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[CRP]Ribbons and hills

Annabellejoy
Carrying a basket full of bread and veggies on her arm, Anna was loitering about the crowded market of Whithorn with a discreet step, her eyes were wandering nervously around the stalls when they caught a glimpse of a ragged street urchin stepping out of the crowd and waving his hand at her.

- « Oi, oi, lassy, Ah gotta gee ye this » He called out to her.

« Um..excuse-me, what ? » She asked him

She looked curiously at the kid as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper
- « Tis fae a lad wha wanted me to haun it ower to ye »

« A lad ? » Her eyebrows slightly furrowed « Who is it ? And why me ? » She sure as hell didn’t know any person beside her mother in this town

-« A’ dinnae ken, sairy lassy, he just paid me guid dosh tae gee it tae ye »

Hesitatingly, she slowly reached out her ivory hand and took the proffered piece of paper.

-« Um, thank you »

-« Ye, nae problem » He said, before turning on his heels and marching into the crowd.

This was probably just a huge misunderstanding. The little kid must have confused her for someone else, that's what she told herself as she unfolded the letter and perused its content





Hello,

I'm not sure what to say. I saw you on the market and ever since you didn't leave my mind. I write to you as I'm not sure I will ever have the nervs to talk to you.
I don't even know your name or whether you will find this letter, but I have to try.
All I know is what you look like. Your hair as flaming ribbons, your eyes green as the highland hills, your skin smooth and pale as the morning mists. I can picture you, paint you, but I don't know your name...
Is there any chance we will ever meet?

Cordially yours,
Gilles van Lummen



She just stood there for a moment, stunned, unable to believe her own eyes. She then held her head up to roam and be aware of her surroundings. No, there was no mistaking it, this letter was written to her, was the so-called Gilles van Lummen still around ? Watching her in the middle of the crowd ? At this thought, she felt herself dangerously blushing and decided to scurry off quickly to her house.

Once inside her room, she slammed the door shut, went sat behind her desk and read through the contents of the letter over and over and over. The more she read it, the more dazzled she became. The way he described her made was absolutely poetic, it made her heart flutter "hair as flaming ribbons, eyes green as the highland hills, skin smooth and pale as the morning mists ". She decided that, yeah, she wanted to know more about this mysterious Gilles van Lummen,

She then grabbed some paper and passionately wrote a response :





Mister Gilles van Lummen

Greetings,

I'm not sure what to say either, your letter came to me as an absolute shock, a very pleasant absolute shock, but an absolute shock still the same. I'll let you know that I'm still trying to recover from it as I'm scribbling this response to you.

First of all, since you don't know my name. Allow me to present myself, I am Annabelle, or simply Anna, I moved over to Scotland quite recently with my mother. We came from France. By the way, your name doesn't sound scottish, are you perhaps a traveller ?

I'd very much like to meet you eventually as you seem to me like a nice and charming guy. Still though, I'd rather get to know a little more about you before we meet. Would you indulge my genuine curiosity ?


Warmest regards

Annabelle Lagrange
Lumey
What has he done? He can't believe he did something like that.
Only a couple of days ago he arrived in this little Scottish town, Whithorn.
He sits down on the stairs of the town hall and thinks about what happened these last few days.

He came travelling here from Glasgow. He came to Glasgow with a friend who wanted to build a mansion there. So, being a carpenter, he helped. His friend went back to Holland, but Gilles decided to stay and travel around. At the market in Glasgow he bought himself a little mule and he set off to the south. Working in the mines and volunteering to work night shifts in the towns security he earned some money. He left his 'fortune' in his home in Rotterdam.

But what happened? Why did he write that letter? He's already sick and nervous about it. How could he do that? What should this girl think of his reckless action?
He saw her a day, maybe two days ago on the market square. He never saw a girl like her. Ever since he can't think of anything else. She was walking, only walking... in the crowd... Was there a crowd? He can't even remember if there was anyone else. He only saw her. Even now his mind wanders off and he only sees her face surrounded by fire on green silk. Her eyes sparkling like green flames in that red fire. He sighs.

