Snordwich Chronicles, LXIV: News from Lockville

The Yates hold the wedding feast outside their house. Eda has loaned them her table, and everyone else brings along a chair or two.

Margery dances all afternoon to Adam Baker’s fiddle.

At sunset, they move the party indoors, and see the bride and groom off to bed. The guest stays for quite a while after that, but at last Margery’s mother falls asleep in her chair, and one by one they quietly take their leaves.

Walter, Margery and Anne all make their beds on the floor of the front room that night, as do Hugh’s parents.

It is quite a squeeze, but for Margery the break from normal routine is thrilling.

They go to church again in the morning. On the way home, Jaclyn stops by their father’s grave to say goodbye.

She and her new family stay for lunch, but regret that they cannot linger into the afternoon, not if they want to be back in Lockville before nightfall. Margery notices how emotional her mother looks.

Tephna is the same way, when the bakers come to see them off.

Jaclyn promises to ride back for the feast of the watcher next spring, and to send word with everyone who passes by until then.

Hugh’s mother says that her brother is cook at Havlock Hall, and that his errand boy, whom he sends once a fortnight to Crafthole for supplies, could easily carry tidings back and forth.

As she waves them off, Margery is still buzzing with excitement. Only that evening, when her mother invites her to sleep up in the bed with her, does it hit her that her sister has a new home now.

In the days that follow, they return to their usual routine. They have their crops to take care of, and the work is harder with both Jaclyn and their father gone. Margery likes the early mornings best, before the summer sun gets too high in the sky.

A whole array of midsummer fruits and vegetables are now in season. The family’s lunches are so much more interesting with fresh ingredients to hand.

Walter turns some of them into a centerpiece.

Their mother shows Margery how to squish fruits together to make a light berry nectar

When their work for the day is done, she and Walter play in the river with Tephna’s brother Adam. Margery is glad to be able to cool off in the water.

Walter never misses an opportunity to go for a swim.

Eda’s youngest daughter Agnes often joins them too, though she prefers to stay on the shore.

Sometimes she and Margery find a shady spot to make daisy chains.

On Friday, everyone is surprised to see Hugh’s step-father Ralf returned from Lockville.

He has news from Jaclyn: she is already expecting her first child. Margery’s mother wants to go to her at once, but Ralf assures her that her daughter is quite well, and that there is no reason for her to risk the roads at her age.

When Tephna hears, she insists Ralf take her back with him at once.

She will rent the brewer’s horse, she says. The old mare is not as fast as she once was, but she will get her there.

Margery’s mother embraces Tephna, telling her it eases her mind to know that Jaclyn will have so dear a friend close by her side.

Then all they can do is wait. Margery gets excited all over again, but her mother seems anxious.

It is Sunday afternoon when Tephna returns with good news. Jaclyn is healthy and happy, only worn out. And she has given birth to a little red-haired girl to be named Alys.

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6 thoughts on “Snordwich Chronicles, LXIV: News from Lockville

  1. Tephna is a good friend and she was there to congratulate her friend when she gave birth. I will congratulate Jaclyn, too, on the little Alys. The mother seems to be sad about Jaclyn’s move. Fortunately her daughter’s okay 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
      Yes, the whole family will probably get together for the Feast of the Watcher in the spring. Alys will be old enough to ride in her mother’s arms by then.
      And we may see something of her when I play with the Grancourts, as their cook’s sister is Alys’ grandma.

      Liked by 1 person

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