"Well then Rebecca, have you eaten.?"

Robert watched her hop up on one of the bar stools with utter amazement. The stools were generally reserved for male patrons for the simple reason that women's skirts made them difficult to mount. Since Rebecca wasn't wearing skirts, the high stool didn't seem to be a problem for her.

"No, no I haven't. I found a candy bar in my pocket, but it's long gone. I am hungry though. Do you have any left overs I could have?  I don't have any money for this time period. I could sweep the floor or clean the kitchen if you like."

Robert shook his head in bewilderment.

"Candy bar? Left overs? This time period? I canna  understand  ye lass."

"Were you not contacted by the travel guide? I thought you knew everything. You gave me a room, and you didn't ask questions."

I gave you a room because all of my customers were staring at ye, and ye were disrupting business. I dinna  know what  manner of person a travel guide might be, but I havena met anyone that identified themselves as such."

Rebecca leaned forward and put her elbows on the bar. With her chin in her hands, she muttered half to herself and half to the inn keeper.

"Oh crap!  I was supposed to be buzzed in to a back room where my period costumes and spending money were supposed to be. Since you haven't mentioned it, and there was nothing in my room, it looks like I'm on my own."

"It is quite obvious by your speech and your attire that yure not  from England. I think it best for yure own safety that ye stay out of sight during business hours until I can figure out what to do with ye."

"I agree with you there. I can't go home yet, because the window of opportunity for return has closed at least until tomorrow."

Robert put a leather apron on that had been hanging on a peg behind the bar.

"While ye decide what to do next, I shall go to the  pantry and see what might still be there from the evening meal. When I return, I want to know exactly who ye are, where yure  from, and why yure here."

"That works for me Mr. Witherspoon."

Robert turned in surprise half way through the kitchen door.

"I dinna  tell ye my name, how do ye know it?"

I know a great deal about you, Mr. Witherspoon,  but I'll tell you everything when you come back with some food."

He returned in about twenty minutes with a platter of unidentified cooked meat and thick slices of fried potatoes. There was also a couple of dinner rolls the size of her fist. He sat the platter down and gave her an enormous pewter dinner plate with a knife and a fork.

She put some meat and potatoes on her plate with one of the rolls. She cut off a small piece of meat and chewed it thoughfully.

"What kind of meat is this?"

"It be mutton. It be a common meal here. "

"Yes, I suppose it still is, in England. In Canada we eat lamb, but we can't even get mutton in the grocery store where I live."

"Canada? You mean the Colony that the upstart John A. MacDonald wants to turn into a Dominion?"

"Yes, Canada. I'll tell you everything when I'm finished. This is excellent, by the way."

"Aye.  My wife is the best cook in the shire, if I do say so myself."

"That would be Mrs. Anita Bradshaw Witherspoon?"

She wiped her mouth on the back of her hand since no napkin had been offered.

"Aye, that would be her. I'll get ye a flagon of ale, and yure going to tell me everything, including how ye know so much about us, are ye not?"

"Yes, that would be fine."

He filled a pewter goblet with ale that he tapped from an oaken keg behind the bar.

She tipped back a fare sized gulp as she usually did with ale, and immediately spit it back onto the bar, gasping.

"Good god, that's almost pure alcohol! Do you have any water?"

"Aye the kitchen lad brought a pail up from the well before he went to bed. "

Robert left and came back with a tin cup of water. It was cold and pure, and she drank it down almost in one gulp, then burped loudly before she could stop it with her hand.

"Ye dinna have manners where ye come from, do ye?" He remarked wryly.

"Yeah, we do," she laughed. " I just didn't use them. Sorry, beg your pardon."

"Alright then, tell me who ye are, and what yure doing here."

"My name is Rebecca Jane Witherspoon, and I am your direct descendant. I come from the year 2050, and I live in Canada. I am on a two week vacation into my own family's past. You were supposed to have been contacted at least a month ago. I'll have to find out what happened."

The End

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