Wisdom is the Reward of a Lifetime of Listening

Tyves 6, 1015

Tuesdays were the days he went fishing with Wulf. Even with everything that had happened in the past few days, Edmond had determined that he would keep his implicit promise to Wulf. If there was anything he had learned in nearly fifty-eight years of living, it was that life went on, whether you wanted it to or not. It was better to go with the inevitable ebb and flow than to try to swim against the current.

And more than that … it felt good to have a bit of normalcy breathed back into his life.

Unfortunately, what Edmond had forgotten was that no change came without leaving a new normal in its wake. “Goodman Chevaux?” asked Wulf.

“Aye, son?” He could get away with that. He’d been calling Wulf “son” or “sonny” for two years now. He called Basil and Felix’s friends “son” and “sonny,” too. Nobody would suspect a thing.

“Can I axe ye somethin’?”

Edmond chuckled. “Wulf, what did I tell ye old folks were for?”

Wulf screwed up his face in concentration as he tried to remember. “Ye … ye said …”

Edmond nodded encouragement.

“Ye said the reason why the Lord lets some folks live ter get old is so they can answer questions fer the young folks.”

“Exactly,” Edmond replied. “So, what d’ye want ter know?”

Wulf didn’t answer at first. He was too busy threading a new worm onto his hook, then making sure his hook was tied tightly to his fishing line. Edmond had taught that boy well.

“Well … d’ye know Davy an’ Bert Pelles?”

Edmond didn’t let his eyes go wide. He didn’t gasp or swallow. He just told the truth, because that was the least you could do for children. “Aye, I do.”

Wulf’s eyes went wide. “Wow!”

“Wow?”

“Ye really do know everybody!”

Edmond laughed. “Oh, not quite. I don’t know a lot more folks than I do know.” He hesitated. “But … well, when it comes to folks o’ our sort … the regular folks, the commoners — I do know a lot o’ people. So, aye, I know Davy an’ Bert. What is it ye’re axin’ about them?”

“… Are they gonna be happy again soon?” Wulf asked. He was biting his lip. “They … they’ve been real sad this past week … Davy especially …”

Oh, Lord. Edmond wondered why Wulf was asking him this, and not his mother. Maybe it was proximity. Or maybe it was because Erin–but that didn’t make sense. If Erin still had any contact with her old friends from the brothel, she would have talked to Marigold Thatcher, and Marigold would tell her about her own sister’s death.

“Well … d’ye know why they’re sad?”

“Torben said it’s ’cause their sister who ain’t a real sister died when she had her little baby.” He glanced anxiously at Edmond.

Torben … Edmond wondered. Was that one of the Jager boys? Edmond didn’t know them well, but he’d met Roy Jager once or twice, and he’d seen the whole family at the funeral, paying their respects. The older daughter — Anja? Anna? — had once or twice looked about to cry, but in the end she had stayed composed. If the Jagers’ escape from Glasonland had been anywhere near as harrowing as the Ruskins’, Edmond could well imagine where she got the composure from.

That wasn’t answering Wulf’s question. “Aye, that’s true, Wulf. An’ — an’ the word ye’re lookin’ fer is ‘sister-in-law.'”

“Aye, that’s it!” For a brief moment Wulf smiled. Then it was replaced by a furrowed frown. “Why is it called that?”

Not for the first time, Edmond thanked the Lord for the short attention span of children. If it was to be old folks’ responsibility to show them the way to adulthood and answer thorny questions they were too young to understand, it helped that sometimes the young ones forgot the worst of those questions.

“Well, it’s ’cause … well, like ye yerself know, Ella Pelles weren’t Davy an’ Bert’s blood sister. But because she were married to their big brother Lukas, she’s like a sister ter them — just not all the way.”

“Then why’s it called a sister-in-law, not a sister-in-like?”

Edmond chuckled and trusted his beard to hide his smile. “There are a couple o’ reasons, Wulf. But the first is that–well–accordin’ ter the law, the Church’s law, yer brother’s wife — or yer wife’s sister — is the same ter ye as she would be if she were yer blood kin. Yer sister, in other words.”

“Huh?” asked Wulf. “But if they were blood kin, they couldn’t get married!”

“Well, that’s kind o’ the point o’ it. If a woman is yer wife’s sister, an’ yer wife dies, ye ain’t allowed ter get married ter her. An’ if yer brother dies, ye ain’t allowed ter marry his widow.”

