Elfleda is looking for Githa

One morning in late summer, just before he headed out to the fields, Theobald answered a knock on the door to find Elfleda Wodehead standing on the porch. She seemed upset. There was something sly about Elfleda that Theobald didn’t like, but he greeted her politely.

“Hello, Goodwife, what can I – ”

“Is Githa home?”

“Why, no, she’s spending the day with the Countess.”

“Is the baby with her?”

“Of course she is. I was just about to leave.”

“I see.” And she turned and walked down the stairs without a goodbye.

“There’s something about that woman…” he muttered to himself, and made doubly sure the door was locked tight.

It was getting quite late when Githa returned home that night, and Theobald was relieved to hear her singing to Athelis as she came up the path.

“We’re home!” she chirped when she came into the room.

Let me take baby

“Here, dearest, let me take Baby while you get undressed and tell me all the latest gossip from the Countess.”

It was the first time the Countess had been allowed visitors since the birth of her second daughter, and Githa raved on and on about how precious the little Lady Eaditha was.

Theobald smiled indulgently. He could afford to be happy for the Countess, since he knew that he and Githa would be having another child themselves next spring.

“Oh, Githa, I almost forgot to tell you – that Elfleda Wodehead was here this morning looking for you. Or, I would almost say, looking for Baby. She’s a little odd.”

Githa frowned. “Oh, Theobald, do be kind to the poor dear. She’s been so unhappy since her baby died. Remember, not everyone is as happy as we two.”

Not everyone is as happy as we two

“I know. But I wish she could be a little more… predictable.”

Githa laughed. “And I have something I almost forgot to tell you,” she said as they were getting into bed.

“Good news?”

“Oh, yes. The Countess is having a feast to celebrate the birth of Lady Eaditha. I told her we could come.”

His mind wandered off

“That Elfleda Wodehead isn’t going to be there, is she?”

“Oh, no no. It’s more intimate: just us, and the Duke and Duchess, and the King and Queen. I’m going to leave Baby with the Ashdowns. Ethelmund has carved a new toy for her, did I tell you?”

“No, dear,” he said, and let his mind wander off as she prattled on about toys and mittens and other things. The Countess’s sense of humor wasn’t to his taste, but if Githa wanted to go, of course they would go.