After traveling so far, Queen Pirouette ordered her coachman to turn around and take her back to the palace, rather than continuing toward Castle Rising. Everyone in the entourage was surprised by the sudden change but she was the Queen. Whatever she said was for all intents and purposes carved in stone.
Because he was on horseback, the man claiming to be GarGar reached the palace far in advance of the Queen. This gave him a chance to bathe, change into clothes befitting a nobleman at court. He was even presented with a freshly powdered wig.
As for the women in the carriage, they rode in silence. According to court etiquette, no one could speak until the Queen spoke first. As she chose to say nothing, the other women had to follow suit. For Lady Abigail, the tension was nearly intolerable. Lady Eleanor sat quietly, not moving a muscle, staring vacantly out the window.
Finally Pirouette spoke. “I must say, Abby that I admire your ability to kick people aside with nary a thought.”
Lady Abigail felt her face turning red. The top of her scalp began to itch, but there was no way to reach under her wig in order to give it a good scratch. The palms of her hands were suddenly sweaty. If she’d had the power to jump out of one of the carriage’s tiny windows, she would have done so. The Queen had never spoken to her so harshly. Was she on the verge of a demotion?