He found her in the kitchen wearing her most opulent day dress (for visiting) and his butchering apron (that covered it to the floor). “Madame, is there … some difficulty?” Herrick asked carefully. “I can imagine the shock of finding me baking,” she responded, pulling a pan out of the oven and setting it on the countertop to cool. “In truth, I am proving to myself that I still remember how – that my creativity is not entirely limited to schemes and machinations.” Herrick smiled, taking in the scene, looking for small jars or bottles set about. “The tea cake is not poisoned, dear Herrick,” Madame responded, amused by his curiosity, “against all temptations to the contrary.” He bowed slightly, humble at being called out. “I’m visiting the Pierce-Colliers today to give my condolences upon the death of their patriarch. A poisoning would be … dreadfully vulgar in its excess.” “Of course,” Herrick replied, resisting the urge to brush the spot of flour from her cheek.