Mary pushed open the door of the breakfast parlour, but before she could see into it, she was aware of silence. Wherever her lord was this morning, he wasn’t in Queen Street.
How often his booming laugh made her want to cover her ears, but in this quiet, how she longed to hear it. The silence brooded around her and when Malcolm spoke behind her, she jumped.
“Begging pardon, ma’am, but we haven’t served your breakfast here in some weeks. Coffee is on its way,” the servant said. Mary heard that guarded note all the staff used these days and quailed. Had she become a difficult mistress?
“Thank you, Malcolm. Is the master from home?”
“The master, ma’am?” Malcolm fussed with settling her into a chair and shaking out some linen to cover her lap. When his prevarication began to look like the unwillingness to answer it surely was, he replied.
“I hivnae seen the maister at a’ the day, ma’am.”
Mary stiffened. Malcolm forgetting his polished speech. What was Lennox about?