Waiting In The Parlor

May 9, 1889
Paris, France
Ellington Residence

Dumont took the last bite of Gruyere from a tiny silver fork, "Mmm... mon préféré.." He closed his eyes and took in the savory taste of the cave aged cheese. He set the fork down and stood.

Having already taken in his immediate surroundings, Dumont began to pace around the lavish parlor with its ornate decor, he passed a narrow bookshelf built into the wall and noted some of the books on display there. Standard fare for the 1800s bibliovore. Austen, Bronte, Dickens, Shelley, Stevenson... Were they ever used? He didn't bother to open any.

Finally, he came to a stop at the window to catch a view of the butterfly bush outside. He stood with his hands in his pockets and smiled, thinking of his mother's namesake. The little white, beautiful winged insects, probably Apollos, were fluttering about the spring plumes, taking in their feast of nectar.

Harvey entered the threshold.

"May I offer you a tart, Monsieur Dumont?" he held a tray with a few tiny strawberry-filled pastries.

"Merci, Harvey." he said as he turned and Harvey entered to deliver a dish to the small coffee table.

"How long have you worked for the Baron, Harvey?"

"I've been with the family for several years now."

As the man-servant picked up the old dishes and began to put them onto the tray, the empty tea cup slipped off. Harvey made to crouch and grab it but was destined to miss, but then something strange happened. The cup sort of froze just a centimeter from the polished wooden floor, not breaking and spilling only a drop.

Harvey blushed and looked up at Dumont who had removed the hand from his pocket and held it in a curious gesture. Harvey's mouth hung open for a moment in surprise. He then gently gathered the cup out of its suspension and put it neatly onto the tray.

"Thank you, sir." he said with relief and bowed his head in slight reverence.

"And they... treat you well?"

"Oh yes, I should say so, sir." replied the man.

"Ça c'est bon." Dumont smiled.

Harvey grinned sheepishly and nodded before speaking again. "They should be along shortly." he assured his guest before taking his leave.

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