J.G. MacLeod Invites You To Take

A LOOK INSIDE LADY ELLEN

Below is a short passage from Lady Ellen.  To purchase the full story, click the link on this page.

Winner of the Breakthrough Novel Award for Historical Fiction (2018)

Published July 2018 (Written December 2017)

Lady Ellen

     When the dance ended, Cormac bowed.  I curtsied and started to turn towards the seats set up around the outside of the room, but Cormac did not release my hand and, suddenly, I knew why.  “Good evening, Lord Ardilaun.  It has been a long time,” the speaker in black said, but his eyes were on me.  He was smiling.  I glanced at Cormac’s profile and he looked displeased. 

     “Mister Martin,” Cormac said, nodding. 

     “Are you not going to introduce me to your bewitching dance partner?” Aodhan asked.

     Cormac sighed audibly.  “Mister Aodhan Martin, this is the Duke of Manchester’s daughter, Lady Ellen,” Cormac said reluctantly. 

     “It is a very great pleasure to meet you, Lady Ellen,” Aodhan said enthusiastically, “I have been waiting for an introduction since I first saw you arrive.”

     I curtsied politely, but did not say anything.  Aodhan might be Richard Martin’s son, but his friend had disgraced himself tonight.  I hardly wanted to give my attention to a man who kept company with such ill-bred friends.  Cormac was still holding my hand and I knew that if we did not dance together, it would soon be viewed as an impropriety.  “Lord Ardilaun, you had asked me to dance?” I said, looking up into his eyes.  He met my gaze and seemed to understand my intention.

     “Yes, I did indeed,” Cormac said, “I am sorry to have kept you waiting.  If you will excuse us, Mister Martin…”

     “Of course,” Aodhan said, “but before you steal the Lady away may I claim at least one dance tonight?”

     I hesitated, but I could see no escape from honouring his request.  “You may,” I consented quietly.

"I WILL ARISE AND GO NOW, AND GO TO INNISFREE,
AND A SMALL CABIN BUILD THERE, OF CLAY AND WATTLES MADE;
NINE BEAN-ROWS WILL I HAVE THERE, A HIVE FOR THE HONEY-BEE,
AND LIVE ALONE IN THE BEE-LOUD GLADE."

W.B. Yeats

©2018 by J.G. MacLeod.