The Art of Deception
or Pride and Extreme Prejudice
Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week Lucy received an invitation to go for a ride. In a 1920’s gangster book that would seem a tad sinister, but this is just on horses, properly chaperoned, and to a civil war monument. They’ve decided this is an excellent opportunity for Miss Aldershot to investigate the men’s rooms at the Pelican. Unfortunately, Mr Stanton is ill, the sausage having disagreed with him.
Alice’s frustration with her horse showed, “I see these are gentle beasts, suitable for young ladies and other invalids.”
Edward smiled, “It will leave us with the time for conversation, and I should never forgive myself if Miss Haytor’s mount should bolt.”
“Thank you for considering my comfort.”
“These slugs, bolt? Not likely.” Alice was still not amused with the horses; her mare spotted a stray cur and sidled with a loud snort of displeasure; she pulled its reins and the horse quieted, “At least this one shows a little spirit.” She glanced at the groom, “but no manners.”
He ignored her.
After they had ridden off, a plainly dressed, middle-aged woman left the Christopher, bound for the Pelican; on the way she passed a rather good looking, similarly disguised, man heading the opposite direction; neither one of them noticed the other.
My apologies for creative punctuation.
Having women ride astride is a very common error in historical films. Women generally rode sidesaddle. There were practical reasons for this as what the English call “pants” weren’t worn by the gentle gender. They did have leggings and stockings, but wore something closer to a suspender belt than modern undergarments. (for what it’s worth men wore something much like a cross between modern swimming trunks and “boxers”, with a drawstring and without the mesh inside.) Personally, the few times I’ve been on horseback I’ve been very glad to have both feet in stirrups and being able to grab the horses’ back between my knees. I can’t imagine what it was like to sit sideways. The young lady in the cartoon is “fast” and the Tar knows it. The featured image shows what could be done, if you had the guts. (If you look carefully, she’s raised from the seat and having significant “air time!”)
Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.
I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere This is a fun read.
Frankenkitty is available.
What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.