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The bed was cozy with the crackling of the bedroom fire welcoming the rays of dawn. Ms. Daisy, who is now Lady Daisy Craven, the Countess of Islire, gently opened her eyes to find her husband Lord Antony Craven sleeping peacefully in her arms. She almost fell exhausted last night, from the exertions of a regal wedding service. She was new to this house or rather, to this life. Being the daughter of a common gardener at the village park, she was nothing but a young naive soul from a barely sustained home, until her exquisite beauty caught the eyes of the Lord himself. But as she opened her eyes in the comfort of a bed she has never known before, the meek girl realized she is the new Countess! The wife of the Lord, the daughter of the mighty Craven family!
After a small yet delightful conversation with her first ever ladysmaid, she went down in the most gorgeous green gown that Lord Antony gifted her. It was a replica of the “Green Mermaid”, the family heirloom that was made for the late Countess of Islire, Lady Anne Craven – Lord Antony’s mother. The real one is preserved by the family as a memory of dear Anne.
As Daisy strolled through the vast corridors she saw Antony admiring the portrait of his mother. Daisy took one glance at the picture and knew exactly why people talked about her. She was a beauty, a joy that the world would kneel before…
“Antony, may I ask you something..”
“What is it, dear..”
“Yesterday, for the service, I couldn’t take my eyes from all those pretty faces, your cousins and friends…why didn’t you marry all those women, daughters of lords and dukes, but me, the daughter of a servant?”
“ Because, you are the only girl upon whom my eyes have clapped, who is as beautiful as my mama..”
Daisy slid her hand into his and hid her blushing face in his arms, as Antony looked back onto his dear mother.
“ Come, let me show you around..” Antony took Daisy to the famous Garden Wall which was as tall as her neck could go. Daisy gasped with wonder as she grazed the green carpet of fresh climbers with red blossoms that peeked out of their leafy covers. It was magnificent like cherries fallen on the meadows, but standing upright in front of your eyes.
“I wonder how these grow, do these walls have humus in them?” Daisy chuckled letting out the inner child in her. Much to her surprise, Antony took her across the several feet width of the wall. As he opened the door to reveal what was behind the Garden wall, he laughed along and said “ Ah! Humus! Much like books are to the human mind…”
And there she stood, gaping at the most coveted architectural piece of the Craven family – the Library Wall! It was a wonder to behold. This stalwart piece of art made the beholder feel puny and insignificant, after all, knowledge makes you realize how little you are! The room was dingy, dark, and looked haunted if it weren’t for the humungous chandelier on the roof. It felt incredibly cold, quite contrary to how knowledge gives the warmth of light. The dust in the room did have over 200 years’ worth of stories to tell.
“Mama was a collector of books. She used to say that a library is where one should be in no one’s company but oneself..”
“So, will you get rid of me?” Daisy muttered under her breath, rather tauntingly.
“Yes, that sounds as if I have to, doesn’t it?” Antony smiled as he brushed through the books. “But these books are to be untouched. They are preserved with the touch of her fragrant fingers and only hers..”
The room was slightly frightening for young Daisy. She escorted Antony out of the room before he gets drawn into the painful past.
It’s been a few months and the villagers adore the lovely and kind Lady Daisy Craven, the Countess of Islire. Enjoying the new lifestyle, Daisy was walking past the gallery when she heard an ear-piercing thud from the Library. She ran across the corridor as the deafening hammering became louder and louder.
“Oh, it’s you Mr. Dandler! Antony didn’t say you were coming…” Daisy heaved a sigh of relief seeing a familiar face. Mr. Dandler and his family, rather living secluded from the rest of the county, have made many great works of architecture for the Craven family.
“Yes milady” Mr. Dandler bowed with respect and continued to clear a new section on the Library wall.
“Is a new collection coming up? Why are you clearing it? And Antony had told the books weren’t to be touched..” Daisy was full of questions.
“ Yes milady, there is a new collection coming tonight. Lord Antony had informed me. And as for this old section, I have to do it once in 3 months for the garden….” Mr. Dandler pushed the soil further behind and Daisy stood there, dead in the eyes, her soul almost leaving her body.
“A..a..re those….” Daisy shivered with her tongue falling lifeless, as Mr. Dandler cleaned the nameplate on the foot-panel of a coffin that read ‘Lady Anne Craven’.
As he removed the books section by section and pushed the soil backward, Daisy couldn’t feel her feet and fell onto the floor. Clutching onto the frills of her green gown, her voice could only come out as frail cries…
” Aa–nn-dd those?” With shriveled lips and lifeless eyes, she pointed to the other coffins that were now uncovered as Mr. Dandler peacefully continued his job.
“Yes Milady, they were all beautiful….as beautiful as our late Countess..”
It is a new dawn as the bedroom fire crackled in the cozy room. Ms. Maria opened her eyes to see the handsome Lord Antony Craven, her new husband, stare at her pretty countenance. Antony gently kissed her forehead…”You are as beautiful as my mother….”