The Pocket Watch(18)

By: Ceci Giltenan


“Thank ye. Leastways, ye’ve never said it in my hearing.”

Maggie frowned. “Well, I’m sorry. That was very impolite of me.”

Freya shook her head, grinning, “Ye’ve never said that either.”

“Then I’m sorry about that too. I have the distinct feeling I might be saying it a lot.”

Freya laughed. “Let me finish with yer hair so ye can go to Mass.”

When she was done, Freya placed a veil over the elaborate braid she had worked. Maggie thought it was a shame to cover the beautiful braid but just before she said so, she remembered that women covered their heads in church even well into the twentieth century.

Freya showed Maggie to the great hall where Lady Carr waited with Logan and a much older woman. Freya curtsied to them before excusing herself.

Maggie said, “I’ve made ye wait, I’m sorry.” Freya must have been right about Margaret never apologizing, because everyone within earshot looked surprised.

Lady Carr smiled warmly. “Ye needn’t worry, lass. Ye remember my son, I trust?”

“Aye, good morning, Logan.” Freya had curtsied, maybe she should. She bobbed a curtsy, figuring it wouldn’t hurt.

Logan arched an eyebrow. “Good morning. I trust ye’re well this morning?”

“Aye, thank ye. And ye?” Shocked looks all around again. Did Margaret have no manners at all?

“Aye, Margaret, I am. Thank ye for asking. Unless much has changed from yesterday, I suspect ye don’t remember my grandmother, Lady Agnes Carr.”

“It’s lovely to meet ye,” said Maggie. She curtsied again.

Lady Agnes nodded coolly at her.

Maggie realized she had yet to meet Laird Carr and she wasn’t sure whether Laird Carr was Logan’s father or grandfather so she asked, “Will Laird Carr be joining us?”

Logan cocked his head. “Margaret, I’m Laird Carr.”

Maggie’s jaw dropped. “I—I’m sorry…Laird…I didn’t know, or at least I didn’t remember.”

He laughed. “Clearly.” Offering her his arm he said, “Shall we go to Mass?”

Maggie accepted it, walking with him outside and across the bailey to the chapel. She hadn’t thought about it until they entered the chapel, but she had a moment of panic. What would they think if she couldn’t say the words of the liturgy? Get a grip Maggie, ye have amnesia.

However, when the Mass started she had no trouble. She recognized the language as Latin. She had studied Latin throughout high school and had learned all the prayers of the old Tridentine Mass in Latin. Of course it would be another three hundred years before Pope Pius V revised the Roman missal into a unified Mass. Still it wasn’t vastly different and understanding the liturgical Latin helped her follow along. Frankly, she was somewhat amazed. Other than the language in which it was celebrated, the Mass had changed very little in seven hundred years. In a way it was comforting. She felt connected not only to the people around her, but to the people all over the world and throughout time who performed the same ritual daily.

Logan took her arm again as they left Mass. “That was interesting Margaret.”

“What? The Mass?”

“Not precisely. Twas interesting how closely ye seemed to listen to the readings.”

“Well, I’ve always liked the story of Christ’s mercy toward the woman at the well.”

“Have ye?”

“Aye.” She frowned. “Do ye find that odd?”

He nodded. “Extremely odd. Ye’ve never listened before because other than reciting the prayers, ye don’t understand Latin. So ye wouldn’t have known the Gospel was the story of the woman at the well.”

Crap. Maggie had only understood the Latin because she herself had studied it. It was the language of the medieval Church and she had just assumed Margaret knew it as well. Losing all of her memories was one thing, knowing stuff Margaret had never known was something else. Bluff Maggie. “Ye must have misunderstood me. I haven’t been here that long, ye said so yerself.”

“I didn’t misunderstand.”

“Maybe I was just keeping it a secret but…well…I forgot to keep the secret.”