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   Tch, tch, tch, his tongue lightly tapped in his mouth. Trying not to look bemused, a concern flitting around the eyes.

  "Where have you been child?' He asked. "We have been waiting half an hour, are you aware of your appointment?"

  He watched her eyes flying around this room - not daring to land, for fear they'd give her away.

  "Yes, my lord, forgive me, the time flew by in the sanctuary, my  prayers, you know."

  "Tut, it is alright, my child - come, sit, there is plenty of time to get to know your intended."   "He is a patient man, I know..... quite a deal older than yourself, but it will even out. These things always do, you know. Now, let me se if we can come together on terms of the endowments - your dowery."

  "Can you Henry, accept the above portions of gold and household items, the estate in Hillsburg, the cattle and the horses, the servants?"  "Is this agreeable?"

  "You say yes, very well Henry, sign, if you can, with your seal on this space. And Geraldine, here for you. There, it's done. We have a agreement, not easily come too, but nevertheless finalized."

     "Geraldine, where are your parents,girl? Not well, eh? We'll post the bands tomorrow, the ceremony simple, a quiet wedding, child in your state not seemly to make much ado."

  "Now, Sir Henry has agreed to take you in, as it were as his wife and will consider the child his to do with, as he pleases. In exchange, you'll be the dutiful wife and will run the household with respect. Girl, what are you saying, not his baby?  He knows that girl, you are needing a place - he provides it.  But the child, well it may be sent out - don't fret, all will be....Don't look that way girl, your sailor won't come back, you are just another easy maiden to him.  No....No...Come here, girl, stay away from that window.........No.......No........Noooooooooo!



Kay Ekwall©1997


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