gloves.jpg

“Well then, we are agreed. I do think that this meal is very good.” Edward smiled.

Lucinda cleared her throat. “I like your table-cloth Annabella, it’s of such an intricate design and very pleasant on the eye. Did you embroider it yourself? It must have taken hours, I love sewing tapestry.”

“Good heavens no! Mamma made it years ago.”

“I see. Well, she is very talented.”

“Oh yes, indeed she is! Although, her eyesight is not what it was.”

“Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear that.”

“She is of a good age. It is to be expected. Would anyone like some more new potatoes,Edward? ”

“No thank you, I will save myself for the next course.”

“I’ll have another dear.”

“But George, you said that you were watching your waistline!”

“Oh, no matter then. Back to the kitchen they go! Johnson, will you tell the servants that they may help themselves to any of the left over vegetables in the dishes.”

“Very good Sir.”

“Next, we have another palate cleansing sorbet. I asked for it especially.”

“Hmm, mint how refreshing.” Lucinda smiled, feeling a trifle full. “Are we to have sorbet in between all of the courses?”

“Yes, that’s what I’ve requested. I don’t do anything by halves.”

“Yes I can see.You are entertaining us so well. It is all very grand, I’m not sure whether we could match this fine hospitality.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t expect so much of others.”

Edward raised an eyebrow, placing his spoon down and taking a sip of water.

“We like challenges don’t we Lucinda?”

“Why, of course.”

“Well then. We will have to return the favour at some point in the near future.”

Annabella clapped her hands together.“Splendid! I will look forward to it! Is there something wrong Lucinda?”

“I am fine thank you.”

“If you insist. Oh dessert is my favourite part of the whole meal. Is it your Lucinda?”

“I have to admit that I like savouries.”

“Do you, do you really?”

“Yes.”

“For dessert we have a compote of cherries and Madeira wine, followed by tea in the drawing-room.”

**

“I have never felt so full in all of my existence.” Lucinda whispered to a highly amused Edward. “Is she trying to fatten us up? I fear that I am becoming overweight already from all this splendour and rich food.”

“You are slender my love, so you needn’t worry, try to remain calm.”

“I am, but I might have to refrain for eating for a week! I am not impressed that you have just invited them to dinner before consulting me. I will be embarrassed to host a dinner party at our house! It’s a shambles!”

“Shhh.”

“Tea?”

“Just half a cup please my dear Annabella.”

Half? That won’t do. Maybe the men would like to retire to George’s study.”

“Oh, they want rid of us.” George laughed. “Come on my chap, our company clearly isn’t good enough for these women.”

Edward smiled, following George to a small room on the first floor. “Would you like a drop of brandy?”

“Um, yes. Thank you.”

George took two glasses from the cabinet, handing one to Edward.

“Just half a glass please.”

“There you are. So, how goes life?”

“Life?” Edward tilted his head to one side, seating himself in one of the three velvet covered armchairs.

“I was going to have a cigar, would you like one? Hush, hush, don’t tell the wife.” He laughed.

“Your secret is safe with me, no thank you I don’t smoke.”

“Ah, you are far better behaved than I. You haven’t answered my question.”

“Ah, marriage is lovely and the twins are very adventurous, never a dull moment.”

“Splendid! I do fear that Annabella upset Lucinda earlier.”

“Oh no, not at all! Not to worry. She just doesn’t like the thought of the twins being sent off to school, it frightens her somewhat.”

“Well, that’s understandable. Any Mother in their right mind would feel anxious Edward.”

**

Lucinda gazed at the oak panelled wall, taking a quick sip of tea in its porcelain, hand painted tea-cup. She hesitated, feeling uncomfortable in the awkward silence of the drawing-room. She eyed the large book-case and the leather-bound copy of Pilgrim’s Progress, resisting the overwhelming urge to take it from the shelf.

“You’re awfully quiet. Are you sure that you’re not unwell?”

“I’m fine thank you.”

“Well, you don’t look it. It seems that your mind is wandering else where.”

“I’m sorry my dear Annabella.”

“Tell me this, does my company tire you?”

“No absolutely not! On the contrary! I always enjoy being in the presence of others. I am no recluse!”

To be continued…

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13 thoughts on “Pixies and Pickes- Part 4

  1. I would love coming the site with a little intro at the top so I know what has happened previous to this one – I was a little lost – haha –

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