Wulf’s nose wrinkled. “Goodman Edmond?”

“Aye?”

“That sounds weird. Why would ye be wantin’ ter marry yer brother’s wife or yer own wife’s sister?”

And that was the sixty-four thousand copper question. Still, it deserved an honest answer. “Well, there are some times …”

“Like what?”

“Well … sometimes, maybe, in a small village, there might be no one else ter marry.”

“Oh,” Wulf replied.

“An’ then there’re the nobles,” Edmond continued. “Ye see … nobles, an’ high folk, they don’t get married like we do. Oh, the words is the same, an’–well, if ye axe me, I’m sure nobles, once they get married, have a lot o’ the same types o’ good times an’ bad ones that regular folk do, because bein’ married is bein’ married,” Edmond was quick to add, “but nobles … well, sometimes, two sets o’ parents, one with a little boy an’ one with a little girl, will set up a marriage when one or both o’ the kids is still in the cradle.”

Why?”

“Money,” Edmond replied. “Ye know that even a girl o’ our sort will get a dowry when she gets married, aye?”

“Aye,” Wulf replied. “Mama says it’s so the family can help their girl get set up in her new house an’ have everythin’ they need.”

“That’s so,” Edmond agreed. “Well, nobles do the same thing. Only, ’cause nobles have so much more than we do, the dowry fer a noble girl is often really big. So that’s one reason a noble family might want ter get everythin’ set real early.”

“Uh … huh.” Wulf still sounded skeptical. Edmond didn’t blame him. There were some things that were hard enough to understand when you were fifty-eight, never mind when you were only eight.

“An’ nobles …. well, they set a lot o’ store by marriages, an’ they stand tergether in their marriage through thick an’ thin, an’ they’re always on the side o’ the folks that their family members have married inter,” Edmond went on. “So, parents might want ter get stuff set up even sooner, so they can start havin’ each other’s backs while their kids are still in the schoolroom — or, if they manage ter be really good friends an’ allies, they might want ter get the marriage set so that they can be sure the — the alliance, they call it, is set always an’ ferever.”

“All … right,” murmured Wulf. “But what’s this got ter do with wantin’ ter marry yer wife’s sister or yer brother’s old wife?”

“Ah. That. Well, ye see, if — if Lord John an’ Lady Jane got married, let’s say, an’ Lady Jane died, well, her parents or Lord John’s parents might want Lord John ter marry Lady Jane’s sister Lady Mary. So’s they can keep the alliance.”

“Oh,” Wulf murmured. “Why would the Church say no?”

“Hmm. Have ye ever heard o’ a family tree, lad?” asked Edmond.

“Aye! We learned about it in school! It’s a big picture showin’ everybody ye’re related ter an’ how ye got ter be that way!” Wulf answered. Then he frowned. “But only nobles have ’em. ‘Cause they’re the only ones what put in writing who all their relatives are.”

“Right, right,” Edmond replied. “Have ye ever seen a drawin’ o’ one?”

“Aye! We saw one o’ St. Robert’s family tree!”

“Excellent,” replied Edmond. “Remember how tangled up an’ twisted that was?”

Wulf giggled. “Aye. It were a little bit.”

“Good. Now … think how much more tangled an’ twisted it were be, if folks were allowed ter marry their brother’s old wives an’ their wives’ sisters.”

Wulf was quiet for a long moment. “Oh boy,” he murmured.

“Aye,” Edmond replied.

“But–but Davy an’ Bert c–hey!”

“Hey?” asked Edmond.

“I think–I think I’m gettin’ a bite!”

“Oh, good, Wulfie! Pull it in like I taught ye!”

Wulf did as Edmond said. Not for the first time, Edmond wondered if he ought to suggest that Erin have a talk with Grady Brogan when Wulf got old enough for folks to start thinking along those lines. Maybe it was playing with fire, putting Wulf and his blood aunt Toinette so close together, but if the boy had a talent —

“Hey, Goodman Chevaux, look here! It’s a–it’s a rainbow trout!”

Eight years old and already pulling up rainbow trouts, a wily fish that sometimes evaded even the canniest of anglers. Truly, the boy had a gift.

“D’ye reckon it’s a keeper, Goodman Chevaux?” asked Wulf as he held his prize up to the light.

