Passing on the Paintbrush
Amelia dipped a deep curtsy. “Madam, excuse me for the intrusion but the Marquess asked if you would be attending the dinner party this—”
Marchioness Catherine scrunched up her face and wiped her yellowed paintbrush down her lace blouse. “It depends on how long the guests keep me talking, Amelia: they’re terribly unreserved. If I am occupied, he must endure without me. Certainly, Mrs. Turner can take on this job?”
Amelia withheld a laugh from escaping her lips. The thought of the prickly still-room maid chatting with illustrious people whilst the Marchioness amused her imaginary ‘guests’ in the garden became almost too much to contain.
Lady Catherine billowed her paintbrush around a wet yellow stain on her canvas, intended to resemble an intricate peony with a bee buzzing around its succulence on the other side of an open window’s nearby bush.
“Lord William tells me that even Queen Victoria is fond of my work …”
The sun always shone on her wealth, her privilege; it made her painting that much more exquisite.
These flowers of hers were symbolic of new beginnings, fresh starts, and clean slates… Luck, mayhap these will also bring her some, in times such as these…
A twelvemonth has passed since the carriage upended, leaving Lady Catherine feeble minded. After the debate it had been decided that the Marchioness would be admitted to the bedlam – rendering the wealthy Lord William entirely free: as Amelia had planned that day as she loosened the lynch pin from the carriage wheel.
Every Friday she leaves some yellow peonies on Catherine’s mantelshelf. Lord William will comment that they are picture perfect, that they are beautiful. He always passes her a paintbrush. And she always buzzes around the canvas, basking in the succulence of all but guaranteed wealth to come.