First draft & subject to change. Please don't quote or re-post.
Anabelle Sturgis, sitting down to a well-earned supper, looked around in annoyance when Clare appeared in the dining room doorway and announced visitors.
“Who is it?” Anabelle grumbled.
“The king, madam,” Clare said in a deadpan voice. When Anabelle continued to stare at her with unabated annoyance, she added, “And Sir Samuel Webasto.”
“Of course the king is not here,” Anabelle said. “It’ll be Sam having fun at our expense. Though that’s not his usual style, and where he found someone to go along with his nonsense…..”
“He didn’t introduce him as the king, madam. He introduced him as Sir Smiles-a-lot. But the king is who he is, nonetheless.”
“Oh, my God,” Anabelle said. “Are they in the parlor? I’ll go directly there.”
“Begging your pardon, madam, but when I told them you were at supper, they asked to come in here. They’re waiting in the hall.”
“The devil they are!” Anabelle said inelegantly. She eyed her supper of cold ham, bread, and roasted vegetables. “Bring them in. Have Molly make more of the same. Two settings. Bring an extra bottle of wine.”
Clare, used to her mistress, didn’t bat an eye at the outburst and the thought of sitting the king down to a cold supper fit more for a merchant’s table than the king’s Special Examiner.
Anabelle gave her a meaningful look. “And, Clare? Bring it by your own hand.”