Tyves 2, 1015
Everything that could be done, had been done.
Ella had drunk nothing but yarrow tea since the moment her mother arrived. When the Pelleses had run out of yarrow, Rhoslyn had been sent to Ash Thatcher’s tree house to beg some off him. And when Ella began to sweat more drinking Ash’s tea, Kata had kicked herself and swore up and down that she should have gotten Ash’s from the first. Ash’s was the best.
But it hadn’t helped.
Clatan 27, 1015
“Glenna, I can’t be thankin’ ye enough fer doin’ this.” Kata hugged the younger woman. “Rhoslyn needs as much help as she get get ter learn –”
“Hey!” protested Rhoslyn.
“Shush, ye, I didn’t mean it like that.” Kata pulled away from Glenna, rolling her eyes. “What I meant was, Rhoslyn needs ter practice lookin’ things over on as many women as possible. But ye’d be amazed how few women –”
“Are comfortable with lettin’ a thirteen-year-old stick their fingers up their … ye know?” asked Glenna, laughing a little. But there was no hiding her nerves.
Tyves 13, 1014
“Now, class, it is time for our religious instruction,” said Mother Julian. The class groaned. “We shall be considering the founding of the Church today and the conversion of Brutus. Carefully attend all that I say, as this is a common topic on the Camford exam.”
That made the class groan again. Maybe it was understandable — most of them wouldn’t be going to Camford. Geoff had learned by listening around that the cathedral school had been founded with the idea of educating the nobility and the wealthiest of the commoners of Albion. Unfortunately, the nobility and the wealthiest of the commoners only had so many children … so in order to keep the classrooms full and the tuition money coming in, the nuns had opened the doors to anyone who could afford to pay. But they still taught according to the Camford preparation curriculum, in no small part because most of the parents realized that this was the best education their children could get, short of Camford itself.
And some students …
Clatan 11, 1014
“It’s about bloody time you got an afternoon to yourself!” Jack cried out. “My Lord! What is your ma’s problem? Did she forget that you’re supposed to be allowed to have fun?”
Billy laughed, or tried to. He saw how it looked from Jack’s perspective, he really did. But he also knew how it was from his mother’s perspective. She was trying to keep an eye on Goodwife Porter and Goodwife Brogan (Berach’s wife) and Goodwife Tower — and just this morning a very fine handwritten note had arrived from Lady Clarice, asking Kata to come by at her earliest convenience (or some noble dressed-up words like that) for a “consultation.” Which could only mean one thing: the doctor for the noble ladies, Kata’s saving salvation, was now in the family way herself … and you couldn’t play pusher and catcher at the same time.
And then … there was the matter of Rhoslyn.
Nyasha lay on her side, knees curled up to her chest. One hand burrowed under the pillow; the other pressed close to her chest, a blanket carefully stuffed between arm and torso to simulate the feel of a stuffed bear or a rag doll. Her breathing was slow, deep, even. Her eyes were closed. Anyone looking in would surely think she was asleep, as all good little girls should be at this hour.
Nyasha was not asleep.
“Dear, blessed St. Robert,” Mother Julian began her prayer, and then she stopped.
How did one ask this great saint, the only saint who truly mattered, what would be the best way to avoid going about his work?
There were stories in the Book of Wright of cases such as the one she faced. There was one in particular, the story of the conversion of Lord Don of Lothario and his so-called wives. There were at least six of them, she thought, though she could not remember their names. No — it was not that she could not remember their names, it was that their names were not given in the great Book. But the names did not matter.
What did matter was their story. Lord Don had been one of the latest converts of the lords on the Glasonland/Gaul border, probably because of the issue with his wives. Yet the first of his wife, Cassandra the Goth, had seen the good light and had pleaded and cajoled her husband to accept it. So Lord Don had. He and his wife Cassandra had been re-married in the sight of the Lord Wright, as was good and holy. And his other wives …
They had been sent to a nunnery, to atone for their sins in calling themselves the wives of a man already married, with his wife still living. They went “weeping and lamenting, and tearing their hair, to be separated from the man they called husband.” And yet, the stories claimed that they eventually found peace, “for yea, they gave thanks to the Lord Wright, and called it His blessing upon them, to deliver them from lives of such sin to such holiness.”
Author’s Note: The nunnery was the last house I played before switching over to the new aging system — which means that the orphans who were babies when we last checked in are now children. Which just makes so much sense. So let’s all just suspend our disbelief, pretty please?
Oh, and by the way, MERRY BELATED CHRISTMAS!
It was the end of yet another long day at Albion’s only nunnery. Mother Julian rolled her shoulders as she stared at the soup. Tonight had been the new novice Angelique’s night to cook, and the results were … less than appetizing. Still, the Lord Wright’s servants must be grateful for whatever bounty He chose to provide, even if that bounty came by way of a spoiled young lady who couldn’t cook to save her life.