Chapter Four

‘Michael,’ walking towards the long staircase, Lady Williams shouted.

She noticed John carrying a tray with a cup of tea and some biscuits.

Stopping him, ‘Oh, John, I’m glad you’re here. Where is Michael and who are you taking these for?’ pointing to the tray, she asked.

‘Sorry, Lady Williams. Master Michael is in the Tea Room,’ he answered.

‘Sorry? What ever for? And the Tea Room? Why is he even there?’ Lady Williams asked, clearly baffled.

‘He is drawing. The flowers that you received, he is drawing them. I am sorry,’ looking down, John responded.

‘Drawing? Oh, that little boy should be in the stables,’ she shook her head and smiled. ‘I want to teach him how to look after the accounts.’

‘But, that is not all,’ John continued.

‘John, you’re scaring me,’ her smile disappeared. ‘Did something happen to my poor little boy?’ She began to turn towards the Tea Room, but John caught her arm, preventing her from taking any further steps.

‘Lady Williams, you must listen to me,’ John whispered.

Lady Williams looked down at her arm and then down at the floor. She noticed the tray sitting neatly on the floor. ‘Why did I not hear you put down the tray?’ she asked, whilst still continuing to look down at the tray.

‘I assume a mother blocks out the world when she fears her child is in danger. But there is something that you must know. What further steps to take, will be up to you,’ looking intensely at her, he responded.

She snapped her head up. ‘Steps? What has happened, John, tell me now,’ she calmly asked.

‘It’s Master Michael. We saw him in your room. Well, I went to collect him, as it was dinner time. He did not respond to my calls, so the maid and I went looking for him. We found him in your room,’ John stopped. Removing his hand from her arm, he took a step back. ‘Master Michael was trying on your jewellery, and-‘

‘But-,’ Lady Williams went silent as John held up his palm.

‘I have never done this before, therefore, please forgive me, Lady Williams. I shall accept any punishment for stopping you, but you must listen. Master Michael, was not just trying on your jewellery, but, he was also trying on your dresses,’ John continued.

Lady Williams stood speechless. With glazed eyes, she slowly walked towards the staircase and dropped herself onto a step.

‘It was just the maid and I, who witnessed the event,’ John added, softly.

‘He’s innocent, he’s just a little boy,’ she began mumbling to herself. ‘My little boy.’

‘I know, Lady Williams, but we cannot ignore this.’ Picking up the tray, John walked off with downcast eyes.

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