Chapter 9 Mrs. Yorana
Lady Yorana, the widow of Count Haynes.
After her husband died of illness, she handed over the seat of the head of the family and the mansion to her son and his wife and lives a comfortable life as a widow in the same East Ward.
One day, on the way home from a friend’s tea party, she took a detour and headed for an embroidery shop in the South Ward.
She let her maid carry the things she bought there and only held her bag. She was barely a few steps out of the shop before her bag was snatched. The young male snatch thief was getting further and further away. When she shouted ‘Thief!’, a nearby well-built man furiously gave chase, and Mrs. Yorana, a strong-willed lady herself, ignored her maid who tried to stop her and trotted after the well-built silver-haired man.
In front, the young man was caught by the silver-haired man and tied up, and her bag was safely returned to her but she only realized that she didn’t thank him after she returned home. As a conscientious person, Mrs. Yorana couldn’t believe her oversight and headed to the guard station the next day.
“Please allow me to thank him.”
“The Commander won’t accept any gifts but I’ll gladly just convey your gratitude.”
“Then, even if it’s just for the woman who tripped the man.”
Mrs. Yorana found out which hotel she was staying at, went there, and asked the man at the hotel reception to call her. A woman with a soft smile holding a girl’s hand emerged from the stairs. She told her that she wanted to reward her, but she also refused, saying, ‘Your gratitude is more than sufficient.’
“In that case, at least have some tea and sweets at my place.” She was being somewhat obstinate because she was reflecting on how pathetic she was to have been a victim of a snatch thief when Victoria replied ‘If it’s for tea’ and agreed with a smile.
A few days later, a woman named Victoria Sellers, who came with a child in hand, introduced herself as a commoner from Randall. Even though she was a commoner, she wasn’t overwhelmed by a noble’s house, and her behavior while enjoying tea was elegant. Perhaps she might be from a wealthy family.
“What are you going to do in the future? You won’t be living in a hotel forever, will you?”
When asked that,
“I plan to settle down in this country, so I will soon leave the hotel and rent a room. I found a good job.”
“Why don’t you live here instead of renting a room? We have a small one-story detached house for guests. It has a kitchen and a bathroom. I don’t use it at all.”
Mrs. Yorana quickly put up that suggestion.
She enthusiastically urged Victoria, who was wide-eyed and surprised. As a citizen of the Ashbury Kingdom, she also wanted to show her appreciation to a person who cooperated in the arrest of the snatch thief that stole from her and protects and takes care of abandoned children in her country.
Victoria was very reserved, but after worrying for a while,
“If we agree on a proper contract.”
She accepted the offer on that condition.
“I will draft the contract personally, so please look through the clauses before we sign it.”
She could tell that she was educated.
The next day.
“My word! Every aspect is properly covered. This is a perfect contract.”
The lease contract that Victoria brought was a sensible contract in which the tenant properly compensates for damage to the furniture and the interior of the house. She didn’t know where she checked, but the rent was exactly the market price. East Ward, where the nobles live, charges high rent but she didn’t seem to have the intention to bargain.
“I like you very much.”
“Thank you kindly.”
Mrs. Yorana corrected the price to half of what was offered and signed the lease. It was a rare contract in which the landlord was the party that halved the price.
As it turned out, Victoria was a very good tenant. She doesn’t make a fuss when people call her, and the girl named Nonna is quiet and doesn’t seem to make a mess of the house. She even paid two months’ rent in advance ‘just in case’.
Whenever she invited Victoria out for tea, she’ll be glad to accompany her if she had time, but she would also frankly refuse if she couldn’t.
The other day, she came by to share her home-cooked meal while saying, ‘Although it is rude of me to do this when you have a chef’. The chicken and vegetable rolls she shared looked appetizing and were delicious.
They were a combination of pounded and sliced chicken wrapped in vegetables and aromatic herbs, and then grilled and allowed to simmer.
They seemed to have been simmered with white wine, and the cross-section of the slices was beautiful too. Although chicken tends to be dry, it was moist and soft enough that even an elderly person could easily bite through it. The outside, which was shiny with honey, was browned and fragrant.
“I’m glad to have made a connection with a nice person. Speaking of which, is your workplace close by?”
She belatedly asked her, and Victoria replied that she was working as an assistant and housemaid to a famous historian.
“You truly are a mystery as to what and how much you can do.”
There was a reason why she was impressed.
On a windy day, the wind blew away the sun hat of the lady who was looking out at the garden from the second-floor balcony. The hat drifted in the wind and got caught in the ginkgo tree in the garden. Turning round and round, the chin strap entwined with a branch. The hat would probably not fall off the tree for a while.
“That’s the hat my husband bought me when he was alive, but it can’t be helped. I hope it doesn’t rain before it falls off naturally.”
Upon returning home from work and listening to Mrs. Yorana, Victoria entered the house, changed into pants, climbed up the ginkgo tree, removed her hat, and threw it down. Even though the branches of the tree were taller than the two-story roof.
Mrs. Yorana was speechless in amazement when she slid down the tree.
“I was a tomboy.”
A young lady who can behave like an aristocrat, can be a historian’s assistant, is good at cooking, and is good at climbing trees.
Mrs. Yorana had thoroughly taken a liking to Victoria.
Susan, the maid Mrs. Yorana brought from her parent’s house when she got married, was one of the people who also liked Victoria and Nonna.
“I wonder what she was thinking, throwing away such a cute girl, that mother. Victoria did a good deed.”
After saying that and getting angry and tearful,
“Ma’am, sooner or later when you fall in love with Nonna, is it okay if she stays in my room? Then Victoria-san will be able to go out at night too. Even though she’s still young, she doesn’t seem to be socializing at all.”
Nonna is an expressionless child, but when Susan talks to her or gives her a snack, her expression softens slightly.
“Don’t you feel like you’re taming a wary kitten?”
“You’re the kitten, Ma’am! That girl is so cute that I wanted to experience what it feels like to be a mother.”
“She would probably see us more as grandmothers anyway.”
“Ma’am, you’re so tactless.”
She got scolded by Susan.
Today, Victoria borrowed a large pot from the kitchen, saying, ‘Tomorrow is the birthday party for Mr. Bernard, who is my employer.’ and was diligently cooking. A nice smell wafted from the distance.
“You should transport that dish with our carriage.”
Victoria was very happy when she was told that.
“I was in a pinch because I forgot I had to carry it. I was just thinking about calling a rental carriage.”
She replied with a wry smile.
Mrs. Yorana found even her occasional carelessness endearing and fell in love with Victoria.