Cry for the Wolf, Chapter 14. by Richard Walker

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Chapter 14.

From Rhiarra, Lady Esturme, heiress of the Green Thatch, to Steward Edwards of Foxwoerth Hall, The Green Thatch, Mummersetshire, may this be delivered in haste.

Dear and well beloved Steward, I commend me unto thee with best wishes for thy health and estate, etc. such as I can afford thee. To the bearer of this note, good John who is well known to thee as a groom of our stables, I wish with all mine heart that thou wouldst release certain of mine father's effects, to wit, his silken shirt of satin sheen, his best fustian doublet, his finest hose of a goodly color, such small clothes as thou dost deem necessary for a gentleman, any mantle clad in the vair and the grey also of a fine color, his broidered court slippers, his hunting gloves with the broidered canons, his huntsman's hat with the pheasant feathers, the belt with the silver lockets, a hunting knife of good make that bears not the sigil of our house, and a scabbard for the same of good quality. Be not alarmed by this request. Mother has many other and finer remembrances of the lord my father, may he walk in Eternal Light forever. I would count it the greatest sign of the affection and esteem in which I well weet thou dost hold me and mine family if thou wouldst discharge good John with all haste back to me with the aforesaid items. It was Mother herself who taught me the value of well-placed gifts, and with these items I would benefit an old ally of ours whose services J would entreat. if Mother objects at all, giver her these, my words by mine own hand, to remember me by and thereby reassure her and ease her concerns. These gifts will be worn with pride and honor by a man whom I know Father loved well and, to my mind, it were better that another good man get the use from them than that they should stay locked in the chest in the wardrobe, where the sight of them only serves to rekindle Mother's grief and sense of loss, that he be with us no longer.

With hearty thanks and a promise that I shan't forget thee as I shop the faire I bid thee pass my love on to Mother, thy good and gracious lady, who loves thee well, also.

Written at Lady Hall, High Fallon cathedral temple, East March, this first day of May.
Your loving lady by the grace of the Light, so please you, Lady Rhiarra Esturme

It certainly would have been easier for Rhiarra to just stow her horse at the palace stables and have one of the grooms carry her bags up while Maggie put her chamber in order for her, like the rest of those of the court allotted rooms in the palace, but the palace was in a roar with so many coming in all at once, and she had had pomp and ceremony up to her eyebrows enough to last until next year, and she had a number of high court events to attend in the next two weeks. She gratefully slid off of the side-saddle and begged the grooms with the most gentle grace to replace it with a common saddle and her own green brocade sumpter cloth. They ran to see to her needs, knowing that they could spurn the more unpleasant guests in her favor as a ward of the king, but mostly they did so for the kindness with which she always treated them, in return for one of her radiant smiles.

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