Over the next few days, Brìghde was able to establish somewhat of a custom: Arise just after lauds, go to her morning prayer and confession, ride Troy harum-scarum through all of Kyneward with or without Grimme and Helen, arrive in time for breakfast, get about her inventory, have supper, then exercise a mare. She and Enyo got along famously, as she did with all the other mares but Helen. Helen would still not allow Brìghde alone in her stall with her, but would take the treats she was offered and suffer being petted and told what a good lassie she was.
Brìghde explained to Sir John and William about the circumstance between the mistresses and the merchants. She explained the arrangements she had made for a fresh calculation. She explained that she was now going to take an inventory of the mistress’s chambers. And that once everything was reconciled on the Kyneward books, she would meet with the merchants and reconcile with them.
Sir John gaped at her. “He said yes?”
“Aye.” Read more
Grimme slid Brìghde a stony look at supper when she raised her eyebrow in question and asked, “Well?”
“’Tis done, but do not make me do that again.”
Then she smiled sweetly at him and fluttered her eyelashes.
He dropped his head and started to laugh.
“Have some wine,” she said playfully and filled his goblet from the pitcher sitting in front of her. “Ye’re more amusin’ with a few goblets in ye.”
“You have a pitcher now?” he asked incredulously, noting that her brogue was quite thick, which meant she’d been drinking heavily. She only drank that deeply when she was very troubled. Read more
They did not take his order to open their chambers well.
After gathering his mistresses in his chambers the next morning, he paced in front of them, his hands behind his back, and barked,
“This is not up for discussion! You cannot imagine how embarrassed I was to be told our bills had not been paid, and in front of my wife! Why could you not have simply given the bills to Sir John?”
“He would snap at us,” Emelisse hissed, “and I do not like being snapped at by that—”
Grimme turned a stony glance on her that quelled her immediately. “You do remember who helped us through our first years together, do you not?” he murmured threateningly. Read more
Brìghde knocked on his door, but he didn’t answer. She opened it softly, and crept into his chambers to find him fast asleep on his bed, still in his filthy clothes. He had refused to stay for supper, though Grimme commanded that the others do so. Pierce had not eaten from the tray Brìghde had had sent up.
She sighed and turned to creep out quietly again.
“Lady Brìghde?” he said softly.
“Aye,” she said, rushing to the bed and sitting upon it, stroking his hair and battered face.
“I know. I’m verra proud of you.” Read more
The screaming commenced as soon as the six of them were spotted rounding the turn into the lane that led to the keep just after suppertime. At first it was faint, but got sharper as it grew nearer.
The boys were slumped in their saddles, half asleep, more than ready to let their ponies carry them without direction and simply hold on to their pommels and the manes.
Brìghde and Grimme were leading the ponies from horseback, and their horses hadn’t had a good run all day so they were antsy and irritated, dancing and prancing and pawing. Grimme could almost see the ponies rolling their eyes. Read more