s lessons with my advanced scholars if there’s any delay in my return."  She raised an eyebrow at him.  "Which reminds me…you weren’t the mastermind of that plot in the boys’ dormitorium to practice scrying skills on the girls as they were preparing for bed during the last week of spring term, were you?  I know it has to be someone who was paying close attention in his scrying classes, and as I recall, you excelled in those skills."

   He gaped at her, then chortled.  "No, magistra.  I do know who came up with that idea, but I’m sworn to secrecy.  And anyway, Cass put those anti-scrying measures you taught us to good use and nearly caught the lad at his game, and he’s afraid to try it again for fear he’ll be found out and sent to Bishop Duncan’s study to be dealt with most severely.  How did you find out about that?"

   "As you said earlier, Jemmy, walls have ears."  

#

   St. Hilary’s Basilica, Duncan’s study
   August 20, 1136


   Helena stopped short in the open doorway to the rector's study.  He sat at his writing table, the gray tabby kitten in his lap, restraining her with one hand as he attempted to jot down a quick note with the other.  The kitten strained to swipe at Duncan's quill, but he had carefully set his parchment just out of her reach.  Finishing his note, he set the quill down and reached for the caster, sprinkling fine sand upon the wet ink to absorb the excess before returning the caster to its place and turning his full attention to the creature in his lap.  He lifted the errant beast into the air, turning her to face him, and looked her in the eyes.

   "You, little lady, are a right pest," he told the kitten firmly.  The kitten, unfazed by his censure, placed a tiny paw against his chin and purred loudly.  With a chuckle, he drew the little mischief-maker to himself, cradling her against his chest one-handed while he shook the excess sand off the document he'd just written.  The kitten's purr grew louder.

   Helena laughed, drawing Duncan's attention.  "Well, look at you," she joked, "caught in a cwtch with a beautiful young lady, and you a reputable bishop and all!  Whatever would the Archbishop say?"

   "He'd congratulate me on my good fortune, not to mention my excellent taste in females, I imagine," he joked back, blue eyes lighting up with laughter.  "I'm sure Thomas is wise enough to understand that every man, even one in holy orders, needs a cuddle now and again, and at least this is a legitimate outlet for a priest's affections."  With a sheepish grin, he set the kitten back down on the floor, although the effort proved futile, as within seconds she began to climb up his cassock.  He leaned down to extricate her sharp claws from the fabric before she could damage it, rising to cross the room and deposit the kitten with her remaining siblings behind a waist-high barricade blocking off one corner of the study.  She stalked to the furthest end of the enclosure, looking sulky and pointedly ignoring him.  Pouncer reappeared at that moment, leaping onto a nearby chair and from there into the enclosure with her remaining kittens.  It was evident that someone had created the barrier to keep overly rambunctious kittens within while allowing their mother the freedom to escape and return at will.

   "Clever," Helena said, indicating the kitten pen.  "I imagine that must be quite the sanity saver at times."

   "You can’t begin to imagine.  I was on the verge of asking Sister Cecile if the nursery could take the kittens in during the day so I could get some work done around here, when Brother Everard came up with this solution."

   "Well, I’m about to take another one of the furry little imps off your hands, if there are any left to be claimed, so hopefully that will offer some relief.  Princess Rothana didn't think the little black and white kitten had been adopted yet.  Has he been?  If not, I'd like to bring him to Ædwige, if I may."  Helena offered Duncan the letter that Sister Therese had passed on to her earlier that morning.  "Have you read this yet?"

   Duncan scanned the missive, nodding.  "I hadn’t seen the actual letter, but Everard stopped by earlier to give me the gist.  You’re thinking of stopping by Eddington Manor on your way home?"  He looked up, handing the letter back to her.

   "Yes.  And possibly on the way back to Rhemuth as well, just to see how she’s faring before we return for the start of term."  Helena glanced at the makeshift kitten pen.  "Do you think Brother Everard would have time to fashion some sort of cwtch for the kitten before morning?  If not, I have a hamper that might serve, but I'm not sure how securely it will hold an active little cat."

   The rector's eyes crinkled in baffled amusement.  "You want Everard to devise some sort of a display of affection for the little beast?  Or have I mistranslated your Llanneddan entirely?"

   She laughed.  "No, not entirely.  I suppose I should have just said some sort of snug carrier.  A cwtch most literally means a 'safe place,' you see, though you're quite right, it also means an affectionate hug or a cuddle.  Or for that matter, a small cupboard or cabinet where one keeps things secure, or any enclosed area that's snug and comfortable.  So in Llannedd, if a mother were to tell her child, 'Go fetch my book from the cwtch in my cwtch, and then we'll have us a nice little cwtch and read for a bit,' he'd understand that to mean, 'Go fetch my book from that small cabinet in my box bed, and then we'll have us a nice little cuddle and read together.'"

   Duncan burst out laughing.  "I'd best avoid visiting Llannedd altogether, then!" he teased.  "I'm not sure I could handle being a priest there with all that cwtching going on around me."

   She grinned, her cheeks turning pink. "Well, if you're going to take it that way, I'm definitely having second thoughts about asking Brother Everard for a cwtch.  God only knows how he'll respond!"

   "There's no need," he assured her.  "Wait here, I'll be right back."  He left the room briefly, returning with a small wooden box with a wicker lid secured with a decorative but stout latch.  The box possessed a handle on either side for ease of carrying.  

