Imilce Adriana Lucia Argantino
the Oretana Princess of Andalucía Spain
From the upcoming novel, Hannibal’s Elephant Girl, Book Three, Chapter Six
The castle was staffed by more than fifty people, taking care of the living quarters, kitchens, stables, and gardens at Almodóvar.
Twenty-two servants and cooks were on the service of the king and queen.
Imilce’s family, as far as she knew, was the staff of five people assigned to her care. Her parents, the king and queen, were too busy with affairs of state and entertaining dignitaries to spend time with her. She knew the two finely-dressed middle-aged man and woman only as curious visitors who occasionally came separately for a few minutes of questioning of her servants as to her health and upbringing.
At her fourth birthday party, a new person came to see her. She was younger than all the other servants, perhaps twelve summers.
“This is Carmen,” her maid said. “Your mother decided you need a young person to keep you company.”
She was slim, sweet, and smiling, and appearing to be very happy to serve the little princess.
Imilce was glad to see another child for the first time. But more than being happy with someone closer to her own age, she was delighted to present to the new girl, her favorite Christmas tree ornament.