Hello, Benjamin from Brothers Campfire here!
Gather ’round and I will spin you a tale.
Sometimes you just have to make a mountain out of a molehill.
Lord Reginald Zapher did not favor Alexander and Rutherford, two of his five children.
Reginald, unable to pay for mercenaries, was bound to serve in the king’s retinue for a year.
Serving with distinction, he returned with many honors and new titles.
With much joy and happiness, he returned to find his wife, Lady Alexandria Zapher, furious and inconsolable.
You see, both his wife and her maid had given birth to baby boys on the same day.
The maid’s son was a spitting image of Reginald. As one could expect, there was a wee bit of suspicion as to who the father was.
There was no end to the accusations and the maid did nothing to stop them, making it all the more believable he was guilty of impropriety. The audacity of the maid to name her son Alexander only exacerbated things when her mistress’ name was Alexandria. In all fairness, the maid didn’t have the best grasp on reality and so learned to say little to stay out of trouble.
Alexandria’s routine fits of anger didn’t help the maid communicate either.
To complicate things,
Lady Alexandria’s son Rutherford looked a lot like one of the locals at the tavern, but it was all speculation.
At first, Lord Reginald engaged in logic; the children were quite possibly swapped in the middle of the night, and the maid merely wanted to honor the family name in calling her son Alexander.
Quite reasonably, the man at the tavern fled the country in fear for his life so there was no asking him. Rumors get around and folks tend to avoid painful approaches into the afterlife.
Reginald was sure that he had been faithful to his dear wife. While a man of flawed character in some respects, he would allow neither child to go fatherless in his household. Lord Reginald resigned himself to the care of both children and avoided the maid at all costs to preserve his marriage.
Lady Alexandria on the other hand loved Rutherford and despised Alexander. Along with the other siblings, Rutherford was afforded the finest in education in the training that befits a gentleman of status.
Alexander was schooled in such things, but spent a lot of time milking cows and tending to chores with the maid. He was a primary recipient of Lady Alexandria’s fierce temper.
Of his five children, Lord Reginald paid special attention to his eldest son and the two youngest daughters and gave much less affection to Alexander and Rutherford.
Nobility comes with a fair share of dysfunction and also responsibilities; Lord Reginald bestowed upon his eldest vast control over the armies of the land and a large estate to manage; he would be the heir.
Lady Alexandria ensured a place of high standing for Rutherford as well. He was her favorite.
Alexender was given a small pension and a hundred acre wood with poor soil beset with prairie dogs. It was called “Pooh” by the locals and the hills nearby were said to be haunted by haints and such.
As for the two daughters, well, they got married off or something. No one really knows. I suppose we could just ask the Zapher family.
In the end, the maid fessed up to what she had done. Her mistress Alexandria was ill after giving birth so while nursing them, she made a hard choice; she gave up her son so he would never know the life of a lowly peasant. She had come to love Alexander and came clean in effort to right her wrongs.
So much time transpired that no one believed her; not Lord Reginald, Lady Alexandria, or anyone in the kingdom. Perhaps the truth was now inconvenient.
It didn’t help that Lady Alexandria and Lord Reginald were fighting at the time of the confession and Alexandria mentioned meeting a guy for a few drinks at a tavern while he was away at war long ago.
When the dust settled, the matter was never resolved.
Was a mountain made of a molehill?
Who knows. It was a good hook for a story.