Welcome to Spring wallpaper Wednesday, April 17, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1227)

Though nearly a month past the harkening of Spring,

Recent snow melts nourish the upward striving green grass.

Bright sunshine and cool breezes touch every living thing,

And hope for the newness of life around us, comes to pass.

P.S.  Thanks to Terri for sharing the original flowers image!

 

 

Posted in Creativity, Flowers, Graphic, Gratiana Lovelace, Hope, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, wallpaper | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Having a taxing time? Same here! April 11, 2019 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1226)

Having a taxing time? Same here! April 11, 2019 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1226)

I guess that it was inevitable–with the new 2018 tax guidelines being rolled out before the kinks had been worked out of them.  The Tax Reform Act of 2017 is one gift horse that we probably should have sent back.

A big worry regarding tax reform was that employers wouldn’t be able to properly calculate the correct amount of federal income tax withholding to take out each pay check–and that people would owe money, rather than receive a refund.

Or just that the new tax code would squeeze more money out of those of us whose income is in a lower tax bracket, while leaving those in upper tax brackets actually getting a tax break. That sounds so backwards to me.

Well my employer did fine on their 2018 tax withholding calculations for my pay, and I/we would have had a tidy little sum coming back to us.  But my hubby and I file jointly, naturally.

And yes you guessed it! My husband’s employer didn’t calculate his federal tax withholding correctly–and they took out too little federal tax.  So now instead of us getting a federal tax refund, we are likely to have to pay money to the government–to the tune of about 1 week’s pay for my hubby. Ouch!

I’ve been hearing that there are a lot of people in this situation–owing money on their 2018 taxes.  And I feel their pain.

So, what’s a law abiding citizen to do to raise the funds to pay off their tax debt?  Here are my top five suggestions for alleviating one’s taxing situation (*facetious alert*):

5.   Be glad that you haven’t paid your hospital copay bills yet, so you can pay what you owe–to the feds, at least.  This method involves some adept juggling of payment priorities–if, indeed, you have any cushion in what you earn compared to what you have to pay out to live your life.  And we are not poor, but with one house and two car payments, they rather commandeer a sizable portion of our take home pay.

4.   Scour your spouse’s/partner’s pockets, car seat cushion seams, the washer and dryer, etc., for spare change.  I swear to you, my hubby positively jingles all the time with change dropping out of his pockets as he walks.

3.  Use an online seller, a pawn shop, etc., to sell off the unusual birthday and other gifts you have received over the years, that are unused and still in their original boxes–this has the added bonus of decluttering one’s home, too.  Other items that have left our home over the years that increased our cash flow included a sword (yes, a real one), a sterling silver warming dish we bought at a garage sale (that earned us 10 times what we paid for it ten years ago), and various bicycles that my husband had refurbished (to support his addic … hobby of bicycle riding and tinkering), etc.

2.  Open a lemonade sales stand–with interesting brownie treats.  Although NPR recently said that there are some states with food consumption prohibitions, upscale restaurant cuisine is riding high, until laws catch up with their entrees.

1.   Claim a very bad business decision that cost you billions, or at least millions of dollars, such that you don’t have to file/owe income taxes for the remainder of the century.  Ha!

I am only half way through a very helpful online 2018 tax filing product.  And I am itemizing everything I can, in the hope that the “standard” deduction for married filing jointly isn’t our best bet.  My careful record keeping helps with itemizing.  Fingers’ crossed.

And don’t forget that your doctor’s office, pharmacy, etc., can print out a 2018 calendar year summary of your medical expenses with them for ease in your itemizing medical expenses.

I’m interested to hear what your tax strategies are.   And I’m willing to bet that some countries other than the U.S. might have better tax systems than ours.  So bring it on.  Ha!

P.S.  And below is a little accounting eye candy to boost our weary spirits, in the person of the talented British actor Richard Armitage as Harry Kennedy in The Vicar of Dibley (2006):

Posted in Gratiana Lovelace, Musings, My Life, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 16:  Family Ties,  April 06, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1225)

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 16:  Family Ties,  April 06, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #1225)
(an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved);  [(1) story cover art, left]

[As is my custom, from time to time  I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention in this chapter):  ):  Lady Elizabeth (Lizzie) Blount portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay;  Rupert Penry-Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay; Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay the Marchioness of Malten portrayed by Margaret Clunie; her daughter Miss Tamsin Knightsbridge Lindsay portrayed by Francesca Capaldi; and Vicar Frederick Whitby (aka Lord Alfred Lindsay the Marquess of Malten) portrayed by David Oakes.]

 

Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes: For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.   And I always put the previous chapter’s brief recap at the top of the next chapter.  Also, I hope to post new chapters weekly on Sundays, and some Saturdays.  I hope that you enjoy this chapter.

 

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 16:  Family Ties

However pleasing his and Lady Elizabeth’s kisses are this afternoon, tomorrow’s luncheon can not come quick enough for Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay of York—in order for him to tell his sister Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York, and later their Ducal parents of York, that their brother and son Lord Alfred lives.  Let alone, for his brother Lord Alfred’s wife Lady Constance and daughter Miss Tamsin to come to know him.

 

Well, Lord Duncan is possibly likely to get his wish—in part.  For the Sussex Hall Dower House back gardens face toward the front façade of the magnificently massive Sussex Hall Estate manor house.  And eschewing the third  floor school room, Lady Constance is teaching her nine year old daughter Miss Tamsin her vocabulary lesson for today—while they are ensconced quite pleasantly in the second floor Ladies parlor that is situated near the front façade of the Sussex Hall manor house.

 

As the elegant and beautiful–yet poignantly sad–Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay [(2) below] plies her needle and thread upon her embroidery hoop of a small peacock in full display, she glances over to her lesson planner journal with today’s list of words for her daughter Miss Tamsin to become acquainted with their meaning, learn how to spell, and to use each new word properly in a sentence.

The exuberant nine year old Miss Tamsin Knightsbridge [(3) below], with her full bouncy red curl ringlets, is practicing her graceful walking with a small and thin book upon her head.  Back and forth, she walks in front of the windows, only letting her gaze surreptitiously glance through the windows at the sunny out of doors where she longs to be.  Were she to turn her head, the book would topple off of it—and likely knock over some preciously ceramic table decoration of their hosts, the Earl and Countess of Sussex.

Lady Constance: “Tammy Dear, Today, we will focus upon words that have to do with people engaging with each other in social situations.”

Miss Tamsin: “Ohh!  Such as dancing?”  She asks interestedly and glances at her mother.  For though there is a dance of sorts regarding what the Knightsbridge family have told Miss Tamsin about her parentage—as her being a purported cousin ward to their family—Miss Tamsin believes firmly that Lady Constance is her true mother, for Miss Tamsin has had no one else be as exceedingly kind and loving to her as is Lady Constance.  And she eavesdrops on her family’s conversations from time to time.   So, Miss Tamsin has discerned the rightness of her parentage, at least with regard to Lady Constance being her mother.

Lady Constance:  “Well dancing is an activity that people engage in with each other.  But I am referring more to engaging in other kinds of meetings and conversations in social situations.”  She admonishes gently.  Her daughter Tamsin is bright, quick, and clever.  Of course, the later two adjectives mean the same thing, but Lady Constance still employs them in her reflection upon her daughter’s talents and skills, for emphasis.  “So your first word today is conversation.”  Lady Constance smiles for always starting their lessons with easy questions, to give Tamsin confidence—be they lessons on language, literature, history, maths, or culture.

Miss Tamsin:  Rolling her eyes while maintaining her poised posture with the book on her head, Miss Tamsin replies.  “Oh Mama!  La!  That is too easy!  Conversation, c-o-n-v-e-r-s-a-t-i-o-n.”  She spells out the word correctly.  “It means to talk with another person—with each person taking their turns speaking..”

Lady Constance:  “Very good.”  Lady Constance smiles in praise of her daughter as she plies her needle work.  “Your next word means something similar to conversation.  The word is intercourse.”

