Melodia and Charmaine's Response
“Madame?” Charmaine looked up from the paperwork on her desk to find Lisbeth standing before her. Not an uncommon sight, but something seemed different about the girl’s expression – she was excellent at keeping a straight face, but Charmaine couldn’t help but notice a slight hesitance in her eyes.
Charmaine smiled kindly. “Yes, Lisbeth? Did you deliver that letter I gave you?”
“I did, Madame, but…” Lisbeth bit her lip. “There’s something outside I think you’re going to want to see. It’s regarding Archbaroness Delronge and your…mutual friend.”
With a sigh, Charmaine rose and followed the girl to the front door of the Lion. Of course Mondragon had made some rash, foolish decision. At least she and Melodia would never be bored when dealing with the man.
There was a great deal of activity in the street outside the Lion, and Charmaine’s eyes widened slightly as she saw what all the commotion was about. That was certainly Aldo Mondragon standing not two doors down, distributing gold and copies of his latest pamphlet to the masses and whipping them into an anti-Delronge frenzy. Charmaine knew perfectly well that the people of Kintargo could be swayed nothing more than a few gold and a charismatic voice, and Mondragon had both in spades.
“This isn’t the least of it, Madame,” Lisbeth told her in a hurried whisper. “I saw this same scene not twenty minutes ago on Bleakbridge. There’s no way he could have beat me here.”
Charmaine pursed her lips and turned back into the Lion. “Follow me, Lisbeth. I need you to take a letter to Lady Delronge.”
My dear Melodia,
I am writing to you today about the mutual friend of whom we recently spoke over tea. I had the pleasure of running into him today – how well he looked! He seemed as though he had recently had a financial windfall, and he shared stories of his great esteem for you.
My assistant later told me that she had met him only a few minutes earlier on Bleakbridge, and that he had passed along similar compliments. I find it heartening that a man of his age, who has previously shown some frailty, would be able to make such a walk so quickly. I had hoped that you might know of a way that we could express our friendship to this dear man – any ideas you might have would be appreciated.
I remain your affectionate friend,
My dearest Charmaine,
How wonderful that you would run into our friend so soon after we had spoken of him! It is heartening that he remains so vigorous even at his age. I do find it interesting that your girl had seen him on Bleakbridge – that is no easy walk, and were I unaware of how gifted and perceptive your dear assistant is I might wonder if it were really him she had seen at all.
I think your idea to find a way to express our appreciation of our friend is a wonderful one, and I have a few ideas. Please take the enclosed gold and distribute it to a few close friends who might be able to find him – it would be improper to seek him out ourselves, as you know how he is fond of his privacy. For my part, I will speak to the lord-mayor and see if there might be some small way the city could recognize our friend for all he does for Kintargo. I hope this will help our friend to realize our abiding affection for him.
As always, your devoted friend,