Cry for the Wolf, Chapter 5. by Richard Walker

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Bandar seemed somehow completely immune to the girl's charms, for which she was immensely grateful, and over which both she and Basithia were somewhat curious. He showed about as much interest in either of them as a eunuch from the Uttermost West, but from the set of his breeches they knew that wasn't the case. Myranna rode beside Tarl herself, cool as a north wind in her gown of woody-brown russet, homespun but of fine quality and good cut.
She far preferred her gown of midnight velvet, but it was inappropriate for simple players such as she and her troupe were purporting to be.
At the first sight of scarlet out of the corner of her eye, Myranna's head snapped around fit to give her whiplash. A wandering minstrel in his shirt sleeves with only a modest favor of scarlet satin tied about his upper arm. The color was a perfect match for the handkerchief Myranna had tucked up the sleeve of her fine linen chemise. Taken by surprise despite her anxious vigilance, she quickly pulled her kerchief forth and waved at her face as if to relieve the heat and nodded to the minstrel with a smile as they pulled abreast of him. She tucked it back up her sleeve, leaving half its length or better trailing from the wrist, sat up tall and tugged at the bottom of the bodice of matching scarlet she wore over her russet gown to call attention to it. The first test of months of work on their cover. The minstrel smiled and nodded in return and began to steer his way through the crowd to intercept them. If he was indeed a Scarlet Brother he was of but little importance, as she could see no other trace of scarlet in his apparel besides the favor on his arm. As he made his way, the minstrel's sharp eyes darted to Bandar, obviously taking in his plume and matching silk favor, also of scarlet the kin to his own, but a puzzled look touched his eyes. Myranna looked over Bandar herself and realized what was wrong.
"Hssst!! Bandar, where's your jerkin?! You have the plume and the favor but no jerkin! There's a minstrel who looks to be one of the guild brothers headed this way. You could ruin everything, you fool!" Bandar casually dropped the reins into his lap and shucked out of his tunic, ran a forearm casually over his forehead as if from the heat, and reached back for his sleeveless jerkin, dyed a vibrant scarlet to match the silk favor on his forearm. He recovered his hat from the seat beside him, fluffed the scarlet plume in it and put it back on at a rakish angle. He picked the reins back up and casually looked around, smiling and nodding at the minstrel who had nearly reached them, but the smile quickly fell from his face as soon as he turned his attention back to the road, lost amid the road dust.
Apprehension painted the face of the young minstrel as he took in Bandar's reception. He chose to approach Myranna instead.
"Humble greetings and good morrow, guild sister, and if it please him, to yer good master, as well." Myranna simply smiled again and nodded her greeting. "I hight Emeric. Have ye come far? I am just recently come from our great Hall at Umbria, on my way to the faire to meet my new master and finish my apprenticeship." He tugged absently at the scarlet favor on his arm.

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