Miss Tamsin:  Miss Tamsin has to think about this new word for a moment with her nose cutely scrunched up looking quizzically her her mother.  “That is silly.  To have two words that essentially mean the same thing—when one word will do.”

Lady Constance:  “Our language has different words for different contexts of meanings.  Puzzle the word out.  Split it into two parts—inter and course.”

Miss Tamsin: “Alllriiight.”  Miss Tamsin rolls her eyes and whines a bit.  “Inter means between—whereas intra means among.”

Lady Constance: “Very good.  Please use them in a sentence.”

Miss Tamsin:  “Hmmm.  The cities of Compton and Lowell share a common interest of trade between each other—engendering a robust inter-city cooperation.”  Miss Tamsin’s eyes sparkle, for she knows that she has a very big vocabulary—a phrase that she was taught to say as a toddler with her arms wide for her family’s amusement.

Lady Constance: “Excellent!  Now what about the other part of the word, course, in the context of it being paired with prefix inter?”

Deep in thought, Miss Tamsin  removes the book from her head as she wanders over to the window to gaze out upon the front lawn that looks upon the back garden of the Sussex Hall Dower House.  In particular, and though it is a distance away, she perceives two individuals locked in an embrace while standing on a small section of the Dower House back terrace that is separated by a tall hedge.  She gazes with a more focused eye and recognizes the two individuals.

Miss Tamsin:  “Intercourse, i-n-t-e-r-c-o-u-r-s-e.  Hhhhh!”  She sighs after spelling the word.  “The two lovebirds are locked in an intercourse of kissing, whilst the world faded away for them.”  Miss Tamsin presses her face to the window glass trying to see more, bemoaning that her cute little nose is not flatter.

Lady Constance: “Kkkhhh!”  Lady Constance coughs at the high romanticized usage of the word intercourse—even though her daughter used it in the proper context.  “What? … Where did you see the word used before in that context?”

Miss Tamsin: “Oh, in one of those gothic novels. Did I not get it right, Mama?  As with speaking, their mouths were engaged, but in kissing.”  She continues to peer out the window to the Sussex Hall Dower House terrace.

Lady Constance: “Yes, Tamsin, Dear.  It is just that … I make you aware of this word …”  And none to soon, she thinks.  “… so that you would not inadvertently use it in a romantic context—or at all, for that matter.”

Miss Tamsin: “Very well.  But having words exist that cannot be used seems a complete waste of consonants and vowels.”

Lady Constance:  Hiding a smile behind her embroidery hoop, Lady Constance gently cautions her daughter.  “Be that as it may, let us strike the word intercourse from the polite list of words that you may use.  Whatever made you think of your sentence example?”

Miss Tamsin: Turning back to her mother, she points to the window.  “Uncle Lord Duncan and Lady Elizabeth Blount made me think of it.  They are embracing, … and kissing, I think on the Dower House garden terrace—because at this distance, I can only tell that their faces are pressed together.”

Hastily jumping to her feet and lightly tossing her embroidery hoop upon the low table near her, Lady Constance joins her daughter at the window.

Lady Constance:  “Come away from the window Tamsin, Dear.”  Lady Constance gently guides, even as she leans forward to look out upon the romantic scene in the distance that her daughter just described, accurately it would seem.  “Hmmm.  Well, perhaps they will share happy news of their betrothal with us tomorrow.”  She smiles, hoping her daughter has no more questions.  It is a futile hope.

Miss Tamsin: “But mama, if all people who kiss each other become betrothed and marry; and married people do not kiss, in front of others; does that mean that married couples do not kiss anymore?  Or, do they only kiss in private?”

Segueing into complicated social rules questions is common for Miss Tamsin—though not usually quite so spectacularly as is her question now.

Lady Constance:  Taking a measured breath, Lady Constance replies slowly and she hopes vaguely.  “Each married couple is different.  Some are affectionate with each other—whether that is when in private and/or with close family, but not in public.  Other couples, are not affectionate with each other—because in aristocratic society, marriages are often a forging of family alliances, rather than because of affection.”

Miss Tamsin: “Well that last part sounds very sad–to live without love.”  The young girl wiser than her years pronounces as she shakes her head, sending her red ringlet curls to bouncing.

Lady Constance: “Yes, it can be.  Yet, childhood betrothals to forge an alliance is not always devoid of love and affection.”  She smiles wistfully of her love and secret husband Lord Alfred Lindsay, who has been gone from her life almost ten years.

Miss Tamsin: “You are speaking of my Papa?  You loved each other?”

Lady Constance: “I am, and we do.  He will come back to us one day, Tammy Dear.  I know it in my heart.”  And Lady Constance’s hand touches her heart shaped locket pinned to the center of her bodice neckline, wherein she keeps a strand of her beloved Lord Alfred’s hair.

It is a poignant wish of Lady Constance’s that all but her seemed to know over the years,  was to be left unfulfilled.”

Miss Tamsin:  Having made room for her Mama at the tall window, Miss Tamsin’s angle of view has changed and she see’s something unexpected.  “Mama?  Who is that gentleman walking toward us at Sussex Hall?”

Lady Constance: “Hmm?”  She turns to her daughter and follows her pointing finger to the tall darkly dressed gentleman in the distance and striding his way to Sussex Hall.

Miss Tamsin: Rushing around her Mama and out of the parlor, she declares gleefully.  “I will find out!”  Miss Tamsin is excited to have a visitor, a new person to meet in her very narrow society.

Lady Constance: “Tamsin, wait!  Take your maid with you!”  Her Mama calls out to her, but it is to no avail.  And Tamsin goes to seek out the gentleman.  And Lady Constance returns to the window to watch out for her daughter as the unknown gentleman sits upon a far boulder, to rest.

***

When Vicar Frederick Whitby (nee Lord Alfred Lindsay) had left the Earl and Countess of Sussex, Lord Duncan Lindsay, and Lady Elizabeth Blount in the Sussex Dower House parlor earlier in the afternoon, he had repaired to his guest bed chamber.  Yet he finds himself so agitatedly restless with the new knowledge that he may have unexpectedly found his family in the Lindsays of York, that he heads outside to the fresh air surrounding the back garden, gives his head a clearing shake, and he just starts walking—not heeding nor caring of the direction he takes as he ruminates upon all that was discussed not even an hour ago.

Lord Duncan Lindsay seems so certain that they are brothers, and that he is Lord Alfred Lindsay Marquess of Malten and heir to the Duke of York.  Vicar Whitby is astounded, delighted, humbled, and terrified of what this news will mean for his life as the Vicar of St. Timothy’s in London.  For if he resumes the identity of Lord Alfred, will not their expectations be of him tending to new ducal responsibilities and they will require him to give up his church religious calling?

It is an overwhelming thought to find his own family, only to lose his church parish family.  He has been a vicar for almost nine years, it is his life—it has sustained him when he was alone in the world, without family nor friends as he made new friends and helped families when he served as a Junior Vicar in other towns, and in his Senior Vicar position in the parish of St. Timothy’s Church in London.  How can he give up being the Vicar of St. Timothy’s, even if he understands the Lindsays of York’s need for it, their need for him?

And finally looking around him, Vicar Whitby [(4) below] sees how truly far he has walked from the Sussex Hall Dower House.

He is still far from intruding upon the Sussex Hall manor house—given their expansive grounds–but he appreciates the grand scale and architectural beauty of Sussex House’s front façade in the distance.  And not wanting to intrude upon the privacy of the Yorks and their friends as guests inhabiting Sussex Hall for the Summer, he sits upon a nearby boulder, after yanking an apple from the tree above it.

Vicar Whitby feels peckish with him having probably missed afternoon tea.  So he unconsciously removes the silver sheathed dagger from his boot and deftly slices the apple into quarters.  As he takes his first bite of the cool sweet apple, he hears a swiftly approaching crunch of grass near him.  He opens his eyes, stands, and turns to the intruder—his dagger instinctively poised in his hand, ready to do battle, if need be.