By the length of it, it certainly was, especially when one considered that it only had to feed Wulf and his mother. But there was more to the calculation than that. “Depends, Wulf. D’ye think yer mama wants ter cook fish ternight?”

Wulf frowned. “Mama’s gettin’ mighty sick o’ fish on Tuesdays.” He looked up. “D’ye think yer family might want it, Goodman Chevaux?”

“Unfortunately, it’s too small ter be feedin’ all o’ us,” Edmond pointed out. “An’ by the time I get it all back ter Meg, it might be too later fer her ter be cookin’ it up.”

“Right,” Wulf replied. He sighed.

Then he brightened and held his prize up again. “Still–it’s a mighty fine fish, ain’t it?”

“That it is, Wulf.”

Wulf grinned at the flapping and struggling fish — then, with expert care, unhooked it and tossed it back into the stream. “Bye, fishie! Get a little bigger next time, an’ then come back an’ see me!”

Edmond chuckled. Though he had to admit, if Wulf managed to catch himself a jumbo rainbow trout, he’d be advocating for Wulf to keep him, no matter how sick of fish on Tuesdays Erin became.

“Or better yet,” Wulf called, “turn inter a golden trout, an’ lemme catch ye then!”

“Oh boy, lad,” Edmond laughed. “That will be the day.”

“It’ll be a great day!” Wulf agreed. “But … but Goodman Chevaux, ye never answered me first question.”

“Yer first …”

Edmond stopped. Slowly, he put his fishing rod and reel to the side.

“Wulf,” he said, “I think … I think we’d best be havin’ a seat before we have this talk.”

“Uh oh,” murmured Wulf. “Did I do somethin’ wrong?”

“Not at all, not at all. But … well …” Edmond looked at the stream, flowing sure and strong between its banks. “The truth is … there are some things ye can talk about while ye’re fishin’, an’ some things what won’t … won’t be so good ter talk about. Because they’re serious an’ grave, an’ ye want fishin’ ter be more fun than that.”

“But ye say that fishin’ helps ye ter think.”

“So it does, so it does. But all the same — ye don’t want ter be thinkin’ about sad things, or unpleasant things, when ye’re fishin’, otherwise ye might not want ter fish no more.”

That logic seemed to work on Wulf. He slowly put his rod aside and walked with Edmond to one of the tables someone — the caretaker of the square? — had put out by the stream.

Edmond folded his hands on the table. Wulf did the same. For a moment that gave Edmond pause. Was that … was that …

But no, it couldn’t have been something he inherited. Pierre didn’t do that. Wulf must have learned it by watching him, the way children learned so many things. And if anybody knew about his and Wulf’s Tuesday fishing days, they wouldn’t think anything of Wulf copying some of his mannerisms.

Still, the lad had asked a question, and it deserved answered. Edmond took a deep breath. “Wulf … ye’re a lucky lad in some ways, ye know that?”

“I know! Mama says we’ve got a roof over our heads, an’ we’ve always got food in our tummies, an’ we got a big fireplace ter keep us warm in the winter — an’ we got each other, an’ that makes us luckier than lucky.”

Edmond smiled. “Aye. That’s a true thing yer mama says. But … more than that … ye ain’t ever lost someone real close ter ye. Someone ye loved a lot. Ain’t that so?”

Wulf frowned, and for a moment, Edmond’s heart skipped a beat. It couldn’t be — the boy didn’t remember, did he? Remember being ripped from his mother’s arms while he and she both screamed? If that didn’t leave some kind of scar …

But Wulf nodded, and Edmond could breathe again. “Aye. That’s so.”

Edmond managed a small smile before moving on. “Right. If … if ye had — an’ I hope ye don’t, not fer a long time — but if ye had, ye’d know that …” Edmond waved his hand vaguely. “It … changes ye. It makes ye feel like there’s a big ol’ hole in yer heart, an’ that maybe nothin’ will ever fill it again.”

“Oh,” Wulf murmured.

“An’ that kind o’ feelin’ … it’s hard ter bounce back from. Especially …” Edmond hesitated. He couldn’t say he had known Ella Pelles well. But he’d watched Davy growing up from when he was a babe in his mother’s arms, and ever since Lukas and Ella started walking out together, he’d seen how Davy had watched Ella with huge eyes, and listened to every word she said, and followed her sometimes like a little puppy. Ella hadn’t chased him away, either, but she had thought he was the cutest, funniest little thing. That kind of relationship — it changed a little boy. Losing it so suddenly, that changed a little boy too.

