Part Three - Léanor
A smell of stew, probably game. The aroma had invaded the entire hut. It was her hunger that had awakened her, not without extracting her from a dream that had seemed to last forever. A dream that had extinguished her pains, a colourful and joyful dream which in these troubled times seemed impossible. Lying on the bed, she turned slowly, a man was sitting on a chair watching the fire and the boiling pot. A soldier, wearing the king's clothes, a little frail though, he must be young she thought. He turned to her, with his big blue eyes, he stared at her for five seconds, stirred a little and said:
- You're right on time and I'm pretty sure it was the smell of my stew that woke you up. It’s a recipe from my mother, I’m surprised myself not to have forgotten it.
She smiled, but her still fragile face from the blows made her suffer, she sat on the bed. This room of little comfort still brought her a feeling of safety, she tried to remember the reasons which had brought her to this place. What adventures could have happened to her so that she found herself in this bed, this young man cooking for her? She still couldn't speak, she wanted to know but it was too early, she wanted to scream but it was as if the sounds of her voice were buried, like a dream where you can't run.
The man took a ladle, filled a bowl with stew and brought it her:
- My name is Pierre, he said. How do you feel?
She couldn't answer, but the smoke from the bowl did her good. A hot meal was what she needed. She grabbed a spoon and the heat filled her body and heart. She breathed in deeply.
- Léanor, she expired
- I beg your pardon?
- Léanor is my name, and I don't know how I feel.
He sat down on the bed opposite with a jug of water and two glasses. He told her how he found her, lying in front of the fortress fences. She must have walked for days to reach Lachine. She did not remember. He explained to her that she had been in bed for almost a week, that they had tried to identify her, he also assured her that no man was present during her cleaning, that women from Montreal had taken care of her injuries. She felt relieved. He explained that he thought she had escaped from an Iroquois camp and that he couldn't wait to know more.
He told her about his father, who had been kidnapped just over a year ago. All these questions, she didn't know what to say. Flashes, puzzle pieces, that's all she had. The fire, the cries, the songs, but not only. She also could remember laughter, children, almost joy. Everything was mixed.
Pierre thanked her and announced that he would come back just before sunset, he would be on call all night and needed some rest. After finishing her bowl, she lay down, closed her eyes and began to collect these lost coins deep in her memory.
Dans la Nuit Froide - ShortChapter #3
Troisième Partie - Léanor