But instead of someone wishing to do him harm, Vicar Whitby only finds a breathless red haired girl child of some means—judging by her light blue satin skirts—running toward him.  The girl screams at seeing the dagger in his hand and the scowl upon his face.

Miss Tamsin: “Eeeeek!  Don’t hurt me!”  She slides to a stop, but pitches forward and falls to her knees.”

Having swiftly resettled his dagger in its silver sheath in his boot, Vicar Whitby goes to aid the girl.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “My child.  I am so aggrieved to have startled you just now.  I was enjoying an apple and your sudden presence startled me.”  He explains gently, his empty palms up in supplication.

Miss Tamsin:  Standing and brushing off her skirt while bemoaning the fresh grass stains on it, she speaks candidly, as always. “Well, your knife and mean looking face scared me.  You might wish to take care in your greetings of others–that in such a pleasant spot as this, you are unlikely to be set upon by marauders and such.  My family and I are visiting the Sussex Hall estate with our friends the Lindsays of York for the Summer, while their own castle is being repaired.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “Oh!”  He brightens.  “Are you the Lady Constance Knightsbridge who has been mentioned to me?”

Miss Tamsin:  Impressed that this gentleman knows something of her family—and with his fine attire and elegant address–she feels comfortable in responding to him.  “No.  That is my Mama.  I am her ward, Miss Tamsin.”  To outsiders of the family, Miss Tamsin always introduces herself as a ward, as she was told to do.  “Who are you?”  Still a little wary, Miss Tamsin narrows her eyes in suspicion.  Though she reasons that there are Sussex Hall estate gardeners about who would hear her cry out—none came to her rescue just now.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Now that is the question that I am contemplating.”

Miss Tamsin:  Finding the gentleman’s reserve and elegant bearing calming, she takes an instant like to him.  “You are being silly!”  She teases. “Everyone knows who they are—mostly, anyway.”  She adds, thinking of herself—and who she is in relation to others being kept secret.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Forgive me, I am Vicar Frederick Whitby of the Parish of St. Timothy’s in London.”  He bows to her with a flourish of his arm.   And Miss Tamsin curtsies prettily.

Miss Tamsin: “It is not Sunday, you know.  So what are you doing here in the country, so far away from your church?”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Hmm.  I quite like your spirit, Miss Tamsin. You speak plainly, without artifice or the attempt to conceal.”  He smiles kindly at the young girl.

Miss Tamsin: “I knowww!”  She sighs heavily. “Mama Lady Constance likes that I am clever, but she is trying to guide me into behaving a bit more ladylike—only men speak their minds without censure, you see.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “You are clever.  And I find you most lady like.  And as to men speaking their minds without censure—many men should learn to hold their tongue, in my opinion.”  He grimaces with a small smile, enjoying his conversing with this young girl who is a stranger to him—while him not knowing of the very deep family connection that they hold.

Miss Tamsin: “Ha ha ha!  You are funny!  My Uncle Lord Duncan encourages me to speak my mind when we are not with my Mama and her family.  They are more reserved.”  She nods her head knowingly at him.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Ah, I see.  Fastidiously attuned to decorum and politeness, are they?”  He grins knowingly.

Miss Tamsin: “I think so.” She looks at him quizzically.  “I have not learned the word fastidiously yet. What does it mean?”  And then eyeing the now forgotten apple quarters on the ground and covered with ants, she asks. “May we eat an apple while you tell me?”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “Of course.”  He deftly retrieves his dagger from its silver sheath in his boot,  and selects another ripe red apple from the tree above, then begins to slice it for them.  He gives her one quarter of the apple to nibble on and responds to her word question.  “Fastidiously means to attend to some task with meticulous detail—such as cleaning ones dagger before resheathing it.”  He takes out his linen handkerchief and thoroughly wipes the blade before putting it back in its sheath.

Miss Tamsin:  “Ooh!  I am trying to think of something that I do fas-tid-iously.”  She says the word slowly, elongating each syllable.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “Perhaps your delightful ringlets were fastidiously styled by your maid.”  He helps her out.

Miss Tamsin: “Oh no!  My hair always curls on its own.”  She pouts.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Why so glum, Miss Tamsin?  Most ladies pine for natural curls.”

Miss Tamsin: “But as I am still a child, I would also like to be able to braid my hair sometimes.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:    “Ah!  I understand.  My little sister Gwennie had natural curls such as yours as a little girl.”  He startles from stating what is obviously a memory, yet he does not know from whence it comes.

Miss Tamsin:  “And when I am older, I want to have hair that braids and curls woven together into beautiful arrangements, like many fine ladies have.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “That is always the way of things, wanting what we do not have.”

Miss Tamsin:  “Did your curly haired younger sister grow up to be able to have braids, too?”  She asks earnestly.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  Searching his mind, but nothing more comes to him, he sadly shakes his head.  “I do not know.”

Miss Tamsin: “How can you not know whether your younger sister now has braids?  Are you the kind of brother who does not notice his sister’s circumstances—demonstrating a lack of caring on your part?” She challenges him with her beady eyes.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  He blinks several times to assuage his discomfiture and to gather his composure.  “I do not think so.  I do not remember.  But I would like to think that I would be a brother who would know that and other details about his sister.”  She stares at him relentlessly, as if he were an exhibit in a museum that she was trying to puzzle out. “I must sound nonsensical to you.”

Miss Tamsin: “Not to be impolite, but you do, rather.”  She shrugs her shoulders.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “Ha!”  He admires the young girl’s brashly honest wit.   “Well, it has been a rather nonsensical day for me.  You see I have no memory of my life older than about ten years ago when I was injured in the war and almost died.  Some Italian monks healed me.  And then in finding solace about my memory loss in the church, I studied to become a vicar—which I have been for almost nine years now, the last two years as the Vicar of St. Timothy’s Parish in London.”  He shakes his head, then mutters under his breath.  “I do not know why I am unburdening my story to a child.”

Miss Tamsin:  “Do not trouble yourself.  People tell me that I am a good listener.  Maybe I should become a Vicaress when I am old like you.”  The Vicar’s eye brows rise. “What?  Are you offended that I called you old?  Or may ladies not become Vicaresses?”

Neither question bodes well for a safe response on his part.  He wonders who would think that a man of his age and experience would be so humbled by a child of nine years?

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “I am … old, well, older than you.  And as to your aspirations to become a … Vicaress?  That is … laudable.  And I would not wish to diminish your goal of serving others via the church.  Though there are many ways to be of aid to others.”

Miss Tamsin:  “I knowwwww.”  She sighs dramatically—as only a child can.  “Ladies may not work.  We marry and have children and support charitable causes.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Miss Tamsin, I would urge you to have a chat with your Mother about these issues, to gain her perspective upon the matter of ladies and their futures.”

Miss Tamsin: “Coward.”  She charges.  “Do you not have the conviction of your opinions to challenge what I perceive you to believe is an unnecessary suppression of women’s rights?”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: Startled, he asks. “How old are you, again?”  He tugs at his cravat.  She is correct that he does not want to seem to be in conflict with her family’s guidance to her upon the matter of her future.  But then again, neither does he wish to stifle this remarkable young lady’s thoughts and hopes.

Miss Tamsin: “Nine years or so.  I am told by my family that I am quite mature for my years.”  She preens with her piquant little nose in the air.  Then she not so maturely tosses the core of the apple quarter she had eaten, into the adjacent forest thicket.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Indeed.” He also tosses his apple quarter cores away.  “Well our apple is eaten, and you are sure to be missed by your family at afternoon tea.  So I will say farewell to you, Miss Tamsin.”  He bows to her.

Miss Tamsin: “Just like that, you are leaving?”  Then she mutters under her breath to herself.  “Why do some men always leave?”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “What was that?”  He asks curiously, concerned for this young girl’s state of being.

