The twins helped clear the formal gardens in the afternoon and then, when the weather turned sour, headed in for dinner. Later, they joined Mara and Dixon for a palace tour, along with Vida and Clarimonde.
They started on the top floor. In the past, mostly servants had inhabited it. Even so, Dixon and Clarimonde shared stories of some of the interesting palace visitors of days gone by who’d spent time there.
Eventually they made their way to the second floor. Dixon did most of the talking and explaining, as Mara had only visited the place once in the past, under Basha’s direction. He highlighted the architectural details, and identified when he could, those people who’d been responsible for particular design and decorative elements. He also shared stories about the personalities who’d lived in the past, within some of the rooms they toured, and of their relationship to the twins’ mother, and therefore, to them. From time to time, Clarimonde added stories she recalled from old, to his comments.
Its majesty astonishing them, the three sisters stopped repeatedly to examine the finest of details. The most obscure trinkets, works of art, fine silver pieces, porcelain tea sets, tapestries, and figurines, captured their attention. Occasionally Vida purported to recollect a particular item from her childhood—before she’d been whisked away for safety—if only vaguely. All the while, the three sisters begged for stories of the palace’s various prior inhabitants.
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