Despite their worry, the Princess and her maids had been industrious. They were diligently sewing, Sarah’s Willow shirt sleeves onto another sleeveless vest. Sarah shucked her coat to the couch and approached, curious.
“We did not know how long you would be here, so we thought to make a few more vests and pants for you,” Princess Allmarah explained as the older maid rose and handed Sarah some sewing.
Sarah stood a bit dumb founded with the Willow cloth in one hand and the vest in another.
“The little boy,” the younger maid looked at the other two.
“Ryan,” the elder maid supplied.
“Yes Ryan, he is the cutest little boy...”
“He insisted,” Princess Allmarah continued, “that we use a bit of the shirt and pants,” she gestured to where Sarah saw her Willow pants in pieces on the floor, “in everything we made for you.”
Sarah sat down slightly bewildered. “You saw Ryan too?”
“Oh yes,” the younger maid spoke. “He scared us near to death, popping in through that wall,” she gestured to a tapestry that hung between the left most window and corner.
“Made my head spin with all his talk of Gods and connections and how you aren’t a Moyther and yet are like one.” The elder maid shook her head.
Sarah set what she’d been handed down and moved to the wall. “He came through here?”
There were murmurs of agreement from behind her. She ducked under the tapestry and felt the wall. Tapping gently Sarah found where the door’s border was. By pressing on one edge, she felt it move outwards. She quickly moved back to the room and hurriedly sat back down. All three women looked upon her with intense curiosity. Sarah did her best to try to sew as she cast her mind for Jason.
Jay! she had to mentally yell to get his attention.
Sarah, I am very busy at the moment. She felt his annoyance at her interruption.
But I’ve found a passage from the girls’ room to the outside, Sarah informed him thinking quickly. If we can get a boat around back, we can sneak them out.
I will take that into consideration, he replied.
Jay? Sarah knew she was whining but she desperately wanted to talk to him.
Look, I am trying to coordinate three groups of people, one set of whom does not speak any Vervellean, aside from their two leaders. He sighed. You wanted to get out soon, and that is exactly what I am working on doing.
Sarah took a deep breath and let it out. Okay, but Jay...
Yes? He obviously wanted the conversation over.
Your Uncle Wholawski knows we were engaged, but he thinks you are dead.
Good, Jason stated, a wave of relief washing through Sarah. It is better for you that he continues to think so.
Yeah, Sarah sighed as she hoped she was sewing her seam correctly, So, James informed me.
“If,” Princess Allmarah’s voice broke Sarah’s concentration and she looked up. The young woman once more bore a scowl, “I am to be rescued; I would like to know what is going on.”
Sarah sighed and looked back at her work. “I wish I knew.”
“You know something,” the Princess countered, “for you had the look of Pairents communing.”
Turning her face back to the young woman, Sarah met her eyes. “They are planning a siege, which is supposed to be set up soon. Other than that, I’m sure Phoenix will tell me what we need to know when we need to know. Besides,” Sarah frowned at her lopsided looking sleeve, “the less we know, the better, I suspect.”
Sarah did her best that afternoon to help with the sewing. Her work was horrible though and after the fifth time of having to take it out and start again, she laughed.
“I can cook a mean stew, but it appears,” she smiled through her frustration as she held up the sad sleeve, “I can’t sew a seam to save my life...”
The elder maid took the article of clothing from her.
“But, you’ll be a Scout Sergeants wife...” the younger maid began.
“Yeah, about that,” Sarah looked up at the girls her face serious, she gestured from them to lean in and they did. “To everyone here Phoenix is dead, NEVER let on that it is otherwise.” She looked at each girl in turn. “Got it?”
They all nodded and Sarah stepped back. Not a moment too soon either, for there was a knock upon the door.
“Who is it?” Sarah moved back to her side, hoping to maintain the image that she was not fraternizing with the Princess.
No one answered, but the door swung open to reveal Wholawski.
“You have been given freedom to move about and yet you choose to stay here?”
“Yes,” Sarah shrugged. “It’s warm and I can’t think of any other place I’d like to go.”
There was a lift to his eyebrows, but no other reaction. Stepping into the room, the General retrieved the coat off the couch. “Come, I have more to show you.”