An Actor’s Tale: the castle’s tenant

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An Actor’s Tale is a serial piece about a young, popular and very gifted Shakespearean actor whose choice of stage name has given him, unsolicited, a title and a castle.  For parts 1 and 2 see “Related” at the end of this story.

Walking toward the entrance of the castle, Sonya continued talking about Kathryn. She wanted Edward to understand that Kathryn was no ordinary tenant but a well-bred woman, properly educated, with a reputable career.

“You know, Sir Edward, Kathryn is a literary editor and works from home. She is acquainted with such interesting people and often holds dinner parties which are always brilliant. Why, only last week she had L.L. Leacham, the author of those wonderful mystery novels. Kathryn is her editor. I am sure you have heard of Adrian Marlow and Konstantine Alievi. Kathryn is their editor as well. I never miss one of her dinners….”

Kathryn Wallace Meath watched Sonya and the new Lord of the Castle on the security monitor. They were standing but a few meters from the entrance, talking–Sonya was doing most of it. Kathryn was becoming impatient. Perhaps she should step outside to greet them. But then, there they were at the massive doors. Long ago, a smaller, more appropriate door was cut and fitted into one of the large doors, making coming and going much easier.

As Kathryn was about to open the door, she suddenly became fearful that somehow Edward would catch on to her. No matter what, he must not yet know that she was aware of his real identity–not that it would matter much to the average person. But along with the castle came a title and a title meant Royal recognition and acceptance.

There was a time in England’s not so distant past when those who pretended to be nobility were sent to the humiliation of the stocks or discharged with the sharp blade of an ax. It was dealt with just a bit better these days. There could be a sentence involved–not one of death of course. Kathryn needed to hook him before the truth came out, and it would most surely come out….

Edward was ready to stuff his handkerchief into Sonya’s mouth when the door suddenly opened and there stood Kathryn. She was an attractive, middle-age woman, which was something he expected of an editor who gave brilliant dinner parties and made exquisite teas. Sonya’s flapping mouth was functioning as usual and she made the introductions, leading Edward inside. Kathryn invited him and Sonya to tea. And what a lovely tea it was….

Kathryn’s editorial business was not always a solitary one at the castle. In two of the many rooms were the offices of her assistant editor, Rutherford Nist and their secretary-assistant, Alice Gittings. Most of the time, Kathryn’s staff worked from their homes. She called them in this day so that they might meet the new lord. On cue, the two joined the tea. Alice was a delightful girl: long, red hair, a face like a china doll. Alice could be a sprite or fairy with her delicate features and petite figure.

Then there was Rutherford. Not much to say about him as far as the eye could see. Tall and lanky, and average-looking–slightly clumsy, particularly at tea, but charming in a quiet sort of way. Can’t see a damn thing without his glasses. Edward found his clumsiness quite amusing and he very much enjoyed dear, sweet, Alice.

Edward was waiting for an opportunity to broach the subject of Kathryn’s tenancy when the doorbell rang several times in succession. Rutherford left to answer the door. Again, Edward was about to speak when a beautiful, young woman with long, wavy, flaxen hair entered the room. Edward stood and Kathryn made the introduction.

“Sir Edward Crimwell I would like you to meet my daughter, Anwen, who has just finished at university and will be living here again. Anwen will be joining the editorial staff….”

“Sir Edward it is such a pleasure to meet you. I am so happy that the castle finally has its lord….”

Anwen was speaking but all he heard was a melodious stream of words coming from the perfectly formed mouth. Edward was smitten by the lovely creature before him. Anwen was such a deliciously, leggy, blonde. Of course she could stay on he told Kathryn before she even broached the subject. Kathryn relaxed when she realized it was Anwen who had hooked Edward.

It was Anwen who took Edward for a tour of the castle, at his insistence, of course. It took well over an hour. At the end of the tour, Sonya was waiting with a new tenant agreement for Edward to sign. He looked at it and announced that he would require rooms for himself when he chose to stay at the castle–beginning immediately, as he was playing at a nearby theater. Well, the shock on Kathryn’s and Sonya’s faces nearly gave them away. Naturally, Kathryn acquiesced and Sonya followed suit. Anwen showed delight but not her suspicions.

What an unusual turn of events. Edward left with Sonya in her crimson Porsche, to return the following day as Lord of the Castle. That is as much time as Kathryn and her crew had to cover up a few things and to begin thinking of a way to get rid of him. Anwen, however, had other plans in mind for our Edward.  And, let us not forget dear, Agatha Humphreys….

Join us next time, won’t you?

 

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