The boys hadn’t even been in the house when Ella died. Betsy had thought it best to send them to school, give them a few hours of distraction. And maybe it was for the best. He and Betsy had both been with Basil and Felix when Michel died in the next room, and, well … Edmond couldn’t blame Betsy for wanting to spare her boys that.

“Especially,” Edmond finished, “when ye love someone a whole lot.”

“So — so ye’re sayin’ that Davy an’ Bert … they saw Goodwife Pelles more like a real sister than a sister-in-law?”

“That’d be me guess,” Edmond nodded.

“Oh.” Wulf looked at the table. “They’re gonna miss her a lot.”

“Aye. They will.”

“Can–is there anythin’ I can be doin’ ter make ’em less sad?”

Edmond wished the boy’s mother had been here to hear him say that. It would make any mother’s heart swell and burst with pride, and Edmond expected that Erin would be no exception. “Well … hmm. That’s a hard question ye’re axin’ me, sonny. Because on the one hand — well … there really ain’t much ye can be doin’. What they might want right now is ter be havin’ Ella back, an’, well …”

“Only the Lord can be doin’ that,” Wulf whispered.

“Aye, sonny. That’s the truth.”

Wulf looked at the table again. “It’s too bad that He won’t.”

“Aye. It is.” Edmond knew he ought to have reminded Wulf that the Lord had a plan, that there was a reason for why Ella Pelles had to leave them so young and so sadly. He ought to have bucked up the boy’s faith and told him that everything had to be for the best, because the Lord wouldn’t have it any other way.

But that was reasoning that plenty of adults had a hard time swallowing. When he had lost Cerise, he’d had plenty of harsh words for the Lord. It didn’t matter that he and Cerise had lived longer together as a couple than many got to live at all. He hadn’t had a chance to say goodbye to Cerise — that last good-night kiss didn’t count as a goodbye — and that, he thought, was reason a-plenty to doubt the Lord’s plan.

He wouldn’t tell a child that. Not when sometimes he couldn’t believe it himself.

“But all that bein’ said … ye can still be a good friend ter Davy an’ ter Bert. Ye can always be axin’ them ter join in with ye an’ the other boys, even when they’re seemin’ like they don’t want ter be doin’ that. An’ they might not, at first. But someday — hopefully someday soon! — they will. An’ it won’t be nice, fer them, feelin’ ready ter be havin’ fun again, an’ findin’ that nobody is willin’ ter let them join in the games.”

“But that’d be mean!”

“Sure an’ certain it would,” replied Edmond. “That don’t change the fact that it happens sometimes.”

“I see.” Wulf kicked his feet back and forth. “I see. But I don’t have ter be that.”

“No, lad, ye don’t. Ye never have ter be one o’ the mean ones. Ye can always be one o’ the kind ones, an’–an’ though it won’t always be easy — it’ll be worth it in the end, I promise ye.”

Wulf looked at him and smiled.

Edmond smiled back. He tousled the lad’s hair. Then he cast a sidelong glance at the sun’s progress.

Oh, damn. “Well, I hate ter be cuttin’ this lovely talk short — but I’m afraid I have ter be goin’, lad. Me family’s expectin’ me home fer dinner.”

“Awww!” Wulf sighed. “Why don’t ye ever have dinner with us?”

Oh, if only he knew the reasons.

“Maybe someday I will,” was all Edmond would reply. “But until then …” He rose and held his arms open. Wulf ran into them.

“Ye take good care o’ yerself, Wulfie. An’ ye take good care o’ yer friends. ‘Cause they’re gonna be needin’ all the good friends they can get.”

An’ I know ye’ll be one o’ them, Wulf. I don’t know where ye got it from — but ye’ve got a heart o’ gold inside o’ ye, an’ all yer ma has ter do is make sure it don’t tarnish before ye get ter be a man, an’ ye’ll be set fer life.

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13 thoughts on “Wisdom is the Reward of a Lifetime of Listening

  1. Aww, Edmond. If you want to know where Wulf got that heart of gold, all you have to do is look in the mirror. šŸ™‚

    (Though Erin gets credit too!)

