Chapter 5: A Dish for Madam

It had been days since Mabelle was hired as the maid for the Edwardson Mansion and to every one present in the mansion, it was a surprise that Mabelle had lasted longer than the other maids and nurses when facing against the Madam of the house. Of course, they heard the Madam yell insults at Mabelle, but they never heard Mabelle yell back when she attended to the Madam. In fact, she always left the room with a smile and an empty plate of soup. As far as they knew, Mabelle was a miracle worker to stand THAT woman.

One day, as Mabelle washed the dishes, Farrow approached her and asked, “Mabelle?”

“Farrow, do you need something?” asked Mabelle becoming accustomed to calling all her coworkers by their first name.

“I was just wondering if you have been eating. I mean you never touch the food I make you.”

“Oh my, I apologize for that, but when it is time for my meal I am quite satisfied with the soup you have made for the Madam.”

Farrow sighed as he confirmed once again to himself that Mabelle had been eating the Madam’s meal, but that made him ask another question on his mind.

“What has the Madam been eating?”

Mabelle placed a finger to her chin in thought and stated, “She has been drinking water and I do remember her eating a little bit of bread, but I wouldn’t exactly count that as a meal.”

Farrow frowned with crossed arms.

“No matter what I make the Madam refuses to eat. What exactly does she want from me?”

Mabelle could hear the dissatisfaction in his voice and she understood how he felt, since she is a worker as well and would want praise for her work. Mabelle pondered to herself and then smiled as she learned toward Farrow’s ear and asked, “Do you know how to make Kedgeree?”

Farrow nodded with a raised eyebrow and asked, “Do you want me to make that? If so, I would need the ingredients.”

Mabelle placed a hand to her chest saying, “I will gladly buy the ingredients, if you are willing to make the dish.”

Farrow pondered to himself before nodding and instructing Mabelle to go to Mr. Edwardson’s office first. Mabelle nodded understanding that Farrow wanted her to ask permission to leave the mansion first, since trouble would arise if she left unannounced. Mabelle did a small bow to Farrow in respect and then ascended up the stair in quick yet graceful steps.

Mabelle pushed the strands of her hair behind her ear and then slowed down her pace as she got closer to Frederick’s doorway. The moment she stood before the door, she took in a deep breath and then knocked gently on the door.

“Who is it?”

“Mabelle Winchester, Master.”

“Enter.”

Mabelle opened the door and saw Frederick at his desk signing documents. Mabelle bowed her head at Frederick saying her greetings. Frederick nodded to acknowledge her and then asked, “What is your reason for seeking me? Is it about my wife?”

“It is related to her.”

“Are you resigning?” asked Frederick with a disappointment in his voice. Mabelle waved her right hand in the air saying, “Not at all, Master. I wouldn’t dream of resigning.”

“Then what is it you want?” asked Frederick momentarily stopping his work. Mabelle smiled as she spoke.

“Madam hasn’t been eating well, so I planned to have Farrow make a dish that she might enjoy, but we lack the ingredients for the dish I want made for her, so I wanted to have your permission to go out to buy the ingredients.”

“Are you planning to use your wage for this?”

“I don’t mind, since my top priority is to have the Madam in good health.”

Frederick sighed with a slight smile on his face as he opened his desk drawer and pulled out a brown pouch that jingled as it was pulled out. He placed it on the desk and stated, “Please use this money to buy the ingredients you need and while you are at it, please buy clothes for yourself.”

Mabelle stared at the pouch that was filled with money and shook her head saying, “I will only buy the ingredients, so please expect the money to be returned.” With those words, Mabelle took the pouch from the desk and then left the room wishing Frederick a nice day.

Frederick watched Mabelle close the door and then rested his head on his desk. In truth, he wanted her to buy new clothes, so she wouldn’t wear that revealing dress on her days off. He also felt that he didn’t want men to gaze at her, while she wore that special dress of hers. Frederick shook his head and continued his work.

Mabelle on the other hand changed into the proper clothes of the area, which was a long sleeved sky blue dress with a frill lined skirt that covered her ankles and brown boots. This dress and boots were gifted to her by Curtis, the gardener, on a previous day she visited the garden. She placed a blue bonnet on her head and then grabbed a basket for the groceries. She looked herself over in her mirror and nodded in approval, but before she left the room, she saw a wood handle knife on her night stand. She stared at it a while, before grabbing it and strapping it to her left thigh and concealing it using the skirt.

Mabelle frowned at this old habit of concealing weapons on her body when she went out. She reminded herself repeatedly that she was no longer an assassin, but she kept the knife where it was hidden on her body and then left the room slipping the brown pouch in her basket.

My top priority is to help the Madam.

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