Letter 1 - Kei to Gin

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Dear Gin,

You didn't believe me, but I told you I'd write as soon as I got settled 
in.  I still feel a little bit lost around here, but it's comfortable 
enough, and I've got my own apartments set up, at last, and so I take 
brush in hand to communicate.  Ha!  Told you I would!  

Before I forget, I must thank you again for your most thoughtful gift.  
The bottles have found a happy home in my collection.  I confess, I've 
been too busy to do more than admire them.  Most of my time has been spent 
trying to find harmonious places for all the furniture, a task in which I 
believe I have succeeded, except the writing desk, which seems positively 
dwarfed by the high ceiling in the front sitting room, and overmasters the 
small alcove off the bathing chamber.  Currently it is sitting out on the 
balcony, under an overhang.  It is a charming scene, in a slightly 
bohemian sort of way, but the inlay will get ruined when the rains start 
in earnest.  I'll have to find a solution before then.       

The chatelaine has assigned two servants to me, in addition to Adda, 
without whom I would have been absolutely lost on the journey here.  One 
of them seems too clever by half, so I'll have Adda watch her, and figure 
out who she's a spy for.  Of course, if it were me, I'd try to find a 
clever serving girl who acts convincingly dim, and send her out as a spy 
with a clever-seeming girl to take all the suspicion.  Maybe I'll ask Adda 
to watch them both.  I, of course, always watch Adda.  But then, I know 
who Adda is spying for.

My first week was a whirl of draperies, gardens, and banquets gleaming 
with gold and saffron.  It was most gratifying to be feted in this manner 
every night, but I confess to a certain relief when banquets were 
downgraded to "evening repast", and I was given some time to myself in the 
evenings.  This relief, too, passed quickly, and now I'll admit to a bit 
of creeping ennui.  But don't think that's the only reason I decided to 
write you now.

Of course, I haven't actually met the prince yet, as he is still out on 
that Grand Tour of his, but the rumor is that he will be returning within 
a fortnight.  I'm not sure if I ought to have anything prepared by then, 
but I will ask around, quietly of course, and see what might be expected 
of me.

If you have any brilliant notions, please feel free to share them with me.  
If nothing else, write back quickly with all the news.  Now that the 
furniture is mostly taken care of, and the banqueting a thing of 
yesterday, I shall have to guard very carefully against my native 
inclination to stir up interesting trouble.  Still, I suppose it is better 
than boring trouble.  

Yours,
Kei

p.s.  You would envy me my view.  My balcony overlooks a lush garden of 
flowers and aromatics, beyond which is a cunningly wrought hothouse.  I 
shall have to go investigate tomorrow.  I cannot think anyone would object 
to such an innocent hobby as horticulture.  
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This file was last modified at 2106 on 26Jan02 by trip@idiom.com.