The old King woke up in a state nearing hysteria. It took him at least a minute to regain his composure. What a nightmare! He thought. In the dream, water was pouring from every window. There was half of a foot of water on the floor. He kept shouting for help, but no one was there to answer his call. The sound of thunder was still ringing in his ears. “Help!” He croaked feebly.
Rubbing his eyes, le valet de chambre rose from his pallet on the floor beside His Majesty’s bed. Pulling the bed curtain aside just wide enough to see inside, he saw the old King trembling with fear. “Brandywine!” He shouted. “Brandywine for the King!” There was an immediate buzz of activity.
“What’s amiss?” Asked the Captain of the Guard who was fidgeting the pommel of his sword.
“His Majesty is suffering from a nightmare,” answered the valet. Then to the King, he asked, “Would Your Majesty care to tell me the nature of your nightmare?”
His Majesty simply stared at the Valet and then said one word, “Deluge!” He croaked. “Après moi vient le déluge!”
Weariness covered the old King like a second skin. Looking downright small in his large throne, he rested his chin in the cup of one hand. After days of cajoling from the prime minister, the old king had finally conceded to his prime minister’s cajoling to grant an audience to Lady Greenmeadow. While his memory was no longer what it used to be, His Majesty still remembered the role her ladyship had played in sending le comte des Deux Chats to the Northern Tower as well as the part she played in hurting his beloved Princess Pirouette. Did she really think she could inveigle herself into my good graces again?
While the prime minister stood behind the old King’s throne, Princess Pirouette sat in a smaller throne at his right hand. No amount of flattery from anyone or anything could persuade Pirouette to forgive Lady Greenmedow for her role in GarGar’s infidelity. The reality of her situation did cause her to grant le comte des Deux Chats forgiveness, however grudgingly, but Lady Greenmeadow would forever sit in the cold air outside of warmth of royal favor.