Spending Money

Another story from the Mistress’s Child Series.

It was another of those days when Alfred had to go to the Mansion for some business. As usual, he had to wait for the coach that Old Master had hired to make the rounds about his many businesses. Lots of time would be wasted in the coach, but hiring a coach to take him directly to the Mansion was out of the question, as that was extra silver out of his Old Master’s pocket.

Laughter was heard as he stepped down from his coach and greeted his dwindling number of old friends in the Mansion. Many his age had been replaced by younger, cheaper and more eager stewards. He could not help but wonder when he would be considered too old and be asked to retire. Alfred also noticed something else – the Mansion staff had new uniforms.

A bit of enquiries revealed that Young Master thought the old uniforms were not nice, and had spent quite a bit of treasury silver to replace all the uniforms with the new ones bearing the family heraldry. And indeed the new ones, with the shiny buttons, were really very nice. Alfred could only smile as he noted how none of the new uniforms had reached him, or any of his dwindling staff at the rented cottage where the ailing Mistress was being tended to.

As Alfred settled some accounts with the quartermaster, he could not help but remember something that the sister of Old Master had told him, when he had first arrived at the Mansion, and decided to use some silver to reward some workers who had risked their lives to rescue Little Mistress (then a little girl) from some angry beggars who had held her hostage.

“This is not how you spend money!” She had instructed him then. For a long time after that, he was still not able to answer a question he had wanted to ask her in return, “How then do you spend money?”

Today he had found his answer.

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