Countess, you have a question?

Yes. I am consistently disturbed outside on the roof when I bask.


Right. We will look into that.

Consistently. When I bask.


Yes. What sort of disturbance? Ruffians. Locals. Angry peasants?

Nearly. But not so much peasants as alligators. On the roof.

Rooves, conservatories 2 and 3. I’ve seen them too.

Alligators? Are you certain.

Passing the windows, walking about. It seems they are everywhere I turn up there.

She turns frequently while basking.

Have you considered basking elsewhere?

I shouldn’t have to. My bedrooms are near the conservatories and I wish to bask there. The restorative effects of basking are erased by lengthy transit.

(murmurs all around. Nodding. Furrowing.)

--motions to useless, whispering. Useless casts a wary eye toward dewinter, grasps the gravy boat lightly and evaporates.

Countess, we shall look into this.

Thank you. Gentlemen, my bedclothes.

Yes. Good night.

(dewinter leaves)