    But seriously, I hope Edmond lives to be a hundred and twenty, and still in reasonably good health at that!

    Wulf is such a sweet little kid. We haven’t even seen him with the Pelles boys, haven’t ever heard him mention them or vice versa, and he’s still noticed and he’s worried. I think Edmond explained the best he could, and I hope Wulf won’t know a less like that any time soon. Poor Pelles and Thatcher families. šŸ˜¦

    It would be nice if Grady and Toinette could help Wulf further his fishing talents when he’s older. Given how the Brogans have risen, they know that a person’s roots are only a part of who they are, not their entire being; if Wulf shows enough promise, I’m sure Toinette could get past his being her brother’s bastard, even if she never acknowledges or thinks of him as her nephew (Grady, I can’t see caring much either way). Of course, I’m operating under the assumption that Toinette and Meg aren’t any closer than the average pair of sisters-in-law; if they are, then things would be more awkward for longer.

    • I think Erin and Edmond both deserve a lot of credit for Wulf’s heart of gold. šŸ˜€ And luckily I don’t think they’d fight too hard over who gets most of that credit. šŸ˜‰

      Lol! Edmond did roll up a pretty long lifespan for a peasant … and that’s all I’m saying about that. šŸ˜‰ But he’s certainly not going anywhere this round, so that’s a good thin.

      Wulf goes to the same school with the Pelles boys, and since there are only so many kids at that school, they do know each other. Wulf actually appeared in the background in this post. However, you’re right that we’ve never seen them interacting together. Still, Wulf’s an observant little kid. šŸ™‚

      I think Toinette and Meg have a very average relationship … although … who says that Toinette even has to know Wulf is her nephew? Edmond may or may not tell her. True, Toinette would probably take one look at Wulf’s face and guess … but Wulf could be Simon’s by-blow as easily as he could be Pierre’s. Toinette, if she decides to support Grady if Grady decides to take Wulf on as an apprentice, may just decide that she wants to maintain a veneer or plausible deniability in case Meg ever finds out and gets pissed.

      So, we’ll have to see. Wulf’s only eight, so this kind of thinking is a little bit far out.

      Thanks, Van! šŸ™‚

  2. Edmond. šŸ™‚ He was so, so awesome here. I agree with Van, there’s no question where Wulf got his heart of gold from. He’s such a sweet, caring, adorable kid! Erin is obviously doing something very, very right. šŸ˜€

    I think that’s a very good idea Edmond has about Grady and Toinette. But yeah, I’m not sure how Toinette would react (I don’t think Grady would have a problem). I don’t like Toinette all that much, I’m not sure why – but I can easily see her siding with Meg and saying that the bastard son of a whore isn’t going anywhere near her fine establishment. šŸ˜¦ I hope I’m wrong, though.

    • I dunno, Nix. I don’t really like Toinette either. She tends to grate on my nerves. But she does stand up for Leah and I don’t think that’s just because she’s Nora’s favorite cousin. And I don’t know that even Toinette could justify saying a bastard daughter of a whore is better than a bastard son of one.

      …Cerise probably could’ve…

      But then again I don’t know that Cerise would have stuck up for Leah against that little brat who was bullying her’s mother either. I think her solution for the how it doesn’t make sense would be “they’re both bastard children of whores, condemn them both.”

      • Am I the only one in the neutral-on-Toinette park? šŸ˜› She’s not among my favourites, but she hasn’t done anything to earn herself a spot on my shit list either. The only thing I can recall off the top of my head that has rubbed me the wrong way is her trying to push Katie on Rosette… and now that Glenna is working for the Andavris, that seems to have actually turned out well for everyone involved.

        Toinette did stand up for Leah. And since she still talks to Rosette, it stands to reason that she’s okay with Rosette’s kids (granted, their father is a lord, but we know he gives Katie the creeps, and I can’t imagine she’d be shy about letting her mother know about that when her aunt and cousins aren’t around… so maybe she has to use some justification of the kids not being their father there too). I can’t imagine her taking too much issue with Wulf, except from maybe feeling the need to hide her association with him from her brother and sister-in-law (and if that fails, I’m sure Edmond would find a way to smooth things over).

        That’s just what I’d guess at this point, though.

