Snordwich Chronicles, XXI: Opportunity Knocks

From Wednesday onward there are raspberry and blackberry pies for sale in the bakery. Henry and Francis send their boys to buy some for their customers.

Tephna is rushed off her feet, but she shows her friends where her little sister Oriel is playing, out by the chickens.

Their games with Oriel are cut short when they see four richly dressed girls with two attendant grooms, all headed for their parents’ house.

The girls are the daughters of Gilbert Grancourt and Philip Clerinell, on their way to a convent out past Crafthole. Henry piles their table high with tasty treats, hoping that, if they grow up to be great ladies, they will remember his little tavern.

Richard and Ralf see to the party’s horses, with a little instruction from Triston.

The young gentlewomen do not speak to either of the twins, or indeed to one another, but Richard thinks they look splendid in their fine array.

Once the party has departed, the boys are left to their own devices again. That afternoon and the two that follow are baking hot, and both boys are relieved to be able cool off in the river.

Wednesday’s are not to be the only travelers to pass through the village that week. The twins return home on Saturday evening to find their father waiting on a stranger.

The man is hot and sweaty, and glad of the refreshing nectar. He introduces himself to Henry as Master Folcard Thorel, and explains that he has been summoned to Plumbob Hall to act as music tutor to the children there.

When Thorel has rested a little, and the late summer sun is shining less fiercely, he prepares to make his way up to the manor house itself.  John, who has some fish and chamomile to deliver to his lordship’s cook, offers to show him the way up the hill.

A few hours later, after the children are tucked up in bed, John returns with interesting news: Humphrey the Cook is looking for a boy to help him in the kitchen. John’s Peter is still in swaddling clothes, and Hugh he cannot spare;  but the opportunity could be just the thing for a second son of about Ralf’s age.

Henry and Francis think so too. When Henry’s dies, the copyhold on the brewery will pass to Richard, the first born of the twins, leaving Ralf with no lands or living of his own. Discussing the matter in bed that night, husband and wife decide that a chance to have him serve at Plumbob Hall, and maybe even be promoted to a more permanent position there, is too good to pass up.

The next morning, the break the news to the boys. Ralf cries when he hears. He does not want to leave his family, and he had been looking forward to taking in his first harvest in the autumn.

But he knows his parents’ word is final. By the early morning light, he follows them up to meet the cook.

Humphrey is already in the middle of preparing lunch when they arrive, but he pauses to ask give Ralf’s arms a squeeze and ask him a few questions.

Satisfied, Humphrey tells Ralf that his work will begin on Monday, and gives him a quick tour of the kitchen. Ralf’s eyes light up when he sees the little garden full of garlic, carrots, raspberries, and a delicate purple flower that smells of summer. Perhaps it will not be so bad here.

Later that morning, after the Sunday sermon, the twins share the news with their friends.

Richard will miss his brother terribly.

When they get back home, Ralf gives little Mark a big hug.

At supper time, his parents lay out a feast for him.

Francis gets a little teary, but she and Henry are both very proud.

The twins go to bed early that night. At dawn, Ralf will make his way up the hill once more to start his new life at Plumbob Hall.

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10 thoughts on “Snordwich Chronicles, XXI: Opportunity Knocks

  1. Sad to see the that the twins will no longer be together. 😦 But that was part of life back in the day. Are three of the rich girls triplets? Guessing so given their matching dresses. There is some more pictures in a PM for you, I furnished one of your unfurnished builds for a sim of mine. Thought you would like to see the results. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, they will miss one another! 😦
      The girls aren’t actually triplets, but they are sisters, and their ages are close together. Their parents kept trying to have a son! There’s not a great selection of dresses for children (or teens actually), so I’ve tended to dress sisters quite similarly, just in different colours.
      Thanks for sending me your beautiful pictures! I love how you’ve furnished the house 🙂

      Like

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