Marie reached for the tea cup and took it by the handle. Before lifting it she already knew she wasn’t going to make it - not without paying the price of pain. So she reached out to hold the bowl of the cup and lifted it carefully.
It hurt anyway - but at least she didn’t let it fall, as she’d done so many times since her hands became deformed and mostly useless. Feeling the hot beverage’s warmth was nice, though.
Lady Angeline watched her in silence, suppressing the urge to lean forward to hold her cup - an impulse she’d never had until she’d to feed her disabled husband, a harsh experience. Fortunately, the proud Lord Henshingly was alienated enough to not to perceive what was happening: if not his illness, having to depend on another person would’ve killed him.
That American Indian was almost as proud and still perfectly lucid; so the old lady restrained her hands in her lap and watched Marie take the cup to her lips, then arching her eyebro