“O I FORBID you, maidens a’, That wear gowd on your hair, To come or gae by Carterhaugh, For young Tam Lin is there. There’s nane that gaes by Carterhaugh But they leave him a wad, Either their rings, or green mantles, Or else their maidenhead.” “Tam Lin”- Child 39A
Lady Margaret hated being trapped inside Hooper Manor, she much preferred to be out amongst the fields and meadows, learning what nature wanted to teach her. Instead of practicing her embroidery, a task she both loathed and was abysmal at, she could be found lying in the meadow or by the brook consulting her herb journal.
Before her mother had passed she taught her daughter the secrets of plants, what they could be used for, how best to use them and the hidden meanings behind them. Her father, Lord Edward, found no fault in her studies, Margaret or Molly as she was often called, had a rare gift for herbs. When she wasn't studying or gathering her materials, she was in the village, tending to the various ailments and needs of the people. Her sweet nature, soft touch and tender smile, that accompanied her remedies won the hearts of the villagers.
This particular day found Molly wandering further into the woods than usual, in search of some Wormwood. The local innkeeper Mrs. Hudson, had been complaining of a slight ache in her hip. She had hoped to find some where the woods touched the road, but had no such luck. Pulling her hood up, Molly made her way through the low hanging brambles of the forest, determined to not return empty handed.
Before long she had been turned around and was lost, the layout of the inner forest unfamiliar to her. She leaned against a Birch tree to catch her breathe and take in her surroundings. There appeared to be no clear indication of which direction to head. Sighing, she concluded that she had traipsed for long enough through the forest, that she must be at least halfway through. Continuing in the same direction, she hoped was correct in her assumption.
Finally she spotted the telltale white of the mischievous herb, breathing a sigh of relief she trimmed what was needed and placed it in the basket. Standing up and dusting her hands off she realized that this was the edge of the forest. Moving quickly towards the clearing, she paid no heed to the branches as they caught on her cloak and tangled in her hair.
Blinking at the sudden brightness as she was freed from the covering of the trees, Molly inhaled the scent of roses and a touch of smoke. In the center of the clearing there was a solitary stone well, with roses growing around it. She headed eagerly to the well, hoping the water would refresh her.
After quenching her thirst and tidying herself up, she took in the rest of her surroundings. The area was unfamiliar and empty, except for the well and the distant sound of a stream. Since it bordered the forest it was still technically her father's land, she was curious why they had left it on it's own.
Vowing to ask her father upon her return, she decided following the edge of the forest was her best hope for returning home. She gathered her basket and turned to leave pausing as the rosebush caught her cloak. As she bent to free herself an unusual flower caught her eye. It was a rose growing within a rose, one on top of the other. She had never seen any such as it in the wild, it was often emblazoned upon family coats of arms, showing the merging of two great houses. But those were merely symbolic and made of paint none of which did such a flower justice.
Using her shears she clipped the unique flower. As she raised it to her nose, she felt something grasp her wrist, and a cold voice demand, "What do you think you are doing?" Startled, she gasped and dropped the flower, as she stared into the eyes of the most beautiful man she had ever seen.