Not long afterwards, ...February 26 2012 at 9:47 PM
|Elsabeth Rose Moffat |
Response to As the two youngsters listened, ...
The two children were off to dreamland, wrapped in each other's arms. Considering where they were, and that they were buried in a pile of hay, it is perhaps surprising that they slept fairly well. Because of the cold, they remained in contact and thus kept each other warm.
Being children and wanting to miss nothing, of course they were wakened by the whispers and mutterings of the first three of the four men who had spent the night in the loft, as they rose and departed. However, they themselves dared not move, for the one man who was left was the one who slept closest to the pile of hay in which they were hidden. They could not exit without having some of it tumbling on him and waking him. Lizzie was afraid that any discovery of them outside the Inn would result in the added realisation that they had run off from home. That they could not afford.
Lizzie thought the stranger never was going to wake, and by the time he did she had a distinct and uncomfortably specific urge to use the privy. As soon as he woke and clumsily clambered down the ladder, she was up, out, and at the ladder as well, the cap still on her head, leaving Seanie stretching.
Peering down through the ladder opening, she saw and heard no one. However, by the time she reached the bottom of the ladder one of the hostler lads had turned the corner from the feed storage, carrying a bucket. As the young man opened the first of the stalls, he waved at her and called a cheery greeting, but was too far away to see for sure who she really was. She waved back as she turned toward the door, and then sped outward without speaking.
Five minutes gone, she emerged from the little shed relieved in body and soul. It had been a near thing, for while she was determined not to have an accident those muscles only can stand so much. She stretched as Sean Robert came stumbling out of the stable, knuckling the sleepy-winks from his eyes.
Still half somnolent, he disappeared into the privy in turn and then returned, more wide awake and looking as relieved as Lizzie felt. The pair skittered off to hide behind the stable once again. As they hunkered in the tall grass right next to the building, they heard the first of the guests come out and call for his horse to continue his journey.
Moments later, her stomach growled in a quite frightening little squeal. Seanie's answered in a deeper tone. Their snatched supper the night before had not been enough to save them from being very hungry in the morning. Lizzie grinned at Seanie, and spoke to the issue.
"'Tis glad I shall be tae see the table, and tha' piled high wi' Cook's guid sausages and eggs, is it nae sae, Seanie?" Her brother looked back at her with a wistful expression, and nodded. His stomach growled again as her own lurched in anticipation. Then, suddenly, his gaze lifted over her head and his eyes grew round.
"Lizzie," he said, lifting a finger to point behind her, "I think we are discoovert." Lizzie whipped around.
There was the young woman who had accompanied Lord Silvanus the night before. She was standing still, looking at the side of the building as if searching for something, patiently waiting to discover it. Curled around her neck on her shoulders was a bronze faerie dragon. Gareth! Would he disappear and tell their father where they were?