During breakfast the next morning, Eugene pondered on the ways she could possibly make this ‘monotonous journey’ more enjoyable. She shuddered at the thought that she had to coop up in her carriage for another half month at the least, with nothing to do but to stare into the same scenery unfolded through her carriage window.
She glimpsed at Kasser, who was having his breakfast sitting across from her but soon dropped her eyes from him.
‘I can’t ask him to ride with me in my carriage just because I’m bored…..”
Apart from the eldery, the wounded or the labourers who rode on the luggage carriage, it was deemed against custom for a man to travel by carriage, especially among the nobles. Eugene didn’t want him to be on everybody’s lips just because of her.
But her servant didn’t seem fit as her companion as she longed for casual conversations with people.
‘Maybe I could ask the officials’ wives to ride with me.’
Eugene recalled the five ladies whom she had invited on this journey. They seemed perfect for her companion but she didn’t know how she should ask them. As it will definitely sound like a command if she sends her servant to ask them over.
She didn’t want her words to come across as a pressure to them as it wasn’t entertainment or flattery what she was looking for. She just wanted to get to know them better along their journey since this seemed like a good opportunity for her to be further acquainted with the ladies. After giving much thought about it by herself, she carefully asked Kasser for his advice.
He paused for a moment before he gave her his advice.
“Send for Count Oscar and tell her what you think. She would then inform the other ladies accordingly.”
“Do you know well about Count Oscar?”
“No, not really. I’ve just met her a few times during formal occasions, that’s all.”
“Then is this some sort of custom that I don’t know about?”
“Well, not that I know of.”
“Then why did you tell me to ask the Count about it?”
“The thing is, it’s usually the Chancellor who takes care of the cumbersome matters in my stead.”
Eugene was at first dumbfounded by his rather plain reason which seemed to have resulted from a simplistic thinking. However, as she had no other options, she had sent for the Count that morning as Kasser advised. And as a result, his advice turned out to be just right for her.
When the procession came to a halt at noon for them to have lunch and rest, Charlotte had come in for a visit, to inform Eugene of the conclusion she and the ladies had reached from a discussion.
Eugene was then handed over a document by Charlotte. After that, Charlotte had briefly given her explanation to Eugene, as she looked through the table which consisted of the time, date and names of the ladies.
“To our regret, our carriage does not have enough room for several people to ride in. However, Your Majesty’s carriage seems spacious enough to easily fit at least three people. So, what we suggest is that we would take turns everyday in a team of two to ride with Your Majesty twice a day, one team at early noon and another at late noon.
Without her knowing, Eugene gave an exclamation by making a “Oh..!” sound and nodded her head in astonishment.
“Great. That’s a very good suggestion indeed.”