Poster: Mary Quinn
Post # 49
"I don't want to hear again you don't know where he is." Mary
barked at one of the maids, as if that poor girl would know the location
of every single Quinn in the household. Conor had foisted off his berry
picking duties to his brothers. Granted, yes, he had stated he won and
they had lost and the bet had been berries but still, the boy had gone
first thing and had not been seen since! She would like to believe he
had gone back to his new residence, but Mary Quinn knew that the chances
were better, considering he was a Quinn, that he had not sought out his
bed, at least alone. So now, anyone who came near would be hearing her
discontent until she knew what was going on. She always needed to
know...what was going on! The sun had barely even risen and breakfast
sizzled and bubbled in the kitchen, and Mary Quinn paced, wagging a
finger at that poor maid till the girl had wrung her apron into a knot.
Segan had a few drinks after the incident last night and had yet to
catch up with his brother Eion to talk about it. Not being sure
what happened afterwards for he had left. Dawn was breaking and the
smell of food had him up from his bed running his hands through his
hair, roughed it up with his head bent forward before padding across his
room barefooted to the basin of water. Cold water that with the
first splash had him sucking in a sharp breath. It was what he needed to
clear his senses and douse the cobwebs away. He was sure there were
going to be some repercussions of the night, especially when Conor ran
into the one. Maybe. Maybe she would say nothing out of sheer
embarrassment. If she was capable of being embarrassed. Thoughts drifted
to the exotic Egyptian woman he met and another cold splash was needed!
Half toweling out his hair leaving it in rope type curls as he donned
his pants and shirt, sandals on his feet and headed downstairs to the
Eion had been to the King's field and had been informed he was to take
the day off. He didn't think he looked that bad but then again, between
the sunburn and his lack of sleep, he probably looked like he had a
relapse. He stayed for a while to watch then decided to return home.
Maybe he could escape Gran later in the day and find a nice cool spot to
catch up on his sleep. The smell of breakfast had his stomach growling
as he came up the walk and headed into the manor. At least he'd not miss
another of his Gran's breakfasts.
Conor approached the house from the back, turning to look to Kuwan as
they neared. The lights were on, burning in practically every room, and
that caused the youngest Quinn to draw in a breath of preparation. He
didn't worry in the least as to Kuwan's reception. Who wouldn't
practically fall to their knees before her? No. It was the fact that he
knew...he knew!...that he hadn't checked in for two days and that would
never sit well with his grandmother. Not to mention, his brothers might
be speculating on his whereabouts as well. The bucket bumped against the
outside of his knee, a constant reminder that he may have a reprieve
from the concern of his grandmother when she saw the fat, healthy frogs.
There was only one way to find out and they were too close to the house
for him to make excuses why they should turn about and find
something else to do for the rest of the day.
She was in awe of the manor. Conor Quinn was far out of her league to
live in such a place. She swallowed as a trickled fear of inadequacy
froze her to the spot. Though she would not let fear take over and have
her miss this opportunity to meet the great woman of their tribe. Her
hand slipped away from his arm as she adjusted the basket on her other
and smoothed down the white leather of her best outfit. It was not of
the beauty the white women wore but she hoped that it would be
acceptable. "I am ready to meet her." Brave words with a
slight lift of her chin and being presentable the best she could.
"Who is that?" The maid had gone to the window to put some
space between herself and Herself and as she looked out, saw the dark
woman in white before even realizing the man with her was the very one
she was supposed to be locating. She pointed out of the window in their
general direction which had Mary bustling over to take a look.
"Oh...my." She whispered, a smile pulling into view. "Now
there is a fine sight in the morning." When Segan and Eion joined
her, she'd be hoping they knew something about this handsome lass
accompanying their brother through the field.
He came into the kitchen just as the maid ran to the window. Moving to
take a look out the pane as he pushed the curtain aside and mumbled
under his breath as brows furrowed. "Seems he has a few he is
collecting." He recognized the pail Conor carried. They were
suppose to all go frog hunting together and other hunting.
Something more mumbled that would definitely have his ears boxed if he
said it out loud and turned instead to head for the kitchen table.
"Smells delicious Grandmama." As usual.
He leaned to look out the window a brow lifting slightly. Not that he
was surprised, they had said Kuwan could come and meet Gran. "She
lives here on the Callihan estate I think it is. Name's Kuwan." He
stepped back and graced Mary with a warm smile. "And it does smell
delicious, Gran. Morning to you." He kissed her cheek and then
greeted his Aunt and sisters.
