As the first snow fell over Hindon during the last month of year 482, Melkin was faced with a family related dilemma. Winnifred, the second daughter of Victus, had been widowed and needed a new home and a purpose. Knowing now that his decisions could have a great impact family relations, and that he should not pretend to know how to handle these issues, Melkin consulted his chaplain Doged about the matter. Since Melkin had not yet been granted the right to court, and as of such either had to hire a steward or let a relative take the responsibility, Doged suggested that Winnifred could be of good service at Hindon. He commented that having taken 10 libra out of the family treasure to pay of the tax, Melkin had to think about his expenses, and also reflect on ways to make investments for the future so that the debt could be repaid.
“The Mawrth women are known to be good stewards,” commented Doged. “She can contribute with her experiences like her father does with the horses”.
“And it would make Victus happy to see his grand children,” argued Melkin and thought of the former knight whom he had found a great liking for.
Doged nodded: “That is also true, and eventually the two boys can help him out in the stables”.
Having been a knight himself, Victus had been put in charge of the horses at Hindon. A valued position, which he took with great care, mostly by telling his helpers exactly what to do and how to do it while sitting on a stool next to the paddock or horseboxes. His grandchildren now five and two years old would in a couple of years be able to start learning the trade, something Melkin was sure that Victus would teach them himself.
Thus it happened that Melkin’s five years older second cousin and her two young sons were placed at Hindon.
Later the same winter Melkin travelled to Sarum to give count Roderick his advice about the three maids that visited the Rock in the summer before. Asking count Roderick about his thoughts about maid Rosalyn, Melkin realised that the count did not have any more information that himself and of why her father, count Edaris, seemed to be so eager to marry her off to count Roderick. Melkin thought for a moment and his own troubles with maid Aneria came to his mind as he gave his advice:
“My advice, my count, would in that case be to act carefully around maid Rosalyn. To marry a girl that her father seems too eager to marry off seems somewhat strange since she, as you have said appear only to have good qualities. Her father is known to be a vengeful family-man, which I would say complicates the matter. Also he is known for his skill in courtesy, which would mean that he knows the politics around these arrangements very well. He is seeing an opportunity with the potential marriage that for some reason has to be taken quickly. It would be something that might gain him greatly and that we are not aware of, and if it somehow would be deleterious for you my count, it would be hidden within his courtesy.”
Melkin stopped for a moment, and thought that he probably was way out of his league. What did he know about girls anyway? Nothing really, and he had messed up around them a lot. Even so he continued. It was his duty to give his count the best advice he could, and he was one of the few who had actually met the girls.
“The better match, if I might be so bold, would be to suggest maid Ellen”, he said carefully. “She might not be the most beautiful of the girls, but her character and also her heritage are the strongest in my perspective. Despite her young age she… has wisdom and grace to her that catch most mens attention. Your lady wife should also be your advisor, my count, and maid Ellen could over the years become a valuable one”.