For the next three days, Sarah had a routine; market in the morning with the Sergeant’s wives, fix lunch, work in the garden, fix dinner. On the fourth morning, however, Jason informed her that the Sergeant’s meeting was at last going into session.
“I do not know exactly when I will be home,” he sighed. “Like as not late, given the state of things. I do hope to be home for dinner.”
“Well, let me know if you can.” Sarah smiled and kissed him before shooing him out the door.
She declined going to market though Jennifer and Jessica did.
“Good time to go shopping for yourself you know,” Jessica giggled.
Sarah smiled. “I think I’m good here. There’s a lot of work to do in the garden anyway.”
Waving them off, Sarah walked through her house to do as she'd said. She wondered if she should have gone to market to see if she could find some gardening tools. A small hoe and trowel would be nice. Still she made the hoe and shovel she had work. Around noon she washed up and munched on bread and cheese.
After lunch she spent a few more hours in the garden. Finally, satisfied that it was as good as she was going to get it before winter, Sarah went back inside. As she washed up and began rummaging for dinner she felt Jason was nearing. Apprehensive, she watched as he walked in the back door. He was agitated.
“Meeting not go well?” she asked as he disappeared into the root cellar.
“Yes and no,” he called up to her. “Hand me two mugs would you?”
Sarah complied. Curious, she stood at the top of the cellar stairs and Jason handed up the mugs filled with ale. As soon as he closed the cellar door, she handed a mug back to him.
“A toast,” Jason held up his glass, “to being the best and all the work that goes with it.”
Sarah clinked her mug against his and took a long draught. Jason downed his in one go.
“So Phoenix troop is going back out despite the promised rest?” she surmised.
“Yes,” he sighed and looked at her, “and it seems you will be joining us.” He looked about. “What is for dinner?”
“Well,” Sarah sat her mug down, “I had just started thinking about it when you came home.” She sighed. “Do you have any idea what you want tonight?”
“Something that tastes good and will feed eleven.”
“Eleven?” Sarah asked.
“That is what I was told.”
Sarah blinked at Jason. He did not look like he was in a mood to be questioned about it. Swallowing her curiosity, she quickly finished her ale and looked about.
“Well we’d best get busy then. I don’t suppose you’d be willing to run to market while I get everything else going would you?”
“Did you not go this morning?” He sighed.
“No, I thought I’d work in the garden today.” She looked at him perplexed. He was clearly trouble by something.
“So, no meat?”
“But you were going to make something without meat?”
“And without bread,” Sarah informed him. “But if I’m going to feed eleven, and I hope that includes us, then perhaps there should be.” She watched Jason’s face as he clearly struggled with emotions. “Look,” she said at last, “something is very obviously bothering you.” He looked slightly startled at her. “So either you walk it off going to market or you tell me about it.”