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. The evening ended with an excursion. George has just closed the door on his mother at her morning toilette.
A Pleasant Morning’s Inquisition, ctd.
Miss Graves nodded, “I wish I understood My Lady. Trying to keep poor Lord Hartshorne from marrying. It’s a shame and so beneath her.” Confidences over, she curtsied to George and entered the room.
George shrugged and started down the hallway towards the stairs. He didn’t get far. “My dear Lady Hayforth, you look positively radiant this morning.”
Rachel blushed, “Oh stop it. I don’t hold a candle to the sun of Miss Deacon, and you know it.”
“If you’d rather, I could say you look worn and exhausted … positively haggish.”
“That’s not true either.”
“No. But you are looking in good health. One of the prettier sights I’ve seen so far this day.”
“Thank you, but I’m certain Charity would disagree.”
A door opened behind them and Charity asked, “I’d disagree with what, Rachel?”
“Lord Bedlington’s been telling me sweet lies. Ones he should tell you.” Though not lies, you’re so tall, so beautiful. I don’t compare.
“George, stop flirting… so unseemly. I’d like to breakfast and then we should review your Greek. No point in learning Hebrew if your Greek is lacking.”
George smiled at her, and then at Rachel, “See, I told you she wanted to improve my mind.”
They were sitting at the breakfast table, with Charity questioning George on his Greek declensions when Rupert burst in. “It’s missing!”
“That volume, volume nine, from my notes.”
Rachel said, “That’s what I told you.”
“I know, but I thought it was just misplaced. It’s gone. Nowhere.”
George, glad for a diversion from endless arcane variations of difficult words, asked, “Did you check your workshop?”
“Of course. Everywhere.”
“What was in it?”
“Things. I shouldn’t say more.”
Rachel said, “Those things you worked on during the war?”
She continued, “I think we have a problem. George, you might want to send an express to your friend Poodle, or did I get the name wrong?”
“No. Poodle’s the fellow. They’re some dashed odd characters associated with the F.O. It’s either him or ah, Lord Grey. Maybe both.” He rose and bowed to Charity, “You’ll have to excuse me, my love. The Greek verbs can wait.” He chuckled, “They’ve been waiting for me all these years, so what’s a few more hours?” With that, he left for the library.
Rupert watched him go. “I don’t know what else it could be. It couldn’t have been that Mr Oliver. I mean he was with General Byng.”
“Who else?” Rachel said, “Either him or one of the soldiers. I doubt most of the soldiers could read.”
“I think we should do our patriotic duty and pay a visit to General Byng’s camp. Show we support our gallant Hussars … and ask a few discrete questions.”
Rupert smiled, “Show there are no hard feelings?”
“And inquire after poor Lewis. With that hand and all. You did warn him.”
Bowing, Rupert replied, “That’s true. I’ll see if my Uncle needs my help.”
After he left, Charity asked Rachel, “Why is Rupert being so mysterious?”
“He made explosives, fulminating compounds is what he called them, during the war. I’d bet a farthing to a pony that the missing notebook is the one where he kept his notes.”
“Oh.” Charity paled showing her dismay, “His work could be dangerous?”
“More like exciting. Though I’m surprised about his notebook. If it’s so secret why did he have a copy here?”
“I’m sure he had good reason.”
I have to apologize on being a little remiss at replying and various social obligations. It is surprising what a broken ankle will do to your energy level.
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.
Mr Oliver was a real individual. This is his signature on his report about the Pentrich uprising. The report neglects to mention his role in causing the uprising. Can you spell ‘entrapment’? He was a shadowy individual, who in the days before positive identification, came and went under many names and guises. Not all of them were honourable.