A Formulaic Romance
This is the start of another story Amelia and I are putting together. There’s a pun in the title that will become obvious in time.
It starts with the trope, Lady Rachel on her way to London, is stranded in the country by an unfortunate accident. They’ve made their way to the house in the distance, but not without slipping in the muddy lane.
The Master was introduced here. He was somewhat annoyed at the disturbance, but willing to see that his guests were properly entertained. The housekeeper, Mrs Hobbes, leads Rachel and Lucy to their rooms to prepare for dinner The carriage wright makes a cameo appearance in a previous snippet.
Last week saw the arrival of Rupert’s Uncle George and a hint at the complicated family history – a history that was not completely … harmonious.
An Unexpected Visitor and a Proposition.
“I see. You aren’t expecting me to do anything … improper, compromising. I still desire marriage, although not with Lord Hartshorne.”
Lucinda had sat silent through this exchange, “Miss Rachel, please. This isn’t becoming and I’m afraid you’ll live to regret it.”
“I know Lucy, but to be honest, Lord Bromley warned me that I was cutting it too fine when I first wrote to him.” Rachel stared at the ceiling for a moment, and then at Lord Bedlington. “On the understanding that I shall simply be a friend, or at least do my best to be a friend, I’ll accept your offer.”
“That’s the spirit. You won’t regret it, and my Charity will be pleased to see her new nephew at Almack’s. Get her mother to show you the town.”
“Why not yours?”
“Ah, well, she prefers that Rupert not get married. Afraid he might break the entail. However, what we’d do with his estates is beyond me. It’s one thing if he doesn’t produce an heir. Entirely another if he doesn’t try.”
“I see. There is a complication, Lord Bromley expects me this week.”
“Not a problem, I’ll frank your letter. Um … I have one of my own to send to the city, so if you write yours quickly, I’ll see that it gets sent today.”
“Why would you write … I’m sorry, mine’s to her.”
“As it should be. Where did you find paper?” Rachel rose, followed immediately by Lord Bedlington.
“The library, in a desk below a stuffed eagle.”
“All those creatures, I’m not sure I’ll feel comfortable writing while they watch.” None the less, Rachel found her way to the library and ignored the animals’ unblinking stare while she wrote a short letter to her sponsor, to let him know that she would be later than expected, but would arrive, in style, escorted by a member of the ton.
It’s probably obvious that the title, “A Formulaic Romance” refers obliquely to chemistry. There’s another arcane reference in the text. Anyone caught it yet? It’s sort of, maybe, perhaps, important, given what Rupert worked on in the past.
The unusual firearm shown in the featured image is another clue.