Mary laid her hand on the cloth beside her plate and waited while the dizziness in her head settled. She thought there might have been a great deal of dizziness over the last days while autumn melted into this December gloom. Still dark at ten of the clock.
“I am a little dizzy, ma’am,” she said and was more troubled by the countess’s silence than she would have been by one of her sharp set-downs. Mary lifted the hand and smoothed her curling hair off her cheeks. Agnes had tutted and fussed, but eventually allowed it would do for a domestic day.
“I think I feel the weight of Lennox’s Deerhound against my side when I waken. Why should that be?”
For a few moments she thought Lady Grizel would continue silent, but she relented at last.
“Because you may be remembering his weight against your side. He kept guard over you after…”
“After what? Do not stop there, please. I think I am walking into a dream this morning. You and Agnes, and even Malcolm are so strange. What has happened and where are the children? I do not hear any rumpus from the top floor.”
“Mama did not mean to scare you, my love,” Lennox said from behind her. “But the physicians want you to remember by yourself.”
“Lennox. remember what?”
“We need to find out, my dear. In the meantime, will you not eat some porridge. You are sorely starved, I think.”