I find it easier to write freely in this format. I have several books on novel writing and I am exercising my writing muscle. There are several areas which need more in-depth exploration and that is what this exercise is about.
The lower levels of the palace were for the comfort of the male residents which, at this time, included the Baron, Alex Ulenka, his son, Pavel and his son-in-law Yuri. The other chambers were sometime occupied by visitors to the Palace which included the Barons brother-in-law and his son Feodor.
The Summer Palace was once the summer home for the Baron’s family but was now used all year round as his primary residence and place of business. Business was conducted on the first level, dignitaries were entertained there and chambers were available on the second level in the rare occasion they were needed.
The Baron had a suite of rooms which he and his wife shared, but she mostly spent time in the terem level and had a room of her own there as well. The third level was reserved as meeting rooms for larger gatherings and there was a great hall for grander occasions which were rarely used.
Sophia, the eldest sister, was married and lived in the terem, to her husbands discretion. She would often visit him in his chambers with their three year old son, Michail. The marriage was arrainged by her mother who thought the connection to his family was worth more than the character of her son-in-law who drank to excess and liked to entertain guests at the Baron’s expense.
The expansive acreage on which the Summer Palace was situated also contained a farmhouse and stable which was occupied by the stable master and groundskeeper.
Herr Rolf Boer was lured to the Foreign Quarter by the promise of opportunity for work and land ownership as were many foreigner’s of different talents to enrich the Russian era of enlightenment introduced by the late Tsar Alexis.
“They’re taking jobs away from our own people,” Yuri said in complaint.
“Foreigners brought in to teach us their Western ideas is not a popular concept amongst the peasantry,” Baron Ulenka said to his son-in-law in agreement.
“The opinions of the Boyar and patriarch are worse, they resent the Tsar’s idea that we need foreign influence to bring us in step with Europe, influencing our culture and traditions.
The next morning WIley woke somewhat confused by his surroundings. The blonde mop of Henry’s hair directly to his right gave him a start until the haunting reality of the way his life was interrupted by his own doing. He stirred and Henry sat up and immediately started handing out chores.
“First though, Wiley, that is your name?” he asked. “We will go up to the farmhouse to break our fast. Then you will take all this hay and distribute it amongst the stalls after you clean them out. The troughs must be filled with water, the horses brushed, and exercised.”
“Henry, is it? That black horse? Is he always so lively? I could hear him all night moving about.” he said.
“Well, he’s strong willed and young, he could use your extra attention. He is a good horse but somewhat neglected. Do you ride?”
“No, but I’ll learn,” he said. “Wait for me.”