“Is this an ill-favored jest? Did you hold your mistress so lightly that you take her belongings for your own use?”
“I did not touch it, lord,” the maidservant whispered, eyes owlish in the shadowy chamber.
In a softer voice, the steward asked, “Or did she ask you to finish this before she—“
“No, lord!” The maid began to weep. “Indeed, I have not her skill with
the needle.” Hiding her face in her apron, she fled from the chamber.
Lord Denethor stood with a small embroidered jacket clenched in his hands. “Come back,” he whispered again and again.