“Prince Theodore?”
“Ah you have finally arrived.”
“But it is 8.55am, I am early.”
“Oh, it just seems like a long time since I saw you last that is all. Time drags when I am alone.”
“Ah, well must you be by yourself? Couldn’t you dine with your parents one evening?”
“Perhaps.”
“Ahem, well. Did you tell your parents about yesterday?”
“Fainting you mean? Absolutely not.”
“It is your health I suppose, but you should….”
“Yes, yes it is. That is quite enough!”
“So as well as your health, what are the other taboo subjects?”
“There are none.”
“Miss Mallis?”
“She is not a taboo subject, you may speak of her, but I would rather you did not.”
“Ah. Well, ahem.”
“What is wrong?”
“Nothing, you look….”
“Ghastly, drained or cold? For that is how I feel.”
“You look a little pale, which is possibly linked to you feeling fatigued. As for the coldness, shall I fetch a blanket for you? It is no bother.”
“Please Bonita, if you wouldn’t mind.”
“There now.”
“Thank you, I feel a good deal better.”
“I am sorry that I mentioned the subject.”
“No matter. Hmm, now then what were you planning on reading to me today?”
“I rarely plan your Grace.”
“My head aches so.”
“I think that you might benefit from some fresh air, how about a quick stroll in the garden?”
“Yes, you may be right.”
“You- you are serious?”
“Yes.”
“My! I just supposed that you would say no! We shall go then, but just for half an hour at the very most. Shall I fetch your coat?”
“Yes Miss McGrath.”
“Here. Shall I help you to fasten it?”
“That will not be necessary.”

Bonnie gazed at the intricate coat button fastenings, as Theodore felt them beneath his fingers, attempting to hook one side to the other, the frown lines etched across his brow. He dropped one side, sensing it slide from his left shoulder. Bonnie said nothing, lifting the coat from the floor and fastening it in the blink of an eye. She took his slender hand in hers, leading him outside into one of the many side gardens as they sat upon a stone seat.
“You are very quiet your Grace.”
“I-I am trying not to explode with fury!”
“It is only a foolish little fastening.”
“It is another thing that I cannot do alone!”
“Your Grace, even I struggled. Let us think of positive things, now then, I shall tell you. You are very intelligent and have a wonderful memory.”
“I am also bitter and have very little patience.”
“At least you have recognised your faults. Some people live in innocent bliss all their lives and never change and that, as my Father would have said, is progress.”
“You really believe me to be those things?”
“Yes your Grace, I do.”
“I- I find it very hard to bear!”
“Ah. Here now, shall we sit on the little wall here, it is dry and not cold if you place your coat under you. There now. What do you feel?”
“I feel fine, a little tired and somewhat hurt!” He pouted.
Bonnie shook her head. “No what do you feel? Describe it to me.”
“This is foolishness!”
“It is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Come on your Grace, be a sport.”
“Hmph! Very well. I sense roughness of the stone wall under my grasp. I can also tell that you are watching me, which makes me a little uneasy.”
“You can sense being watched?”
“Yes, very often.”
“That is fascinating!”
“I am not an experiment Bonita!”
“I wasn’t implying that you were. Um, this stone seat is very well designed.”
“Yes, I suppose so, it brings back too many memories! I am going inside!”
“Wait please, you are so changeable.”
“Yes, well! Argh!”
“What, what is it?”
Theodore placed a hand to his chest, gasping for breath.
“N-nothing.”
“You are experiencing pain?”
“That is not your concern!”
“Your Grace, forgive me, but that is very serious in someone our age. Please let me help.”
“No! Let go of my arm!”
He pulled away and dismounted the seat, as he did so he slumped against it.
“Oh Lord! Oh my goodness, what have I done? Your Grace, can you hear me?”
“Yes Bonita, I hear you. I am fine, just a little sleepy.”
“We must get you inside. Are you hurt?”
“No. I’d rather here with you in the fresh air. You are kind to me and I do not deserve it.”
Theodore muttered as Bonnie took his hand in hers. “Still, I am at peace at the time being, I feel like I am at one with nature.”
“What happened just then?”
“I had  a little dizzy spell, that is all.”
“You are very tired, but the ground is dry and you are wrapped up warm, so you should not catch a chill.”
“I am so tired.”
“That is understandable, but I cannot let you sleep outdoors, shall I fetch Howard? Here I shall help you to stand, there now. That was easy.”
“Goodness no! I do not want anyone to find out about this! Promise me you will not tell a soul. Now then, you must take me into one of the smaller entrances and that way we shall not be seen!”
“I do not know where to go.”
“I think I may be able to describe it from memory, even though my head spins. Go to the left of the building, past the oak tree with the seating around it. Do you see it?”
“I do.”
“Good.”
“Do you wish to stop again for a moment or two?”
“No.”
“Very well then. We have passed the tree.”
“To your left, there should be some Virginia creepers growing up the wall, pull them to one side and there is a door.”
“But where is the key?”
“Here, let me find it.” Theodore ran his hand over the stones, feeling the gap between two larger ones. “It is here.”
“A secret passageway of yours?”
“It used to be, but today it is being put to use again.”
“When would you have used it?”
“That is none of your business Miss McGrath.”

With care, Bonnie took his arm once more as he bit his trembling bottom lip. “Do not worry, we are inside now. Where will this small passage way take us?”
“To one of the unused studies on the bottom floor and then you must take me back to the drawing room.”
“Yes, of course. You tremble so, I am afraid that our little expedition was too much for you!”
“Oh nonsense, I had a wonderful time.”
“Goodness what a dark room, there is little light at all.”
“Hence why no-one uses it.”

Bonnie led Theodore into the parlour where he sat upon the couch once more.
“Oh I really enjoyed that!”
“You did?”
“Why, yes!”
“I see that you are fatigued, but the colour has returned to your cheeks.”
“Hmmm.”
“Perhaps I should fetch your Physician?”
“My Physician, oh God! Everyone is obsessed, kindly focus on your own affairs Miss McGrath.”
“It was only a suggestion.”
“Yes, well.”
“And you still have not eaten, it is now almost 10am.”
“I am not hungry.”
“Well, some water or tea then.”
“No thank you.”
“This is not a little rebellious strike against your parents is it, your Grace?”
“I think it is time for you to go!”
“Oh for goodness sake! If I had a sovereign for every time you ordered me to leave, I would be a rich woman.”
“Hmph!”
“You laugh at me?”
“I do. Do not presume to tell me what to do, when you are as low as a servant.”
“Oh how kind of you.”
“And you are a woman!”
“Oh and now you are being quite the chauvinist your Grace!”
“No, it is how society works!”
“You are so changeable, I don’t know how it is possible for me to like and dislike somebody as much as I do you. You can be quite a horror your Grace.”
“Do not presume to label me. You know nothing of my past, so kindly mind your own business.”

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

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12 thoughts on “Theodore- Chapter 13

  1. It was lovely to pick up on these adventures – I especially love the dialogue and the rich visuals you are able to create with your descriptions. Well done – and I look forward to more!

    1. Hello Paula, what a lovely comment! Thank you so much. I’m so pleased that you liked my descriptions. 🙂 There will be more parts coming your way very shortly! 🙂

    1. Wow! Francene, what a lovely comment. Thank you so much. 🙂 I’m really glad that you are enjoying this piece, as “Pixies and Pickles” was verging on being disastrous!

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