'My dear, dear lady - do not worry for our Lord Mallory; he is a man of stout and singular purpose. We had indeed just left his august presence, and had pledged to him that we would end these tragedies."
"Ohhh, praise be to the sun above!" she pushes the door open and shakes her clenched hands towards the sky, "We have lived in fear this long time, wondering why our Lord Mallory could not protect us! The tale was told that mayhap these...elves...had clouded our Lord's very mind!"
Masov pauses; looks her in the eye.
"To be truthful, we've been worried. Those we've spoken to, until now, have had all manner of tale to tell, and few augured near the truth. You, though, you true daughter of Orleans, faithful subject of Lord Mallory, may have what we need to break this spell. Coming and going by dark; certainly interrupting your rest - has this been nightly? Have they been so bold as to traipse past your home, or had they headed the other direction?"
"Yes! Near every night," her eyes go wide as she relates what she has seen, "and a fortnight before, carrying something back to their cottage. A bundle of some kind, size of a child," what little composure she had begins to fail, "Gave me a fright, wondering what was under that black cloth! I ducked behind the shutter, lest they see me and carry me off! Then, worse still, Neddy's children were gone. Gone! No children that young could leave. What if...what if..." a tear traces its way down the woman's weathered cheek, and the look in here eyes is one of pleading.
The woman grabs Masov's sleeve, "Will you see to them, m'Lord? Will you keep them fae away from us simple folk?"