If Conor had recognized Kuwan's trepidation, he would have consoled her
with the fact that he didn't live here at all anymore. He had looked to
her when she removed her arm from his, fiddling with her clothing.
"You look lovely, Kuwan." He attempted to reassure her.
"Look..." He nodded toward the manor house and the faces all
gathered in the window. "Seems they are eager for us to
arrive." It was his turn to walk backwards, a light bounce to his
step as he continued that way toward the house. He even wiggled his
fingers in invitation to her, back stepping, bucket swinging.
Dark brows had knitted in worry but eased when Conor started back
pedaling towards the door, wiggling his fingers. Her step became light
again as she was quick to keep up, laughter spilling easily to fill the
morning air. The door would soon be reached if he didn't trip over his
own feet and spill the bucket of oversize bullfrogs.
Mary looked over to Segan as he muttered, an eyebrow arching in question
but she didn't say anything to him about that yet. "Thank you,
Segan. We'll be eating soon it looks like." Eion joined them next
and she smiled. Her poor, sweet boy, worked so hard under the King's
command. Look at him. He was exhausted! She patted his cheek as he
kissed hers and looked back at the frolicking pair. "Kuwan. What an
interesting name. Is she ... Irish?" With that she wiped her hands
on her apron and practically giggled to herself, knowing full well the
woman did not have a stitch of Celt in her. She motioned them all to the
table, making her rounds and getting a kiss from the girls first, her
daughter and then the boys, yes, Eion again.
There was no time like the present as his sisters were here, Grandmama
and Eion. Getting a plate filled with the delicious smelling food he was
back over to take up a seat. "I have decided to leave which will be
today after I square things up. I don't know when I will be back, a
week, a month, seven years." Like the last time. He had his reasons
and had decided this was best for him. Ironic it would end up being him
than Eion. Eion had a place here. He dug into his breakfast, relishing
it for he would be missing Gram's cooking.
He grinned at her question, shaking his head. "She's from the
colonies, Gran. Came here with the sons of Alexander McDonough. Long
story there and I'm not sure of all it but she likely can tell
you." He started to fill up his own plate then paused and looked at
Segan. "Have you got a contract?" He couldn't, wouldn't say
much in front of Gran, Chandra and their sisters, though he had some
thoughts on the matter.
Kuwan cursed him with that thought! Conor laughed with her as she
started forward, spinning to prepare to mount that step leading to the
back door but he was closer than he thought. The toe of his boot snagged
the wooden step-up, pitching him forward into the door. He struggled to
keep his footing, the weight of the bucket providing the momentum to
shove him forward into the door. He grappled for the latch, the bucket
hitting the wood and bouncing back, causing him to tilt back, but
the door opened, and the motion of bucket changed, shoving him inside,
still failing to keep his balance. Mary Quinn's floors were clean enough
to eat off of and it was a good thing, because Conor's body went spread
eagle across it, face down, the bucket flew from his arm, the lid
cracked at the latch on contact, and frogs....jumped to freedom in the
Dame's clean kitchen. Twenty-two, marsh-wet, fat frogs rolled, tumbled,
jumped everywhere in the kitchen. Conor closed his eyes with a grimace
of pain and disbelief and started to push up very slowly, fearing the
worst and aye, seeing it!
He was having her heart leap into her throat as she dashed forward to
help, only to take a step back, or more, be bounced back as he
shifted into her then forward again as he fell into the house spread
eagle sliding across the floor! She stopped dead just inside as her
hands leaped to cover her mouth. She wasn't sure if she should laugh or
cry out. That lasted for a split second before she was over to help
Conor out by crouching down and making sure he had not knocked himself
unconscious first. "Conor?" The plea was in her voice as she
set her basket aside to the floor with her gifts within.
"Aye, A contract and as many more I want taking me short
distances or very long ones and.." but his words were cut off as
Conor finally made it in with the Indian lass as well most of the pond
it looked like. Certainly brought their sisters to their feet as well he
was up to grab one of those fat leaping frogs by his leg.
Mary hadn't claimed a seat yet, and it was just as well, she would have
shot to her feet. Her hands clamped to her mouth to smother her gasp,
then she blinked as all the pond-slicked frogs jumped about her kitchen.
