Jenny: Companionable

"Mm?" she said around a hunk of cheese. She swallowed. "Well, there was Lucretia after a while - Gaius' wife. But no, it was mostly just me. Oh, there were the household servants, some of whom were girls, and there were a few little girls in the village. But everyone my age were boys and then there were Artos' friends. I was five when I first joined them - did I say? So I was young and probably very impressionable. But," she dropped her head and dug through the raisins, "they are the best sort of men. Gwenhywfar is like a man sometimes, and perhaps that's why I like her. I'm not much good with anything else.

"Except horses." Her head came back up. "My Lord Ambrosius has horse-witchery in his veins. Vortigern is perhaps right on that subject. Iceni, and there's always been a part of me that believes his father Amadeus was of an old equestrian family. So there's no avoiding horses around my Lord Ambrosius. And I adore horses; I have from an early age. That's really what brought us together. At five years old I had no notion there was such a person as my Lord Ambrosius, nor Artos, nor Vortigern, nor the whole council and I really had no idea there was a world outside of Venta. But I knew there were horses, and that horses were magical in the best sort of way. So that when my Lord Ambrosius came through town, I went to see the horses. And that's how we fell into each other's company for good.

"We're all of us good with horses. We can be farriers and horse-doctors in a tight place, if we have to be. Gaius was always best at that." Her mind strayed for a moment to Calidus, and she wondered that she had not told him... "That's what my Lord Ambrosius likes: hard workers, sensible people, the sorts who are willing to learn whatever is required of them. It is very Christian, he has told me, for a man to pick up the reins at the beginning of the day and not drop them until sunset. And when I asked him, who brings the water for the person at the plough? he sort of smiled - you'll know his smile if you see it - and said, why, the women do, of course. That's my Lord Ambrosius."

She smiled as she ate her raisins.


Jenny said...

Huh. I didn't know she was five. I thought she was closer to ten at that point. In some ways that makes more sense.

How old is she currently?


Jenny said...

Dur... She's eighteen, I think, going quickly on nineteen. That would make Artos twenty-five and Master Lucius only a few months younger than that.


Jenny said...

On account of his being "master", being ill, and a scholar, I always think of him as being ancient. :-S

Hmmm... So Artos and Aithne are the same age.


Post a Comment