Jump to content


Your Stories Await Telling

[CD] Late Arrivals | Christmas Eve- Xmas 1677

Recommended Posts

Lady Alyth's house

The new home of the Dowager Countess of Alyth and her daughter was set in a lovely area of Chelsea. The drive up to the house was paved in a pale granite composite gravel, obviously fairly new in construction as it is almost completely free of holes or dips. On either side of the drive is a row of stately trees with branches just starting to spread wide over head as one nears the house. The drive becomes a circle in front of the steps leading to the front door, then loops back on itself. Off to the side of the house one can see the carriage house and the nearby stable. The front is also surrounded by a garden. Roses line the front of the house while ornamental trees provide shade and whimsy to the yard.


The house itself is a full three stories plus attic made of granite. It is up by the attic where the servants have their rooms but most rooms have a window to allow for cooling during hot summer months. On the first floor is the common area. Here you would find the Dining room, Library, North and South parlor, Music room and attached Orangery. The kitchen is also found down here along with the larder and steps down into the cellar. As close to the river as the house is, it sometimes gets a bit damp down in the cellar, so shelves were installed to help keep things up off the floor.


The second floor consists of the family rooms. The master bedroom and attached lady’s room share a walk in closet. Lady Alyth sleeps in the Master’s room. Down the hall is the nursery, where Nessia sleeps. More rooms have been set aside for the rest of the MacBain girls in case Cat sees to have them come down. Down at the end of the hall is the room set aside for Douglas, should he wish to stay with them.


The third floor is for guests. There are six chambers, but only two are currently ready for guests. The other four need more furniture. That which had been in the Pall Mall house didn’t adequately fill this new house.


Out back of the house was another garden, more ornamental than the one out front, though one patch near the kitchen is taken up with more useful items, including herbs. But the back has a maze that surrounds a three tier fountain topped with a leaping dolphin. More flowers bloom back here and make their way down towards the water, where a small boat house rests near a sturdy dock. A flight of stairs leads down from the lawn to the dock. A small rowboat bobs gently in the water near the dock. The water is deep enough for a river barge to dock and is just clean enough to swim in. A weeping willow reaches out from the garden over to the water, making a lovely spot for a lazy afternoon.


It was dark, and it was snowing. And it wasn't proper snow. You didn't get proper snow in England, just a kind of falling slush that rapidly soaked and chilled you. It was an odd irony that snow was warm when it was dry. If the air was so cold that the snow wouldn't melt then it couldn't make you wet. You could sleep in the snow in the north; here just walking in it made you chill.


Douglas shrugged the heavy woolen cloak with the wolf-fur shoulders further about himself and walked on, Daemhan keeping pace beside him and not even trying to bite him; they were all too tired. Perhaps they should have put up in an Inn on the road tonight but they were that close and, after two more days travelling than he'd intended, he just wanted to get home. The roads up north had been blocked with snow and they'd had to walk their way through it at a snail's pace.


Behind him William sat on his stocky hack and led the pack horse behind him. The old man's limp was giving him trouble and the hack would have plenty of time to recoup in the stables. Daemhan would be needed in the near future.


Still, the glow that beckoned through the falling snow at last became a lamp outside a familiar door which, after a few heavy thumps, opened to reveal Cat's housekeeper. Alyth House was as much home as anywhere these days, and was blessedly warm and dry.


"Tak th'horses roond tae the stables an' see to thaim, William. See that the servants unpack an' then git yersel' tae bed an' rest." * He directed his manservant, who only nodded tiredly and took the big black horse's reins from his master's hand. It had been a long road and a harder journey than expected. Douglas rolled his shoulder as he stepped over the threshold and handed his cloak to the servant, the old injury playing up in the damp and cold.


Boots off at the door - Cat always did her nut if he traipsed mud through the house - and then upstairs for a bath and bed than had been long anticipated.



* "Take the horses round to the stables and see to the them, William. See the servants unpack and then get yourself to bed and rest."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...