Was that a good decision, asking that little boy to give the letter to the girl? He even payed the boy. Now the boy vanishes in the crowd. Gilles gets up and follows the boy from a distance. His ragged figure slipping through like liquid, Gilles almost loses track.


There she is. The world disappears and there is only her. She looks surprised, reaching down and getting up with something in her hand. Then Gilles realizes she has his letter in her hand. Oh, no!... How will she react?
Her eyes flash over the paper and then she gazes over the crowd. Gilles pull his hat a little further over his head covering his face. She seems to have a bit more color in her face...but he's to far away to tell.

Gilles takes a deep breath. He has taken this step. He should take the next too. He starts to move in her direction not letting her out of sight. But.. she turns and she moves. Not just walking, but not running either. She's a real lady. Ladies don't run.

A lady... oh no... Gilles stops. He's no match for a lady. He watches her getting further and further away.

Gilles turns around. His heart aches. When he reaches the inn, Castle Varrich, he seeks a table in the corner and sits down.
Lukoki
The early morning dew had touched the ground and Lukoki knew she had to get to work. Being a barkeep was no easy chore but it keep her busy and she found that if she got in bright and early not a single person would be there and stocking up would be easy. Since Castle Varrich never closed she could only hope the tables weren't too much of a mess before anyone needed a seat. Oh well time was a wasting, she grabbed her shawl and closed the door behind her after taking one last look around to make sure her home was in perfect order before heading out.

The path was short but a pleasant walking distance from work, and one Luko enjoyed very much. It gave her ample opportunity to clear her head and make a list of things she wanted done once she arrived at the tavern. It always seemed so quiet at this time of day......the only time she felt at one with the nature around her. The fresh smell of the flowers and the early morning sounds of mother nature waking for yet another day. Flowers....what a wonderful idea.......they would look nice on the table........she thought to herself.

Grabbing a few for each table Lukoki scurried along the path to the tavern. She smiled as she hummed her favorite little tune not thinking about anything but the list of chores she had planned for the day. With so few people up and about her walk to work seemed so much shorter today than normal but then again her mind had been distant these past few days so she didn't think she would have noticed even a cow that had strayed from it's pasture.

Bending down to adjust the tavern handle that seemed to be off center Luko just added that to the list of items that needed her attention! With a whoosh she opened the door and scooted inside only to stop humming abruptly! To her sudden surprise a patron was already seated in the chair furthest to the back corner. Odd she thought that this young fella would choose the darkest corner in the tavern.



Good morning Sir, I hope this day finds you well and welcome to Castle Varrich! I am Lukoki the barkeep here. I hope you have found the menu and our facilities to your liking. If there is anything I can get you please just let me know!


With that Lukoki set about putting flowers on each table and arranging the mugs so that the beer would flow plentiful today.
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Lumey
To his surprise the inn is empty. The owner helped him the other day and he managed to get a room in the attic. He had never met the barkeeper, but when she walked in he just knew it had to be her.

He laid down his hat and looked at the woman entering the room. She looked surprised to see him but she spoke with a nice and sweet voice, almost as sweet as the smell of the flowers she was carrying.

With a voice, much more sad as he planned, he muttered
No, thank you, I'm fine.... and a lot softer: Well, not fine actually...
Lukoki
Lukoki hadn't noticed the note on the counter that Ruksmuf had left her about renting out the small room in the attic but after reading it she wondered if this young lad was the occupant the note was referring to.

As the gentleman spoke Luko could tell his heart was heavy with thought, almost something deeper than that. She didn't want to pry but at the same time she couldn't help herself....she didn't like to see anyone sad..........so she straightened up her apron and decided that her chores could wait a little longer. Wandering over slowly she tossed a few ideas in her head as a way to start this conversation...

Well goodness sakes honey, whatever could be the problem? I hope Ruks managed to give you a fine bed to sleep on and blanket to keep the night dampness from disrupting your sleep! I know I am but a stranger to you, but I am a great listener if you need someone to talk to!

With that Luko grabbed a couple of mugs of their finest ale and sat down at the table and offered one to the young man. He seemed like he could use a friend about now.
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Lumey
The woman seemed to have noticed his sadness and she spoke to him cheerfully. He looks up and she must see the pain and despair in his eyes.
He reaches out to the mug she planted in front of him. He could use a drink. And a friend for that matter.

