The door of the city house opened to reveal an elderly gentleman.
“My Lady and Lord,” he gave Lady Abigail and Jason a shallow bow. “Goodwoman,” he nodded to Sarah. “Margret has set a light Dinner on the table for you and the baths are heating.”
The man held the door as Lady Abigail led them inside. Jason stood aside before following after Sarah. She couldn’t help but compare this house with Griffon’s. As they drove up it had appeared to be twice as wide and two times as tall. Now, standing in the chandelier lit hallway Sarah realized it was much bigger, given that the hall was wider and definitely a lot longer than the one at Griffon’s. Not hard to do considering his hall was barely six feet long.
“Thank you Hickory.” Lady Abigail turned into the second door on the right. A small basin and towels had been set out on the left as they entered. “Be sure to wash your face and hands,” she told Sarah before doing so herself.
Sarah copied Lady Abigail’s ablutions as did Jason. Hickory held the chair out for Lady Abigail to sit, which reminded Sarah to allow Jason to do the same. She felt a bit like she was on a first date with him, except, Sarah thought, this was a chaperoned date. She wondered if there was such a thing as an un-chaperoned date here. Then again when she first mentioned the word date to Jason, he’d thought she meant the fruit. Sarah couldn’t help but smile and found Jason smiling back at her from across the table.
“Now Sarah,” Lady Abigail interrupted her thoughts. Sarah turned to face her. “Were we at court, when would you have sat down?”
Sarah took a deep breath, trying to bring forward all she had learned. “Not until the highest rank had sat, such as the King.”
“And how would you have known who that was?”
“Um," Sarah's mind went balnk. "I’d let Jay tell me?”
Lady Abigail frowned and immediately went into another lecture on etiquette as they ate.
“Mother,” Jason gently interrupted, “I understand there is a lot to teach Sarah, but surely we can enjoy one meal without it being a lesson? We have all had a long journey. I am sure Sarah will remember more once she has had a full nights rest.”
Lady Abigail pondered this as she chewed her next bite. Thanks, Sarah thought gratefully at Jay as she let her shoulders relax. He turned from his study of his mother to wink at her. Hickory entered the room before Lady Abigail could respond.
“My Lady,” he bowed slightly, “This letter arrived shortly before you. I would have kept it till morning but it bears the Kings seal.” He proffered a small scroll bearing a wax seal.
Lady Abigail set her knife and fork down and took it from him. “Thank you Hickory.” The man left as she held it up to the light. Her face betrayed a brief moment of puzzlement before she offered it to Sarah. “It is addressed to you.”
Sarah took it and examined it. Her name was indeed scrolled across the roll just above the seal. Feeling Lady Abigail’s puzzled stare and Jason’s worried one she gingerly opened it. The letter was brief; however, Sarah found the scroll writing hard to read by candlelight.
“May I see?” Jason asked.
Sarah handed it over to him, grateful yet again. “I think it’s a summons,” she stated as he glanced at it.
Jason’s frowned deepened. “It is indeed a summons.”
“A summons?” Lady Abigail looked faint “So soon?”
“It is not really all that soon.” Jason sighed as he handed the letter back to Sarah. “It is just that the King has requested a private audience with Sarah and I ten days from today.”
“Ten days?” Lady Abigail apparently did not believe him.
Jason nodded both to confirm his mother’s question and to indicate Sarah could let his mother to see the letter. Sarah handed it over and watched Lady Abigail’s eyes widen.
“Only eight days to prepare her for an appearance before the King?” She asked, letter in hand.
“Only a private appearance before the King, mother,” Jason spoke soothingly.
“Do they think I can work in miracles?” Lady Abigail asked him in all seriousness.
“You have been known to before.” Sarah watched a mischievous smile play upon his face.
What are you doing, she asked. Jason didn’t respond.
“Well then,” Lady Abigail set her napkin down and stood. Sarah and Jason quickly followed suit. “Let us bathe and rest. Tomorrow our search for a court dress begins.”