Eloise swishes her skirts out, calling Agnes the French equivalent of ‘bold face’.
Agnes, not to be outdone, calls after her; “Caed yr geg, twpsin!”
“Agnes.” muses Georges. “Not Welsh, that, for sure. What said you to her?”
“I told her to shut her mouth for a fool. She is such a vain, pert tight lacing creature as I cannot abide. Generally, though, except for that old stick Mistress Brown – she’s the Countess’ maid, and as bitter as an old prune – people are nice here. I’m lucky; I work for Miss Sophie; is lovely she is.”
“Miss Sophie cannot be that haughty Mademoiselle greeted Monsieur outside?” Georges keeps his hgh opinon of ‘them dugs’ to himself.
“Oh, no, Miss Sophie is but a distant relative, and the old Countess’ companion to boot. In most households she would never have a maid all of her own, but that is just like the Countess and young Lord Ynyr.”
“If they’re so generous they could spare me a bit of wine.” Georges sighs. “So I may have to wait at table this evening, eh? I don’t think I will please that old butler.”
“Roberts, that is. Of course, he has the keys to the wine cellar, sadly, along with Madame Blanche. The sickness is just some affliction of the stomach, but there is another scourge started up hereabouts has plagued the sister of a friend of mine straight from a tale of terror. She was walking up in the top lane, making for home at twilight and claims she saw some red eyes and only came to herself, sprawled in the hedge with her neck bleeding.”
“Alors, pretty Agnes, most like she stratched it on the hedgerow.” Georges snorts, with the sophistication of one who has spent years in a city. “I know the tales that go about in these country areas.”
Agnes smiles and jerks her head in the direction of Plas Cyfeilgar, invisible from here. “There’s long been tales of the nasty sights to be seen at Plas Cyfeillgar. For sure the master, Kenrick, gets up to mischief enough in his laboratory to stir folks’ imaginations sore.”
“Kenrick…” Georges murmers. “Monsieur Gilles mentioned him. Met him in Town and took against him at once. They discussed mathematics, or some such foolisness. I’m always telling Monsieur that if he don’t watch out, he’ll overtax his brain. It’s lucky he likes to ride a horse or empty a bottle or have a brawl as much as any.”
“Monsieur Gilles? I thought his name was Emile.”
“I call him so, it suits him better.” Georges’ teeth flash in a smile of reminiscence, and then he turns that smile on Agnes, thinking that perhaps this enforced stay in the wild mountains will not be so dull, after all.