CHAPTER TWENTY NINE
Madison was disappointment that Chadwick had not woken her up before he departed. Why had he not told her last night that he had errands? Surely he had known of it yesterday. Damn obnoxious duke! What was she supposed to do for the entire day? Cleaning the cottage and making their meal may take her all of four hours, if she stretched things. What should she do for the rest of the day? She was surprised to see Buttons was around. Beth was busy in the kitchen preparing breakfast. Madison wished she was alone so she could sulk. She wanted to run back to their chamber and cry, but decided to bravely bare it.
‘Morning my lady,’ Beth smiled. ‘I hope you are hungry. We have bacon, toast, baked beans and fried potatoes.’
‘Thank you Beth. Did my husband eat?’ She would need to sit Beth down and explain to her that they need to use the groceries sparingly. If Chadwick was only going to replenish the pantry in a week, then they would have to tighten their belts.
‘Yes Lady Madison,’ she grinned. ‘He also asked me not to disturb you.’
‘I see,’ Madison’s face became inflamed. Did he have to tell Beth that! ‘Thank you Beth. Sit down,’ Madison sat and accepted the cup of chocolate. ‘Chadwick told me he will only go to the market once a week. We will need to use our supplies sparingly.’
‘We have enough supplies for a week,’ Beth smiled. ‘His Grace says he will bring some beef and chicken home tonight.’
‘I would like to make my husband supper tonight Beth,’ Madison rose and walked to the pantry.
‘Have you decided on the menu?
‘I was thinking Shepherd’s pie and a vegetable stew,’ Madison angled her head thoughtfully.
I am sure His Grace will be pleased with whatever you serve him. He cares a lot you my lady.’
‘I hope so,’ Madison smiled. ‘I want to see the garden. Did Buttons not go with Chadwick?’
‘No. His Grace wants him to stay here and protect you,’ Beth smiled.
‘From the jackals?’
Beth laughed. ‘You are a beautiful, young lady. He does not want the gentlemen here in d’Angerville to become bold in his absence?’
‘There are eligible young gentlemen here?’ Madison was curious.
Beth’s eyes widened in surprise.
‘What I mean is ---. I am not asking for myself Beth. I just did not think young men would remain in this quiet, country town. Young people prefer the ton.’
‘His Grace is a good man. I would not like any ---problems.’
‘For heaven’s sake Beth! I am quite happy with my husband. It has not even crossed my mind to think about a lover after one week of marriage, and in any event Chadwick will not allow such a thing.’
‘Most ladies who take lovers do not get their husband’s permission,’ Beth winked.
‘I have no desire for a lover. I do not think I want another man,’ Madison turned scarlet. ‘Now enough of this ridiculous subject. Tell Buttons I would like him to walk with me in the garden.’
‘Morning Your Grace,’ Buttons clutched his hat in front of his chest.
‘Morning Buttons. Lady Madison will do,’ she grinned. She looked into the warm sunny sky. ‘The garden looks lovely.’
‘We can grow a lot of our own produce my lady. Yesterday I got lots of different seeds. Carrots, beans, cabbage and sweet potato.’
‘Did my husband pay for all that?’
‘Er---he does not know.’
‘Buttons! I cannot let you spend your money on agricultural supplies.’
‘It is nothing my lady. You have always been kind to the servant folk. His Grace is a fair and decent man.’
‘I was thinking we should see what grows best and we can sell the surplus in the market or trade it for other supplies,’ Madison suggested.
‘Within a month we will have plenty to start with my lady.’
‘There is an abundance of fruit here already,’ Madison plucked a green pear hanging low from one of the trees. She wiped it down on her skirt and bit into it. ‘Mmm it is delicious. We shall pack some of them in trays for the market. ‘Beth and I can make some jam from the apricots figs and berries.’