Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chapter 4

     When Angus reached the stable, the mare was limping badly.  He spent some time in the barn, rubbing the linement into the fetlock before wrapping it over with a tight bandage.   Then he washed his hands and went to the manor house to have conversation with the colonel's wife.  She greeted him enthusiastically, anxious to chat, having been left alone in the house. He'd had little conversation with her during the occupation of Charleston while sleeping in the night room and helping escaping prisoners. Her knowledge of the underground was dangerous and they only exchanged pleasantries.  She did not treat him like a farm boy, but the same as any gentleman  So he liked her..
     "Ma'am", he said, "the Colonel's little roan mare hurt her leg.  There is some swelling, but I applied linement and wrapt it.  She should be the same in a few days."
     "Is that the one which he leant Miss Catherine?"
     "Yes," Angus nodded, following her into the dining hall and observed while she busied herself with a mess of wild brambling roses and berry branches picked fresh that morning. The faded red blooms were the last vestages of blooms  of a lingering mild season. She hummed a tune as she worked. Angus smiled. He loved to see her happy.
     The table was set with a white brocade tablecloth and Mrs. Drayton's silver knives and forks decorated on the handles with ornamental Drayton crest.  Her napkin holders and finger bowls also had the same decoration. At least a hundred people would be filling their plates with eggs, spoon bread and slabs of bacon from this table.  The buffet was stacked with sweetbreads and jellies.  Angus sampled one of the cakes.
     "This is a great occasion for Drayton Manor,  the Colonel having his friends about him," he said.

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