Cinderella by Unknown

Cinderella by Unknown

Author:Unknown
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2016-02-20T23:18:49+00:00

THREE

Worried that she might once again run away from him, Charming insisted she move into the palace that very day. He tried to hoist Cinderella onto his horse but apparently over-estimated his strength because the fat man had to give her a leg up. Charming settled her onto the saddle in front of him.

“We’ll send someone later to collect your things,” he said, urging his horse forward.

“I have no things.”

As they cantered out of the courtyard, Cinderella waved goodbye to Mother, who stood on the threshold looking baffled and bleary, no doubt from too much cognac, and to poor Griselda, weeping tears of misery.

I’m leaving home.

Cinderella had no idea how she felt about it.

The horse soon tired of carrying them both at canter gait and Charming brought him back to a walk. Cinderella felt awkward and uncomfortable, seated in the saddle before him. He kept an arm around her waist, which made her feel trapped, as if she’d never escape his grip. He chattered on as they walked, explaining how they’d live happily ever after once they were married.

“I know we’ll be an uncommonly happy couple,” he said. “You do love me, don’t you, Isabella?”

“Yes, I do, Charming. Very much.”

She didn’t hesitate to lie. Charming was saving her from a life of tyranny and injustice; she owed him an enormous debt of gratitude. She made up her mind then and there to do everything within her power to please him. She’d dedicate her life to it.

When they arrived at the palace, Charming told his mother the Queen to find quarters befitting his future bride; Cinderella soon found herself in a chamber high up in one of the turrets – a large circular room with narrow windows that looked across the moat and croquet lawn toward the stables. Charming immediately sent for the royal dressmaker to begin work on her trousseau and wedding dress. Charming also assigned her a maid, a skinny girl named Lydia with the tiniest wrists Cinderella had ever seen. Lydia spoke in a high, pained voice and wore spectacles.

When Charming learned that Mother had employed Cinderella as a servant girl, he seemed less indignant than alarmed she might be deficient in the knowledge a future princess ought to possess. On her very first day, he arranged for instruction from members of his staff and retinue: etiquette lessons about forms of address and which fork to use for shellfish; an overview of the political landscape, the allies and enemies of the royal family; a list of the world’s greatest books, with brief summaries of the most important ones provided by Charming’s own boyhood tutor.

“At least you don’t need dancing lessons,” Charming told her with an adoring smile. “I’ll never forget the feel of you in my arms – you dance divinely.” Cinderella hoped the glass slippers had not forgotten how to dance. It was a good thing that slippers in glass matched just about any formal gown, even a wedding dress.

Charming had some doubts about her general carriage, so he arranged for deportment lessons, too.



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