“Mistress,” Tina, my companion’s slave, said while showing me a piece of parchment she had been glancing over for an ihn or so. “Why is a letter tucked into my Master’s receipts for the location in Ar?” She paused then waved the paper at me in my direction. “It is a letter actually – from his mother and it’s dated prior to our leaving Ar,” Tina said as she looked at it curiously. “Go ahead, read it Tina and tell me what it is about,” I replied. As she read the letter to herself, I continued to sort through this month’s books in silence. I glanced at her when I sensed her eyes upon me and noticed a look of shock upon her face.
“What?” I said to her laughing “Did my Merchant Mum talk about some sort of scandalous gossip that occurred in our fair town?” Tina shook her head and extended the parchment towards, her hand jerking it a few times. “No Mistress, it is about you…” Tina said as she rose to move closer to my desk. “Me?” I said as a grabbed the letter out of her hand then began to read it myself.
I hope you are well my son and that our business interests there are productive. The presence of your brother and yourself there have been nothing but beneficial to our businesses in both Ko-Ro-Ba and our smaller outpost in Kassau. At first it was worrisome for me that expanding our textile business into Ar would be too much. But it is obvious the return on our investment was immense. I am also pleased to hear that your younger brother has become quite the leader in our holdings which makes my request of you a bit easier. I need you to return home to Ko-Ro-Ba my dear Silus, not only to take on a stronger role here at our main location but to help my beloved Elle. Our girl Elle is in trouble. Those in business alliances with our House have informed me that our recent trip to the Sardar Fair resulted in inquiries about her – where she lives, her caste, who her family is, etc. Normally I would have considered these the standard inquiries regarding the possibilities of companionship seeing how she is now eighteen, but the inquiries were made by apparently by agents of a couple houses of the Caste of Slavers.
She needs to be companioned Silus and immediately. She is beautiful, outgoing and intelligent and her talent makes her stand out even more: All the things slavers look for when trying to acquire stock. But, it cannot be just any man. Her companion needs to be someone we trust: a man who will not subject her to certain things I do not want happening to her. Plus she has a bright future and her earning potential is great. You must companion Elle to assure her status as a Free Woman, Silus – I cannot let her fall into the cruel hands of slavery. Not only will she be safe with us as a true member of our family from these men and their “inquiries” but her earnings will remain a part of the family. Please do this for me Silus. I have grown to love her as my own child and I am sure in time, you will grow to love her too.
With all my love,
I scanned through the letter a few times, refusing to look up at Tina as I feared the expression on her face in knowing what the letter meant. With each pass, my heart began to pound even more and my head spin. I felt sick to my stomach and the more I took in the words of my Merchant Mother on the parchment, I grew faint. Once finished I breathed in and out a few times them reluctantly allowed my eyes to meet Tina’s. I practically threw the letter back at her then rose to walk to the door then stopped in the door frame turning to speak. “Take care of that letter please, Tina. Put it back where you found it and we will never speak of it again,” My voice was weak and barely audible but with Tina’s brief nod I knew she understood.
To Be Continued……
- The Adventures of Elle the Peasant – Chapter 3
- Adventures of Elle of the Peasants – Chapter 4 – A Vignette