Before the crone could lift the latch, the outsider entered unbidden; not something wisely done at a witch's door. The boy seemed to need folding to miss the oak lintel. Felt cap respectfully in hand, he spilled over the urgent threshold.
"Some rich master has stolen my Bess away from me!" he blurted out.
The old woman assessed him bending his way through the old wooden doorway. Green doublet. Old but smart. Yellow hose. Bachelor. Sixteen Summers. Mayhap a little more, but large - she smiled - in every respect.
He hadn't noticed the maid, half shoved behind the door, but she had noticed him, quickly drying her eyes with the corner of her linen apron and dusting down her bright kirtle.
Rose Madder, the crone noted. A good colour. It suited the Young. She chuckled to herself. Could it be a more interesting day?
"Does Bess have blue eyes?" she asked pointedly."Three silver coins says she does."