This content is part of a series.
Series: Painted Window
This teaching download includes Chapters Eight, Nine and Ten of the Painted Windows book, as well as discussion questions and biblical study and application.
Mary saw the entire episode, and she was completely frozen by what occurred. At first she wasn't quite sure what she should do, but she knew she had to do something. She looked frantically around the square, and her eyes lighted on the only possible avenue she had.
King Reginald was gracious, as always, but he was also completely preoccupied. Where was she? Surely she would be at the Spring Festival. He felt sure he would see her there and would finally be able to speak to her.
He was in mid-sentence with Lady Adelaide, who was talking non-stop about the new stones she had laid at her entryway, when he heard a commotion just to the side of the village center. A crowd had gathered, and he thought he could hear raised voices.
It took him a minute to escape Lady Adelaide's conversation, so by the time he made his way to where the incident had occurred, it had all but ended. There was nothing left but a few bystanders who were animatedly discussing what they had just witnessed.
''That girl has been in trouble before, you know,'' said an overdressed woman to another woman in a comically oversized bonnet. ''Francis told me she used to be a prostitute!'' She put her gloved hand over her mouth in horror as she shared this tidbit of gossip.
The large bonnet bobbed up and down as her companion joined the banter. ''I heard the same thing, but I had also heard she'd turned her life around many years ago. Maybe it was all just an act so that she could get into the Peters' home and steal them blind!''
Both women nodded as they turned in the direction Reginald guessed the offending party had taken. ''Good afternoon, ladies,'' he greeted them. Both women fell into each other as they hastily turned toward their king's voice. Their clumsy curtsies made Reginald smile a little.
''Sire, I'm sorry. We didn't hear you approaching,'' said the woman without the bonnet.
''Please, ladies, stand up,'' he said gently as he touched both on their shoulders. ''Actually, I was hoping you could tell me what just occurred. You both seem to be quite knowledgeable on the subject.'' Neither woman seemed to notice the sarcasm in his question.
The large bonnet bobbed incessantly again as the other woman spoke. ''Oh, yes, of course.'' She drew nearer to the king in a conspiratorial manner. ''It seems that the Peters' new maid stole a priceless family heirloom. The authorities just arrested her.''
''Well, that's too bad,'' Reginald answered as he looked over their heads. ''And who was this maid?'' He wasn't really sure why this little episode interested him as it did, but he couldn't help asking for more details.
''I believe her name ...
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