Robert and Elvina continue to make ends meet in their tiny cottage. They have set up a cot for Aelfgiva beside their bed.
Elvina has not settled easily into motherhood. She loves her daughter, but is struggling to adjust to the the noise and mess brought into her orderly home.
It is the first day of autumn, and the couple are making the most of their time before the harvest begins. Robert sells some eggs to Eda.
Elvina cooks onions and cabbage in a pot of bone broth.
On Tuesday, the first of the apples and grapes come in.
A church sermon solemnizes the Feast of the First Fruits. It is followed by apple pie in the parsonage.
Juliana plays with Aelfgiva.
Robert hears that Henry, whose wife is still away, is looking for help taking in his crops throughout the season. Robert tells him he would be glad of the work, and the two men agree on a price.
The extra labour will mean an even earlier start for Robert, so he and Elvina go straight to bed after the gathering.
Robert feels he has barely closed his eyes before it is time to get up again. He leaves Elvina to tend to their own little garden, and makes his way to Henry’s house.
Henry treats Robert to breakfast at the bakery when their work is done. While they eat their bread, Geoffrey finishes taking in his own harvest and Avice gets the children ready for the day.
Household by household, the other villagers arrive at the bakery, ready to walk up to the fields. The sun is only just rising over the mountains as they arrive at the baron’s demesne.
Throughout the season, they will need to spend almost every day here, picking autumn fruits and vegetables.
Lunch is bread and cheese.
The children entertain themselves while their parents work.
Aelfgiva lets Hugh play with the little sheep his mother gave her.
The villagers take their supper every evening as his lordship’s guests.
Robert is always ready for bed as soon as they get home. Elvina stays up just a little longer to turn the apples and grapes from their garden into bottles of Farmer’s Harvest.
Some days are harder than others. Friday brings heavy showers.
The villagers find themselves slipping around in the mud as they try to pull up carrots and onions. The plum trees provide a little shelter for their little ones, but the cold and damp still bring on tears.
Saturday is better. The weather is fairer and Ralf the Groom brings bottles of nectar from Plumbob Hall.
Robert and Elvina have some news to share.
On Sunday, the villagers enjoy a small holiday. After church, they gather in houses around town. Robert brings an omelette to John and Juliana’s cottage.
Elvina stays at home to prepare for the birth of her child. In the afternoon, Eda arrives, ready to guide her once again through a difficult and dangerous night.