She dropped a hand, tugged her skirts aside and in the process of going
over to Conor and the woman with him, she bent and scooped up a frog by
the back leg. She gathered up the bucket and tossed that one in there
while the rest roamed free until they were captured by the others in the
room. She knelt to take Kuwan by the arm, encouraging her to stand.
"Conor always did fall head over heels for a pretty lass. He's
fine." Without Kuwan seeing, she gave Conor a nudge with the side
of her shoe, a rather demanding - - nudge. "Oh no you don't."
She ordered, still holding Kuwan but leaning to snatch up another frog,
this one right around the middle. The woman in Mary's hold would have to
lean with her, but Mary was quick, and had the frog in hand and standing
straight again in no time. "Looks as if dinner refuses to
cooperate. Conor, take this." She didn't even look to see if the
boy had stood, just handed the frog back behind her and gave her arm a
shake for emphasis.
He had been looking at Segan while he was talking, not looking at the
door as it suddenly flew open. "Conor's home." He said dryly,
then he was helping while much laughter ensued with the chasing of the
frogs. The maid had closed the door between the kitchen and the rest of
the house but if the outside door was open, they'd be escaping that way.
"Always did know how to make an entrance, Conor."
Conor didn't even bother to stand, he looked up as his grandmother
collected Kuwan, and he just started crawling around, scooping up frogs
and putting them in the bucket. He didn't get to the one his Gran was
holding back to him in time and she just dropped it behind her, forcing
Conor to dive to catch it, which he did. With the Quinns all on the task
of frog gathering, they soon had them all collected and in the bucket or
a covered pot which Concessa had been smart enough to grab. Conor didn't
comment to Eion even though he nearly choked on his retort. He went over
to wash his hands in the sink, glancing back to see where Gran had taken
Unfortunately Kuwan was not really up on such phrases and most likely
take them literally than otherwise. Mary may well read the confusion
that had a blank look for a moment but one that was use to passing over
that which she didn't understand in these lands until she did. She would
figure it out later about Conor falling on the floor for pretty ladies.
Which she thought was more a warning than about her. There were a few
pretty women in the room. Three of his sisters but she didn't know that
and there was the maid helping. Instead of making the fool of herself by
not knowing, she was quick to grab up the basket as Mary helped her up.
With her lean, and her basket clutched to one side, she caught one of
the frogs and holding it up as Mary finally turned to her. Another for
Conor to take. "I am honored to meet you Mother Quinn." The
Mother meaning much more than physical but one who took care of her
tribe even if not the male that was made head of it. "I have
brought you these to honor you." Which the contents would prove if
she understood any of native ways.
He had helped with the frogs but he found himself checking out the
attire Kuwan wore. White leather was special amongst the tribal women of
the colonies. He wondered if Conor even knew. Once all the frogs were
collected he was back to his seat and breakfast before it got cold.
Well, not too cold anyway. He would finish it off while he watched how
things progressed, pretty much keeping to himself.
Mary Quinn may not know native ways, but she knew good manners,
respectful ways, a kind, gentle heart. "How very thoughtful of you,
lass." Mary smiled, patting Kuwan's arm before taking the basket.
"Take a seat, have some breakfast with us. Conor, see to her chair
and get the lass a plate!" Mary placed the basket on the counter,
finding great delight in the special and unique nature of each of the
Once the frogs were collected, he stood to greet Kuwan. "Morning,
Kuwan. It's good to see you." Giving Conor a quick clap to his
shoulder, he sat again, picking right were he left off with his food.
"Looks like you found a good supply of frogs." He looked from
Kuwan to Conor, his gaze lingering on the youngest brother.
Conor jumped to it with Mary's orders, taking a chair out for Kuwan to
sit and then helping to ease her in. Then he went to the sideboard to
get her a plate and silverware. He didn't know anything about the white
leather other than she appeared even more the Earth Goddess wearing it.
He reached over her to ease the large bowl of fried potatoes over to
her, then returned to the sideboard to get a plate for himself.
