Historical setting: 587 C.E. Ligugè
Ezra still comes, though with our numbers thinning we have less need for wine. I’m so glad to see him and hear the news he brings of family. I learn now that the vineyard land is also in transition. My concern in hearing of the death of King Chilperic was that Celeste’s husband, Bertigan, wouldn’t be allowed to keep his new land and title since he was a commoner appointed count by the late king.
Ezra explains, “King Chlothar the Young, is keeping better peace in his rule through his regent (strangely that would be Clothar’s great-grandmother, Brunhilda). With more negotiations and less warring he is leaving the kingdom of Neustra much as it was under his father, the late brother of the dead King Chilperic. So Bertigan remains a count, with Daniel his scribe.”
I’m glad Daniel is literate, even though he isn’t a churchman. It seems a valued rarity in these times to be a literate commoner.
Ezra continues, “Now Count Bertigan and Daniel have set more of our original land to cultivation and they are bringing others to do the work of tending the fields and vineyards. People who would be needy with no land to till are now working these lands splitting the harvests with the portions to Daniel and the Count. So even without the daily routines of farming this family has plenty in these years of good harvest. Celeste and the grandchildren moved into the grand new estate house, Bertigan Hall,” and Ezra adds, “Colleta and I find our place there also.”
He tells me Celeste is a fine lady now, a countess, and he bragged on his grandchildren who are my family too of course though I don’t know them well.
I say, “So there you are, the elder in a count’s castle and yet you drive the mules and deliver wine barrels to the monks.”
Ezra enjoys the irony. “Wine is always an excuse to see family.”
I ask Ezra what of Eve and Anatase.
“Eve and her apprentice still keep the work of healing with potions and remedies. Eve’s cottage and garden are as always, but Bert and Celeste’s cottage and our old cottage are houses for the families of the tenants. With the lands divvied as they are into smaller parcels worked by tenants there are still lots of folks around so Eve isn’t alone.
“Oh and I took them that gift you helped the child make for Eve…”