Gilles sighs and takes a deep breath.

You know.... a moment of silence... I did something so... stupid, reckless... Not something I would normally do, but I did.. I don't even know why or what came over me.

He swallows. Takes the beer and takes a big sip only to remember he doesn't like the pale ale they serve in Scotland. He takes a couple of more swigs.

I just made a fool out of myself.
Lukoki
Lukoki listened quietly as the sadness left his lips with each word that came out. Despair and regret obvious yet she had a tingle of hope that there had to be something she could say to bring him some hope. Nothing could be that bad when nature herself had brought such beauty to the day!

What could you have done that is so bad that you feel this deeply? It seems you feel it was intensely wrong yet I don't see such a wrong possible in your eyes! I see so many types of people come and go in here and of the many that have guilt to rid themselves of, you just don't seem to be capable of something........something this awful.

Lukoki slowly reached across the table and laid her hand softly upon his, to offer support and comfort at the same time. She just needed him to know that even though she was indeed a stranger.....her heart was true and she could keep even the deepest of secrets. Jah himself knows she has heard more than a few tales that would taint even the most loyal servant yet she hasn't uttered a word of it to this day.

There are times in our lives where we do things or say things that after talking about them don't seem quite so bad. Maybe it really isn't as bad as you think? Have you even slept? Maybe you are over thinking the situation?

Taking a long cool sip of her ale Luko waited without another sound hoping Gilles would realize that he could trust her not to speak a word if he chose to confide in her. A friend is someone you learn to trust but in this case he needed someone now so time to develop trust wasn't an option.
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Lumey
Gilles listens to her warm voice, feeling blue and down.

you just don't seem to be capable of something........something this awful.

He thinks things over. She's right, it's not something awful. But he's afraid it will become so...
The moment her hand touches his his first reaction is to pull his hand away, but he leaves it on the table. It feels good to be in touch with someone at this moment, even though the person at the other side of the table is a perfect stranger. She continues to talk.

Have you even slept? Maybe you are over thinking the situation?

Did he sleep? Yes, he did, but briefly. The redhead is in his mind and in his dreams. His mind starts to wander of again.
Is he over thinking? Maybe... maybe.

What I have done? He looks up again. But now the words just pour out of his mouth.

A few days ago I met a girl. Well, we didn't really met. I kind of almost bumped into her in the market. When I looked up I saw the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. Pale skin, red hair, obviously in Scotland, Gilles pauses and flashes a smile, and deep green eyes I could drown in. She's in my thoughts ever since.

And today... Today I wrote her a letter and had some stray boy deliver it to her. I watched her reading it. And when I finally had the courage to walk up to her, she turned and ran away. Neah, she didn't ran.. Ladies don't run. The just ... I don't know how you would call it, but she moved fast. She must be insulted by my letter.

He looks at the barkeeper with despair. I'm just a peasant, a carpenter, I'm studying medicine, I do, but I'm no lord. I'm not worthy of such a girl. And now I've insulted her.
How can I walk these streets when I can run into her any moment?


Luko will understand. She's a barkeeper and a woman. She will understand his pain. He's glad he could talk to someone about it. But what should he do now? His heart aches. He's been in love before, but this is different. It hurts more than he could imagine.

He lifts his mug, but it stays between his mouth and the table. Gilles looks at Luko as if she has all the answers what to do next.
Lukoki
As Lukoki listened to the tale.....her heart just melted. She herself remembers the love of youth, the feelings so strange yet so strong you cannot deny. It was like being transported back in time.....to a time when.....no she couldn't let herself go there. That pain had to stay locked deep inside. Even though she knew talking about it might help Gilles she just couldn't bring herself to talk about THAT!

You know honey you sell yourself short far too quickly! Just for starters you are a hard working young man. A carpenter works hard with his hands, builds many things that we could not do without. So to think of yourself as just a peasant is not right! You are also studying medicine which shows ambition, dedication and knowledge! So now that we have that part out of the way lets tackle the next step.

