N. A. OCOT
O God of my righteousness!
Let my fingers fly!
All, honor and glory and blessings to You!
Confessions of a Commander
A letter from Lord Creighton to Eleanor , late summer. Dear Eleanor, I will address your three requests but first, I apologize for the delay in response. With this weather the tenant farmers have no end of needs. Were it not for a rising wheat market I would have sold the property along with its smooth-brained occupants long ago. You give people employment, shelter, food and drink. What do they give you? Problems. When they’re not enlisted you can only whip them so much. I must confess, I love the sunlight and streams that nurse the south end of that valley we own. Fecund farmsteads they may be, yet I know one better: an estate for the mother of my grandchildren. I’ll say it as I’ve said many times before - at your word I will build. What a joy it would be to have you all here in the valley. In all the years I’ve known you, you’ve never disappointed me save for demurring this perennial offer. Without you I have only idiots and wealth, rubes and rubies. Now, regarding your first request. Yes, we plan to visit this season. Your mother-in-law and I have begun drawing up preparations. Tell my grandsons that they can expect to see their Afi perhaps two moons from now. I’ll send correspondence in advance as well as two carriages bearing your mother-in-law’s luggage. I jest. A mule cart will do. I will also grant your second request and divulge the details of the legal proceedings surrounding the Hrut case. There is not much to convey. The Hrut patriarch was convicted on all charges, the split vote came to me, and I voted in favor of his execution. A shame. He finished one year ahead of me at the academy. Now onto your third request. I write the next three words with more than a little obstinance and vexation. No. No. No. As a judge, landlord, and veteran I seldom speak so vulnerably. Perhaps in my age I am losing my edge. I will make my feelings plain here, Eleanor. You have earned more than mere approval over the years, you have earned my love as a father. You have been a better child to me than my own sons. They gave me grey hair, you gave me grandsons. Imagine my surprise when the daughter of a legal clerk caught the eyes of my son. A man I hired for four months brings his daughter - nothing but an extra expense to me. You arrived with nothing, and left with Osmand’s heart. More than that, you earned my respect through your honor and your guile - excluding the beverage in the library incident. I can honestly say I haven’t felt this irritated with you before, Eleanor. You are exceedingly irritating in this matter. Stop asking about the day Ozure and Osmand met. Stop asking about the day Ozure and Osmand died. I tolerated such wheedlings during your visit last summer. No longer. Truly, Eleanor, as a father to his daughter-in-law, stop looking into this matter. You say “I’m sure you know, you’ve always been so protective of Osmand”. You assume much. What could I know that you did not observe in your marriage? And regarding their deaths, we have both read the accounts. If you want to read the documents about the discovery of the bodies a report then reread what was filed with the governor’s officials ages and ages ago. I will even request scribes make copies for your personal keeping and have them sent, but that is all. I have nothing else to say. Do not bring up this matter when we visit. Best, Lord Creighton Commander of the Third Legion, Emeritus P.S. Tell my grandsons I am counting the days until I see them.