June 3, 907

I am relieved to inform you, my dear Rena, that my fever has finally broken. I hate mother's insistence that waiting these things out makes you stronger. Why she doesn't just call in a gypsy to cure whatever illness I had caught escapes me. Stupid superstitions!

I hope my letter finds you well at your estate. Your father has not restricted you to your rooms again, has he? If he has, I will trust this to your sister's hands and pray she relays it to you in good time. Letters are such a poor substitute to seeing you, but alas we cannot affect our father's falling out. I'm sure you'd agree that women are much better at handling these things then they are, but their tempers are always sure to get the better of them. Note, I do not suggest that we have better tempers, but are much less likely to draw swords over such a thing. Needles, certainly, but they are hardly so alienating. But what are we to do?

This peasant with whom I send this letter seems trustworthy enough to me. Enough of them make the journey between the estates that we should manage quite a nice turn around time on letters, if they are amenable to our covert efforts. It would be so much easier to just accidentally meet on morning constitutionals, but I feel sure our fathers would find out. But enough carping on this. Just send your reply with a nice peasant girl. (Or boy; you are so much better at charming them than I, you may have better luck with them.) Please be discreet to your utmost communicating with the peasants. I fear our punishment would be worse for talking to them than talking to each other.

Back to news at the manor, my fever had quite good timing, as I managed to avoid that hateful Lord from a few estates over, but a minstrel has just arrived and I will hopefully be well enough to descend to supper tonight to hear him. And if not, perhaps he could be persuaded to come play soothing odes to an ill lady. No, I say that in jest; it is too improper to imagine. But he is quite young, perhaps only a little older than we are, and I have heard from the maids (for whom he is not so scandalous) that he would be quite a match. So we shall indeed see.

Write soon and tell me all that has happened at the estate. Is your father still fuming? Have any more hapless Lordlings made hopeless advances towards your unfeeling heart? Have any cracked your prim and proper heart? Are you pining yourself away into a misery for some boy? Please write and tell! And please, please, any adventures or anecdotes you see fit to offer me. I am drowning in boredom here.

Anyways, enough ramblings from my dear self. Write me back, for without my dearest friend to keep my counsel and company, I find myself soliciting the maids' gossip. A most boring pastime, but the best that can be hoped for until your next letter arrives.

So as an admirer would say, 'I await on but a word dropped from your perfect lips,' or, in my case, your shapely pen.

Yours forever,

p.s. - I apologize for being cross with you last time about nicknames. I have realized your friendship is wholly too important for it to be even threatened over such a trivial thing. Please call me anything you want, as long as it has some relation to my actual name. I want to know when you are speaking to me, after all. Go well, dear friend!