|Summary:||Senna and Hugh wait for Roslyn during a mystery meeting and discuss the powers of embroidery.|
|Camps — Seagard|
|Outside a tent.|
|June 17, 289|
Senna attended Roslyn when the lady came to the tent, though she seems surprised to be waiting outside. And surprised to see Hugh doing the fetching. Still, she waits patiently enough, taking a seat on a stool near the entrance to the tent. "So," she finally says to the squire, looking over with a quirk of a smile. "Fancy meeting you here, hmm?"
Hugh flashes a smile at Senna as he sits down on a stump that is serving as a stool for him. He shrugs, "What do you mean?" He is a little hyper today. Excited by the events and the atmosphere surrounding them. "Why wouldn't I be here/"
"I thought you were squiring for Lord Riordan," Senna arches a brow at Hugh. "Granted, I also can't see him making you stay when there's a tournament on, either. Of anyone, I think he understands how much squires enjoy these sorts of things." From a pouch at her belt, she pulls out a handkerchief in an embroidery hoop, turning it around a bit before deciding where to continue her work. "Are you enjoying yourself?"
Hugh widens his eyes ever so slightly. "Oh, I am! But you're right. He wanted me to get the experience." And Hugh would have pouted for days… "So he let me come anyway. I squired for Ser Jarod during the joust! Did you see it! We won!!" Hugh sounds as though he is announcing that /he/ won, such is his enthusiasm. Need he even answer the last question? "I am learning a lot!" It's best not to admit one is having fun….
"I'm afraid I missed the joust," Senna admits, looking up from the embroidery with a small smile at his enthusiasm. "A few other things required my attention. I heard that Ser Jarod won, though." She glances toward the tent, then back to the squire. "I'll admit, though, I was a little surprised to see you coming for Lady Roslyn. Something you want to tell me?" she invites with a small smile.
Hugh tilts his head and looks back at Senna unsure. "Um…no? I don't think I can…" He shrugs, "She is my cousin and I know her well because she was at Hag's Mire with me when I was a page." He doesn't look at her.
"That explains you wanting to talk to her," Senna points out, smile flashing. "But not whoever's in there. Ser Jarod would just come by the lady's tent, I think," she muses, leaning back in her stool a bit as though she's going to peek through the flaps.
Hugh shrugs again. "My Lord Cousin loaned me to Jarod, and Jarod is letting me help out in different ways. Maybe you can ask Lady Roslyn?" He makes a face and glances at her. "What are you making?" Changing teh subject is always a good tack.
"A lie catcher," Senna answers with a sly smile, looking over at the squire from beneath her lashes. "Every lady should have one. Sewn with the proper prayers and skill, it catches the lies men will tell around her so she knows when they're trying to take advantage of her good breeding and willingness to believe what he says."
Hugh looks at the handkerchief in surprise…then, yes, he is gullible, but not /that/ gullible. "Excuse my language, Mistress Senna, but Bull! I have never heard of a lie catcher!" He looks at the handkerchief suspiciously. "Though I suppose taht would be a useful thing to have."
"Well, if you had one, you'd know if I was lying, wouldn't you?" Senna points out blithely, continuing to stitch a knot work pattern along the perimeter of the handkerchief. "You see," she demonstrates. "Each of these twistings and turnings is meant to catch a lie before it reaches the lady's ear. Which is why you should always be careful not to lie to a lady. You never know when she might have one of these on her person."
Hugh shakes his head, "Shouldn't it be a scarf, then, to go over her ears? And I don't need one. I can tell that you are lying!" He says with 100 percent uncertainty. He says, "I am sure that someone at Hag's Mire would have told me…"
"And why would they tell you?" Senna arches a brow, glancing up from her stitching. "These aren't exactly a dime a dozen, you know. I was in the Mire for three years before I found an old herb woman who was willing to teach me the trick of it." She takes a few more stitches, then leans forward. "Hasn't Lord Rutger or Lord Riordan ever told you about how Lady Roslyn always knew when they were up to something?"
"Oh, there's enough done to give it a test now," Senna muses, looking at the handkerchief. The border goes about two-thirds of the way around the perimeter of the fabric, and there are even two rows of color in some, Nayland green bordered by deep orange. "So. Let's test it," she agrees. "Who was it who sent you for Lady Roslyn?" she asks, watching the embroidery as though it's going to show her a deep secret.
