As Lord Snordwich watches Roger and Matilda together, he thinks how ungainly his son looks next to his graceful wife. The boy has at least set aside that awful yellow doublet he used to wear, but he looks so uncomfortable—somehow stiff and bent in all the wrong places.
Attending the young couple is Richard, Philip Clerinell’s only son.
Rikilde is Hugh Cotter’s wife now.
They were married shortly after her mother died. It was not ideal, to have a hurried little wedding so close to the funeral, but they both agreed it would help strengthen their bid for the guardianship of her little brother Robert.
They had worried that her sister’s husband Richard would challenge their suit, but he did not. Perhaps he didn’t know he could. Now she and Hugh will bring Robert up together, managing his inheritance for him until he is of age to claim it.
They first thought they might maintain two households, with Hugh, Robert and her in one cottage, and Hugh’s mother, sister and brother in the other, but in the end they decided it would be cheaper to keep everyone together under one roof.
The following morning, Ewfame and Hilith at last get some time to talk to Thomas. He assures them he is well, and shows them his favourite spot in the gardens. Things were too quiet here while the rest his lordship’s household were away in Advorton, he says, but now they have returned everyone is in high spirits. He and Sir Thomas’ son John take their supper together whenever it is not their turn to serve the high table, and they have become the best of friends.
Thomas has a wedding present for his sister, a piece of polished green jasper he bought from a merchant in Effenmont. If she keeps it close by her, it will bring her luck and good health. Hilith is touched by the gift.
On the morning of the wedding, Ewfame dresses her daughter in green silk and ties a flower in her hair.
They stop at the village church to hear the morning sermon before riding on to Plumbob Hall.
Tephna’s mother manages to make it to church on Nativity morning, but it is obvious to everyone that the walk up to Plumbob Hall for the tenants’ feast would be too much for her.
Her father tells her to take Oriel and Adam up to enjoy the feast; he will stay behind with his wife. Tephna hugs him gratefully.
After church on the morning of the feast, the children receive their gifts: another dragon for Margery and an ogre for Walter.
They want to take them outside, but when their mother tells them it is too cold they are happy enough to play in the back room.
On All Soul’s Eve, some of the village wives walk up to Plumbob Hall to see the new baby. Jaclyn wants to go with them, but her mother tells her she needs her to watch little Walter and Margery.
Jaclyn gives them toys to play with, and gets to work on the Soul Cakes.