Chapter 2: Arlwyn the Tongue-Tied Baron

ArlwynArlwyn Roble was nothing like his twin brother, Douglas. Douglas was full of confidence and charm. He knew what he wanted to be and always knew the right things to say to make people like him.

Arlwyn's twin brother, Douglas, knew what he wanted to be.

Arlwyn’s twin brother, Douglas, knew what he wanted to be.

Arlwyn, on the other hand, was much less secure. Whenever he was supposed to make conversation with others, he felt as though some invisible hand reached inside his throat and stole the words away before he could open his mouth. When he did manage to speak, he often stuttured.

“H-h-hello. P-p-p-pleasure to m-m-meet you,” he would say when introduced to other children of nobility. Arlwyn (9)

“God, how pathetic,” Douglas would say, shaking his head. “Sometimes I cannot believe that you hold the title of Baron while I hold nothing.” This was true. As their father was Earl of Tylwyth Teg, Arlwyn, who was born first, had inherited the title of Baron.

Arlwyn's father held the title of Earl and was a man of great importance.

Arlwyn’s father held the title of Earl and was a man of great importance.

Arlwyn and his father sit in church together.

Arlwyn and his father sit in church together.

"It is fine to love nature and fishing, but your future is that of a nobleman, not a peasant."

“It is fine to love nature and fishing, but your future is that of a nobleman, not a peasant.”

“I did not ask to be a baron,” Arlwyn protested to his jealous brother. He did not relish the idea of becoming a man of importance like their father. If his future were up to him, then he would live in a quiet cottage in the country, catching fish and living off the land. But his future was already written. And so, he did as he was told. He spent long hours reading, studying Latin and French and German, playing the piano, and any other pursuits considered to be seemly for a boy of his stature.

Arlwyn (10)

The Goode family holds a charity ball to benefit the poor orphans of the kingdom.

Arlwyn (4)

One day, at one of his father’s parties, Arlwyn was introduced to the Lady Priscilla Veronique of Graudon; a plump, red-faced girl with a pig-like nose and a tendency to talk unceasingly. He politely listened to her prattle on and on about the great feast her father had thrown in her honor, then felt a great sense of relief when she finally moved on to bore someone else. He did not give much more thought to Lady Priscilla for the next few years.

Arlwyn is introduced to the Lady Priscilla.

Arlwyn is introduced to the Lady Priscilla of Graudon.

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