The day that followed was just as gloomy. For once, Karine was relieved that it was Sunday, a day without school. It would be really hard to get to school in that weather; the road was always sticky, and filled with mud on rainy days.

Karine lied on the bed sluggishly writing poetry for a literary assignment. Due to lack of better ideas, she wrote about the rain. It didn't take her long to finish the poem. But, editing was what took the rest of her morning. She would change a word if it didn't sound right or if it didn't convey the right meaning. When she did that, though, she became discontent with the sentence that contained it, then stanza, then the whole poem. By the time she finished, the first draft had no resemblance the final work.

Her mother was sitting leisurely on a rocking chair. She often glanced out the window as she stitched intricate designs and patterns on a cloth. An uncommonly genuine smile appeared on her face every time she gazed at the rain. Her mother was embroidering a dark red rose on a pair of long white glove. The beautiful cloth reflected the dim light from the fireplace. In no time, the gloves were painted with a rose in bud, along with its stems and thorns, using red and black strings. Next, all the stitching were repeated with silver and gold strings.

It was then when she knew that it was for the baroness. No one else in the town could afford such luxurious item. Karine had inherited some of her mother's talents, but she scarcely used it. She did not want to be an embroideress. They got to work with expansive materials but were only paid marginally above labourers. It would take years of work for them to afford that one pair of glove.

Her mother's clothing reflected none of the gorgeous designs she sewed on her work. She wore a blue dress with two holes patched in front. The sleeves and the bottom of the dress faded into a light grey-blue colour. The style of it was simple; it had no ruffles, no folds; it was just a simple straight-line dress. She did not have excess material to waste. Her two other dresses were made in the same style, the only difference being the colour.

Someone knocked on the door loudly. Karine's mother shared a curious look with her. Who could it possibly be in this weather? Karine dragged herself off the bed and opened the door. A tall man greeted her on the other side. He was very solemn and serious. He asked, "I assume you are Ms. Karine?"

"Yes," She cautionly answered.

Her mother walked to them, "Who is that?"

The man answered for her, "I am Sir Isaac."

"Sir, come in! What brings you here in this weather?"

"Thank you Madame, but there is no need. I have come for your daughter."

"Why in the world would you need her?"

"Not me, but the baron needs few words with her. It appears that your daughter had injured Leah, Mr. George's niece."

"Karine? Is that true?"

"Yes," Karine looked down at the floor. She questioned, "Is she hurt badly?"

"I think yes. So, without further questions, Ms. Karine, come with me."

Karine's mother frowned and asked, "Can I come and assist my daughter"

"If that pleases you."

And so Sir Isaac brought Karine and her mother to the baron's mansion on a small carriage. The mansion was breathtakingly beautiful, very different from her cottage. It was five stories tall and half a hundred meters wide. It was constructed with white marbles and the roof was bright red.

In the main dining room were the baron and Mr. George. Karine and her mother curtsied lowly.

"My lord, you wish to speak to Karine?" Her mother stood timidly in front of the baron's large couch. It was made with leather and lined with animal fur.

He shifted his position, putting a cushion on his lap. He lifted his head to examine Karine, ignoring the mother, "I understand that you have thrown a large piece of gravel at Leah, Mr. George's fair niece?"

"No."

His eyes sharpened and opened his mouth to say something but Karine continued, "Not large, but a small rock."

"So you don't deny injuring Leah?"

"I don't deny it, but I do not acknowledge it."

The baron raised his eyebrows. George, who sat beside behind stood up, "How dare you lie? I demand justice! You will pay for what you did to Leah."

The baron gave him a look, "Sit down. Let the girl talk."

"I admit that I threw a rock at Leah. I do not know if she was injured. Even so, I do not regret it. It is not without reason."

George snickered, "What could the reason be?"

"She was assaulting Jane, and threatened to kill her. I believe she would have done it was she not stopped."

The baron turned to George, "Is that true?"

"Absolutely not!" He declared. "This girl speaks nothing of the truth. She is deceiving you. Only by her words did Leah assault Jane. She should not be trusted!"

"And by whose words did I injure Leah?"

"Your grace, this is not a girl of good nature. She did not have a father; she was a bastard! She did not have the right upraising. "

"Enough, Mr. George. Karine, do you have any proof of this?"

"Several young kids saw it from the start to the finish."

The baron nodded comprehensively, and announced, "You may leave now."

Once again, George rose to his full height. "What about her crimes? She has to pay!"

A look quickly silenced him, but he continued to glare at Karine. His eyes burnt of fury, and the colour showed in his face and neck.


The storm cleared on the way back to their cottage. Karine sat in the carriage, in a corner, watching the sky. Her mother hurdled in the front staring at the roads at head. She glanced back at Karine every so often. When they did arrive at their house, Sir Isaac saluted, "Good day Madame!"

They bowed and waved as he drove away. Her mother slammed the door close in the house, "Why do you always get yourself in trouble?"

Karine took some grains from a large brown bag and put in in a pot. As she filled it with some water, she answered, "I have done nothing wrong."

"Your tone with the baron was was disrespectful, as is yours with me right now."

"The duke spoke nothing of it," Karine put the pot on the stove and lit the coals. "Sweet or salty?"

"Sweet," She answered causally. "That is because he is a fair, righteous man. If he was not so, you would be locked up right now.

"Then I have gambled for luck and won." The pot boiled over. Karine lifted it from the stove. Then, they ate in silence.