The Butler’s Accomplice wore silk Part 3
As I said Claire soon became my shadow and dutifully helped me with the serving duties as well as a shy 3-year-old can.
She also was quite taken with my brother, dressed and acting like a proper gentleman. It was like she wasn’t sure if he was a kid or a very short adult. But he made her giggle and for a child her age that was all it was about.
Claire liked me to carry her, and as I did she would touch my shiny jewelry.
Lifting my diamond choker to see it sparkle or hit my earrings to see the same brilliant show. Or touch the bracelet on my wrist, feel the rings on my fingers.
It was the first time that Claire explored my fingers that I realized I only had put on two of my three pretty rings, which was quite unlike me.
Of course, the one I was missing, which had probably left on my vanity, would be my favorite; a large sparkly center diamond looking rhinestone surrounded by smaller emerald and ruby stones that looked like one of the real flickering cocktail rings my mum was wearing.
I only mention it because I did not find it that night when I searched in my vanity and jewel case. Actually, sadly, it never turned up again.
But that now said and done, Claire and I thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company that afternoon.
My brother had also been watching us together, and plotting, as I was soon to find out.
My brother and I had just served some ladies sitting at a table by the side garden when Claire escaped yet another older lady’s clutches and caught up with me. She again asked to be held.
I picked her up and as the child began to play with my necklace, I noticed something unusual was happening behind my back.
Looking back I saw my brother, who was already ahead taller, showing a giggling Claire how to unfasten my diamond choker by placing her fingers on the simple clasp and pressing it open. He then held an end in her hand and showed her how to pull it from around my throat. She giggled as if dangled in her chubby hand. My brother then had her hand it over to him.
I decided to play along.
I felt my neck and pleaded to them where’s my necklace somebody took it.
Claire giggled and pointed to my brother who guiltily pulled it from his pocket and replaced it around my throat.
Then he picked up the laughing Claire and ran off saying can’t catch us!
I must admit I laughed with him and Claire loved this and found it ever so funny...
Soon it was a grand game my brother and Clair would play on me.
He and Claire hid behind some garden bushes watching till I passed. Then he sent her scurrying after me...
She would tug at my dress, then as I looked down, hold up her arms to be held. I would pick her slippery figure up and we would snuggle, slippery silk against sleek taffeta. We both enjoyed the sensation.
Then Clair would spy the “butler” approaching and again put her touch on me as taught by my devious twin. Removing my diamond choker and handing it off.
I would always cry...
“Help, somebody took my jewels.”
Once one of the ladies overheard me and gave me an odd look, then walking away as she discreetly took inventory over her rings.
Of course, the pair of them came up with variations of their game. Or at least my brother did, with Claire lending in a hand.
One variation would have the ‘butler’ come over time holding Claire.
“Excuse me miss, could you take her for a minute while I tie my shoe?”
“What a cute baby
“Delighted .” I would say and take her in my arms.
As my brother knelt to tie his shoe his partner would studiously remove my necklace and hold then it behind my back.
He would rise, take the necklace and reclaim a giggling Claire
Yet another variation occurred as I was holding Claire up to play in the garden’s fountain.
My brother came up behind us and did the deed himself. Undoing and slipping off my flashy diamond choker as I was so distracted waiting for little Claire to do it.
My brother was obviously enthralled with coming up with variations to his game of steal the lady’s jewels.
Claire was equally enthralled that older kids were paying attention to her. Our games far more fun than any that her adults played with her, in the toddler’s young experience
The pair of them were making quite the team, and those two as thieves could have cleaned house amongst Mum‘s well-dressed guests that afternoon.
Little Claire did not appear to become tired of this game. Which was good because my twin wasn’t either. She was always seeking him out to play.
No matter what their victim thought.
Though I will admit this version was a bit more engaging than last year’s game of having the maid walk through the backwoods and meet a roguish butler.
But she did get tired and the fun ended when she was put down for a nap.
Or so o thought ...
Then, after her nap, with our butler nowhere in sight, Claire came up to me on her own looking up at me yawning and cooed to be held up. I obliged as she giggled while snuggling in wrapping her arms around my neck. I tickled her gently in the side and she tickled me back.
My brother reappeared from the house.
Claire kissed my cheek asked to be put down. I did and she ran off to him.
I then saw that the little snot, while tickling me, had managed again to slip off my necklace, and I had not noticed that she had done so until I saw she was running with it over to my brother.
As he took it from her, coming once again to replace my necklace I scolded him.
Pointing a ringed finger out through the crowd of elegantly attired ladies...
“Better hope your partner doesn’t start lifting the necklaces of one of them to bring to you Mr. Thief.”
I had been watching Claire’s progress as I was lecturing, and suddenly had to bite my tongue
Dark clouds of trouble were brewing on the horizon, I just knew it.