It is not quite five minutes when I can hear something hard thumping the side of my house. Looking out the window, I see Mary, the slender village girl who runs wild with the boys. She's throwing stones the size of my palm at the brick in the most unladylike way possible.

I open the window and shutters, and, smiling, I ask, "My dearest friend, do you not know not to throw stones at a glass home?"

Her expression turns guilty as a particularly large one hits dangerously close to a window-pane.

"Well, I've got your attention now!" She points out cheerily. Her voice is deeper than most girls, and if you are not facing her you could almost imagine she's a boy. 

"It seems you have. I shall be out in a moment."

A moment later I ease the garden door shut and trot out to the main street, the hem of my dress brushing the soft tulips and catching on rose thorns.

"Okay," I say, slightly out of breath. "Drat this corset... what was so fretfully important that you risked damaging a window?"

"I hoped, possibly, it would get you away from one of those dratted suitors."

"Two quarters of an hour too late," I say in rhyme. Mary laughs musically, and I cannot help but laugh with her as much as my corset allows. She is the only person, male or female, I feel comfortable with.

"Who was it this time? You'd think Mistress Deramoore would have run out by now," inquires Mary with more than a hint of curiosity in her voice.

The End

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