Jenny: Firelight

"She has temper enough to keep her warm," the Guttersnipe observed, setting aside her empty mug. "Poor chit! coming from a servant's position. I always said she was high-strung. I wonder if her Erin Isle is warmer than our Albion. I must doubt it. They are so far out on the edge of the world there - it must be windy and wild! Go ahead, Portia. Fetch her what she needs. I fear I have little to lend: so many of my things my lord Ambrosius gave me, and I cannot part with them. But I will see what I have."

She rose and left the woman to make her way out to the atrium. The pale light, very white and soft, that drove in through the soft rain and mists, made the room seem as the inside of a seashell with only the colourful, cheery bloom of the fire at its heart to warm it into life. She sat on a cushion by the fireside, looking into the flame as its warmth beat upon her cheeks. Down at the heart of the fire, under the bellies of the logs, were the embers that were like living glass beads, flaming, pulsing, so like the valiant beat of Mars' light on the far night horizon. They were so warm and beautiful to her that it hurt.

"Take heart," she mumured to herself in cadence to the crackle of the logs, "take heart - what heart ye can. I hunt among the graves tonight. Do not be dismay, but take heart. The council is in session and they call me. I hunt among the graves tonight. Fear not! for I am Man. I shall set their darknesses ablaze! for I am Man."

She leaned down and set another log upon the fire, and sat back, meditating, listening to the rush of rain overhead.

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