        • Van, Toinette isn’t really on my shit-list, I don’t dislike her that strongly. If I had to choose between spending the day with her and spending the day with Babette, it wouldn’t even be a contest, Toinette would win hands-down. šŸ™‚ And it’s not that she’s done something in particular I dislike her for, I just don’t like her because… because I don’t like her. šŸ˜› (I must admit I had forgotten she stood up for Leah. I still don’t like her, though.)

          The reason I think she might not want Wulf around is that I expect her to side with Meg. Meg has an unreasonable streak that rivals my own (and that’s saying something :P), so I have no problem seeing her… not blaming Wulf, exactly, but projecting her feelings about it all onto him and telling Toinette that OMW (=oh my Wright) you know what he is, you can’t let him in! And even if Toinette did stand up for Leah, can’t really see her telling Meg that sorry, if you don’t like having the bastard son your husband got on a whore around, you’ll just have to suck it up and deal – especially since she doesn’t know Wulf from Bob Newbie and has no idea what a sweet, good-hearted kid he is. šŸ˜¦

          But who knows (well, except for the Demigoddess ;)), maybe she’ll surprise me. It would be nice if someone could tell Meg to suck it up and deal, because that’s something Meg really needs to learn. šŸ˜›

          • Honestly? What Toinette’s done is Toinette reminds me of my tias. I know several RL people like Toinette and most of them bug me. Not to say that they can’t on occasion be kind or stand up for people. they can even on occasion be kinda awesome.

            But not so awesome that you don’t sit around quoting Kyle’s Mom’s A Bitch in your head every time you’re stuck in their company…

            I dunno how Toinette would jump, if this would be a place where she’d be awesome or if she’d be the Toinette I dislike when it comes to Wulf, but I’m probably not gonna be liking her until she stops reminding me of my cheese griping, know-it-all, don’t-you-dare-tell-me tia.

            And I’m pretty sure that I don’t like Meg for a similar reason. She reminds me of another one of my tias. (Who, honestly, I think the most apt thing I’ve ever heard said about her is that she’s a [insert the C word here]…)

          • I shudder to think of the sort of person who would choose Babette over Toinette. šŸ˜† I think the only living Albion characters I’d pick Babette over are Mordred and Bors; she’s probably tied with Tuck and Elyan.

            I can see your points, but I’m going to have respectfully disagree on both Toinette and Meg. I could see Toinette’s businesswoman side winning over her sympathetic sister-in-law side and figuring “Well, kid’s got talent, he doesn’t need to know I’m his aunt, my kids don’t need to know he’s their cousin, Meg doesn’t need to know he works here”, then coming up with some sort of arrangement in which Wulf isn’t around much; if he’s just a supplier for them, he’d just be showing up to sell his fish anyway, not manning the register or anything. And if her businesswoman side isn’t strong enough to reason that on her own, I don’t think she’d stick her fingers in her ears if Grady or Katie (or one of the other kids? Are any of them business-inclined at this point?) presented a workable arrangement to her. Or Edmond could just persuade her to give the kid a chance, as a favour to her old man, and tell her he’ll deal with Meg if it comes to that.

            As for Meg… I don’t know if it’s just me, but while she’s in my neutral territory, she never actually struck me as that unreasonable. Even in a patriarchal society where married men going to brothels isn’t seen as a big issue (at least, if you’re the married man and not the prostitute), I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be pissed off if your spouse conceives a kid with someone else during your marriage (and if I recall correctly… I don’t think she stopped Pierre from helping Erin, even if she was pissed at him and preferred that he not associate with Wulf? So I think Meg at least realizes that whatever Pierre did, Wulf wasn’t responsible for his own conception and shouldn’t be punished for it). The main problem with the frosty period that followed was a lack of communication, which is almost always a two-way problem.

            And that came up with the birth of their most recent baby too. Sure, Meg could have told Pierre that she wasn’t comfortable naming the kid Michel… but her discomfort with the name in itself is not unreasonable. And while she could have told him sooner, Pierre made the mistake of just assuming that she was okay with it (I think he even said something like “But I thought we agreed on Michel!”) even though she never actually said anything. So… he pretty much took her silence and put words in her mouth, and I can’t blame her for being mad about that. I actually think that overall, I have more issues with Pierre than I do with Meg.