You encountered a lass in the market, whose embodiment of beauty now haunts your very soul. I can only surmise that by surprising her with a letter, delivered by a child in the market, she is not scared but cautious. Ladies are often nervous as you can imagine. With strangers arriving on the ships and the travelers coming into taverns wearing masks of good intent.....well.......she might just be unsure.


Taking another sip of her ale and wiping the small bubbles from her lip Luko smiles softly and hopes Gilles sees the warmth in her eyes. She needs him to understand how women are almost like the butterflies resting gingerly on the flowers in the fields. They are beautiful to look at but when approached too quickly they flutter off to the next flower. We think we have scared them off yet they were merely already planning to explore the next blossoming flower on their travels. Perhaps this radiant lass he had set eyes upon was late for work or had animals that needed to be fed. A whirl of thoughts went through Lukoki's mind and she had to get them together in a way that made sense.

Not many people stay long in the market. I can't imagine you would have insulted the lass but would it be possible that your timing might have been just inappropriate. For example .......if that young lady had forgotten a few items and needed to quickly pick them up before running home to tend her animals or wanted a fast market trip before work? I would like to think that a letter from someone she couldn't see, eyes she couldn't look upon to determine kindness or harm, would not scare but lend a hint of mystery.

Lukoki thought back to when she was a child, the stories her grandmother told her about ladies that danced in fancy dresses and men with such soft coats and steeds that stood tall and majestic. How could she convey such wanting, a girl shy of mystery would not be afraid of it......but drawn to the very thought.

My suggestion to you would be this Gilles.....Hold your head high, walk the market and smile. Show the side of you that is most pleasurable. The person that, when you lay your head on the pillow.......seeks to see this vision of loveliness again. For when she sees you, she will not know who you are. You will need to approach her slowly and introduce yourself. Be brave and responsible, apologetic for how you sent such a note to her. She needs to see the side of you that I see now! The caring, compassionate and honest, hard working, and yes gallant young man you are. Believe me those traits shine through as you speak. Women are a good judge of character but we listen to nature as well. We listen to the wind tell us tales of the past and yet it holds our futures as well.

Lukoki wondered if she had made any sense at all. Sometimes personal experience works well and other times it just muddies the waters. She wanted nothing more than to help Gilles gather enough courage to meet this fair maiden again if only to introduce himself and see if an actual exchange of words would develop a conversation that could open doors in the very near future.
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Lumey
As he imagined Luko did know what to say. Quietly Gilles listens to all Luko has to say. While she talks he pulls his hand back and rests his head in his hands. The beating of his hearts is back to normal and he feels a little better.
From time to time he nods and he lets Luko's words find a place in his head. She's right, he may not be rich, but he's a good lad. But... will the girl see it that way too?

Luko might be right about girls, but still.. Gilles is not convinced. He's afraid of rejection.
Of course he should show her who he really is.... but how?


I can't just step up to her! I don't know her name and ..and... she doesn't even know who I am.. He frowns ... Oh, yes, that's the whole idea... to talk to her....
He start to breath heavily, his palms start to sweat.

Eh... maybe you know who she is? Do you? Couldn't you just introduce me? ... if you know her...
Lukoki
Lukoki couldn't believe how she could have overlooked that.........as the questions bounced around in her head she thought about it over and over again "I can't just step up to her! I don't know her name and ..and... she doesn't even know who I am.." and then the other part "Eh... maybe you know who she is? Do you? Couldn't you just introduce me? ... if you know her..."

But alas the description she had been given of the lass just wasn't enough to know who she was. Sooo there had to be another way, but at the very moment Luko had an idea......just as simple as the very reason Gilles was sitting in the corner to begin with.

I know, why not end this, the very way it all began.......I mean your sorrow that is. All this despair and upset has started because you chose to send a note with a street child. So once again ask a street child to deliver yet another note to the fair maiden. However this time ask her to meet in a busy tavern, where she need not feel nervous. In said note you can arrange a specific time, where she can be informed that you will be seated in the back corner of the tavern.

With that being said, maybe just maybe she will come in earlier than the arranged time and ask around about you.....maybe even ask the barkeep if she has any knowledge of said patron that has been known to visit this particular tavern. Since indeed you have, and I do know a little about you... I could tell her what I know. I would of course keep the facts simple and not reveal that we have spoken at great lengths. That would give her the courage to meet you at the arranged time, where you could exchange simple things like your names and get to know each other.