"Aye, Eion. We gigged a few last night." He shot a look to
Kuwan, hoping she'd not mention the snake incident. "Then this
morning, Kuwan had made nets...and made the whole process so much
easier. We were catching up two, three at a time." He wasn't as
well traveled as Segan, but he didn't need to be to appreciate the fact
that the native lass had saved him a lot of work in his frog hunting
It was a whirlwind after that as Conor hopped to what the Mother Quinn
spoke. As it should be. She was pleased the great woman appreciated her
gifts. She could tell. Could feel. Once seated a smile came almost shyly
upon Eion as dark eyes lifted to meet his as he greeted. "Good
morning Eion." Then to the next brother Segan, "good morning
Segan." Then the women here, "good morning." Her cheeks
taking on the deeper hue for the mention of her invention, though pride
gleamed in dark eyes as well. She took a small amount of the fried
potatoes that were offered to place that portion on her plate. She
didn't mention the snake incident as she was far too self conscious at
"Good morning Kuwan, you look like an angel in white come to honor
our table." Hopefully she knew what an angel was. He was banking on
that for her years here and Christmas time at least. Half standing as
she was seated then back down. "These are our sisters Melantha,
Gemma and Concessa, and our Aunt Chandra" which they
appropriately greeted her while busying themselves with either
finishing their meal or helping to start the clean up. The
floor was wiped up with a mop after the frogs were collected. "We
were hoping to join you in the frog hunting," words were mildly
spoken as blue eyes turned on Conor but as Eion's focus rested there,
his rested back on Kuwan to enjoy her unique beauty.
Mary placed the feather on her window sill for now, then returned to the
table, taking a seat next to their guest. She started passing her more
bowls and platters. She didn't say anything, but she couldn't keep from
looking to the woman next to her and admiring the shine of her hair, the
healthy glow of her skin, her strong profile. Mary Quinn was definitely
checking her out.
Segan had introduced their sisters so he didn't have to do that. Lips
twitching slightly as it seemed he had forgotten. He felt Mel nudged him
and hid a laugh while his gaze left Conor and moved to Segan, then to
Kuwan. "I hope you didn't have any trouble. You should either spend
the day, or come back this evening and join us in the meal, shouldn't
she, Gran." He looked at Mary and this time he did grin. Course
they might have to get more frogs. Conor didn't look any worse for the
wear, so all was well there.
Conor stood as Mary came to the table, meaning to help her with her
chair, but the elder was fleet of foot and was sitting even before Conor
could start to pull his own chair out of the way. He started to lower
back down, wisely not looking in Segan's direction as he addressed his
brother's comment. "Aye, well, you were busy with raspberries and
walls." He hadn't heard Segan's decision to leave but knew just by
the tone of Segan's voice there was something not quite right. A flicker
of a gaze touched on Segan before lowering back to his meal. "She
did help catch the frogs, Gran." He offered to Mary, smiling over
Eyes lowered with a few looking her way as she took bits from the bowls
offered her. Though little from each it was custom not to pass anything
offered without taking at least a tiny bit. Dark eyes
darted up with Eion's invitation. Looking between them all with an
anxious edge to see if they all approved. She didn't meet any with
disapproval that she could discern. It mattered to her. "I would
like that and if I may," turning to Mother Quinn. "I would be
honored to be shown how you cook them. I am told you are the best."
She could figure out who had said that and as her way she would offer
her own secrets in sharing. "I will show you how to make rabbit
pies as your men enjoy them very much."
He didn't wish to make her feel uncomfortable but she really was pretty
and easier when she was looking down before politely averting his gaze
afterwards upon Conor. "That was yesterday and yesterday's
gone." Raspberry picking and wall fixing. Which meant that
either he or Eion certainly could have gone this morning if not late
last night. Or had made plans when they all could but they were skipped
over. Left him wondering why. Though it brought flashes back of last
night and the whole incident with Karina. Maybe he shouldn't mention
anything, too much was centered around that young girl. Maybe it was
because she was so very young and without family? Still.
Such a nice way to start the morning. Mary looked all around the table.
She felt the undercurrent of displeasure from her grandson, but she
would allow him to work that out in his own way. He was a grown man, and
he had managed quite well for himself so far. She reached a hand out and
gave Segan a loving pat, simply because. "I think that is a grand
idea, Eion." Her kitchen was open to all and to learn how to make
these pies she had heard mention a couple of times had her even more
excited to spend more time with this lass. "After breakfast, we'll
go through the kitchen to see what we will need to make those delicious
pies of yours. Girls, you may want to make plans to be here for that.
