Chapter LXII

It took them two days to reach Tidtarna, and in that time the rebel army had grown from 10,000 to 15,000. It would need to double if they were to have any chance of winning against the forces of the Crown. The camp, a few miles from the actual town of Tidtarna, stretched over square miles itself.

Hathering Manor stood in the centre of the camp, and it took Carla and Beatrix half an hour once they’d entered the camp to simply reach the gate. Outside this, they were met by two soldiers who took them through to the entrance hall, and then they were helped by a butler to their respective rooms.

Beatrix walked into her room and immediately felt relief pour through her. The contrast to her living quarters of the last few weeks was enormous. The room itself was huge, with tapestries hanging from the walls, a large bay window with a window seat, a bookshelf covered in antiques, a beautiful chaise longue, a mahogany dressing table and wardrobe, a thick rug covering the floor, and a wonderfully big four poster bed with feather pillows and velvet hangings.

Feeling as if she was in a dream, Beatrix walked over to the wardrobe, finding it filled with gorgeous dresses, the like of which she hadn’t seen since she left the Court. She almost cried when she sat down on the soft, comfy bed and kicked her muddy shoes off.

When Carla entered the room half an hour later, clean and washed in a new pale blue dress and white apron and with her hair neatly tied up, she found Beatrix asleep on the bed, the mud from her hair and clothes staining the bedclothes. Ah well.

Another job for tonight.

Did Beatrix see nothing of what she did? Carla knew Beatrix tried to be nice, but it just wasn’t her nature. She didn’t think before she acted. And now she was creating more work for the servants of this grand mansion, without even realising. She would probably never know, never notice how the mud just disappeared from the clean white sheets as if by magic.

But that was the life of a Lady. Beatrix was born that way, and no amount of pretending could change it.

The End

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