The Twenty-Nineth of Ivaris, Sixteen Seventy-Four
I received a package today, it was quite a surprise to see the seal. The young man who delivered it was dressed in royal livery. It seems that I must brush up on heraldry if I am shocked to see Evandrus’ seal on a package bore by a liveried servant. If I cannot identify the livery of the Crown Prince at a glance then I am failing at my duty. Any child could identify such arms, I can only blame it upon fatigue and surprise.
The servant boy refused to release the package into Tam’s care, something about special orders I can only assume. I was just breakfasting in the conservatory when Tam informed me of the boy. I really must buy a book of heraldry for Tam as well; So that he might announce such persons. The boy was shown in to see me, he was barely shy of twelve. Though his request was harsh and I shall write to Evandrus of it, I can only assume he had orders to insure my identity. He insisted that I produce the seal of Venus that was upon my body. As my seal is in a publicly acceptable place I had no qualms, when out and about people ask to see it or gawk at it anyway. I merely pulled the collar of my shirt down low enough and showed the golden mark upon my clavicle. The boy seemed to physically relax at that, wiping the sweat from his brow and then asking me the most queer question: “What is the stone that rests in an iron band?”
In truth I was quite confused, as I am sure any would be when one is expected to participate in subterfuge. It was quite foolish subterfuge to be honest, if Evandrus had wished privacy it would have done him well to to send a liveried servant to deliver the package. Is it that he wished to play a game, a vapid game of courtly graces. Such games are not suited for distant estates devoid of courtiers and politics. My answer was a simple one. Though in my opinion it did not lack for wit and charm. “While some might believe that Coral or Carnelian bright, rests in an iron band. In truth, the only mineral that rests in an iron band is iron itself.”
Truly I thought myself clever to have thought of that quick twist to the question, I was quite astonished that that was the correct answer. It appears that the prince has come to know me quite well in the scant few letters we have exchanged. So well in fact that he assumed I would respond to such a question in the most flippant way possible while still answering to the spirit of the question. With a wave of my hand I dismissed the courier, quick to take up a knife and open the package.Tam quickly saw the liveried servant to the kitchens while I set about the package. It was quite large, wrapped in brown paper and twine.
It was a shock when I finally divested the package of paper and twine. Inside was fabric, yards of it. It was as if someone had woven sapphires into cloth. It was beyond beautiful. Silks and velvets, easily worth a few hundred pounds. I could have my bed curtains as sapphire silk and velvet bedspreads. With enough left over, I’m sure, to have silk pillows and upholster a chair. Probably my bergère, oh, or maybe the chaise in the day room. So very many possiblities.
I can only draw the conclusion that this is an apology of sorts. Does he truly think that money can buy my affections? Does he think we lack for money? We do not boast the overflowing coffers of the crown but I have wanted for nothing that money can buy. My self-hate about my anger is gone. It has been replaced with rage. If Evandrus believes that money and trinkets can placate me.
An apology without words, a hollow apology.