Story for the day: Tweed
|Rautu is not impressed with Count Ross|
It was one day after the holidays had adjourned that an uncommon and horrid occurrence had found its way into the aegis of the Diras Castle. On the morning of this particular day, King Alasdair was taking his usual walk from the royal chambers to the courts by way of the main hall. He passed the usual tapestries and accoutrements lining the stone walls, nodded his head to the servants who bowed to him as they passed, gave friendly acknowledgements to the nobles who graced his path, but he stopped when he was suddenly struck with a monstrous site.
Count Ross, the elderly and self-proclaimed style innovator and remonstrator, was standing outside the doors of the court displaying a new coat he had tailored that morning. It was a fitted great coat, complete with squared tails and breasted buttons, lined with satin and sewn with apparent stitching. Worse, perhaps, than the sea green colour of the coat was the material from which it was made.
“Tweed,” Alasdair murmured in terror, backing away from the sight. He had never seen such a monstrosity of a garment. His delicate sensibilities on the subject were offended, and he drew back in fear for the women who came to remark the horrid object.
Alasdair gasped at the amazement of the noblewomen. They approached Count Ross to touch the edges of the coat, mark its splendor, coo in delight at his bravery to set a trend, and bemoan how they wished their husbands could all make the count their example. Alasdair looked down at his finely tailored jerkin and impeccable knee britches matched with his riding boots and wondered how such a figure of travesty as the count could be so lauded when there was everything to recommend his absurdity. He felt, however, that the count was not to blame but the tailor of the piece who was. He leapt away from the entrance of the courts before he could be seen and ran toward the servant’s quarter in search of his seamstress.
Alasdair found Carrigh working industriously away, humming a pleasant tune to no one in particular and sewing a hem one of the gentry’s gowns. She was just finishing her careful stitches when Alasdair burst on her with professions of appalling nature.
“Sire, what it is? What’s happened?” Carrigh said with sincerity in her tone, running to comfort the king.
“Carrigh,” Alasdair entreated her, “please, tell me you did not make that tweed coat for Count Ross.”
Carrigh seemed bemused. “Tweed coat?”
“It’s an abomination and he’s gallivanting about the courts, flaunting and flourishing it for all the wretched women. What I cannot understand is that they actually believe it’s appealing.”
Carrigh laughed at the king’s distress on the matter and with a blush said, “I didn’t tailor that for him, sire. I would not. If the count would have come to me with such a charge, I would have told I did not have the materials to make it. Sir Pastaddams would do the very same, to be sure. Count Ross must have commissioned one of the tailors in town to make it for him. I’ve heard about the tight pants.”
“Those I could have borne, but this is inexcusable. Carrigh, I order you to take your scissors to the coat at once.”
“Sire,” Carrigh laughed, “you’re acting as though you were afraid of such a garment.”
“As well I should be,” Alasdair argued. “Tweed is uncomfortable, irritating and hot. I don’t know how anyone can wear it, even with a satin lining.”
Carrigh tittered behind a raised hand and Alasdair responded with an injured look. “Surely, it cannot be all that bad,” she said in hopes of calming the king’s doubts.
“It’s green,” was Alasdair’s contention.
“Oh, my goodness. Who could have agreed to tailor such a thing?”
“I don’t know but whoever it was should be locked away in Karnwyl Prison. The shame of using talent to create such objectionable object is beyond me.”
Carrigh attempted to hide her mirthful sentiment for the king’s perturbation but she could not for long. She had, however, made the suggestion of asking the Den Asaan’s opinion of the coat, knowing that his decided opinion once given was certain to have Count Ross remove the garment or lose his head.
Alasdair’s anger fled and was replaced with hope. He hurried toward the training yard and called for the Den Asaan to attend him. The giant came with some hesitance but when the king told the giant of the unpardonable affront, the Den Asaan was too happy to assist. He led Rautu to the courts where Count Ross was just sitting down to take his account of the proceedings for the day. His countenance was complacent and his hand prepared for the concessions but when Alasdair ordered him to stand and accompany the Den Asaan outside, an expression of terror overtook him.
Rautu escorted the count into the main hall and assessed the offense he was continually committing. He was relieved at least to find his intimate portions protected and though he could reproach him on the fit, the colour or the material of the article, on the point of it disturbing the king he certainly could. He roared at him to remove the coat at once or be suspended from court for the day, which gained a retort from the count stating that the coat was expensive to have made and therefore could not be confiscated. The Den Asaan had little patience for disobedience and little care for how much the garment cost to make, and he demanded that the coat be removed or it would be destroyed.
The count sighed and complied with the giant’s inflexible wishes. He returned to the royal quarter and donned an ordinary tailcoat, much to his dismay. His plans of beginning a new tendency had been thus thwarted and King Alasdair could not have been more relieved.
As a reward for his success, Alasdair encouraged the Den Asaan to pay a visit to Diras Delights and purchase anything he wished on his account. He gave the giant three gold pieces for his troubles and though it was a hefty sum to pay for peace of mind, Alasdair deemed it a fair trade and began the proceedings at court with a sigh of reprieve and a satisfied smile.