Matilda Dannon
Wharf Crone
Age Unknown - Old
Best Friend - Pearl
Writes for the Gazette Rumor Column

All gossip that comes in through the port, and places least expected,  you can be sure that Matty and Pearl know every little tidbit and then some added. Embellishing is a way of life to make the tale far more colorful. If something is not certain nor clear, it is easy to fill in those gaps; there is nothing like assuming. They will make sure all gossip gets around come rain or shine and the sharing of a tea biscuit. There is a place for Drama Queens.

Matilda Dannon, also known as Matty, was one of the Wharf gossipers. She had married young, swept away by a brawny dock loader and ended up in the usual pattern of the dockworker's wives. One, that ended up looking ten to twenty years beyond her now fifty plus summers for long years of hard labor just to make ends meet.

A slew of children for when she managed to see her husband it always ended up producing another mouth to feed.  They in turn had to start working young even at the tender age of five to earn a coin. Daydreams of the young in fanciful scenarios of having one of the dashing princes or lords being the one to sweep them away into a life of luxury were what fueled the group to have a piece of a life out of their reach in gossiping about them instead. Harmless on the surface but many times caused these very lords a lot of grief.

Matty's children were now mostly grown and the girls especially came back with any tales of the lords seen about in various taverns. They rarely went to the local ones for they felt out of place. Still it was not beyond them to take a peek in a window or listen to the conversations that went on. Of course they would come home all excited and tell their mother of all they heard, sometimes with that knowing dreamy look in their eyes. Matty didn't need to get out although she did on enough occasions to hear or see firsthand. It had become an underground network that kept track of all the social royalty events in particular. Of course the stories were always embellished just by how many times they were passed on to make them even more appealing. It was such a day Matty was doing the mundane task of mending the fishermen's nets that her oldest girl came to tell her the latest news. Carley was a fetching lass but as usual held that harsher quality to her without the luxury of being brought up in the more refined schooling. She was sixteen and already had a few of the dockworker's sons after her. Still, she held those young girl's fancies of handsome princes that only fueled Matty's to renew.

Her husband had been killed in an accident while loading heavy crates. A rope frayed and the large heavy crate being hoist onto one of the big ships came crashing down on him breaking his neck. Now times were even harder and to keep her mind from such, gossip was the release. Even with her haggard looks there was still the young girl of dreams inside. Unfortunately she was no longer appealing to the single older men and so living a life of fantasies was easily fueled by her daughters. Her sons were gone, taking positions on crews but they would send back money when they could. She was left with two daughters, the older one married and a mirrored life of her mother's. Carley was headed for the same but until then she used her natural gift of picking up tales of the lords.

"Mother! Wait 'till ye hear this!" Squealed excitedly as Matty dropped a knot when arms were swung around her shoulders from behind. Her surprise first came in an explicit curse but didn't last long when she realized it was Carley. Her daughter was immediately around to take up the crate next to her.

Matty eyed her with that gleam in her eyes for she knew now there would be a delicious tidbit to be had and shared with all her other cronies. Carley had to draw in a breath making Matty shift towards her in expectation while setting down the net she was working on. If Carley procrastinated as she usually did she'd whack her upside the head to get her to spit it out.

Carley recognized that look and this time she was just too excited to draw it out while that dreamy eyed look came quickly. "Oh, tae be Adwyn, Mother! The sail maker lass that was hired on by those three handsome lords." Now that she was starting to get the story out she was bouncing on the crate for that excitement. "He serenaded her at that Dragon tavern I frequent!!"

Well, there were three lords, one a prince, one a Duke's son and the foreigner they didn't know a lot about. Yet. She was hoping it would be him just so they could find out more. Or was it more she'd been eyeing the man herself? More than likely she had her secret thoughts on that one. "CARLEY!" Voice pierced to bring her daughter back to some reality and get on with the gossip. "There are three! Which one and what happened?" Otherwise she might go on about the sail making lass and wishing to be in her shoes.

Her name yelled in her ear had the expected result. Carley gasped in a breath bringing her back from the dreamy eyed look with a blink. "The Prince, Collin McAndrews serenaded Adwyn in a crowded tavern filled with people." As if crowded didn't mean filled with people and needed to be clarified. "Sang to her, it was so dreamy. A prince singing to a sail maker lass." Sighing now as the color on her cheeks had already heightened to blotches of red. "He is so handsome."

The pinch her mother gave her made her yelp as she bolted up. Matty did it for her own good. It was one thing to daydream or even pass on such news than to watch her daughter become too entranced with something that could never be. "Now on with yea lass, you've work tae catch up wit' so ye can be having time tae yeself at the taverns tonight." Carley quickly nodded but the skip in her step as much as told Matty she'd be keeping to her fanciful dreams of handsome princes.

Once her daughter was out of sight, Matty was up with a wicked smile on her face. It was time to find her cronies but as she went she told every single woman and man she knew of the Prince Collin McAndrews serenading Adwyn, the sail maker lass. Now the men were even watching the shipwright in new light and the young lass would have them taking extra glances her way while the other young girls with a knowing secretive smile when they caught her eye.

*Picture used is to represent how Matilda would look only. No Claims Made*

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