|A Simple Yes or No|
|Summary:||Lady Rebecca takes the long option when answering a question|
|Related Logs:||Follows on from A Shopkeeper's Claim|
|Guest Chamber, Four Eagle's Keep|
|Bed, table, window, chairs etc|
|Wed Nov 14, 289|
The Lady Rebecca, so shortly to be interrupted, is at present in contemplative mode. She leans upon the wide stone ledge of her chamber's arched casement window, fully open; her hair, streaming free, mingles with the air bearing some relation to it beyond, russet, smoky, melancholy. Further within the room and closer to its portal, only the lump in the various coverlets thrown across the pallet - well known to Samphire at least as Septa Bridwayne - bespeaks any other human presence. Young Lovel is about a strictly pointless errand, and even the surly Terrick guards are not instructed to hassle the Nayland - or is she Groves? - noblewoman into her very sleeping quarters.
The mild afternoon with its little bothers at the Marketplace turned into an even milder evening, the clouds lying deeply, almost touching the protective stones of the Roost in rain-filled silence. The hallways of the tower itself might not be as silent as the heaven outside, for soon muttering and whispering starts, as an unusual pair of steps is to be heard in them -or much more likely at least their announcement by another more or less talkative servant.
Her chin hold up, Samphire stops in front of the chamber door, they have passed so often these days. A little sigh emerges her throat as she straightens her skirts. Her company is rather unusual today, the weather beaten sheriff deputy Mortimer Trevelyan, widely known at town and widely travelling around on its streets today. "I'm sure everything will clear up, master.", the handmaiden speaks to the man before announcing her actual entrance with a short knock and finally performing it with a curtsy, a bit deeper than usually.
"M'lady… I bring you an unusual but hopefully most helpful visitor, searching for the crown the little apple-gem on my finger might have fallen of.", she greets, trying to wrap up the situation in the peak of a single sentence. A bit of a glance to the septa, a bit of a glance to a hairbrush on the table, conducted by certain fluttering hair and then finally a much longer glance, expectantly, at the lady herself. "The sheriff’s deputy Mortimer Trevelyan."
Mortimer does not seem to be particularly thrilled at the need to be up and around the tower questioning the nobility on what, to all intents and purposes seems to be an utter waste of everyone's time. Still though, an accusation has been made and it's his job to get to the bottom of it. Waiting silently as Samphire knocks and then enters the room he follows her in and then nods respectfully to the Lady within. "Good evening m'Lady," he starts after he's introduced, "I am sorry to intrude upon your time unannounced, but I am hoping you might be able to clear up a small matter for me."
The Lady appears startled - well, perhaps that depends on who is doing the observing; a sceptic or a close acquaintance might think the shock of her whirling form, as it alights in all its gangling grace to the flagstones and the rushes, in just such a way as to allow her hair to cascade all at one side, to be just a touch artful. "The deputy," she begins, in a voice that sounds shaken, slightly, but even more relieved. "You bring word from the sheriff, no doubt…or…", she guesses again, perhaps detecting another kind of expression from the one she had counted on, "…cousin Stafford?"
Her handmaid's opaque effort to summarise the situation has, it seems, been eclipsed by the unlooked for and official identity of the Terrick retainer. As such, Lady Rebecca frowns when Trevelyan speaks of some…matter. As if he is here not obediently delivering a courteous missive, but on some sordid, even criminal enquiry! She paces nearer, golden-red head somewhat bowed, voice low, yet for all that, not without a certain aura of nobility infringed, as she asks merely, "Oh? And what matter is that?"