Miss Tamsin: “It’s nothing, just something I overheard my Uncle Lord Robert say once to my Mama Lady Constance—that some men leave to find glory in war or in their other pursuits, without realizing that their true glory is found in their family.”  Then she regrets the disclosure to him of private family confidences.  “But please do not tell my Mama Lady Constance what I said.  It would upset her.  She misses my Papa so.  He went to war—and he died.  But she never accepted it, and she believes that he will come back to her one day—come back to us.  We in the family have not the heart to disabuse her of her heart’s fondest wish, to be reunited with her husband and my Papa, Lord Alfred Lindsay of York.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: His eyes go wide and he stills at the cataclysmic shift of this moment–in him meeting and having congenially conversed with his own daughter.  Yet, to reveal himself now might do her a harm.  So he responds gently, with tears in his eyes, by saying.  “I would think that any Papa would be delighted to have you for his daughter.  And your Papa will love and cherish you all of your days.  And he will love and honor your Mama, Lady Constance.”

Miss Tamsin:  “Do you think so?  I will have a real family, with my Papa restored to us someday?”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “I do.”  He nods once. In his condolence calls upon his parishioners over the years, Vicar Whitby has sincerely whispered many a platitude to give that person hope, though he realized that all hope was lost.  Yet in this instance, with the power to make this young girl’s hope come true and be her Papa, he feels a greater sense of peace than he ever has before felt.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred bows again to Miss Tamsin as they take their farewells of each other and depart in opposite directions—he to the Sussex Hall Dower House and she to the Sussex Hall estate manor house.  He has gained much perspective about his situation of being the long lost York heir since talking with the young girl, his daughter.  And he realizes now that he is more than just the York Ducal heir.  He is a husband and father, brother, and friend.  And he can no longer be selfish and worrying about him losing his life as a Vicar when he resumes his life as Lord Alfred Lindsay of York Marquess of Malten.

The Vicar Whitby as Lord Alfred Lindsay of York knows that he has his family to consider and to put first in his heart.  And he will put them first—however difficult his upcoming family reunion might be. He wishes that he could remember his family, and especially, his wife Lady Constance.  Yet he wonders if his slim memory of a curly haired younger sister named Gwennie is just the start of his memories returning to him?  And even if the memories do not come back, he will seize hold of having the opportunity to make new memories with his family and friends.

And Lady Constance, still watching out the second floor window of Sussex Hall, heaves a delicate sigh as she sees her daughter Tamsin finally turn and walk back to the Sussex Hall manor house.  And she knows that she will have to admonish her daughter to be more careful of strangers.  Yet, Lady Constance’s own curiosity is peaked about the gentleman her daughter spoke with.  And she looks forward to her daughter’s tale of him.


To be continued with Chapter 17

 

“Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement): Chapter 16 images for April 06, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1225)

  1. “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art is an image representing Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font  is Vivaldi.

2.  Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay looking poignantly sad, is Margaret Clunie as Duchess Harriet Sutherland in the PBS series Victoria, season 3; image found at https://www.heyuguys.com/exclusive-margaret-clunie-victoria-christmas-special-return-season-3/

3.  Miss Tamsin with red ringlet curls is American child actress Francesca Capaldi;  image found at https://marriedbiography.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/francesca-capaldi-.jpg

4.   Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred walking the grounds of Sussex Hall estates is a cap from the You Tube video “Best of Prince Ernest (David Oakes) – TV Series Victoria (2016)”  found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loFnI29abaw%5D

 

“Expectations” (Book 2)  Ch. 16  URL for Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad story Post  for April 06,  2019:
https://www.wattpad.com/716323974-expectations-book-2-by-gratiana-lovelace-2018


Previous “Expectations” (Book 2)  Chapter 15 story URL on my SAL blog post (#1224), on March 31, 2019:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/expectations-book-2-ch-15-lord-duncan-treads-lightly-march-31-2019-by-gratiana-lovelace-post-1224/

Posted in "Expectations" (Book 2), Creative Writing, David Oakes, Drama, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Hope, Love and Relationships, Margaret Clunie, Period Drama, Romance, sequel to "Encouragement", Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 15:  Lord Duncan treads lightly,  March 31, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1224)

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 15:  Lord Duncan treads lightly,
March 31, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #1224)

(an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved);  [(1) story cover art, left]

[As is my custom, from time to time  I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention in this chapter):  Lady Elizabeth (Lizzie) Blount portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay;  Rupert Penry-Jones as Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay; Vicar Whitby (aka Lord Alfred Lindsay Marquess of Malten) portrayed by David Oakes];  Lord Christian Blount the Earl of Sussex (portrayed by Richard Armitage) and elder brother of Lord Harold and Lady Elizabeth;  and his wife Lady Madeline (Maddie) Sinclair Blount Countess of Sussex.]

Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes:  For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.   And I always put the previous chapter’s brief recap at the top of the next chapter.  Also, I hope to post new chapters weekly on Sundays.  I hope that you enjoy this chapter.

 

“Expectations” (Book 2), Ch. 15:  Lord Duncan treads lightly

With Lady Elizabeth Blount’s  middle brother Lord Harold Blount having left the Sussex Hall Dower House in going to rescue his love Lady Penelope Lindquist with the aid of Lady Penelope’s  Great Aunt Lady Lucretia Beckham  Knott—the elder lady being Grandmama to Lady Elizabeth’s newish  sister-in-law Lady Madeline Blount Countess of Sussex, her elder brother Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex’s  young wife—Lady Elizabeth Blount feels that her hopeful romantic expectations of marrying  her love Lord Duncan of York Viscount Lindsay might wonderfully be fulfilled some day soon.

Of course, Lady Elizabeth’s future happiness hinges on Vicar Frederick Whitby of London’s St. Timothy Parish remembering that he is in actuality Lord Alfred Lindsay of York and Marquess of Mallen—the elder brother of her love Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay of York—and take his place as the ducal heir, as well as, reunite with his wife Lady Constance.  All in due time.  For now, that gentleman stands contemplatively at the fireplace hearth, with one hand braced against the mantle—with this other hand partially covering his mouth, in shock for discovering his real identity as Lord Alfred.

The room has become quiet with Lord Harold’s and Lady Knott’s departure some ten minutes prior.  Lord Christian sits upon the drawing room’s comfortable settee and he solicitously and lightly embraces  his young wife Lady Madeline sitting next to him—due to her three months with child condition. He would wrap her up in silks and down comforters if he could, to ensure her and their hoped  for baby’s well being for the remaining six months of her with child condition.  And though Lady Madeline finds her husband’s  newfound cosseting pleasing, she does not wish to be constrained by it for the next six months.

Lady Elizabeth and Lord Duncan of York, sit upon the facing settee to Lord and Lady Sussex—but with a pillow width between them as propriety dictates for the two unwed individuals.  There is even a pillow lying between them and against the settee’s seat back to assure that decorum is maintained.  However, the edging of the pillow contains a one inch wide fringe of multi colored threads that are also present in the tapestry pattern of a peacock upon the pillow’s surface.  Every now and again, either Lady Elizabeth or Lord Duncan might unconsciously leans a bit toward each other as they naturally turn to face one another and smile encouragingly at each other.  However, Lord Christian’s elder brother eyebrow raises in expectation of the propriety of the pillow’s spacing measurements being preserved.

However, the miracle of the late Lord Alfred Lindsay of York and Marquess of Mallen returning to life and coming home to his family—as well as him being heir to the Lancashire Dukedom—has quite stunned and left temporarily mute the five inhabitants of the Drawing Room.

Yet, Lady Elizabeth abhors a vacuum with regard to conversation and planning for the future, her future.  So, she gently broaches the delicate topic with a growing maturity in her demeanor [(2) image below].

Lady Elizabeth:  “Well!  I daresay that though we all wish Lord Harold well in his quest for his love Lady Penelope, we also need to discuss the ramifications of Vicar Whitby being revealed to be Lord Duncan’s elder brother Lord Alfred Lindsay of York and Marquess of Mallen.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Hhhh!”  He sighs softly, looks up from the dancing flames in the fireplace, and he turns to the others sitting upon the settees.  “My Lords and Ladies, finding that I have a family and family friends again—even though I do not remember you—is very pleasing to me.  I am at your service.”

