One of the most lucrative positions in Queen Pirouette’s court was that of Chamberlain. The holder of this office exerted great influence on access to the Queen’s presence. It was often the subject of a bidding war. Perhaps an ardent, potential suitor would gift the Chamberlain with coinage in order to facilitate a place near the Queen during a concert. If there were a host of other suitors, a particularly wealthy man might bribe the Chamberlain to keep others away from her. This of course would mean an investment that exceeded the combined payments of all the other noblemen who sought access to her Royal Majesty.
Pirouette was perfectly aware of this game which is why she would arbitrarily cross names from the list of people who sought an audience with her. This created untold confusion for the finances of the Chamberlain. Someone who’d paid good money to see the Queen, only to find that he’d be refused access to her Majesty would demand repayment of the funds given to the greedy Chamberlain. Because of this, the Chamberlain developed a policy of never spending a client’s money until he’d seen the Queen in person.
So while the Queen was fighting for her life against the dreaded pox, the Chamberlain was busy informing his clients that all moneys that had passed hands over the last couple of weeks were lost because of an act of God. “You can’t blame me for giving the Queen the pox!” Exclaimed the Chamberlain. “I contracted it when I was a boy, several decades ago. Everybody knows that survival from the pox confers lifelong protection. More than likely, it was one of you obsequious suitors who passed it onto her when you kissed her hand!”