𝔗𝔴𝔦𝔰𝔱𝔢𝔡 ℜ𝔢𝔣𝔩𝔢𝔠𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫𝔰

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"Oh, Young Missus you do not know how glad I am to see, ye!" Miss Pedigree, the senior maid, was a woman of Rubenesque figure with rounded cherry-colored features and a mouth endowed with the gift of gab unlike any other.

She hovered around Erin, blubbering with boisterousness and noise. "Had it been so long since I've the pleasure of simply hearing yer voice?" Swallowing on a dry tongue, sweat traveled the length of her brow.

"Has it? I remember yours." Erin sat cross-legged in her seat, skimming the area; a mass of servants had taken to cleaning up the mess littered outside from Reynold's room.

Entertained by the show, she requested a small patio table and chair, so she could seat herself on the periphery of the mess she caused: scattered around haphazardly were clothes, shoes, various wooden debris, books, and unrecognizable objects peeking out from bushes and hedges.

"Yes! Slight it be that yew was away! Now that ye are here all I can have is joy! I've missed yew so awfully so!" Miss Pedigree swallowed, wide-eyed, jerky limbed, and flapping like a sodden fish.

"Hmm? Missed me?" she purred, barely hiding her disinterested disbelief. "Really?"

"Well." For a moment, hesitation stalled Miss Pedigree's tongue. But when Erin turned a critical side-eye her way, she quickly sputtered out words. "A-Aye, I did so!"

"Really?" Erin watched her, enjoying seeing the woman squirm.

A draft of cool air tickled the beads of sweat along Miss Pedigree's flushed forehead. In Erin's presence, she was turning into a puddle of unease. "Yew know I would not lie to yew! We all missed yew! No one wanted yew to leave, especially not---."

"---Pass me that book." Erin interrupted, pointing to the same diary she remembered throwing out the window. It was now seated near a rose bush.

Miss Pedigree exhaled, fabricating a smile. "Book?"

"Book." She shook her pointed finger. "Now."

The demand shook Miss Pedigree into action. She quickly picked up the leather book and hurried back to Erin.

"Anyways, as I was saying, Young Miss---."

Erin snatched the book, and Miss Pedigree had to flinch before continuing. "Everyone quite missed yew. No one wanted yew to go away so far. Which speaking of that, how was yer stay at the Proper Lady's Recreational Dormitory? Lady Sutherton mentioned that yew was having quite a blast!"

"Hah!" she scoffed, making Miss Pedigree jump in surprise. "Oh, Miss Pedigree," she said, lightly exhaling, her focus on the diary's pages. "Such humor exists in the world!" Critical laughter sprung from her chest.

A baffled look overcame Miss Pedigree's face. She was unsure why there was laughter, but she had no intention of not laughing with her. Wiping a bead of sweat away, the pitch of her throaty voice raised as she quickly joined the laughter.

"It sure does, Young Missus!" She clasped her plump fingers, anxiously laughing and cackling.

"Goodness...." Erin's laughter suddenly shrunk just as it started, and instantly Miss Pedigree followed suit.

" 'Recreational' 'Had a blast', my, what funny things to say," Erin said, dabbing at the corner of her eyes with her free hand.

"Yes, yes." Miss Pedigree eagerly nodded back.

Erin shook her head with a smile. "Funny." She flipped through more pages of the diary, reading with the bobbing of her crossed legs.

"Y'know, Young Missus, yew really are looking quite well. Did yew perhaps thin up some more while yew was away---."

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