The midwife trudged grimly through the morning, her figure shrouded in mist. The Laird’s mistress had given birth just before yesterdawn and the evidence of his sin squalled out with the sunrise. Had they but known that the young maid had been the bastard daughter of the previous Laird, this could have been prevented. The next morning found Stella’s lifeless body, the poison still clutched in her fingers.
Now the babe, misshapened and hungry, needed a home and Mairi clutched him close to her chest as she walked away from the small hovel. He shivered and fussed. He would not hold his tongue long. As predicted, he let out a wail as they crested the hilltop and entered the village.
The Laird stood at the end of the short road. Taking a quick look, he turned away with the words, “Stella…may God forgive us.”
Mairi looked down as the mother’s poison had taken affect. Pulling the cloth over the still body, she continued her journey to the child’s new home, the grave sat beyond the sanctified earth of the stone church. “God has more mercy than humanity,” she whispered to the still form. Handing the child over to the grave keeper, he nodded solemnly. “The mother…she is beyond our reach as well. Her home edges the wood. See to it.”