It was a terrible waste of wine, but it was a fitting way to go. The deceased probably would have agreed. He had been a great vigneron.
It was harvest time, when the L'Hernault family often gathered at the Chateau de Roselle in Provins. Isabeau and her husband Estienne had traveled from their Parisian home bearing gifts, selected from the very wares they sold. Estienne, with an array of spices and exotic foodstuffs. Isabeau, a chest bursting with her best linens and silks.
“Remember,” her husband warned. “Never let yourself be alone with Father. Especially when he has had his wine.”
Isabeau nodded, recalling her previous few visits to the chateau. Jacquelin L'Hernault, the patriarch of the family, had leered at her more than once in a drunken haze. He had only approved of his son marrying a female merchant because of her sizable dowry. She also recalled the story about an unfortunate maid who was formerly employed there. Servants were very talkative when they th