Samphire takes a breath, not deep enough to trouble the waters of her rather plain mien. "Well, m'lady… there has been a little disturbance at the marketplace, as I went to fetch a ribbon to replace the one, that somehow got torn on your green dress. The shopkeeper has been a warmheartedly woman indeed, her gentle words spreading through a few ears by now, I think… and she seems to have developed a strong interest in my humble self. She said I was guilty of defamation of our noble hosts, the Terrick's, more gravely of defamation of her mediocre goods and well that little ring of yours, she even spoke about theft. Our dutiful master here followed me all the way up here to search for the truth in this annoying little matter. Let's just make clear that I'm rightfully wearing the ring, that the Seven will judge my chose of words and that the man gets a cup of wine and a pastry before continuing fighting crime.", she says, while already starting to move around busily in the room, putting a scroll back to it's shelf, refreshing a candle and considering to somehow even tidy away the quiet bundle of septa.
Mortimer looks momentarily confused as Rebecca almost seems to be expecting him on some other matter. Quickly reverting to a more neutral, business-like expression he makes a mental note to ask Justin what message she might be expecting but beyond that he concentrates solely on the here and now. "I am sorry m'Lady, but neither," he replies, quickly regaining his even-keel. Letting Samphire speak he takes a brief moment to glance around the room until she's done. He might have phrased the run-down of the situation in a less leading way, but it's basically correct she he just lets it be. "In brief m'Lady, I just need you to confirm, or of course deny, that the ring in question was given, by you, to the good Mistress here. After that I'll be out away and leave you to your evening." Not sure if it's Undyl or Rivers he goes for the easy option and uses neither.
A simple answer to a simple question is transparently all that's needed here. But if he wants that, the deputy has, alas, come to the wrong highborn lady. For a moment she lets the handmaid's detailed, but somewhat jumpy narrative, and the Terrick man's direct question hang in the air…and attends to the irrelevance Samphire has so kindly suggested. "Certainly, the good Master Trevelyan must be refreshed. A pity young Lovel is away looking for that blue-tailed owlet I requested for my painting," she digresses mildly, "but you shall serve in his place, Mistress Rivers." Not 'Samphire dear', and certainly not 'Samphire Undyl'; that is, perhaps, a warning sign. "Ask the good deputy if he requires white or red wine. I take it, Master Trevelyan, that my maid is not actually under arrest?" Lady Rebecca adds in a tone of sharp, sharp sweetness. "Our supplies are not …quite… endless up here, and she may have to undertake a quick walk to the cellars…"
The handmaiden's busy moving stops right in the middle of the room. Slowly, she turns around, straightening her skirts again. This certain outcome of the little conversation draws a little curse about the corners of Samphire's lips, her nod to her lady's words is certainly most respectful though. "Good deputy, do you require red or white wine to refresh yourself?", she asks, resounds, much less driven away by the dance of her tongue this time.
Mortimer is starting to get an odd feeling that this simple enquiry might not be quite as simple as he had initially thought. "Thank you m'Lady," he starts to Rebecca, "but I am well enough refreshed as is. Please don't trouble yourself on my part." Samphire is given a quick glance before he continues, "she is not m'Lady, nor will she be unless you deny her story of how she came by the item in question." And then, to do his best to keep things on topic, "do you deny it?"
Rebecca Nayland's motion is smooth as she hurls herself fluidly into a velveteen-topped, but nonetheless rather hardy looking chair. At the same time, one of those long, pale arms extends from its floating, verdant coverings, and a large, long hand indicates another chair. "At least sit with me, then, Master Trevelyan! On reflection, it may be for the best that you refused wine, as it seems hardly seemly for a guest to offer Terrick vintages to so loyal a servant of that noble House as you are known to be…" And Terrick vintages aren't in about in plenty right now, may be the implicit addition. "Perhaps a little Kingsgrove cider…? I think we have a little of that yet, somewhere… anyway…"
Samphire has not been motioned to any seat, but Rebecca abruptly bids her approach with a flick of her wild tresses that makes it clear she wishes them to be tamed. At the same time, disconcertingly, she goes on, low, and almost dark, in timbre, "And if I did deny it, Master Deputy? The ring is mine; so is the girl. Of course I wish you no discourtesy, but I cannot see how the affair is any concern of yours, or your gallant men's."
