“Oh Bailey not again!” Lynette gasped opening the door to find her son standing in the rain with a young girl likewise soaked.
“Ma, it ain’t like that!” the young man protested, “Please ma they need your help”
“They?” she queried, peering around.
“Gayle… come here” Bailey called to the wagon he’d borrowed from the farmer “She can help us”
“I ain’t leaving me sister” a dark shape replied.
“Mam, Her sister… she died… I bought her with us, I couldn’t leave her in the mud. Lord Hamdun dun it, they are in a mighty bit of trouble I didn’t know where else to go”
“Oh Bailey, you cant keep getting yourself involved in other peoples woes”
“Mam.. the good lord would not forgive us for turning a blind eye. They are just girls and they really need someone to help”
“And what are we supposed to do Bailey?”
“I dunno” he admitted “But can we come in?”
“Yes of course” his mother nodded, opening the door wide revealing the warm dry living room that seemed too inviting for the cold wet travellers. Bailey watched as Eadith ran in past his mother and towards the fireplace.
“What about their sister? He asked, “She’s bin dead a couple oh days but I don’t want to leave her in the wagon”
“Take her into the parlour, i’ll find some sheets to wrap her in” the old woman offered.
Several minutes later the girls where wrapped in warm blankets in the lounge in front of the first and Bailey and his mother stood in silence in the kitchen.
“They aren’t noblewomen are they?”
“No mam” Bailey agreed, “Their mam was Lord Hamdun’s mistress and the older one was a maid, he was hurtin them mam and they run away. His men came an found them, they hurt Gayle real bad.. and took her mam back to the castle”
“She doesn’t look too hurt?”
“Mam they hurt her” he promised sternly. “They hurt her in the way only men do to women, I’d be thinking you’d know something of that kind of pain”
His mothers eye’s widened slightly, he understood why. He knew she’s always tried to keep his fathers treatment of her secret, he guessed it was because she didn’t want to admit or tell him how he and his brother came into this world. The thing was people talked, people in the village most of all and secrets where never secrets for long.
“It’s alright mam, I know why you didn’t tell us but we both know and now them girls need help like what you got from Lord Vaux”
“You plan to kill Lord Hamdun” his mother smiled, seeming to finally undertand. He knew his mother would help, she might not have helped with Anya but even he could see this was different.
“Naw” he chuckled, “but I was hoping we could give em somewhere warm to sleep… protect em like you did fer Muireen and Alith? I think if he’d wanted them he would have took them when he had the chance…. maybe you could see Lord Vaux make it official. If half of what we are told about him and Lord Hamdun is true then maybe he’d help keep them safe?”
“Oh Bailey I don’t think im in any position to be asking lord Vaux for favours”
“You where married to him once” Bailey reasoned, “and they are just young girls… Lord Vaux could stop Lord Hamdun hurtin em again.. could he?”
“I suppose he could” his mother agreed.