Flemish Legend Sir Halewyn by Charles de Coster Chapter 21

How Magtelt sought Anne-Mie

On the morrow Magtelt, being, as was customary, the first awake, said her prayers to My Lord Jesus and to Madam Saint Magtelt, her blessed patron.

Having besought them earnestly for Sir Roel, the lady Gonde, the Silent, and all the household, most particularly for Anne-Mie, she looked at the maid’s bed, and seeing its curtains half drawn she supposed that her companion was still asleep; and so, putting on her fine clothes, she kept saying as she moved up and down the room, or looked at herself in the mirror-glass:

“Ho, Anne-Mie, wake up, wake up, Anne-Mie! Who sleeps late comes last to grass. The sparrows are awake and the hens also, and already their eggs are laid. Wake up, Anne-Mie, Schimmel is neighing in the stable, and the sun is shining bright on the snow; my lord father is scolding the servants, and my lady mother is interceding for them. Canst not smell the savoury odour of beans and good beef broiled with spices? I can smell it well enough, and it makes me hungry; wake up, Anne-Mie.” But the girl could not possess herself in patience any longer, and threw the curtains wide open.

Finding no Anne-Mie: “There!” she said, “the rogue, she has gone down without me; and without me, no doubt, is at this same moment eating those good beans and beef.”

And going down the stairs at a run Magtelt entered the great hall, where, seeing Sir Roel her father, she knelt to him and asked his blessing, and then likewise to the lady Gonde.

But her mother said to her: “Where is Anne-Mie?”

“I cannot tell,” said Magtelt, “she is having some fun with us, I suppose, hidden in some corner.”

“That,” said Sir Roel, “is not her way, for if any one here makes fun of others ’tis not she, but thou, little one.”

“My lord father,” said Magtelt, “you make me anxious by talking so.”

“Well,” said Sir Roel, “go and seek Anne-Mie; as for us, mother, let us eat; our old stomachs cannot wait for food as well as these young ones.”

“Ah,” said the lady Gonde, “I have no mind to eat; go, Magtelt, and find me Anne-Mie.”

But Sir Roel helped himself to a great platterful of beans and good beef, and, falling to it, said that nothing was so easily put out, troubled, made anxious, as a woman, and this for nothing at all.

Nevertheless he was himself a little uneasy, and from time to time looked up at the door, saying that the rascal of a girl would show herself suddenly from somewhere.

But Magtelt, after searching the whole castle over, came back and said: “I can find Anne-Mie nowhere.”