"Did you see the ambassador from Arandia?" Chauncey asked as he swung open the door and entered the kitchen with a light step. He balanced a silver tray on one hand as the door shut behind him with a bang.
Grimm looked up from his papers and glared at Chauncey for his irritatingly light-hearted tone of voice. "Why wouldn't I have seen him?"
Chauncey laughed lightly as though Grimm had made a good joke. "True -- he would have been hard to miss," Chauncey admitted cheerily as he set his tray down and transferred its load into a wash basin. "Such brilliant colors! I've never seen anyone wear so bold a combination of yellows and oranges, purples and blues, greens and reds! And with gold edging on everything!"
"Ridiculous outfit," Grimm snorted, rattling his papers in disgust
"The colors were so cheerful...I don't see how anyone can be glum around them," Chauncey said, polishing his tray with the quick buffing action of his rag. "And his garments were long and flowing -- very different from anything we wear around here."
"Thank goodness," Grimm murmured, burying his nose in his papers once again and hoping Chauncey would go away.
"I could hardly keep my eye on my tray -- he was such a fascinating spectacle!" Chauncey continued. He pulled a set of clean glasses from a cupboard and arranged them on his silver tray while he talked.
"It's not your place to gawk at the guests," Grimm said severely, without looking up from his papers.
"Oh, he didn't seem to mind. I gave him a nod and smile when he looked up at me, and I think it did him good. He looked rather sad, at first, for a man in such bright garments," Chauncey observed thoughtfully, as he filled the glasses on his tray with cool beverages.
"Chauncey!" Grimm stared at him aghast, his papers falling unheeded onto his lap. "Do you want to lose your head?"
Chauncey lifted his chin and his silver tray at the same time. "Take a deep breath and exhale, my friend. Such a thing as extending common courtesy to a man who is far away from his own home is not likely to endanger my life."
Grimm had nothing to say to such incredible optimism, and he silently watched Chauncey disappear through the doorway with his tray for the guests.
But the door swung open again and Chauncey popped his head back into the room, his face full of the excitement of a sudden thought. "Imagine, Grimm, if we were to go to Arandia some day! A whole country full of those colorful, flowing garments!" he enthused. He grinned broadly at Grimm and then retreated, the door swinging shut behind him.
In spite of himself, Grimm's mind instantly pictured himself lost in the company of hundreds of outlandish outfits. He shuddered and buried himself once more in his papers.