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.
After a peek into Rupert’s history, George makes a somewhat unusual proposition to Rachel which was continued. The rain finally scuds off to the North Sea leaving a fine day – for riding and other things. Rachel, unsure of her own feelings, arranged for her companion to use the only sidesaddle. Meanwhile Rupert and Rachel discover a shared interest in music, which leads to a proposal. George has just returned from finding a magistrate to deal with a mob. At the ball a slippery character from the past makes his first appearance. George disposes of him, for the time being, in the this snippet. Rupert explained about his previous work in chemistry and Mr Oliver returned equipped with a search party.
Rachel gets a start on clearing the mess, in the library, because she can actually read the titles. George’s fiance helps her.
A Surprise Visit, The Hero’s Return.
Charity said, “Poor girl. I’m helping George, my George, to remedy the defects in his education. Would you like to join us?”
Supper was over by the time George and Rupert returned from General Byng’s camp. They stumbled into the front parlour, tired and dishevelled. Definitely in need of a restorative brandy, or two, or maybe three.
George was the first to speak, “Charity?”
“I was worried, you didn’t write.”
“I did, and we were planning to return to the village soon. Sorry if I missed a day or two with the excitement, but you mustn’t worry.”
Charity fanned herself, “Four days.”
“That can’t be. I just sent you my answers to your questions about Kant’s philosophy.”
“Your answers? I heard that Lord Hartshorne helped you, practically wrote the answers for you.”
Lady Bedlington added her mite as well, “Your conduct has been most unsatisfactory, George. The Hall a mess and I find my grandson engaged to be married to an adventuress.”
“She’s not an adventuress, Mother. She’s a,” he caught himself before he said lovely, “well-behaved young woman who will be a credit to our family.”
“I’m surprised and upset. Why Miss Deacon could be within her rights … I mean keeping such low company and encouraging your nephew.”
George could see Rachel’s face whiten at the implied insults. Rupert missed it. Still Rupert said the right things, “I say, you’ve done a fantastic job putting things to right Rachel. It can’t have been easy.”
“It wasn’t, but you really should thank Miss Holloway and Mrs Hobbes. I put books away in the library, with Charity’s help.”
Charity smiled at Rupert, “What an impressive collection you have, and they were read, the spines cracked.”
“Of course, what good’s a book if you don’t read it?”
“That reminds me,” Rachel said, “It looked like one of your notebooks was missing. I found a volume 8 and volume 10, but no volume 9.”
“Really? That’s odd. Must have been misplaced. Look for it in the morning. George, I know it’s not done, but I feel the need of something stronger than tea. Then if Lady Hayforth is able to accompany us, I should like to look at the stars. There were some moments today when I wasn’t sure I’d see them again.”
George laughed, “Gas, O yea of little faith, trust your Uncle Bedlington to fix things. Nevertheless, I won’t say no to that restorative.”
Charity’s gaze glanced from Rupert to George to Rachel and then back to Rupert. “I’d like to see the stars too.”
Amelia reminded me to put a link to our book page. We actually are preparing books for publication and have some sort of plan – amazing as that seems.
One of the inconsistencies in Regency history is the existence/role of the militia. General Byng’s regiment, which takes a role in this part of the story is based on reality. They were camped where and when the story has them camped. They did take an active role in putting to the Pentrich rising to bed and were aided by a shadowy “Oliver the Spy.” On the other hand, they should have been disbanded by this time according to other references.
The massacre at Peterloo (1819) shows how the militia tended to deal with dissent. There is a reason that the right to assemble made it into the American constitution.
There was not anything at this time that really was a police force in the modern sense. The town watch and constables where holdovers from the middle ages (see Much ado about nothing scene 4 to see how the Bard of Avon considered them). The Bow Street runners were something like Federal Marshals, but there were only 6-8 of them at any time. Not exactly Scotland Yard or the FBI.
It wasn’t until Robert Peel, as home secretary, started reforming the criminal laws and police in his first term (1822-1827), that a modern police force arose in the UK. Hence the slang terms of “peelers” and “bobbies.”
11 thoughts on “Sunday Snippet, Stars.”
I like the line about him needing a brandy or two or three. Love the dialogue. Wonder what happened to the missing book volume?
So do they all. More on that later. Thank you for reading.
Yes, let’s all go star gazing!
There are some interesting subtexts to the relationships in this.
The relationships aren’t quite as cut and dry as they seem, more later. Thank you for reading.
Interesting excerpt and I too enjoy all the subtext to the various comments.
Thank you. There’s quite a twisted set of relationships in this – which all work out after many trials and tribulations at the very last minute.
I love that Charity was a bit surprised that he’d read the books. People are always doing that to me when they see the number of books I have or look at my kindle library. LOL!
Every English country house needed its library. The occupants didn’t need to read the books; only to show them off as a symbol of erudition and class. There’s a great deal known about male centered birth control devices from what has been found while cataloging libraries for sale. Thank you for reading.
So he is not the kind to buy books and not read them, that’s good. It seems people always gets surprised to see the books are read, maybe they watch the stars more than they read.
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