Chapter 10: Master and the Maid

Frederick changed into a brown suit after his bath and began to head toward his study where Mabelle was said to be waiting for him. Phillip told him that Mabelle would be there to ask him something, but for what was to be asked was a mystery to him. What did she want to ask?

Meanwhile, Mabelle sat in the master’s study waiting for his arrival, but as time passed she decided to browse through the books of the study with the intention of dusting them. She pulled out the books one by one giving them a good wipe before returning them in their rightful place, but stopped her dusting when she pulled out a book titled The Thousand and One Nights. She sat back down on an empty chair as she flipped through the book open and began to read the Arabian themed tales in the pages.

The book was filled with adventure and even romance. She loved these type of stories, but when her eyes landed on a page of an Arabian Dancer lined with gold, her eyes filled with one of longing. She traced her fingers along the picture stopping her finger at the face of the dancer.

“Magnolia…I miss you.”

Mabelle was lost in her thoughts as she gazed at the picture to the point she didn’t even realize that the door to the study had opened revealing Frederick. Frederick immediately saw Mabelle sitting in one of his chairs with a book in her hand, but he focused more on her look of longing. It was as if she were looking at a long-lost lover. Her idle eyes seemed to sparkle with tears making her look the picture of pure innocence. Just the sight made his cheeks burn.

“Mabelle?” he managed to mutter out.

Mabelle looked up from the book and glanced over her shoulder only to see Frederick standing before the opened door. She immediately stood up, placing the book on the desk and curtsied saying, “Master.” Frederick nodded and then walked up to her saying, “Phillip said that you needed to ask me something.” Mabelle nodded and handed the note the Madam had handed her.

“I need to head to the market once again. Madam gave her permission, but she wanted me to ask you as well to avoid any future problems.”

Frederick took the note and read it over.

Dear Husband,

            Mabelle needs to head to the market, so please grant your permission. Also, if Mabelle needs to ever go to the market, make it so that she would no longer need to ask for your permission. I find it time consuming for her to head to the market with only your permission. Also grant her enough money to go to a tailor. That maid outfit is old.

            From your beloved wife,

            Ema

            Frederick had to agree that Mabelle could be trusted to go to the market whenever she wished, but he would still like to be informed. As for the maid outfit…Frederick glanced at Mabelle’s uniform and saw that the skirt had shortened in length most likely from the continued washing of the fabric and the color was beginning to fade. Ema’s insistence of getting a new uniform for Mabelle was not uncalled for, but he found the short skirt charming.

“Master?”

Frederick snapped out of his thoughts facing Mabelle.

“Yes, Mabelle?”

“Do I have your permission to go?”

Frederick nodded and headed to his desk to get the money pouch. As he did so he said, “In the future, you are allowed to go to the market whenever you wish, but please inform someone to let me know when you are going, so I know when not to call for you in the estate.”

“I understand,” stated Mabelle with a giggle.

Frederick slipped in a couple more coins in the money pouch and handed it to her adding, “I added more money than usual in the pouch, so make sure to drop by the tailor when you have time.”

“The tailor?”

“My wife thinks you need a new uniform, so please honor her wishes.”

Mabelle glanced at the maid uniform she wore and then back at Frederick saying, “I promise to do so.” Frederick nodded and sat in his desk, expecting Mabelle to dismiss herself from the study, but to his surprise, Mabelle asked, “If it is not too much trouble, can I please trim your hair?”

“My hair?” Frederick asked as he lifted his hand to his slightly longer hair.

Mabelle nodded saying, “I know in these parts it is not appropriate for higher class men to have long hair, and seeing your hair I thought maybe you needed to have a haircut or am I speaking out of line?”

Frederick held a strand of long hair knowing full well that his hair was beyond the acceptable standards of his class. He looked back at Mabelle and stated, “There are some scissors in the cabinet, so please cut my hair.” Mabelle giggled in reply and immediately retrieved the scissors from the cabinet and returned to Frederick. She placed a cloth over his shoulders and began to trim his hair.

As she cut his hair, Frederick began to feel relaxed. This feeling of relaxation reminded him of a time when he was younger. His older sister would cut his hair just like this, but they would do it in the garden under the warm rays of the sun. He remembered his sister’s laugh after she finished cutting his hair and mentioning how dashing he looked. To him at that time, his sister was his sun, but not too long after, his sister fell ill and died with him by her bedside. After her death, he felt like he could never feel the warmth she provided him ever again, but now, with the gentle of Mabelle’s fingers, he felt the same warmness he felt with his sister. iT was like she had returned to give him spirit.

“Master, I’m finished.”

Frederick snapped out of his thoughts and touched his shorter hair.

“Very good, Mabelle.”

Mabelle nodded and then patted his head making him freeze in place.

“You look very dashing, Master.”

“Dashing…”

Frederick chuckled making Mabelle tilt her head in confusion. He patted Mabelle’s head and stated, “Thank you for helping me with my hair, but you should head to the market, so it is not late when you return.”

Mabelle nodded and curtsied to Frederick before finally leaving the study.

When Mabelle was gone, he ran his fingers through his short hair with a warm smile on his face.

Mabelle really does bring sunshine in this estate.

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