1617: xxiii

As soon as the door latch clicked, Aimée rushed to her desk and started to pry the lid off the box. It clattered across the desktop and revealed only another box. This one was well made and bore a small, sturdy lock, but no key. She stared at it for a few moments as she considered that perhaps Sister Teresa had made a mistake and this was not meant for her. Tentatively, Aimée pulled out a bent sewing needle and gently probed the keyhole. She felt around for the lever, applied pressure and was rewarded by a small click. The latch had popped.

Aimée lifted the lid and found a folded letter perched on top of a bundle of sheepskin. She remembered the night she received the clockwork bird and her hand shook slightly. She flexed her fingers, she didn’t have anything to fear this time. No one would disturb her. Madame was gone and it would please Aimée if she never laid eyes on her again. She reached forward and plucked the letter out.

Mademoiselle,

I must reiterate that I have no answers for you, so there is no use in you continuing to ask the same question. Consider this your lesson in patience. In the meantime, amuse yourself with practice.

                                                                                G. C.d.R.

Dismayed, Aimée flicked the letter aside as she fought her impulse to scrawl ‘When?’ across it and return it to the sender as she had so many others. Instead she pulled out the sheepskin and unwrapped the contents. A set of throwing knives glinted up at her. A smile crept onto her lips. No, the Abbess would not approve of this at all.

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