The men seem to favor them, and you know what is said about the way to a
"I'm stuffed, Gran. Is there anything that needs done since I'm off
today it seems." That question was for Herself, Aunt Chandra, or
Mel. "And I'd like to talk to you before you leave, Segan." He
had plenty of questions but they would wait until later when they could
talk without worrying Gran. He picked up his dishes and carried them
over to the sink.
Conor finally looked over to Segan fully, his gaze narrowing. Out of
respect for the ladies present though, he didn't tell his brother to
pull his head out of his ass. He spoke to his grandmother but didn't
take his eyes off of Segan. "Those rabbit pies have won my
heart." He started to stand with his plate as Eion did, hearing the
eldest request Segan's company. "Where are you headed, Segan?"
He stopped at his Aunt's plate and took it up to clear it away since she
appeared to be done by placing it aside to listen to the conversation.
She ate what she put on her plate. Every bit though she knew just how
much to put. Her smile brightening with the prospect of cooking
with the women here. She usually cooked alone since they came to these
lands where it was the whole tribe before, though she and Kali found
some time when they could match schedules. She remained quiet while
eating plus there seemed to be something else that was not of her
He had his breakfast finished as he was up and over to plant a kiss to
Gram's cheek. The pat to his arm meant a lot to him in a way not
explainable presently. Grams always seemed to know when to show that bit
of affection. "No matter what happens, know that I love you
Grandmama." Straightening as a hand touched upon her shoulder
and focus shifting to Eion. "Aye," was all needed to be said
before he paused on Conor's question. "I've a contract, setting
sail soon as I can." With that he took his leave, off to get his
things packed. He could imagine the kitchen bustling with all the women
of the house and Brigid MacKinlay joining with them later most likely.
Almost wistful to be here for such a dinner tonight but most likely he
would be on the sea by then.
Mary's hand lifted to rest on Segan's there on her shoulder. "If
you love me, Sweet Boy, you'll keep yourself safe and come home to us
hale." She watched as he excused himself to prepare. It was always
difficult to watch a child leave, but she could only place them in God's
hands to deliver them safe and sound home again. She took a deep breath
and stood, collecting a few bowls. It seemed the Indian lass had
completed her meal, it was time to start preparations for dinner. "Eion,
you might want to speak with Kuwan, and see if we need any rabbit. You
and Conor will have to go into the woods if so. Other than that, you'll
be in the way here, enjoy your day of rest. Go fishing." She
smiled, she knew that fishing often led to drinking and snoozing,
probably just what that Quinn needed. "Now, lass, if you're ready,
let's get cooking. We've many an outfit upstairs you can wear so not to
muss up your pretty leather. Concessa, take the lass up to see her
changed into something she can work in."
He watched Segan then turned to Gran and grinned then he turned to Kuwan.
It was more, "How many will you need?" since he knew there
wouldn't be any in the larder. Conor could come with him or do other
chores. "I'll go fishing after, Gran." After he talked to
Segan, and caught some rabbit. Maybe he wasn't training today, but he'd
Conor nodded with an "oh" to Segan's answer coming around to
place a hand on the back of Kuwan's chair for her to stand. "I'll
come with you, Eion, to get those rabbits. I'll be out in the barn when
you're ready to go." He wouldn't participate in the conversation
between his brothers. Segan barely had the breath to spare him in his
answer and had almost walked out without even addressing it. The
youngest Quinn knew when to take himself out of the equation. "If
you can spare Kuwan for just a short time, Gran, I'd like to show her
She would let them fuss over her in putting her in something more
appropriate to wear for the cooking fest. All the ingredients would be
given from rabbits to wild onions. Standing as she smiled to Concessa as
she waited for her. "About a rabbit for each to have one pie.
Unless the rabbits are big, then one for every two." Her eyes
lighting up with the prospect of seeing the stables. "I loved the
wild horses. They run free over certain trails. When I had time I found
a place I could watch them and not scare them away."
Mary had already lifted the pot with the frog inside to take
it to the back stoop. "Tell you what, let the lass change,
Conor. You come help me with these frogs while she does. Then while Eion
speaks with Segan, you show her the stables." Then off the boys
would go to fetch those rabbits. And they would need to be quick about
it! "I'm so glad you came this morning, Kuwan. Hurry about it now,
so we can get everything done what needs doing." She continued to
the door with her pot, nodding for Conor to take the bucket.