Chapter 3

The waitress

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Henry Atterberry turned pale. If at their first accidental encounter, Perrot had thought that no living human being could have a more intense pallor, he knew better now. Every sign of life seemed to have left his features. Sir Atterberry tried to steady himself on the divan’s high armrest with his left hand. With the other hand, he gripped his handkerchief and pressed it over his eyes, groaning.
Confronted with this rather alarming breakdown, Perrot had enough presence of mind to jump up and call out to an attendant who was just hurrying past the open door.
“Mademoiselle … ah, Mademoiselle waitress with the cork. You've come right on cue with your beverages.“
The woman blushed. “Monsieur Perrot, please, could that incident not…”
“Yes, later, Mademoiselle. Later we will let that incident pass into oblivion. Now, your help is needed here.” Perrot pointed to Henry Atterberry, whose current condition called for an immediate intervention and resolutely plucked a glass of wine from the tray. “Ah, magnifique. This bouquet… Do take a sip, my friend. This wine will revive your spirits …“
“White wine. That’s white wine with iced elderflowers. This drink can raise the dead.” The waitress lowered her eyes, embarrassed. “That was completely inappropriate. I don’t know why I said something like that. Please forgive me.”
Perrot smiled kindly. He didn’t see any reason not to oblige. Lord Atterberry didn’t feel the need to start a conversation with a servant. At least that’s what Perrot could read in his face with absolute certainty. But he also noticed something else. A tiny shimmer in the eyes of the groom, that inscrutably seemed to have been mirrored in waitress’ eyes.

Henry Atterberry turned pale. If at their first accidental encounter, Perrot had thought that no living human being could have a more intense pallor, he knew better now. Every sign of life seemed to have left his features. Sir Atterberry tried to steady himself on the divan’s high armrest with his left hand. With the other hand, he gripped his handkerchief and pressed it over his eyes, groaning.
Confronted with this rather alarming breakdown, Perrot had enough presence of mind to jump up and call out to an attendant who was just hurrying past the open door.
“Mademoiselle … ah, Mademoiselle waitress with the cork. You've come right on cue with your beverages.“
The woman blushed. “Monsieur Perrot, please, could that incident not…”
“Yes, later, Mademoiselle. Later we will let that incident pass into oblivion. Now, your help is needed here.” Perrot pointed to Henry Atterberry, whose current condition called for an immediate intervention and resolutely plucked a glass of wine from the tray. “Ah, magnifique. This bouquet… Do take a sip, my friend. This wine will revive your spirits …“
“White wine. That’s white wine with iced elderflowers. This drink can raise the dead.” The waitress lowered her eyes, embarrassed. “That was completely inappropriate. I don’t know why I said something like that. Please forgive me.”
Perrot smiled kindly. He didn’t see any reason not to oblige. Lord Atterberry didn’t feel the need to start a conversation with a servant. At least that’s what Perrot could read in his face with absolute certainty. But he also noticed something else. A tiny shimmer in the eyes of the groom, that inscrutably seemed to have been mirrored in waitress’ eyes.