It is not unsurprising that those of us who come from different times have differing dialects. Strangely, Orie, who is not that far removed from my temporally, is the one I have the most difficulty with. But then, he is also from America, which probably helps with the misunderstandings. That, and his somewhat militaristic attitude.
I was reading an alchemy text while in the tavern, bemoaning the fact that it had been too many years since my Latin lessons with old man Matterson back at The Math. Orie wandered in and my complaint led to a discussion of languages that we knew; which in turn led to me talking about my more adventurous past. I then had to explain about my personal life, since he seemed to have gotten the wrong idea about my relationships with the various ladies around. He seemed to be under the impression that I had claims on lots of the ladies, but I assured him that only Gwyn and Valene were in any way attached to me. Helene, I explained, was a very close friend, but we were not otherwise involved.
Maric came in and asked if all was well, asking after some trouble that had passed the previous evening. I was not aware of any trouble, so could only report on the arrival of Fate. Orie, however, reported on some arguments that Aoibheann had been having with Ket’Lyn, and a disagreement he had had with Galyanna. He also made some comment that neither of us understood about us being “peas and carrots” with Vedis. Maric commented that no vegetables were involved. Apparently, it is akin to our “peas in a pod” saying. Maric was concerned about the arguments, and I wondered if it was related to the problems Aoibheann had divulged to me. I did not want to discuss such a private matter in front of Orie, who might have an unsophisticated view of such things, so I remarked that Aoibheann had spoken to me of it, and that I was looking into it for her. I said that I would rather discuss it privately, when he asked for details, and sent him a mental message saying that it was a personal matter, which she would rather not discuss, assuring him that I would deal with it. He replied that he would take my word on this and respect her privacy, but there were other matters we needed to discuss. We also spoke, mentally, about my visit to the lake shore, another matter he wished to discuss with me later.
We had some discussion about the difficulties of dealing with the fae over a couple of drinks, which was mostly me trying to explain to Orie about how you need to be very careful when making agreements, because things could easily hinge on a simple choice of words. I warned that the same could apply to dealings with demons, particularly as Orie seemed to have some business with Vedis that could affect the future of Ashmourne. This concerned me greatly, as I was not at all comfortable with Orie, given his bellicose nature, carrying out business with the demons that might affect us all. Despite my concern, though, I found myself unable to concentrate. Whether it was from the drink, or just the exertions of the previous few days, I found myself drifting off to sleep and the next thing I knew, it was morning, and I was there, in the seat by the fire, with a blanket, presumably placed there by Hal, over me.
The following evening, I came across Orie and Aoibheann in the clearing in front of the tavern. Orie seemed to be making preparations for leaving, presumably to the demon isle, and was offering his jacket to Aoibheann to keep her warm. She was not convinced, claiming to not be cold, even though she was in a dress that left her shoulders bare, and had opted to go barefoot. There was somewhat of a mess around the table that Aoibheann had put out for her tea-party, so I asked more about what had happened. She would only say that it was largely due to Jack, who is apparently Queen Cypress’ bodyguard, and somewhat of a giant. Orie remarked that Aoibheann knew how to throw a hoedown. That confused Aoibheann, who thought he might be referring to the garden tool called a hoe, but apparently, a hoedown is a Virginia term for a party or a shindig. For myself, I was put in mind of the old song ‘The Keeper Did a-Hunting Go’ and sang the first chorus to illustrate:
Jackie Boy – Master
Sing you well – Very well
Hey down-ho down, derry derry down
Among the leaves so green-o
To my hey down down- To my ho down down
Heigh down-ho down, derry derry down
Among the leaves so green-o
Aoibheann had heard me singing before, but Orie complimented me on my voice. I explained that I had often sung with my mother, and at church. He claimed he had no singing voice, except for marching songs and jodies, whatever those might be. He left soon after, claiming business on the island. Eventually, we persuaded Aoibheann to look after the jacket, even if he wasn’t going to wear it. I tried to get her to come to the tavern to get warm, but she opted instead to go to the castle.
As they were leaving, we were disturbed by the sound of somebody stumbling behind the tree. We all reacted with caution, in case it was some other attack, but it turned out to be Fate, who had stumbled over one of the roots. Since the others were now leaving, I invited her for a drink over at the tavern.
Once we were comfortably seated at the fireside, I explained to her the reason for my insistence on providing hospitality. Quite apart from it now being my duty as Steward, I explained how people had been kind to me when I had first arrived in London, and later, Jasper Cove. In the course of that, I mentioned Night Haven, and it transpired that Fate was from that same London, and had owned the herbalists that sat in the building near the foot of the old clock tower where Night Haven had been built. I mentioned a few of the names she might know from those days – Giada, the Seids, etc. She knew Giada, and knew of Clan Seid. While we were talking, Helene came wandering in, so I introduced her as another escapee from London, mentioning that they had something in common, since Helene was very interested in herbs and potions.
That got them talking about the herbalist shop and the one that Helene had run on behalf of Branwen – Tuski Haven – which Fate knew, and had even shopped there. They looked set to chat about herbs and things for a while, so I excused myself and left them to it. For all that things were temporarily peaceful; I still had much to do in the castle.