   "If we line this with soft fabric or a cushion, do you think it will serve?  If you put it on its side once you get on board the Royal Barge, the kitten can look out at the world through the lid, and the holes in it will let plenty of air in while keeping him from getting out.  He'll have to be let out on occasion to use the sandbox and get a bit of exercise, but I'm sure I can contrive some sort of makeshift harness and leash for him so he can't wander off.  I doubt Nigel will be too happy if he's delayed in getting to Concaradine because you're fishing a kitten out of the Eirian or trying to fetch it out of a tree."

   "Oh dear, I hadn't thought of that!"  

   "I noticed Master Caradoc the armorer tossing out some scrap pieces of leather earlier this morning," Duncan told her.  "I doubt it's been carted off yet.  I'll sketch up what I have in mind and see if he'd mind me taking a few bits off his hands and using a few strips of that to fashion a harness that will fit.  Or he might even want to try his hand at it; it's just the sort of side project that would strike his fancy, I think.  You'll need to leave the kitten here a bit longer, of course, since we'll need him to get the proper measurements for it, but it should only take a few minutes to cut the straps, and probably only three or four brass rivets to assemble the harness at most, I think."  He stared off for a moment, visualizing the project in his head, then added, "I should be able to get to it after Vespers.  Shall I drop harness, cat and cwtch off with you once we're done?"

   She smiled.  "That would be lovely, if you're certain you can spare the time."

   He smiled back.  "I can.  I’d enjoy working on it, actually.  It’s been a long while since I had to maintain my own armor straps, and while I have others to do that now if need be, I’d hate for those old skills to get too rusty."


Chapter Six:  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=796.0
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 09:23:07 am by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Five
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 12:34:03 pm »
My goodness - so much information in this chapter I hardly know where to begin!   :D

Lovely dialogue between Sister Helena and Jemmy and the reference to Sir Sextus' shining example.  Morgan will have more than just a few swords sharpened and at the ready by the time Briony is ready to wed and Richenda will be standing right behind him.  Still, its nice to see Briony enjoying the attention as a young maiden should.

I was glad to see Cass back in the story.  I suspect there is a reason she never warmed up to Aedwige that we will discover in due time.  Given her background, Cass is apt to be a perceptive sort of girl.
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Five
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 02:34:42 pm »
Great chapter, and LOL at Jemmy and Briony.   Hmm - Briony would be thirteen now, so Duke Alaric may need to have Ferris make him a new sword by the end of the year  ;)    At least Jemmy is wise enough to know that it's "look, don't touch" with the court maidens - but of course there is nothing wrong with just 'admiring the nice scenery'.

Quote
"He'd congratulate me on my good fortune, not to mention my excellent taste in females, I imagine," he joked back, blue eyes lighting up with laughter.  "I'm sure Thomas is wise enough to understand that every man, even one in holy orders, needs a cuddle now and again, and at least this is a legitimate outlet for a priest's affections."

Ah yes, what a lot was said - and unsaid - in that statement. 


Offline AnnieUK

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Five
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 03:47:34 pm »
I think I like young Jemmy.  He seems to have a wise head on his shoulders.

Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Five
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 06:30:03 pm »
This was definitely a kitten-themed chapter.  Kittens ruled this chapter!
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Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Five
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2011, 07:30:17 pm »
Yep, cats tend to take over wherever they go, though later in the story you'll find that they're not entirely gratuitous to the plot.  A future pivotal moment will end up hingeing on one of those little balls of fluff....

I quite enjoyed getting to know Jemmy a bit more and strongly suspect we've not seen the last of him.  Briony will also come more into play in later chapters.

Jerusha, I'm glad you remember Cass, and if you enjoyed seeing her return for this chapter, be sure to catch the next one, in which poor Helena wishes in vain that someone in Gwynedd would invent the boxing glove....

And yes, you're right, I did pack a lot of info in this one, and there's still a little more stage-setting to go before things start unfolding to their eventual conclusion.  ;D
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Five
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 08:00:22 pm »
Quote
Yep, cats tend to take over wherever they go,
Alaric smiles smugly as he strokes middle-aged Tiger, who is curled up on a pile of Coroth correspondence from where he can properly snoopervise the Duke.  So much for all the teasing Duncan has given him about being ruled by "three beautiful women and a ginger cat" at home ...

And boxing gloves for Cass vs Aedwige I assume?  LOL - I wonder if they'll sell tickets or operate a betting ring  :D   I suspect they might both fight dirty, but my money long term would be on Cass ....  


« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 09:07:30 pm by Alkari »

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Five
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2011, 09:59:31 pm »
In the words of the late, great Ogden Nash:

"The trouble with a kitten's that/Eventually it becomes a CAT."

I have an 18lb grey tabby lump on my lap as I type this.  He's called Zane, because he's grey.

Offline Evie

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Five
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2011, 10:15:45 pm »
Yes, I've seen your handsome "little" guy in the Fur Kids gallery.   :)  At least he's lying on your lap and not across your arms as Luke tends to do while I'm trying to type.
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Visionaries--Part Two--Chapter Five
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2011, 10:41:32 pm »
Yes, I've seen your handsome "little" guy in the Fur Kids gallery.   :)  At least he's lying on your lap and not across your arms as Luke tends to do while I'm trying to type.

When I get bad back spasms, he will curl up right where the pain is the worst and purr.  I call it 'feline therapy.'  (I suspect it is because the inflamed tissues are warmer than the rest of me, but still . . . .)

 


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