“Nicholas, Nicholas, où êtes-vous fils?” asked the dark haired woman as she entered the little cottage. The weathered woman was dressed in a long skirt that had dust around the bottom from walking the streets of town. “Nicholas! I need to speak with you!”
“Mère, ici je suis!” said the eight-year-old boy who ran in the back door. The boy’s hat was askew on his head and his clothing was also weathered and had several patches over the knees.
“There you are. I have something to discuss with you. How would you like to go work for Monsieur Bagot down in Paris? He has heard about your father’s death in the war and would like to help us. He is offering to teach you to read and write so that you can assist him with his business as a scrivener. I do not wish for you to live so far away, but you can come home every fortnight for the night he says.”
“Mère, do you mean it? I can learn to read and write? Monsieur Reynard was telling me about his work with Alchemy and how limited he is because he only knows enough letters to spell his name. What wonders I can learn if I can read and write, too? Maybe I can assist Monsieur Reynard with his work, too!” exclaimed the boy to his mother.
“Les choses nous forcément. I do not send you away because I want to my son, but because without your father’s income, we will starve if I do not allow you to go. This opportunity is just too good to pass up. Just promise me that you will come visit me often Nicholas. Your mother will be quite lonely without you,” said the woman to her son. Her eye tearing at what she needed to do in order to give her son a future. The boy ran to give his mother a hug, excitement in his eyes at the promise of his future, not yet aware of how much he would miss his mother in the coming years.