Hugh leans back. "No. Not a good test. because I'm just not going to tell you that." He crosses his arms and looks smug. "Are you worried about Lady Roslyn? You shouldn't be. But that's all I can say."
"Then I know you'll lie," Senna points out. "And I'll know it works. Actually, that makes it the perfect test. I can't go giving it to Lady Roslyn if it doesn't catch things I /know/ are lies, can I?" It's perfectly solid reasoning. Really. Or at least Senna sounds sure about it. "You'd be doing us both a favor, of course."
Hugh has reconnected.
Hugh rubs his chin and looks thoughtful. "Something about that doesn't sound right. Because if I tell you a name and you know it's a lie…if /you/ are lying, you could just say 'yes, it works.' " He looks at her and smiles, "But see, then /I/ won't know if it works or not." Oh, he is so proud of himself!
"Well, then you'll just have to tell me a /series/ of names," Senna suggests to counter that. "One of them will be right, but only you'll know which one, unless my lie catcher works." She slips the needle through the fabric, then breaks open the hoop to shift where it sits, setting up another area of the handkerchief for embroidery.
Hugh says, "No." He furrows his brow. "No. I can't. Let's come up with a different test." He looks thoughtful. "How about I tell you how many lances Ser Jarod broke? And you have to guess which is the right number.""
Senna tilts her head, considering the counter offer. "All right," she allows, setting the hoop in her lap and holding some of the embroidery between her fingers. "How many lances did Ser Jarod break?"
Hugh looks at her and says in a calm manner. "He broke three."
Senna watches him closely, then looks down to the handkerchief, running the embroidery along the edge between her fingers for a long moment. Suddenly, she pauses, holding it up to more closely inspect a portion of the knot work. "Lie," she then declares, arching a brow to the squire.
Hugh looks closely at Senna and the handkerchief. "I'm not going to tell you until I have gone through four numbers. One will be the truth. That way, you can't just learn what I do when I lie." He smiles again at his own cleverness. "He broke four. What do you guess for that?"
Once more, Senna keeps her fingers on the handkerchief, watching Hugh while looking like she's focusing on what's under her fingers. When he states a number, she inspects the embroidery, then pauses, tapping her fingers at one spot. "Lie again," she announces.
Hugh's face turns a little red. "He broke five."
This time, Senna has to spend a little longer watching both Hugh and the handkerchief. She even hums to herself, glancing toward the tent, before she declares. "Truth. Or else a very small lie. Let's see if the next one is caught in my web."
Hugh is getting more and more frustrated, which probably does not help his ability to lie. "He broke six."
Again, Senna takes her time looking over the handkerchief before nodding once. "And a lie. Five it was," she says. She doesn't even ask if that was right. She just assumes, settling in once more and retrieving the needle from the fabric. "It's always good to confirm when these things are working properly. Thank you for your assistance, Hugh."
Hugh chews his lip and moves closer to look at the handkerchief. His look goes from the handkerchief to Senna's face. "Jarod told you!" He reaches out to touch the handkerchief. "Can I see it?"
"I haven't seen Jarod in days," Senna replies archly, taking a few stitches before turning a cautious look on Hugh. "You'll have to be careful with it," she warns. "It isn't finished yet, and I don't want to disturb the process. So while you're holding it, you can only tell the truth. All right?"
Hugh agrees. "All right. But why did the other lies disturb anything." He reaches out. "So…" he still struggles to believe. "This is how the Lady knew that we were the ones who ate the pastries last summer?" Because he thought that had solid alibis on that one.
"Mmmm," Senna hums, what likely sounds like an agreement. "I've been making these for Lady Roslyn for years. They only work for so long, though, and need to be replaced. Since Lady Roslyn left the Mire, I'm afraid she's been going through them at a terrible rate. At least fewer people try to lie to the lady in her own home."
Hugh takes the handkershief and examines it. "It doesn't look any different to me. Just like a regular handkerchief." And this was the truth. It doesn't. "Why don't more people know about this? And why are you telling me? Does Riordan know?"
"Well, you're Riordan's squire, aren't you?" Senna asks as she takes back the handkerchief. "So you wouldn't be telling lies to Lady Roslyn anyhow. But it's not general knowledge," she cautions, lowering her voice. "So it would probably be best if you didn't tell anyone else. Like I said, the making of them is a dying art. I have to use a particular thread, blessed by one of the swamp witches."