Lord Alfred [(3) image above] bows his head and then looks pointedly at Lord Duncan who was identified to him as his younger brother, trying to see if there is a resemblance, but not seeing it at first—with Lord Alfred being dark haired and Lord Duncan’s hair being of a reddish blond hue.

Lord Duncan: “And I appreciate that you, as well as we…” He gestures to the four of them sitting upon the settees. “… are feeling over whelmed by this momentous news.  And I assure you that though your death was pronounced to our family ten years ago, we grieved mournfully for you for many, many years—and indeed, we still were grieving for you, up until a few moments ago.”  Lord Duncan scrutinizes the face of his elder brother Lord Alfred, noting the same strong features of eyes and mouth reflected in his now mature visage.  “And I am glad to see in you, the face of my much admired and much loved elder brother.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “My Lord … Duncan.”  He hesitates.  “Were we … close … in age?  Forgive me, but you seem much younger than I.”

Lord Duncan: Lord Duncan stands up from the settee and faces Vicar Whitby who is standing at its end near the fireplace, his older brother Lord Alfred.  “I am six years your junior at five and twenty years.  So the last time we set eyes upon each other ten years ago, I was still a small statured and  awkward  boy of fifteen.  And my voice had not yet deepened, nor had whiskers begun to encroach upon my face.”  Lord Duncan smiles sheepishly with that admission.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Ah!  So as you matured, you naturally look quite different today than you must have looked as a boy.  And your hair?  Was it always so light and reddish in color?”  Vicar Whitby desperately hopes to find some fleeting memory of a recollection to aid him in making a connection to this man whom he is told is his younger brother.

Lord Duncan: “My hair is lighter  now due to my riding out of doors, often, without a hat. Though it is not as dark as your hair when in Winter time when I do wear a hat.”

Lady Elizabeth: She faces Vicar Whitby as Lord Duncan remains standing to the side of her sitting form.  “And when I met Lord Duncan when I was eight years and he was seventeen years—but two years later–he had begun to develop his maturity of appearance and demeanor, which quite impressed me when my brother Lord Christian introduced him to me.”  Then she turns to gaze up at Lord Duncan.  “I fell in love with him even then.”

Lord Duncan [(4) image below] and Lady Elizabeth smile at each other and he brings her small hand to his lips for a kiss as he bows down to her.

Lady Madeline:  Then Lady Madeline makes a helpful suggestion.  “Since your birth name was Alfred and you had told the monks who cared for you and your injuries ten years ago that you thought your name was Fred—as in Frederick—I can only think that there was a small part of you who wished to desperately hold onto your past as Alfred in some way.  So though I sense that you are not yet comfortable being addressed by Lord Alfred—I realize that addressing you as Vicar Whitby might also now seem foreign to you.  And since we are all to be family anyway when Lady Elizabeth and Lord Duncan are married—in the happy event that proposal occurs– I suggest that we dispense with titles and use the familiar of our Christian names when we are in private with each other, as we are now.  For example, we are Christian and Madeline.  They are Elizabeth and Duncan.  And you are … Fred.”  Ever the peacemaker, Lady Madeline settles for addressing him as Fred due to its neutral position between his birth name as Alfred and his post memory loss name of Frederick.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  He bows to Lady Madeline.  “I appreciate your kind sensibilities, My Lady … Madeline.”  Then he turns to Lord Duncan again.  “Did I have a pet name in the York family—shortening Alfred to Al or to  Fred?”

Lord Duncan: Lord Duncan slowly shakes his head. His brother Lord Alfred always bore himself in a dignified manner—even as a child—which eschewed the notion of a pet name.  “Not that I recall.  But Lady Constance might have done so.”  Lord Duncan’s eyes widen at his unintended disclosure.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Lady Constance?  Is she your sister?”  He asks in puzzlement for hearing this new name in connection with them.

Lord Duncan:  Lord Duncan pales in realizing his gaffe in mentioning  Lord Alfred’s former betrothed and wife, Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay the Marchioness of Mallen.  So he misdirects his answer to focusing upon his … their sister.   “No, our younger sister—who is my junior by nearly four years– is named Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “Gwendolyn is a pretty name.”  He nods sagely as he thinks about the name.  “I suppose she was called Gwennie as a child?”  He asks nonchalantly, as if it was natural for him to refer to her as such.  “Or even, Gwenivere?”

Lord Duncan: “Hh!”  Lord Duncan gasps at the family pet names for his sister that no one knows but the family—and the name being so easily spoken by the man who claims not to know of his Lindsay of York heritage as him being Lord Alfred.

Lady Elizabeth: Lady Elizabeth stands and gently pats Lord Duncan’s fine navy wool coat sleeved  arm as she gazes caringly into his eyes.  “Are you alright, Duncan?”

Lord Duncan:  “I am.  It is just that …”  Lord Duncan pauses, then looks to Lord Christian for aid.

Up until now, both Lord Christian and Lady Madeline have spoken sparingly to give Lord Duncan the opportunity  to engage with his long lost brother.

Lord Christian:  “Duncan, In your mentioning your sister Lady Gwendolyn, I realize that you will need to introduce her to … Fred—then strategize how best to break it to your parents. So we invite you and Lady Gwendolyn to join us for a light luncheon on the morrow.  Shall we say at  …”  He surreptitiously glances at his with child and still having morning sickness wife Lady Madeline.

Lady Madeline:  “Let us say at 1:00pm tomorrow.  Then if all goes well tomorrow, you and Lady Gwendolyn might consider joining your parents for tea here in the afternoon—to introduce them to … Fred.”

All but  … Fred, realize the reason for the location being at the Sussex Hall Dower House is due to Lord Alfred’s betrothed and wife Lady Constance being a guest up at Sussex Hall.  Introducing Lady Constance to the man whom everyone else thought was dead—and who was her husband—will be extremely delicate.  They wonder if her mind will snap completely, or will her sense of reality be restored—given her unerring faith that her husband was still alive, now proven to be true.

Lord Duncan: “Thank you, Christian and Madeline.  I believe that is best.” He bows at them for the wisdom of there invitation.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “This is all happening very quickly.”  His face is ashen.  “I fear that I will disappoint your sister and your parents  by not remembering them, nor who you and they will think me to be.”

Lord Duncan: “I understand,  … Fred.  But my … our parents are not young anymore.  And our Father Duke, especially, has been in ill health the last year or so.  So we dare not wait to bring you, his eldest son, back to him.”  Lord Duncan treads lightly upon the matter of reintroducing his previously thought to be dead elder brother to the family, but his face is resolutely determined.  His father is not dying, but his health is compromised.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “Of course, of course.  Hhhh! I perceive the logic of your reasoning.  Tomorrow will be … an eventful day.”  Though this day was also quite eventful. He adopts a mask of clergy stoicism and turns to his hosts.  “If you will excuse me, I will retire to my bed chamber to reflect and pray upon the matter before us, rather than stay for tea.”  Afterall, Lord Alfred became and has served as a Vicar for the past nine years.  So it is not altogether unexpected for him to turn to his faith for solace.

***

Lady Madeline: Taking her sister-in-law and best friend’s hands in hers, Lady Madeline squeezes them in solidarity.  “Lizzie, I think that Christian and I will also retire for a nap.  I need one, desperately.”

Lord Christian: “Of course, My Love.  Shall I have some light refreshments  brought to us from the kitchens for our afternoon tea?”

Lady Madeline: “If you must.”  Then she proceeds to list a selection of cheeses, thinly shaved beef and chicken, breads, tarts, and fruit to round out the light refreshments that they will enjoy.   Lord Christian nods his agreement.

Lord Duncan: “I should, perhaps, go in search of my sister and parents—in case I can think of a way to ease them into having Alfred back into their lives.”

