Jenny: This Way

In a few moments Gwenhywfar emerged from the garden side of the house, striding with that peculiar rocking movement that made the Guttersnipe think of woodwomen. Across her shoulders was draped the hunting-cat, swaying also. From the vantage point of the barn doorway the Guttersnipe could see the other workers glance round from their tasks to watch the bard-woman go by.

The Guttersnipe dropped Maidenhead's rein and whirled round to her near side as Gwenhywfar strode up. Without pause she cupped her hands to make a stirrup for the woman, and without pause Gwenhywfar took the help and launched up onto the mare's back. A moment later the Guttersnipe was handing the reins up and stepping out of the way. A flash of envy and a wave of pride took her as Gwenhywfar drove her heels in and Maidenhead took off in a shower of gravel, fiery tail streaming in the wind. Watching them go, she promised herself she would learn to ride like that someday. After all who should ride better than herself?

With a little sigh she took herself back into the house to fetch Domitia. She passed Wulf in the hallway and stopped him. "How is Master Lucius this morning?"

The big man held up one hand and counted on the fingers, then dropped it back at his side. She watched the curious exchange with pursed lips. "Something better," he said bluntly. "Don't...dally...he says."

"Dally." She nodded. "I shan't. I'm seeing to the new girl, and then I'll be right in."

"Sun room," he said as he pushed away.

"Always," she called after him, and trotted on to find Domitia's door off the latch. She pushed it open and leaned in, finding the girl surveying the room with a faintly lost air. Stepping in, she cleared her throat.

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