When Pirouette knocked over the ink pot, it was only half accidental. She watched calmly as the document upon which the pot had sat, soaked up the blue liquid. She smiled and said to herself, “Thank God paper isn’t waterproof.” She was done for the day anyway. Calling Abigail, she said, “See that pile of papers at the end of the desk? Give them to a messenger to take to his lordship, the prime minister.”
Abigail’s eyes grew wide at the titling tower of paperwork. “Did you go through all of that in one sitting?”
“Indeed I did, and my hand is cramping so that I can’t do one more jot of work!”
GarGar closed his eyes against the glare of the afternoon sun. It was a hot summer’s day. He mopped his face with a lace handkerchief and then tossed it unceremoniously at his stone-faced valet. This was probably one of the least obnoxious indignities that he’d received from the hands of his master. “Thank you, m’lord,” he said without a hint of sarcasm. Something in the servant’s words brought a memory to GarGar of his father, a charming scoundrel who’d left a string of illegitimate children across the kingdom before being struck down by an irate husband. Then he thought of his mother, a delicate beauty who with steely determination had remarried swiftly in order to provide her only child some kind of a legacy.
“Fetch me some quills and paper,” he said to the valet. “I need to write to Princess Pirouette.” It was understood that the valet would have to bring a pot of ink as well.
Princess Pirouette sat at her new desk. The polished surface was not visible for all of the papers scattered on it. Lord Boyd, the prime minister’s youngest secretary, personally delivered the piles earlier that morning. Pirouette was aghast. “What am I supposed to do with this?” She asked the secretary incredulously. “My suggestion is that you start from the bottom,” he said smoothly, before bowing low and departing as quickly as he’d arrived.
Chewing her bottom lip, Pirouette took Lord Boyd’s advice and pulled a paper from the bottom of the largest pile. The script was ornate and unfamiliar to her, but she squinted her eyes and tried to sound out the letters. “Whereas the people of the capital have found their streets to be piled with rubbish, and whereas …” That was all she could glean from the document. Scanning further down, she made out the words, “Therefore His Most Gracious Majesty…” Dipping her quill into the ink pot, she began to underline the words that she didn’t understand.