Lady Elizabeth: “No, stay!”  Lady Elizabeth appeals to him pleadingly.  We have much to discuss.  And it is nearly tea time.”  She looks to her brother, Lord Christian and his raised eyebrow.  But her sister-in-law takes charge.

Lady Madeline: “Leave them be, My Love.”  Then she turns to Lady Elizabeth and admonishes her.  “But do leave the Drawing Room door open, Lizzie Dearest.   We do not want the servants to think that your reputation is being compromised by your conversing privately with Lord Duncan.”

Lady Elizabeth: “Of course, Maddie.  Thank you.”  Lady Elizabeth appreciates the ally that her best friend and sister-in-law Lady Madeline is for her.

Lady Madeline smiles indulgently, then guides she and her husband Lord Christian out of the Drawing Room and up the stairs to their bed chamber suite.  They will nap, then enjoy their afternoon tea refreshments.

After her brother and sister-in-law leave the parlor, Lady Elizabeth leans her left hand back to Lord Duncan standing behind her and to the left.  He clasps her hand in his. Neither of them speak.  Lady Elizabeth brings her index finger of her other hand to her rosy pink lips—indicating that she wishes him to be silent.  Lord Duncan nods and then smiles as she leads him to the other side of the Drawing Room—where the glass French doors to the terrace are—and she proceeds to lead him out to the terrace.  She has left the Drawing Room door to the corridor open—and therefore, Lady Elizabeth reasons, she has met the condition in spirit  in order for her to be left alone with Lord Duncan.

The later afternoon is very pleasant at the Sussex Hall Dower House terrace and gardens.  Since the sun is not overhead and beating down upon them, the cool breeze gentles the warm air temperature for them.  In the far corner of the garden nearly 100 yards away, they can see that the ornamental hedges are being trimmed by an under gardener.  So Lady Elizabeth and Lord Duncan are not entirely alone—though they are not being chaperoned in the strictest sense.

Lord Duncan:  “What are you up to, Elizabeth My Love?”

Walking backwards toward the far corner of the terrace—away from windows where prying eyes might intrude upon their privacy—Lady Elizabeth smiles sweetly as she guides a smiling Lord Duncan to her favorite secret hiding place as a child.

Lady Elizabeth:  “I just want us to have some privacy—away from others.”  She states a bit breathily.  She is not trying to seduce him.  It is broad daylight, afterall.  But she does wish to be almost completely private with him—if the thought of her own brazenness does not cause her to blush crimson.

Lord Duncan: “Ah!”  Is all he replies.  But Lord Duncan’s smile widens.

Finally, they reach the far corner of the terrace and Lady Elizabeth turns around, drops down to her knees, and proceeds to crawl upon her hands and knees through a very thick hedge.

Lady Elizabeth: “Follow me!”  She chirps giddily.  After first doffing his jacket, there is nothing to do but for Lord Duncan to follow her crawling into the hedge.  And after a very narrow squeeze for him through the overgrown terrace hedge they emerge to a completely secluded terrace portion with a small wrought iron bench and its matching low wrought iron table.  She jumps up and squeals softly.  “Eeeee!  It is just like I remembered it!”

Lord Duncan: “Dirty, prickley, and small?”  He teases her with a smirking smile.  And he notices that this terrace location is perfectly secluded for a secret assignation. Lord Duncan walks up behind her and risks an impertinence as he leans down and kisses her fabric covered shoulder.  She trembles with his kiss and turns around to face him.

Lady Elizabeth: “Was not I correct about our privacy being assured?”  Then she pouts a bit.  “Though I remember the hedge passageway and this terrace being much bigger when I was a little girl.”

Lord Duncan: “Never the less, we are here.  Is there anything that Madam requests?”  He smiles knowingly.

Lady Elizabeth:  She rolls her eyes.  “Not request, per se.  A Lady does not request.”

Lord Duncan: “But in the same vein, a gentleman cannot impose himself upon a Lady.”

Lady Elizabeth:  Shyly, she looks up at him.  “Not even the Lady he hopes to marry—were he ever to propose properly?”

Lord Duncan: “Especially not his future wife, even after he proposes properly.  Difficult though restraint and decorum might be when I am with you—especially alone, as we are now—I will not disrespect you.  I love you too much, My Darling Elizabeth.”

Lady Elizabeth: Lady Elizabeth’s heart soars at Lord Duncan’s loving words.  “But how will I truly know if it is you whom I want to marry, if we do not kiss?”  Lady Elizabeth closes her eyes and raises her head to Lord Duncan with her lips pursed.

Lord Duncan: “Elizabeth!  You are shredding my willpower to refrain from kissing you.”  Lord Duncan clasps his hands behind his back to refrain from pulling her into his arms.

Lady Elizabeth: “Oh bother your willpower.  Kiss me, Duncan!  Please?  I want you to.”  Her eyes are still closed.  And her hands are clasped demurely in front of her.

Lady Elizabeth is the picture of an innocent miss.  And that is exactly why Lord Duncan cannot resist her loveliness and sweetness.

Lord Duncan: “My apologies, Elizabeth, My Love!”

Then Lord Duncan swoops down and gently covers her lips with his own.  Lady Elizabeth  innocently purses her lips even more, which makes him want to crow—knowing that she has never been kissed before him, and he is the first, and only man to kiss her.  He sucks and nibbles at her lips until she relaxes them and they begin to kiss in earnest—opening and closing their lips together in perfect synchrony.  Their kissing attitude is so pleasant that they continue kissing for some time—their eyes closed in sweet surrender–with each of their arms slowly coming to tenderly embrace the other [(5) image below].  Then they each sigh as they break away from each other’s lips.

Lady Elizabeth: “Hmm!  Our kissing  just now was heavenly!”

Lord Duncan: “I am delighted that you think so.  And I concur most heartily.”  His hands return to being tightly clasped behind his back to preserve his gentlemanly behavior around her—now that each of their eyes have opened.  And he thinks that if he is ever to waltz with her, then he will break decorum completely and pull her into him more closely than is needed, just to have the feel of her in his arms.  Of course, this line of thinking—about their embracing again during a waltz–is not helping his resolve to remain a gentleman in her presence now.

Lady Elizabeth: “If you kiss me like that every day, I will very much like being married to you, Duncan.”

Lord Duncan: “And I you, Elizabeth.  Now shall we kiss once more before we reverse our course through that blasted hedge and into the house for our tea?”

Lady Elizabeth:  “Yes!  And I’ll be sure to ask the gardener to trim and widen the hedge opening, for next time.”  She smiles prettily.

Lord Duncan:  Lord Duncan’s face blanches in horror. “You will do no such thing!  That would reveal where our private place is to everyone.”

Lady Elizabeth:  “Very well.  Just do not complain the next time we pass through the narrow hedge.”  She wags her finger at him and he gently clasps her hand in his.

Lord Duncan: “I would not dream of complaining of a journey that leads to such pleasant outcomes as kissing.”  He grins.

Lady Elizabeth turns around and drops to her knees again, now facing the hedge once more.

Lady Elizabeth:  “Follow me, again.”  She teases.

And as Lord Duncan follows Lady Elizabeth crawling through the terrace hedge back to the main terrace space, he sends up a prayer to cope with his romantic feelings for Lady Elizabeth.  Even though he assiduously focuses his eyes upon her slipper clad fee, he cannot help but notice that the silken hem of her skirt swishes back and forth with her movements.  And he would only have to look up in order to witness her full silken clad form crawling through the hedge.  But that would be disaster, for he could not stop himself from wanting to lay her down upon the prickly hedge and kiss her senseless—and more.

No, once they are married, Lord Duncan’s adoration for Lady Elizabeth will be channeled properly into them fulfilling their love as husband and wife.  Until then?  They must wait.  And Lord Duncan thinks that telling his parents about their son Lord Alfred being alive, might just be easier than the torment he feels in waiting for Lady Elizabeth to become his wife.

