The house is voiceless, somnolent except for the muffled scratching of a mouse somewhere between the walls. Windsor never sleeps as soundly as this, with servants or guards always prowling about. In the depths of the night, it is as still as moonlight.
Those Roosevelts! Driving themselves around town, hither and yon, by themselves! I am exceedingly jealous. There. I said it. And I’ve never seen such a smile on Bertie when he and Franklin returned from their farm tour. I just know that when we get back he will have a new roadster. These Americans - so spontaneous and candid with their actions and unguarded opinions. In some ways, it is quite refreshing I have to admit.
The picnic today was delightful.
There was absolutely no standing on ceremony. They invited nobody who was anybody, really, except they were real people with honest opinions, who spoke more sincerely than any head of state we might have otherwise been attached to. Gardeners, house maids, neighbors, stable hands - all were there and we had a marvelous time.
The food was interesting. Franklin insisted on strictly “American fare.” Bertie was in heaven, eating those “hot dogs” as directed, without a single piece of silverware, the mustard oozing out the other end all over his lap. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, even at Eleanor’s prompting. But even though they were definitely difficult to cut, I did manage to eat two of them. Maybe three. I’m sure that’s what has my stomach so upset tonight.
A mint right now would be just the thing. I have no idea where my maid is, and it’s not like I can just go wandering into that part of the house, anyway. But maybe I can just slip down to the library for a bit. Perhaps some movement will help. After wrapping my robe about myself and slipping into my house shoes, I make my way toward the stairs.
The ticking clock sounds like a drumbeat in the silent hallway as I push open the library door. How strange to not have anyone around! The embers in the fireplace on the far wall throw feeble shadows and soft light across the room. A glint from the sideboard catches my eye, and I spot a crystal candy dish, its facets winking in the glow. Something pinkish red is inside. Tentatively, I raise the lid and, like discovering chicks in a nest, my heart leaps with joyful surprise at the clutch of peppermints within.
I glance around the room. In front of the fireplace is a couch, and I walk to it carrying the candy dish. I’ll just sit by the fading fire and have a few, and then return to my room. I can’t help but feel like a thief in the night, sneaking around someone’s home. But I’m sure the Roosevelts won’t mind, and in any case, they’ll never know. I sit and watch the glowing embers and suck on a peppermint. There is a chill in the room, so I pull a quilt off the back of the couch and wrap myself in it, carefully placing the candy dish on the floor. I’ll just lie here for a few minutes and close my eyes…
“Your Majesty? Ummm… Good morning, Your Majesty? Are you quite all right?”
I open my eyes. Looking down at me with great concern is Eleanor, in her hands the crystal candy dish.