Despite the repeated entreaties of Lady Abigail and the other women of Queen Pirouette’s suite, Her Majesty insisted on attending the Thursday Night Ball. Applying her cosmetics alone was a nightmare for the ladies of the Queen’s bedchamber. She’d already chosen and rejected a dozen gowns.
“The ball is supposed to begin no later than 9 in the evening, and here it is, ten minutes away!” Moaned Tata Sous-sus, never one to suffer in silence.
“The ball begins when I say it begins,” snapped Pirouette. She normally wasn’t cranky, but she had a splitting headache which made it hard to be patient with anybody, least of all cousin Tata Sous-sus.
It was well after nine thirty when Pirouette made her entrance into the Grand Ballroom. All the attendees were curtsies and bows. Holding Abigail by the arm, the two women performed the first waltz together, much to the delight of everyone present. Soon, others were joining in, some emulating their Queen; that is, men danced with men and women danced with women.
Pirouette noticed the dashing young general looking at her, and for some reason, his gaze embarrassed her. Covering her face with her fan, she leaned into Lady Abigail and asked, “Who is that dashing, young general with the temerity to look at me so directly?” She asked Abigail.
“He’s General Montclair. He’s just returning from an extremely successful campaign in the south,” answered Abby in a waggish tone of voice.
“Watch your step, Abby,” said the Queen. “If you’re not careful, you may find yourself working part-time as a laundress for the entire court.”
Lady Abigail stifled a giggle. This was an ongoing joke between just the two of them. One day, Abigail would usurp Pirouette’s throne and force her to marry some minor prince from the Empire, while, she Lady Abigail, would be coronated in her place, in order to set the ship of state on the correct course.