The Eleventh of Ivaris, Sixteen Seventy-Four
Cossett’s retinue appeared an hour or so after day break. I had already bathed and had been setting about dressing when Cossett barged into my suite without even the smallest decency to knock. She went on about their arrival for a good twenty minutes before noticing my state of dress. I only had on my smallclothes. She proceeded to go on about how it was indecent and how could I allow someone into my apartments in such a state. Keen to keep some light veneer of peace I did not point out that I, unlike her, no longer have a Lady’s Maid or Varlet in employ. Uncle sacked her as a punishment when I spoke out of turn and was a right bit too willful in front of a young lordling that he was entertaining. She nattered on for another fifteen minutes while I dressed behind my Alazian silk screen, a gift from father when I presented as a Child of Venus and was moved out of the nursery. She was at the very least kind enough to help me work a pin into my hair before dragging me off to meet the new housekeeper she’d hired for the house.
The housekeeper Cossett hired is a severe looking woman who speaks in short, quick sentences. She is a completely unremarkable woman, until I noticed that she’d brought an angry squawking bird with her. I didn’t catch her name to be completely honest, instead I was trying to keep that bird from shitting on me. The foul thing should be in a cage. Having it just sit on your shoulder can’t be sanitary. The woman was hardly here for half an hour before she has Mrs. Argall in a right fit. The shouting could be heard all the way up in the far parlor, just off of his suit of rooms Uncle only receives the most personal of visitors here. Usually if it where anyone of importance he uses the parlor at the front of the Manor, it’s furnishings are much grander and opulent. Uncle insisted that I handle the situation, the person who he had explicitly forbidden to speak to the servants four months ago. In that situation I could not be a impartial judge. While Mrs. Argall may be just our cook and a religious fundamentalist, I do hold some flicker of fondness for the woman. I kindly informed Mrs. Crusan that her duties would not be to deal with the kitchens in any way; That her duties were to see to the care of the furniture and see to the female staff that didn’t work in the kitchens, I went on to inform here that her blasted bird should never be in the kitches or wander into my sight again. I also informed her that if she stepped out of line once more within the next three months she’ll be summarily dismissed without pay or reference.
I’d returned to my suite with a honey cake and a bowl of milk on a tray. I would love to say that I enjoyed such a sweet treat but alas the delicious morsel was for the beautiful carpets to enjoy. I say that to make the situation humorous. In reality I was shocked to find a young man in the uniform of a footman sitting on my bed, a length of green silk ribbon wrapped around his arms and chest and tied into a garish bow. He did not notice my entrance, distracted by some pretty bauble on my night table. As I had alluded to I dropped the tray and the resulting crash shocked him out of his distraction. He jumped so high that I fear there might be a dent in the ceiling now.
“I– I’m so sorry, your lordship.” He stammered running a hand through his dark locks, knocking the bow askew. “The lady said that you didn’t have a lady’s maid or valet,” The young man smiled awkwardly as he stood up. He crossed the space and stuck out his hand. “I guess I’m a bit of a gift.” He said gesturing to the bow. “Me name’s Tam.”
He quickly set about cleaning up the small mess, he even went so far as fetching me a replacement for the sweet without even asking. To be honest he isn’t all that bad to look upon even if his demeanor is a bit like a puppy. I could almost grow fond of him, but I must assume that this is some device of Cossett’s to sneak one of hers into my ranks. To suss out my secrets and blackmail me no doubt. Tam returned with the tray and a large bouquet of harebell with a sealed envelope, his face was ashen and his hands shook as he handed it to me. It had the royal seal. It had the royal bloody seal. I nearly fainted dead away. Never do I receive any of my letters unopened, a royal missive must have shocked Uncle beyond all sense.
Harebell for grief as my mother always said. A token apology from me for the hardship the Pagri put you through. You presided yourself with the elegance and sweetness as our dear late Queen-Mother and I hope you find the sole lily beautiful. I am of the understanding that you were quite arresting during the Pagri festival. As ever a beautiful bouquet of flowers picked by my own hand for a beautiful Child of Venus.
— Evandrus, Son of Iron-Banded Mars, Crown Prince.
To think, I, a lowly and insignificant Child of Venus earning even a moment of the Prince’s thoughts, let alone time. I must hide the contents of the correspondence, with the footmen turned valet whom’s allegiance is in question I really must see to hiding this book as well. I will hide the letter among these pages. I think I may have a use for the gold inlaid books dear cousin Roman gave to me when we visited last winter, I believe it has a lock.
Paranoia is ever the life of a noble lord. One’s enemies are always around the bend. Paranoia keeps one’s mind on the knife that is invisible at one’s back.