Devyn’s Dilemma…an excerpt
The scent of lavender pleased Brice’s senses as Devyn passed by him and entered the panty.
He had been happy to find the bonnie lass exploring the dining room with the endearing wonder of a child as he happened upon the open door—and even more gratified by her apology.
But then there was her flummoxing reaction to the river views.
Such a curious combination of sweetness and something that seemed to border on bitterness. What would make this fair fawn so skittish, so resentful of the great St. Lawrence River? Had she had a near-drowning experience? Could she have toppled over from a boat and feared for her life?
His imagination ran wild with the possibilities, but as it did, his heart began to hurt for her. Surely something, or someone, had turned her against the river. Was it Falan? Could that scrappy lad have terrorized her somehow? Brice didn’t doubt that he might have been the culprit. If he harassed her in any way during their tenure here, her brother would have to reckon with him.
Devyn’s voice tore him from his thoughts. “This pantry is far grander than Mother’s tiny kitchen—and far more luxuriously equipped.” He followed her gaze as she surveyed the fully stocked room. Fine china, elegant stemware, and ornate chafing dishes filled the shelves. “That sink and those warming ovens are huge. And I’ve never seen the likes of those cut-glass cupboards!” She turned and pointed at an open box. “Is this the dumbwaiter?”
Brice nodded. “It is. You work it like this.” He pulled a heavy rope, lowering the wooden box until it was out of sight. “Now it’s down in the kitchen, and Cook can send up the hot food when it’s time for dinner. Mahlon, the butler, or his staff, can set the food here in the warming ovens until it’s ready to be served.” He pointed to the two modern contraptions.
“I’ve never seen such wonders in all my life!” Her eyes twinkled like the stars.
“You’ve seen but a few of the marvels that are here. Maybe I’ll run into you again so I can show you more of them.” He allowed himself a teasing wink in her direction. “But now, off with you afore the missus tans your hide.”
Brice smiled broadly as he waved her away.
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