Welcome! This week I debated whether to continue with my excerpts from The Partridge and the Peartree or share a bit of The Samurai's Garden, which was released this week. Presently, I'm making the rounds of author blogs to promote the samurai book. I've visited the virtual homes of Nancy Gideon, SG Rogers, and Catherine Bennett (click on their names to see the posts on their blogs), so I decided that since Samurai has gotten a lot of attention this week, I'd share a bit more of Partridge. After all, it's a Christmas story and we'll probably wrap up the Sweet Saturdays in another few weeks. So here is the continuation of last week's scene, in which Lady Amelia figures out a way to get rid of her curious footman:
She took a circular route, hoping to lull her companion into thinking she was merely out for a stroll. Pausing at a popular milliner's, she made a show of looking in the window then turned to the young footman.
"I think I'll go in here for a while. I need a new hat. I'll take the satchel now. You may wait for me out here."
Giles bowed his acquiescence and handed the satchel to her. She hoped he wouldn't question her need for a satchel in the milliner's shop, and like a good servant, he didn't. At least not aloud.
She carried the satchel into the shop. Madame LeFevre, the proprietor, rose to greet her potential customer.
"Bon jour, mademoiselle."
"Bon jour, Madame LeFevre. I wish to place an order for a hat. Er, something to go with my new winter cloak."
"Oui, mademoiselle. Ze new cloak, it is in your bag?"
"My bag? Oh, no. I, er, forgot to bring it along. But it's... blue."
"Blue is an excellent color for you, mademoiselle. What shade of blue?"
"Ah, it's…a deep blue. Rather like—" She cast a quick glance around the shop, and her eyes caught a bright, peacock blue felt hat. "That one."
Madame blinked, obviously swallowing her distaste. "Oui, mademoiselle. Ze entire cloak is that color?"
"Perhaps I should return another day and bring the cloak with me. Forgive me for wasting your time this morning. I'll just get going." She strode toward the back of the shop.
"Er, mademoiselle? Ze door is this way."
"Yes, but my next errand is on the street behind your shop. If you don't mind, I'll just use your side entrance to get there more quickly. Thank you for your time." She scooted out the door, mindful of the lady's stare. She probably wouldn't be back, at least not this season. But she'd accomplished her goal and left Giles waiting at the front entrance. Hopefully, by the time he realized her duplicity, she'd have her errand completed.
The side entrance of the shop emptied on a quiet street. No traffic here, and Amelia cast a cautious look about her before proceeding. She had an important errand, and nothing was to be gained by dawdling.
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