Almost unnoticeable a little twitch flickers about one of Samphire's eyebrows, as the lady speaks of her claim of the jewellery in the same breath as she speaks of the claim of herself, but since the time for a detailed meaning of those words certainly couldn't be worse, she doesn't add any of her own. Abruptly bidden, abruptly completed she approaches the lady coming to a stop half behind, half next to her. "Yes, m'lady. We could offer cider. There are still three bottles left in the shelf.", she suggests, curiously skimming the deputy again.
Mortimer is on his feet as he declines the latest drinks offer. "Most kind m'Lady, but I truly do not require such generous hospitality." He flicks Samphire a glance at that, hoping that she at least will understand that he really doesn't want a drink, and not just because that would mean staying beyond the remit of his investigation. He still hasn't sat down by the time the lady claims ownership of the ring and that reply halts any intention he might have had in that direction. "Thank you m'Lady," he answers with a brief nod, although his expression does register a little surprise at her choice of phrase regarding Samphire's exact status. Still, nobles are known to occasionally use odd terminology s he'll let that pass for now since the term used to him was 'handmaiden' and not 'slave'. "It is only my concern due to an accusation that was made, one which now appears to be baseless." As he had quietly suspected. "I am grateful for your time m'Lady and will now take up no more of it."
Rebecca nods slightly - wouldn't want to upset her coiffure just as it's about to be stroked and woven back into shape again - and approvingly. It may be hard to tell whether she is regarding Samphire or the deputy with this approval, but in any case, it's clear enough the Terrick man has permission to go. "'Twas but a piece of glass and paint, a toy fit to amuse a faithful attendant," she adds, nonetheless, dismissively, "but not to excite arrests and waste time for tasks of moment. I too regret that it has done so. I intend soon to depart back to my uncle's fief, but until then, Master Trevelyan…know that I shall always be willing to assist you, if I may."
Then she turns her orbs of eyes straight on Samphire, as if Mortimer is no longer present, doubtless advising him to cease to be so.
Samphire, who already might have learned the meaning of some of her lady's cryptic postures, reaches dutifully out for the hairbrush nearby, her mien again slightly amused as her eyes meet the green gem on her hand on the way. "My… deepest thanks for your fulfilment of the seek for justice, master. ", Samphire speaks. Sweetly, quietly and certainly most politely, but with a something suppressed by the hint of a soft, soft smile. "And my deepest apologies for bothering you with this m'lady. "
Mortimer has been around nobles all his adult life and as such, knows a dismissal when he sees one. "M'Lady," he offers with a bow equalling the one when he first entered and then he takes a step backwards and away from Rebecca before turning and heading out. As he reaches the door he turns to offer Samphire a brief nod that he hopes imparts that she should think nothing of it, and then he's out into the corridor and closing the door behind himself once more.
"Well, he was very well behaved," Lady Rebecca observes simply as soon as they are alone - *very* as soon, almost but not quite as if she is flirting with the idea of being overheard. "But it sounds as if you have been less so, my little rivulet. Defamation of House Terrick? Don't you think I missed that…you must learn to ask subtler questions, my dear. Next time, I might have to let you learn the hard way. Though I should *never* permit you to be disciplined at some…other…House's say-so, of course…"
A smirk announces Samphire's answer, as she starts to brush Rebecca's hair. "Ah m'lady. Subtle questions… they may be much of use sometimes, but aren't they incredibly slow, just a trickle when there should be foaming waves? Though I certainly have, and that I learned, overestimated my powers faces that storm at least. My apologies. Thanks for making it clear and helping me out." She hesitates and stops the hairbrushes stroking for a heartbeat, before adding. "And about your gentle words of claiming me yours…", she adds softly, while picking with her small fingers one of the fiery hairs of the lady, that already turned to ashes and plucking it out with an unwarned, fine, though resolute movement.