GarGar, le comte des Deux Chats pulled on the reins and brought his horse to a complete stop. Bending from the saddle, he pulled a flower from his sleeve and presented it to Princess Pirouette. She accepted it gladly, giving it a little sniff before putting it behind her ear. She giggled. “I can’t believe you followed my carriage all this way,” she said with a smile.
In a typical act of spontaneity, she’d ordered a carriage and taken an impromptu ride into the country with nobody but Abigail Hoffenhoff for company. For her part, Abigail had taken scrupulous notes of all the birds and flora she’d noticed on the way. Miss Hoffenhoff fancied herself an amateur naturalist and hoped to publish a volume someday on her observations. Now that the carriage had stopped and le comte had presented himself, she pushed herself into a dark corner of the carriage and pretended to read the very notebook into which she’d recorded her findings.