A trip up North…..
I’m curious about this ‘handmaiden’ of that businesswoman whose house I visited the other day. Something definitely doesn’t feel right. It’s the odd hours she keeps, the shady characters she meets, the feeling of unease I get when I see her. I have found out little about her or her mistress or anything in depth as to their business. Nobody wants to talk….even my best contacts are afraid; of what they won’t say. They just tell me that people who make too many enquiries about that woman or her servants tend to not enjoy themselves. I’m suspicious of the husband’s demise….supposed to be a riding accident; with witnesses. Still…..if someone wanted him out of the way……Then there’s the son. He seems to be just a member of the business. But….there is a daughter as well. She’s not in the picture any more; some kind of unknown feud with the mother. She has apparently taken Holy Orders of some sort; whether this means she’s a nun in some draughty temple in the middle of nowhere, or she’s something else, I shall have to find out. Rumour has it that she’s taken to dealing with ghosts……
So I send one of my contacts to see her – Regina is her name – with a request for information about her estrangement. He comes back and tells me that if I require such information then I should come and ask her in person. So I shall……Did I mention that she broke his arm? Seems like she may have ‘issues with Mummy’!
So, I go up there myself – a few days travel through some fairly rough country brings me to the city. I find the temple and then find Regina. She seems a decent sort, but quickly realise that she’s not to be trifled with; I think it was the welcome. The way that she gently shook me by the……..neck! Anyway, when she calmed down a bit and I explained that I only sought information and had reservations about some of her mother’s associates, she opened up a little.
It turns out that she disagreed with her mother’s business practices – essentially a protection racket since people who go against the business don’t tend to enjoy themselves. It does appear that the small companion, the woman that seems to be in constant attendance who is the problem. She appeared some time ago, when the mother was a child in fact, and has been there ever since. Both Regina and I have a strong sense of disquiet about this companion and this seems to meet with her approval. She says that she’ll assist in any way she can, especially if it can aid her mother and return the business to a more moral and ethical stance; and take her mother from this dark path she finds herself on. Then something strange happens; Regina blesses me. But it’s not the normal mumblings of a priest or other holy man. Her eyes….her eyes turn silver! I’ve not seen this before….ever! And the feeling I get; peaceful, confident, refreshed. I have a feeling that there’s more to Regina than meets the eye. We shall see……