Lukoki could sense this young lad was still nervous of the chance he might get rejected but somehow she had to make him see that without something ventured he had nothing to gain. It is much like that of a poker game. If you don't play you can't win and if you don't bet anything there is nothing to lose. Then again maybe that is exactly the way he was thinking. Sighing deeply to herself she realized that she knew exactly how he felt. She too had risked it all once upon a time, but it had been worth it all. She had found the one true love of her life......she still loved him...NO NO she would not think like that. It was long over and done with. He didn't think of her like that anymore and he had a different life now!

Gilles I know there is a risk involved here but if you take things slowly.......give the girl a chance to get to know you. At first you can't expect too much......she barely knows you exist and at this point in time she doesn't even know your name. So tiny steps will work into great strides if you just be patient. Trust has to start somewhere so since her beauty has you in this much turmoil already isn't it worth the chance?
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Street_urchin



Meanwhile







The beggar boy was cutting quite a strange figure as he was strolling through the streets of Whithorn near the marketplace, his coat all ragged and torn and his feet sore and bare, he was repeatedly flipping and catching a shiny coin that he earned earlier today from an older young man who had asked him to deliver a folded piece of paper to a pretty red-haired girl. It was a nice deal to be sure, always a blessing for him to earn easy money as it spares him the trouble of having to pickpocket an unsuspecting gentleman or to waste his time standing for hours begging to no avail. A few more coins and he would have enough money to get him a decent warm meal for the day, just the thought of it filled him with joy and excitement.

It was then that a green and red figure appeared in front of him, he backed away in surprise and instinctively hid the coin inside his coat pocket in case it was an older boy wanting to snatch his prize out of him. He regained his composure when he realized who it was.


- "I'm glad I finally found you" said the ginger girl he had delivered the letter to an hour ago, she was now standing in front of him panting and nervously smiling.

He glanced at her with suspicious eyes for a moment, she was barely taller than him , frail and really pretty, he enjoyed the sight of her green eyes and pale skin for a moment before asking her.

- " Whit's it m'lady ? Ye need some'ing fae me ?"

- "Actually yes, I need you to find the man who gave you that letter " Only now he noticed her weird accent, she was a foreigner ! "Can you please deliver this to him ?" she proffered yet another folded piece of paper.

The boy took it and smiled cunningly at her, well, if he was going to be the messenger between the two love birds, he might as well take a profit from it.

- "A' guess I could dae that fur ye, fur the right cost" He answered
- "Fine, is 3 coins enough ? "
- "Make it four and A'll fetch yer man. A' still mind his face, dinna fash. "


He dashed away happily as soon as he received what he was asking for, O joy, now he had enough money to fill his stomach. Of course, He could scamper off with his payment without doing his job but he was smart little guy, he knew that if he acted his part they'd think of him as an earnest person and thus they'll ask for his services more often.

The young man he was looking for was most certainly a stranger in town, which meant he was probably staying in a room at an inn. He tried asking around in "the cursed dragon" inn and the "Keltenburg" at first to no avail, but was relieved when he saw him as soon as he stepped into "Castle Varrich", he was sitting in a table in the corner in front of an older gorgeous blonde woman who was probably the bartender.


The boy took a few careful steps towards them before announcing himself

"Excuise-me, that ginger lassie asked me tae deliver this tae ye " He said, before putting the paper on the table and turning his head to look at the woman and asking her with a shy smile on his face


"Hullo, is i' possible fur me to have somethin' tae eat an' drink for five coins, is all I have on me now, A'll do the dishes if it's no' enough. Pleaaaase ?"
Lumey
Gilles is waiting for Luko's reaction. A bartender in a small town like Whithorn knows almost everyone. Maybe she knows this girl as well. However, the description is a bit brief; a girl with green eyes and red hair. That's a dime a dozen in Scotland.
Luko starts talking. Meanwhile, Gilles takes in the surroundings. It's only the first time he looks around in the inn. This inn is located a bit outside the town center, near the harbour. You can see that the interior has been adapted to that. Despite the rough crowd you expect here, the bartender tries to make it a bit cosy. Gilles smiles at the idea of the flowers that Luko brought in.