But first, Lord Duncan has to inform his sister Lady Gwendolyn and their parents about his brother Lord Alfred being alive.  And then, somehow he must bring about the reconciliation of Lord Alfred and Lady Constance, before Lord Duncan feels that he and Lady Elizabeth can become officially betrothed, to be wed,  and to begin their married lives together.

To be continued with Chapter 16

 

“Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement): Chapter 15  images for March 31, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1224)

  1. “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art is an image representing Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font  is Vivaldi.

2. Lady Elizabeth Blount in purple day dress is that of Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://media.tumblr.com/d0a41882cb1002e0e9604665f32b77ee/tumblr_inline_mono4y4CRK1qz4rgp.jpg

3. Vicar Whitby (aka Lord Alfred) in a church is David Oakes as Prince Ernst in Victoria; image found at Pinterest at https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a1/83/0d/a1830d234d0c4a1ef81017842c357080.jpg

4. Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay smiling is an image of Rupert Penry Jones in Persuasion (2007) found at University in words blogspot at  http://s3.media.squarespace.com/production/1268594/14933071/.a/6a010534fda1c2970b0120a8e9e6a8970b-800wi

5. Lord Duncan Lindsay of York kissing Lady Elizabeth on the terrace is Rupert Penry-Jones and Sally Hawkins in the 2007 film Persuasion; image found at http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/persuasion/images/5251141/title/persuasion-2007-screencap

“Expectations” (Book 2)  Ch. 15  URL for Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad story Post  for March 31, 2019: 
https://www.wattpad.com/713773712-expectations-book-2-by-gratiana-lovelace-2018


Previous “Expectations” (Book 2)  Chapter 14 story URL on my SAL blog post (#1223), on March 25, 2019:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/expectations-book-2-ch-14-lord-harold-seeks-to-rescue-lady-penelope-march-25-2019-by-gratiana-lovelace-post-1223/

Posted in "Expectations" (Book 2), Creative Writing, David Oakes, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Love and Relationships, Regency, Romance, Rupert Penry-Jones, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 14:  Lord Harold seeks to rescue Lady Penelope,  March 25, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1223)

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 14:  Lord Harold seeks to rescue Lady Penelope,
March 25, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #1223)

an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved);  [(1) story cover art, left]

[As is my custom, from time to time  I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention in this chapter):  Lord Harold Blount portrayed by Crispin Bonham-Carter;  his love Lady Penelope Countess of Lindquist portrayed by Lily Travers; Lord Christian Blount the Earl of Sussex (portrayed by Richard Armitage) and elder brother of Lord Harold and Lady Elizabeth;  his wife Lady Madeline (Maddie) Sinclair Blount Countess of Sussex; and Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Grandmama to Lady Madeline];  Vicar Whitby (aka Lord Alfred Lindsay Marquess of Malten) portrayed by David Oakes];  Lady Elizabeth (Lizzie) Blount portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay;  Rupert Penry-Jones as Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay; ]

 

Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes:  For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.   And I always put the previous chapter’s brief recap at the top of the next chapter.  Also, I hope to post new chapters weekly on Sundays.  I hope that you enjoy this chapter.

 

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 14:  Lord Harold seeks to rescue Lady Penelope

Lord Harold had read his love Lady Penelope’s short note four times now since he had received it–her begging him to come rescue her, if she can make her escape from France to her Grandmama Lady Winston’s London Townhouse.

Lady Penelope’s letter:  “To Lord Harold Blount, Sussex Hall.  My Dear Lord Harold, I must sadly inform you of the very ill health of my precious Grandmama Lady Winston.  Though my husband Earl Lindquist’s business interests must keep him on the continent in France, he has graciously allowed me to return to my Grandmama, to be by her side in her final days and weeks.  If you are in town, I know that my Grandmama would welcome a visit from you.  Sincerely, Lady Penelope, Countess of Lindquist. 

Lord Harold could tell from her subdued note that Lady Penelope is in some kind of distress.  And it is his most fervent wish and prayer to somehow rescue Lady Penelope from her marriage, and spirit her away to begin a new life with him.  Though Harold has no funds to support a wife, he has hopes of his small portion of his late Grandfather Earl’s coal mines soon providing enough return  to him from the investment, to allow Lord Harold to marry and raise a family in modest comfort.  In truth, Lord Harold would do anything to be Lady Penelope’s husband.  Well, almost anything.

 

However, as Lord Harold on his mount is just reaching the nearby Sussex Hall market town, he realizes that he will need reinforcements in order to rescue Lady Penelope.  So he turns around and heads back to Sussex Hall Estate’s Dower House, hoping that he will not lose many more precious moments delaying him rushing to his love Lady Penelope’s side.

 

Lord Harold  [(2) below] brings his mount to stop at the front Entrance to the Sussex Hall Dower House, tossing the reigns to a waiting groom and then racing up the steps.

 

Hearing a commotion of voices in the drawing room parlor—including that of his sister-in-law Lady Madeline’s Grandmama Lady Knott, he adjusts his course from bounding up the stairs to heading straight for the parlor.  As he bursts into the parlor, he sees his brother Lord Christian and his new young wife Lady Madeline, their sister Lady Elizabeth with her hoped for betrothed Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay of York, a vicar of some sort, and Lady Madeline’s grandmother Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott.

 

Lord Harold: “Christian, Madeline, Lizzie, and Lady Knott!  I am fortunate to find you all together.  I need your help!”

 

Lord Christian:  “Harold!  I am surprised to see you back so soon.  Was Lady Knott’s loan of funds insufficient for your needs?”  He raises left eyebrow in a queryingly haughty way.

 

Lord Harold: “Yes, and No.”  He turns to Lady Knott.  “My Lady, I realized that even more than your kind loan, I need reinforcements to aid me in rescuing a lady whom both you and I hold dear—your grand niece, the Lady Penelope, Countess of Lindquist.”

 

Lady Knott:  “My niece Penny, you say?  She is on the continent with her husband Lord Lindquist—in Paris, I believe.”

 

Lord Harold: “No!”  He shares Lady Penelope’s note with her.  “As you can see, she travels from Calais today, and hopes to reach her Grandmama Lady Winston—your sister—in London,  in time.”

 

Lady Madeline:  “Grandmama?  Has Great Aunt Lady Winston taken ill?”

 

Lady Knott:  “Not to my knowledge, Maddie Dear.  Though she is my elder by several years, my sister has always enjoyed annoyingly robust health.”  Her countenance puzzles.

 

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Indeed!  Lady Winston’s fine health and compassion  for others has caused her to be a welcome sponsor, with yourself Madam, of our charitable projects for the poor.”

 

Lord Duncan: “I fear that we are veering off into tangential topics when I must focus upon the revelations regarding this gentleman.”  He gestures to Vicar Whitby, who was just unveiled to be his long lost and believed dead elder brother Lord Alfred of Lanchashire Marquess of Malten.

 

Lady Elizabeth;  “Oh Yes, we must aid Lord Duncan and his family at this critical juncture in time.”  She states most maturely.

 

Unfortunately, Lord Christian feels torn in two directions—to aid his sister Lady Elizabeth and Lord Duncan of York, or to aid his brother Lord Harold—three if you also count his pregnant wife Lady Madeline.

 

Lord Christian:  “Harold, I feel that I must stay here with Madeline and Lizzie.  Otherwise, you know that I would come to your aid.”

 

Lord Harold:  “I understand, Brother.”  The two men shake hands.  “But if I could ask you the boon of a loan of 100 pounds and permission to invite Lady Penelope Lindquist to be our guest at Sussex House in London, I would be most appreciative.”

 

Lord Christian: After conferring with his wife, and mistress of his households, Lord Christian nods.  “You may invite the Countess for a visit to Sussex House, and I will give you the funds you need.”

 

Lord Harold:  “Thank you, Christian and Madeline!”  Then Lord Harold  turns to the vicar.  “And Vicar Whitby, I may need your assistance in procuring a special license.”

 

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “To what end?  You will still need the permission of the Archbishop of Canterbury to wed by special license—either for a special dispensation and/or  without saying the banns.”

