I had always assumed that he was a very serious straight-laced person. There weren’t many rumours about him in Society, but I haven’t heard any one ever say he was a bad person. Even Eugene, my former fiancé, and his friends had said though training with him was tough, he was still a fair person.
So, I had thought to begin with an apology for my behaviour. I felt incredibly awful pretending to faint last night.
But when the General and his grey haired attendant were presented, my intuition screamed “different”. He was not as I expected. He had a bouquet in his hand and something small. His rugged face was a bit ruddy around the cheeks, and he looked nervous.
Ah, it might be bad if I apologised.
‘Miss Fredericka, are you well? I am sorry to intrude upon your rest, do you remember me from last night? Volker Brennan?’ he greeted as he presented the lovely bouquet of yellow and orange flowers.
‘Of course, I remember, General Brennan. I am very ashamed I showed you such an unsightly me last night.’ I replied with a curtsy. ‘I hope to beg your pardon for running into you. And thank you so much for carrying me when I fainted.’
‘It was no trouble at all, Miss Fredericka.’ The general replied. There we are; all very mature.
I looked at the bouquet; they were flowers that I liked. I gave them a good sniff and smiled widely as I thanked the General again for them. He gave an awkward laugh.
‘Miss Fredericka,’ he said, clearing his throat, ‘actually last night, I picked this up. Is it yours?’
As I suspected, he had seen the fallen knickers.
Although I did not tell him, he had taken the time to bring it back to me, and it was wrapped tidily and beautifully as well! Despite the possibility of being labelled a pervert if he had been wrong, he brought it to me. Perhaps he thought I would be uneasy if I did not know where I left my knickers. I had been prepared to be condemned. But he was honest and sincere. He is a treasure of our country!
What a relief. Let’s peacefully eat breakfast of delicious omelettes and croissants with Marie and enjoy long morning baths…
Oh my goodness, I’m getting carried away. I’m so sorry.
‘Well…maybe,’ I said as I collected the wrapped item. I opened it and it was the knickers that I lost yesterday. It had been washed and folded so one would not know what it was at first glance.
I could see the General’s shoulders tense up 『pucci』at the sound of my high pitched exclamation. His servant’s face stiffened almost imperceptibly.
I squirmed a bit but I said in a happy tone,‘Thank you so much General Brennan! This was my favourite; I thought I had lost it forever. I had been depressed about it all morning. Oh I am so happy.’I clutched the packet to my chest and twirled around. I look happy, right? Can you not see? I twirled to face Marie and my smile turned embarrassed as I handed the package to Marie.
Alas, he seemed to be embarrassed. I approached the General and grasped his hands. His hands were large and his fingers were long like my fathers. But they felt different; his palms were hardened with calluses. Yet, they were warm.
‘If so…then I am glad. That is very good.’ He replied. He seemed to understand the exuberance and excitability of a young girl.
‘Miss Fredericka – tea is served in the drawing room.’ Oliver appeared. Nice timing, very convenient.
Oliver led us to the drawing room, where I served the tea and cakes. General Brennan seemed relieved. The atmosphere was filled with tension as we drank tea, yet I somehow promised to go to see a play with him.
At this time, my father and mother appeared looking somewhat strange.
‘I am Fredericka’s father, Frederick Castley, thirty-nine years old.’ Father said.
‘I am Fredericka’s mother, Pamela Castley, thirty-eight years old.’ Mother said in greeting.
Wait, what? Why are Father and Mother declaring their age?!