He listens to what Luko has to say. She is right. He has to do something. Luko proposes to send a note and invite the girl to a crowded inn. Sending a note would be okay, but he doesn't know if it's a good idea to invite her to a crawling inn. He must not think about being rejected in front of a bunch of rough sea barges. A shiver runs down his spine at the idea alone.

Maybe she will come in sooner, says Luko. But that's just guesswork. Of course it is possible, but it's nothing to cling to. No, he has to manage his nerves and gather courage. Writing a new note might be a good idea. This time with some more information about himself. He has now only put his name in it. How stupid! Of course she has no idea who he is or what he looks like. She won't even know how to get in touch with him.


Well, she knows my name... he tells Luko, I have put it underneath. But that's all I've thought about. I didn't give a description of myself. And neither did I gave her an address or a way to reach me. How would she ...

He stops abruptly when a shabby boy, who has just come in, approaches their table. The boy looks familiar and a bit insecure but then speaks and the words he says give Gilles a very warm feeling. The boy puts a folded paper on the table. While the beggar asks Luko for something to eat and drink, Gilles looks at the paper. She has written him back. Hope blossoms, but also despair... What if she writes that she doesn't want to see him?
Gilles takes a deep breath, once, twice. His hand shakes when he reaches out to the paper. The paper seems to be burning in his palm. He carefully unfolds it and reads its contents. The first sentence is hard to read. She is in shock. But fortunately a good one he reads. For a moment his heart stopped beating. But as he reads on, he feels the tension of the last few hours fade away. He reads the letter again and again. He frowns. She's French? For a moment he's dazzled. With hair like hers he would have sworn she was a local. But who cares. She wants to get to know him, that's all that matters.
The young lady is not only very beautiful, but apparently also resourceful. She has tracked down the street boy and had him deliver the letter. A big smile appears on his face and his eyes start to shine.


Gilles jumps up and turns his attention again to Luko and the boy. Luko, give this boy a meal and a drink. At my expense! She wants to know more about me and is interested, just like you said. And give me a beer too, I don't care if it doesn't taste good. He laughs hard. And take one yourself.
He grabs Luko's hands and dances around her, turning her around.

When he releases her again and still radiates happiness, he asks: And do you have a quill, ink and some paper? I have to write her back immediately. And he, Gilles pointing at the boy, can deliver it. He turns to the boy Do you want to do that? You'll get another coin for it.
Lukoki
With all the ideas whirling around in her head Luko barely heard the sound of the door at all but had to take notice as Gilles stopped talking and turned to see the young lad that most definitely looked out of place in the tavern. This place seen more than its share of all types but the underage never ever came through the door. This young fella seemed almost afraid yet, not really. He knew he shouldn't be in here but at the same time, Luko almost sensed an air of determination.

Lukoki can't believe her ears when Gilles reads small bits of the letter out loud. The look on his face tells the whole story though and she is so happy for him and can't wait to hear more. Suddenly Gilles grabs her hands and dances around, turning and spinning. Oh the laughter she couldn't help but let out.

"Gilles, I am so happy for you dear. I don't always have the answer.....in fact sometimes my ideas are like the wind......so wild and free. For that I do apologize, but I believe love does find a way."

With a warm smile Lukoki rushes off to grab the child some sweet honey buns that she had made fresh and wondered if there might be a bit of apple drink leftover from the apple scones she hadn't had a chance to whip up yet.

Loading up the tray, Luko placed a generous portion of honey buns, 2 large mugs of ale and 1 mug of apple drink for her newest guest. She just prayed Ruks didn't take this opportunity to drop in and notice her very young guest sitting in the tavern. She really didn't want to have to answer those questions, at least not yet. With a quick look back at the kitchen she realized she hadn't yet found the quill, ink and paper Gilles had also asked for. That was in the office, so first things first. Deliver the food and drink then she would rush to the office and get the supplies he would need to compose the letter.


Okay little one here is some honey buns for you, and a mug of apple drink. That should keep you going for a bit. Have a seat and take your time, there is no need to run off you are welcome here with us. My name is Lukoki and I am the barkeep here.

