Turning a corner Sarah had to do a double take. Somehow, inside this city wall they had found space for a Scout compound, complete with barracks, kitchen garden and Sergeant housing with yards. They passed by the houses, each door emblazoned with a symbol. She recognized the deer and hawk, some sort of wolf, or dog like animal, and a phoenix. Her eyes lingered on that door longer than the others.
“Yes, that is my little brother’s house. He has done well for himself.” Sir Arthur’s voice broke into her thoughts. “Even if he seems to be marrying a Beard.”
His smile reminded Sarah of Jason. She laughed. “I’m not all rough and tumble, you know. I do have a finer side.”
“Do you?” he acted surprised.
“Oh I do.” Sarah smiled. “I can waltz. You can even ask your mother.”
“In your court dress?” Sir Arthur queried.
“With practice I’ll be able to,” she stated and Sir Arthur laughed. “Hey, it’s not like I’ve never worn skirts or dresses before, just not ones that long.”
“Is that so?” Sir Arthur clearly didn’t believe her.
“Oh yes.” Sarah grinned. “In fact I’ve worn some really short skirts.”
“What? Upper-calf length?” Sir Arthur asked with a chuckle that indicated he was being ridiculous.
“Above the knees,” Sarah stated still smiling. She stifled laughter at his horrified expression. “Anyway, Lady Abigail was teaching me court manners and the like.”
“She has practice teaching those you know,” Sir Arthur chuckled. “She taught my wife her Madame duties and poor Guin came from one of the lowest families.”
“Really?” Sarah was startled by that revelation. “I wouldn’t have thought classes mixed that much.”
“Well Lords and Ladies, no, not much.” Sir Arthur nodded. “But, Pairents most certainly, Knights too and even,” he grinned at her, “some Lordlings don’t think much of it. After all who can deny love when it calls.”
Sarah snorted a laugh. “Apparently, no one,” she whispered.
Memories of the argument with Edward that had sent her scuttling homeward rose to her mind. Sarah pushed them back as they began to skirt a large copse of Willows. They made for the small cottage closest to the trees rather than the large dwelling that was further away. Sarah again had to do a double take. Apparently this fourth ring hid all sorts of amazing things; a full copse of Willows, Scout Barracks, Noblemen’s houses. Even here, there looked to be more open space than Sarah thought possible.
Sir Arthur knocked on the door as she joined him on the porch. “Knock again if no one answers, but my wife is getting anxious and as she’s with my mother right now...”
Sarah smiled. “I’ll be fine. Tell Lady Abigail I said hi.”
“Hi,” he chuckled as he left, “I will do that.”