and she slid to the floor.
When Mary roused , Lennox had propelled himself onto his knees and was crawling towards her. The servants were racing back from wherever they’d hidden, and she heard Lennox’s shout and Agnes’s strident, almost accusatory tones, chiding the master.
“Agnes, where are ye, woman?”
“Here, sir. Did my lady tak fricht ower the mention o the Grassmarket?
“Of course she did. Can you lift her if Malcolm helps?” Lennox asked. Mary heard the frustration in his voice. No doubt he wanted to be able to lift her himself, but he was weak from the blood he’d lost. She stirred and let out a tiny moan to alert them to the fact she was awake.
“Lady Calder,” Agnes said. “Let me help, ma’am. Here Malcolm slide your arm below my lady’s shoulders.” Working together they managed to raise Mary onto the chair she’d left so precipitously. She watched through lowered lids as Malcolm turned to the Master and helped him onto another chair.
“We make a fine sight, do we not?” Mary asked her lord, although she thought he might be in no mood for levity. “Why does the Grassmarket upset me, Lennox, when the shadow in my memory lurks in woods?”
“We think they took you there,” he said abruptly. “To the stand of trees along by the Boroughloch. It is to my shame that I did not put the incident into its proper perspective. Wilson and Mama are connected by their love of the table.”
Mary wiped her brow with the cloth Agnes handed her. Her dress began to feel tight once more and she breathed slowly.
“My ruby and garnet set is missing,” she said bleakly.
BELLA’S BETROTHAL an entertaining romance with humour and a touch of thematic mystery.