Hugh nods seriously, "But I can have no secrets from my Knight. And no…I wouldn't tell lies to her…um. Unless Riordan told me to, and then I assume he would have a good reason." He then looks thoughtful. "Can I get one?"
Senna considers the squire closely at his request, starting to stitch again. "Perhaps," she says after a moment. "I'd have to speak with Lord Riordan about it, of course. But you should probably work on being able to tell if someone is lying without aid first. After all, these /do/ fill up with lies after a time, and if you aren't familiar with the signs, you might not realize when it's no longer working properly."
Hugh says, "It just sounds so silly! Things are usually charms on strings around people's neck…not pretty little handkerchiefs." But he does acknowledge, "Yes, I know I should learn when someone is lying. What are some signs?""
"They're different for each person," Senna cautions as she stitches. "But they'll often avoid eye contact. Look up and to one side. Fidget. Sweat. Blush. Stammer. Be very specific when there's no reason to be so." She glances toward the tent, head tilting slightly as though listening.
Hugh avoids eye contact, fidgets, sweats, blushes and stammers on a regular basis…even when he is not lying. He chews his bottom lip. "What do /you/ do when you are lying?" he looks at the tent too. But he is comfortable that she cannot hear anything. "oh, did you manage to find something for my pimples? That one went away, but now I have one on my neck."
Senna chuckles softly at the question. "That would be cheating, squire," she says with some amusement. "Never tell someone else your tells. As for pimples…" She pauses, setting down the embroidery and digging through the pouch at her waist again. "I do, actually. I like to keep some around at tournaments like this. You won't believe what noblewomen will pay to look pretty when all the men are fighting." She pulls out a small vial, offering it over with a smile. "There you are. Just dab it on every now and then."
Hugh takes the vial and gives her a nod of thanks and then sighs and slumps back on his stump as he opens the vial and smells the contents. He puts some of the stuff on his finger and dabs his neck below his left ear. "Why is it that just when you figure out that you like women, you suddenly get all these repulsive things happening to you?" He looks at Senna. "Well, not /you/, but men…boys." He pockets the vial and then attempts to regain his suaveness…had he ever had any. "So…are you going to watch any of the contests?"
"It's for the sake of the women," Senna assures the squire with a wry smile. "It's best if young men have a chance to season properly before they actually go about seeking out young women." She looks in the direction of the tournament grounds at his question, considering. "I may. If Lady Roslyn wishes me to accompany her, I will. If not, then I'll stay here and take care of things. I've seen plenty of tournaments, though."
Hugh says, "I have seen several, but this is the first one that I was in." He counts being a squire as being /in/ it. Don't crush his dream. "They say there may be a squire's melee. I am not sure whether Riordan will let me do it. But I don't mind watching, I guess and I have been picking up good stories from the camp.""
"Tournaments are fun. There's pageantry, there's beauty, there's dancing and music and gold and feasts," Senna says with a small smile. "They're seductive, like the best courtesans in Braavos." She goes back to stitching, efficient with each bit of thread. "But they're not something most men can live off of, and they're no true substitute for war. Still, they serve their purpose for the nobility."
Hugh nods, "Yes, battle's the true test, but this helps everyone stay in practice and ready as well." He watches her sew. "How long have you attended Lady Roslyn?"
Senna tilts her head, considering the question. "A few years, at least. I came to the Mire shortly after the Trident, and started serving with Lady Roslyn not long after that. She's more than one maid, of course. And I've other skills that require me to be about the Mire sometimes. But it's good to be able to spend some time with the lady as well."
Hugh nods vigorously and seriously. He knows. "I was grateful my uncle made me wait. I turned 14, and was itching to be named a squire, but Lord Rickart waited and appointed me to Riordan." He flashes a smile, "It was an honor, and I know he's a good man. I've seen how some other squires have been treated. I could put up with that, but it's better this way, and yeah…I looked totally different." He stands and glances at the handkerchief again. "I am afraid I have to go finish cleaning all the tack. Are you all right here?"
"I'll be fine, yes," Senna laughs softly, smile flashing. "Best of luck, Squire Hugh," she says with a dip of her chin. "You've done Ser Riordan proud."
Hugh looks puzzled. "Ser Jarod, you mean? And I was there for him! Really, I didn't do much!" He turns and lopes off towards Jarod's tent.