“I wish you didn’t have to leave,” said Iolanthe, as she brushed a stray piece of lint from her brother’s navy blue uniform.
“The army needs me.”
“I know you will do the family proud, and while you are away, you may leave everything in my capable hands.”
“Yes, I know.”
“And as always, come back with your shield…”
“Or on it,” he finished for her.
“Could you do one other thing for me, sister?”
He pulled an envelope from his tunic and held it toward her.
“Would you give this to Yuah after I’ve gone?”
She stared at it for a moment before taking the envelope.
“Of course,” she said.
Terrence kissed her on the cheek and left the room. Iolanthe stepped over to the window and watched as his luggage was loaded onto the back of the steam carriage. Terrence walked out the front door, down the steps and climbed into the passenger side of the vehicle, while Merriman climbed into the driver’s side. Iolanthe watched as the car made its way down the street and around the corner. Terrence never looked back.
Walking to her desk, she used her silver letter opener to slice through the envelope, and then pulled out the single sheet of paper inside. She put away the opener and read through the message as she walked the length of the boudoir. She shook her head and then tossed the letter and the envelope in the fireplace, watching as it burned brightly and then turned to ash.
“Yuah,” she called.
A moment later the dressing maid arrived.
“I’ll have my white and yellow day dress.”
“My brother has gone.” Iolanthe watched her dressing maid’s back stiffen.
“Did he stop to say goodbye?”
“Pity. No doubt he forgot.”