            I’m not saying that she’s the Albion character with the best coping strategies, but I do think she’s got a bad rep that she hasn’t really earned. I’m not even sure I see her being all that mad about Wulf working for Toinette, to be honest. I could see her being a little annoyed, and maybe warning Pierre not to go to linger in the shop if he sees Wulf or Erin there, but I don’t know if I’d buy her blowing up about her in-laws making a business decision that ultimately has nothing to do with her.

            But that’s just my thoughts on it. We won’t know for sure until it happens, if it happens. šŸ™‚

    • Hmm. Well, Toinette has no problem with Leah … and she also has no problem with Rosette’s kids. I don’t think she’d have much of a problem with Wulf being a bastard son of a whore. I think she WOULD have a problem with getting in the middle of Pierre and Meg’s marriage. Toinette ain’t got time for that kind of drama. šŸ˜‰

      But if she could maintain some plausible deniability and have relatively little to do with Wulf personally (hey, it’s not her fault if a great apprentice or supplier for Grady happens to be a by-blow of her brother!), I think she’d be cool with it. I don’t think Toinette would have the heart to deny a kid a good opportunity because of something that that kid can’t help.

      As for Meg and Toinette not being liked so much … eh, I haven’t done much with them, and not everybody can be popular … at least, not without bending the definition of popularity until it breaks. šŸ˜‰ However, I take no responsibility for them resembling tias that I’ve never met.

      (And for what it’s worth, while I think Meg’s communication skills could use a lot of work, I don’t think that her original grievances were ever that unreasonable. She was even ok with Pierre having gone to a prostitute until she found out he’d done it AFTER their wedding, and very soon after their wedding. As for naming the new baby Michel … yeah, she should have talked that out with Pierre before the baby was born, but again, not an unreasonable thing to object to.)

      But yeah. We’ll see what, if anything, happens on the Wulf/Brogan/Edmond front in a few years.

      Thanks, Nix, Van, and Andavri! šŸ™‚

      • I just want to point out (to you and everybody) that I said Meg has an unreasonable streak. I did NOT say it was unreasonable to be upset her husband went to prostitutes right after the wedding, nor that it was unreasonable to want to name the baby Michel. I feel like people are putting words in my mouth here.

  3. I love Edmond. I think that Albion’s peasantry would have had a much higher rate of insanity over the years without his quiet awesomeness. He just rules. I love that he doesn’t want to break his promise to Wulf to go fishing on Tuesdays. (Even if Erin might prefer a few less fish.)

    I have high hopes that Wulf will be the Edmond of his generation. Just quietly awesome and wise (when he gets some wise in him.) Albion certainly can do with as many of those as it can get considering there is some crazy in the water.

    I had wondered if Davy might not take this pretty badly, considering how he felt about Ella. (Although I am hoping that maybe Leah can help there. Yep. Still shipping the hell out of that one.)

    Does Wulf remember being taken from Erin? Or is what he remembers just her being around and not all the time when he was in the orphanage? (Or, considering his age, maybe a little of both.)

    … But if Wulf does grow up to be Edmond-esque, could we skip the part where he marries a Cerise?

    • Edmond does rule. šŸ˜€ And he won’t be breaking his promise to go fishing with Wulf on Tuesdays anytime soon — or at least, not without a very good reason. Because, you know, stuff happens.

      (Erin has no problem with the fishing. She just wishes Wulf wouldn’t catch as many fish. šŸ˜‰ )

      Wulf could be the Edmond of the next generation! He and Davy are both likely possibilities for that but since Wulf is actually biologically related to Edmond … Wulf is looking just a *tad* more likely. šŸ˜‰

      And yeah, poor Davy isn’t having a happy time. šŸ˜¦ He did worship the ground Ella walked on. Leah could help him, though! We may or may not see it happening, but she could easily be a good friend to him when a good friend is what he needs. šŸ™‚

      Wulf doesn’t really remember being taken away from Erin and his time at the orphanage. He might have a couple of snatches or flashes of memory, but all of that happened when he was very young, too young for his memory to have really been able to record it all. However, there might be something that he subconsciously remembers. And I wouldn’t be surprised if, when he has nightmares (which would not be often, but everybody has nightmares sometimes!), separation from his mother plays a large role in them.

      Still, luckily for Wulf, there don’t seem to be many Cerises in his generation, so he should be moderately safe from that fate. šŸ™‚

      Thanks, Andavri!

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