Rest was something Sarah didn’t get much of last night. It seemed that no sooner had she gone back to sleep than Lady Miriam was awake with another nightmare. Drifting off to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, Sarah wished for sleep. But no sooner had she drifted off than a knock upon the front door roused her from sleep. Sarah glanced at Miriam but the girl was sleeping peacefully at last.
“Mother,” Jason’s voice snuck up between the floorboards, “Thank you so much for coming.”
Lady Abigial? Sarah queried as she splashed water on her face and dressed.
Yes, I asked her to come, Jason responded. If Miriam is with child sired by General Wholawski then it is a family matter.
A family matter? she puzzled. Oh, right Wholawski was your uncle.
As soon as she was presentable Sarah made her way downstairs, meeting Jason in the kitchen.
“Lady Miriam will be fine alone?”
“She’s sleeping right now.” Sarah nodded. “But I’ll need to go back upstairs if she calls for me.”
“So,” Lady Abigail joined them, “what is this family matter to which I was urgently called?”
“Well,” Jason began as Sarah started to putter about the Kitchen. “It’s related to one of the Ladies we brought home...” His voice trailed off and he looked to Sarah.
Taking a deep breath Sarah placed a kettle over the fire before looking to Jason’s mother. “Lady Miriam, who sleeps upstairs, believes that she is pregnant with General Wholawski’s child.”
“And you are certain of this?” Lady Abigail paled.
“She is,” Sarah grimaced, “and so ashamed of it that she tried to kill herself.” She pursed her lips. “It wasn’t exactly a love affair.”
“He forced her?” Color drained from Lady Abigail’s face.
Jason nodded as Sarah whispered, “And tortured her.”
“Oh dear,” Lady Abigail’s hands fluttered as she began to pace, “Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.”
“Mother are you all right?”
“Yes, yes,” her hands fluttered again. Sarah could see tears forming in the woman’s eyes. “I need nourishment, I came over right away. I feared,” she looked at the two of them, “I feared that something had gone amiss during your Tri-Luna, but this...” Her hand fluttered as a tear ran down her cheek and Lady Abigail sat. “This is so much worse.”
“Lady Abigail,” Sarah moved to her, but Lady Abigail turned to Jason.
“Are there, are there anymore children of his,” her hands fluttered, “about?”
Jason looked to Sarah and Lady Abigail’s eyes followed his gaze.
“I highly doubt it.”
“Are you sure?” she asked as she stood.
“Lady Abigail,” Sarah took the woman’s hands in her own and looked into the frightened blue eyes. “General Wholawski was a cruel man. I would rather not tell you what I saw there, but he was looking for a male heir and no woman ever bore him one.”
“But they bore him females,” her voice waivered.
Sarah swallowed not really wanting to say what she had to. “The girls he sired were all killed.”
Lady Abigail gasped and sat down, tears coursing down her cheeks. “Oh the shame, the shame,” she wept. “There is not enough faith in this family...”
Sitting down Sarah put an arm around her. “Surely the part Jason played to unleash his undoing counts as redemption?” The woman nodded slightly. “Wholawski is gone. His fortress and all its atrocities were demolished by a storm.”
Lady Abigail looked from Sarah to Jason.
“By my faith in the Gods, what she says is true,” he stated, right hand upon his heart.
Taking a deep breath his mother straightened up and Sarah let her arm fall away. “Then there is only one thing left for me to do.” She stood and straightened her skirts. “I will tend to Lady Miriam.”
“You want to see her?” Sarah asked as Lady Abigail looked to her.
Sarah led her upstairs to where the young girl still slept. Tears once more threatened Lady Abigail’s eyes, but she asked Sarah a series of questions in an unwavering voice. Answering them as best she could Sarah provided as much information as possible. Apparently Lady Abigail knew Lord Farquad, though she didn’t say how. At last Sarah ran out of things to say. Her stomach rumbled in the silence.
“Go make breakfast for us,” Lady Abigail shooed Sarah away with a flutter. “I’ll watch over the little lamb.”