Gilles, here is your mug of ale and I will get your that quill, ink and some parchment from the office. Can I get you anything to eat?


Without waiting for a response Luko rushed to the office to fetch the supplies. She knew Gilles was far too excited to eat anything and all he needed right now was to put his thoughts on paper before he forgot everything.

Lukoki felt like she herself had butterflies of excitement for Gilles. This was the most perfect chain of events. Everything was working out so nicely for him. His despair was turning to excitement, the fear had now turned to hope. This day couldn't get any better and Luko was lucky enough to be part of it. Jah truly was smiling down on them today.
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Lumey
Gilles sat down again. He observes the young messenger. At least, he is looking at the boy but his thoughts are elsewhere. As he waits for a quill, ink and paper, he comes up with all sorts of sentences that he could put in the letter. He thinks of them, rejects them, adapts them.
In the meantime Luko puts a mug of beer in front of him. He smiles at her. The butterflies frolic in his belly. What a feeling!


Luko asks if he wants something to eat. But no, he can't get a bite through his throat now. Luko seems to understand that, because without waiting for his answer she is already gone. She disappears through a door to where in all probability the office is.

When Gilles receives the writing materials, he thinks about where he will write. Here or in his room? He decides to go to his room. He wants to look at this letter in peace and quiet.

I go to my room, Luko. Will you put the food and the beer on my bill?

He says to the boy: Let it taste good to you, my friend. And if you want to make some money, wait until I get back with the letter. Then you can deliver it to Annabelle.

He addresses Luko again: Her name is Annabelle and apparently she is originally French. He sighs while his eyes turn upwards. Annabelle... A name that suits her very well. Did you know that "belle" in French means "beautiful"? He didn't say the latter to anyone in particular. It was more of a confirmation.

He walks up to the stairs and starts to climb them.
The steps crack under his weight and the door of his room squeaks when he opens it. He enters his room. It's small, but he's happy with it. There is a bed with a soft mattress and a warm blanket. There is even a pillow! The window needs to be washed, but it has a curtain and it can be opened to air the room. Gilles does that. A bit of fresh air can't hurt. There is a desk with a stool in front of it. On the desk is a lampet jug. Somewhere in a corner an attempt has been made to stuff a cupboard.


Gilles slides the stool backwards and takes place at the desk. He takes a sheet of paper, dips the quill in the ink and writes the first words on paper. Then it stops for a moment. What should he write now? She asks for information about himself, but Gilles doesn't know what you say about yourself in such a letter. He doesn't want to look too modest, but he doesn't want to be arrogant either. Maybe he should just stick to some standard things. He reads the first words he had written again "Dear Annabelle" .... He swooned when pronouncing the name alone.
He is startled by a sound somewhere near the window. He looks up and sees a bird in the window frame. Then he remembers that he was writing a letter.
He starts writing.




Dear Annabelle,

First of all I apologize if I overwhelmed you, but I just didn't know any other way to reach you. I'm glad you get it right and that you want to know more about me. I now know your name and I already knew what you look like. You already know my name and you have already understood that I am not Scottish. I am indeed travelling and I come from Holland.

I came to Glasgow to help a friend build a house. I am a carpenter. However, as you can understand, I have learned to read and write and someone even encouraged me to study.

So that's what I'm doing now: I'm studying medicine. I like to help people, but also animals. Actually all living beings in Jah's beautiful world. At the market in Glasgow I freed a mule from a brute and it is now my company.

I'm staying at Castle Varrich. I'd love to invite you here, but I think it's probably too rough a neighborhood for a beautiful lady. Would you like to meet me in the city? Please, let me know if you want to, where and when via "our messenger".

Cordially yours,
Gilles


Gilles sits back and looks at the letter. Is it good? Isn't it too intrusive? Would she really like to meet him or is she just curious? I'll never know if I don't send him, he thinks. So he folds the letter and stands up. He walks down the stairs. The steps crack as always. But then a louder sound. The step on which Gilles stepped breaks. He loses his balance and falls down the stairs. With a tremendous blow he comes with his head on the floor and remains motionless.
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