Friday, July 14, 2017

Chapter Three: Planning and Plotting

Sig was relieved the next morning to see that Addi was not as uneasy and worried as she had been the evening before. It didn't seem to be particularly like her, though, to seem so relaxed in the face of the uncertainty about this situation.

"You look very well-rested," Sig ventured.

"I got some good ideas from some of the things that you said last night. I've got a plan laid out," Addi replied with a smile.

"So you're the brains, and I'm the brawn?" Sig flexed his arm teasingly, but didn't press Addi to reveal her thoughts. Observing her at the site of the chateau remains would tell him much more about the way that her mind was working. He put the issue aside to concentrate on eating the hearty breakfast with which their hostess had provided them.
"I do need to tell you one thing before we start out," said Felicie. "We are going to have to be very cautious in our exploration. Our Queen, Eleanor, has declared it illegal to explore or excavate at the chateau ruins. Fortunately, we have an excuse to at least be on the hill on which the remains sit. There is a type of wild rose, called la rose epineux, that grows very thickly on the hillside. You might have seen the plant for yourself in my gardens when you arrived yesterday. I grow vegetables and herbs to eat and to sell, but I also grow plants for medicinal and health uses. Rose hips from that strain are full of vitamins and make a good tea. As the best time of year to gather them has just begun, it's a perfect cover to be on La Colline Chateau, although not up to the top height. I think Queen Eleanor would forbid her subjects from being near the area at all, except that the roses seem to thrive there more than any other part of this region. I have hard work to maintain the few bushes that I have in my garden." Felicie stopped herself here from getting into a discussion of soil and drainage issues.
Addi was more interested in Queen Eleanor's attitude. Addi's own work was preserving these time-worn stories of magical beings and happy endings, or not. She always found fascinating how the outside world saw her life's occupation. "Why are the ruins forbidden to explore? Are they unstable, unsafe?"

"Your cousins say no." Felicie folded her hands on the table. "There has always been interest in the place, to varying degrees. Sometimes people seek to visit looking for ghosts or hidden treasure, sometimes it is only an object of curiosity at the center of a quaint fairy story. But Queen Eleanor dislikes having the old story even mentioned at all, so the Chateau Corseul is forbidden to be spoken about, much less viewed. The Queen gives off the impression that she finds the old tales a slur to her royal lineage, reading between the lines of what I've heard her say." Felicie shrugged. "Well, of course, there are some versions of The Sleeping Princess that aren't really suitable for wholesome children's tales," she added wryly.

"You're the resident authority on this story, then," Addi said.

"Yes, I've always had an interest in it, perhaps because I've been gathering roses there since I was a little girl. And speaking of roses, we should get started." Felicie turned to Addi. "We'll start by doing some actual work with the flowers, and then you and Sig should be able to do some surreptitious exploration on your own. I hope we'll find something. Your cousin Louise seemed certain that you would."

"I've always found my cousin's ideas good," said Addi. "I think we'll definitely learn something today."
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Two notes:
1. I had a hard time with this chapter. I was going to add the castle exploration here, but decided that would make the chapter too long; however, that left me with exposition and very little action, and so I wrote and re-wrote a lot to still move the story along.

2. For the time being, I've given up on having the proper accent marks on French and other languages' words, because I can't get the formatting right. If you have any tips on how to do this with Blogger, let me know. I might do my own experimentation as well, but in the meantime, no accent marks.





3 comments:

  1. You have to start somewhere, so I'm all for exposition. You get to learn the characters so you can determine who you want to root for.

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    1. Thank you for the input! Now I wonder who people are going to root for. :)

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