 

Lord Harold: “I mean to have Lady Penelope’s marriage dissolved by annulment or other such means–and then to marry her myself.”

 

Lady Knott: “Penny has been married for ten years.  She is a well married woman, and her husband has total control of her dowry—if any of it is leftover at this point.   You cannot hope to get it back.”

 

Lord Harold:  “Nay!  Lady Penelope need not have a shilling to her name and I will be proud to have her as my wife.  Her current marriage is not only loveless, but her husband controls her every movement.  She is stifled to the point of despair and cannot go on.  I mean to cherish and love her for all of our days that we will be blessed to share together.”

 

Lady Knott: “I cannot believe that Lord Lindquist will just give up his wife.  She is to inherit from my sister Lady Winston, her Grandmama.  He will not want to forego the hoped  for inheritance.”

 

Lord Harold:  “I will find a way.  But Lady Knott, I need you to accompany me to London for Lady Penelope.  You are her family—and most formidable.”

 

Lady Knott:    “And if she has not reached there yet?”

 

Lord Harold:  “Then  I will travel to Dover to assist in bringing Lady Penelope to her Grandmama in London.”

Being impressed with this new maturity being exhibited by Lord Harold, Lord Duncan comments.

Lord Duncan: “God Speed, Lord Harold.  I wish you and your lady a long and happy life together.”

Lord Harold: “Thank you.  And I wish you and my sister Lizzie the same felicitations.”  The two men shake hands.

Then Lord Harold departs again—after he is assured that Lady Knott plans to direct her maids to pack her trunks and return to London.  And Lord Harold decides to ride straight to Dover without waiting to see if his love Lady Penelope has arrived and already left for London—he changes horses several times and only hopes that he can arrive in time to be of aid to her.

***

The boat from Calais, France to Dover, England is an English Channel crossing this mid June 1816 day that few would wish to experience.  The waves are high causing very choppy seas and a pelting rain batters the clipper ship called the Normandy–keeping the passengers below decks.  Most passengers this day are miserable with severe nausea and wretching–none more so than the two months pregnant  Lady Penelope Countess of Lindquist.

Lady Penelope would not have even attempted the crossing home to England but for her Grandmama  being in grave health.  And even then, her much older husband Lord Lindquist  only allowed his wife to go to her Grandmama’s deathbed on England’s soil because Lady Penelope is her principal heir—and he needs that inheritance to shore up his own earldom’s finances.

And, Lord Lindquist  is not aware of his wife  Lady Penelope’s delicate condition—her having hid her with child condition  from him, since he can in no way be the father of her unborn child. Nor would she ever want him to be the child’s father.

Lady Penelope’s only hope to escape the clutches of her husband’s avaricious claws is to prostrate herself upon the mercy of her Grandmama, and hope that the old lady survives long enough for Lady Penelope to be extracted from her husband’s control, by somehow dissolving the marriage.  Lord Lindquist has gone through Lady Penelope’s substantial  $30,000 pound dowry in the ten years that they have been married as if the money were water flowing over rocks in water rapids.  And Lady Penelope’s husband’s gambling losses had only gotten worse when Lord Lindquist reached his fiftieth year last year—to her tender 30 years then.

So choosing to take hold of the shredding reigns of her life, five days ago, Lady Penelope had sent an urgent missive to her love Lord Harold Blount at their Sussex Hall Estate in the country, asking him to meet her at her Grandmama’s  in London if he cared for her at all.  As of yet, she has not told him of the child she bears, nor that it is his child.

Lady Penelope hopes that she will survive the English Channel crossing—her only thought being the safety of her unborn child.

***

The Normandy clipper ship’s departure from Calais had already been delayed.  So with the rough crossing, Lady Penelope disembarked onto English soil in the late afternoon.  With her ladies maid and a footman being her only entourage, they wait patiently on the docks for the mail coach to take them to London.

Lady Penelope’s husband had no funds to give her for her journey, so she pawned her gold wedding ring and has only a small sum left to get them to her Grandmama Lady Winston in London.  In fact, they are  forced to travel via the mail coach if they also wish to have food and lodgings.

In fact, Lady Penelope is dressed simply in servant garb [(3) below]–as if she were a ladies maid, traveling ahead of her mistress with the other two servants.  She does this partially to be able to have a lower fare on their Channel crossing accommodations.

And Lady Penelope thinks that it is too much to hope that Lord Harold Blount has received her message and been able to come to her aid—to their aid, as she absentmindedly pats her belly, where their baby sleeps and grows.

It is only after thirty minutes waiting for the mail coach, when a fine post chaise and four pulls up that they have an inkling that their situation is about to improve.

Footman:  He whispers to keep her Ladyship’s true identity a secret.  “My Lady, I wonder who could be traveling in that fine coach.  Might your Grandmama Lady Winston have sent it?”

Lady Penelope: “I do not know.  The crest in unfamiliar.  And my Grandmama might not yet have received my note to her, saying that my husband is allowing me to attend her.”

Ladies Maid: “Look, My Lady!”

The Ladies Maid  points at a familiar gentleman alights from inside the carriage.  And Lady Penelope tears up.  She had hoped, but  she could not have expected that hope would come true.

Lady Penelope: “You came!”  Lady Penelope sighs in a hushed whisper.

Striding to Lady Penelope, bowing, and then lifting her small gloved hand to his lips for a kiss, Lord Harold gazes deeply into her eyes.

Lord Harold: “I will always come for you, My Lady.”  The meaning of his utter devotion to her speaks volumes to her heart.  “And may I say that you look quite charming in your current ensemble.” He smiles teasingly.

Lady Penelope:  “You may.  But I own that my simply braided hair is less than stylish.”  She smiles as she flips her braid upwards in a wave at him.

Lord Harold:   “Ha ha ha ha ha!”  He laughs mirthfully.   “But come, you must be exhausted.  I have arranged for an overnight stay at a good hostelry.  Then on the morrow, I will convey you all to London.”

Lady Penelope:  “Thank you for your thoughtfulness.  The crossing was quite rough.  And I, for one, am very glad to be back on dry land.” Her attendants nod in agreement.

Lord Harold: “It is my honor to be of service to you, My Lady.  And I also bring greetings to you from your Great Aunt Lady Knott.  She will see you in London, when she visits you at her sister Lady Winston’s townhouse.”  Lady Penelope smiles in great relief.

He extends his elbow to her and escorts her the few yards over to the waiting chaise.  Then after her trunks are loaded, the footman is ensconced sitting up front with the coachman, and Lady Penelope and her Ladies Maid sit  inside the carriage facing forward—with Lord Harold sitting on the opposite bench.  The coach is comfortable and well sprung, so Lady Penelope does not feel the ill effects of its movements on the roads, given her delicate condition.

For now, Lord Harold knows that his love Lady Penelope has safely reached England’s shores.  And it will be his duty to protect her as they travel from Dover to her family in London.  He has yet to uncover a means by which he may legally wed her.  But then, her Great Aunt Lady Knott has yet to fully set her considerable mind to that issue.

Lady Penelope wonders whether she and Lord Harold will ever be able to be husband and wife—especially with regard to their child that she carries in her womb.  Be it boy or girl child, she will love this babe with all of her heart—and protecting it from harm.  And she also realizes that she must find a way to tell her love Lord Harold that he is to be a father.

To be continued with chapter 15

 

Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement): Chapter 14  images for March 25, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1223)

  1. “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art is an image representing Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font  is Vivaldi.
  2. Lord Harold Blount image is that of Crispin Bonham-Carter in the 1995 mini series Pride and Prejudice and was found at https://www.ranker.com/list/full-cast-of-relic-hunter-cast-list-for-the-show-relic-hunter/reference
  3. Lady Penelope Lindquist costumed as a ladies maid is portrayed by Lily Travers (as Duchess Sophie Monmouth on Victoria season 3 PBS);

 

“Expectations” (Book 2)  Ch. 14  URL for Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad story Post  for March 25, 2019:  
https://www.wattpad.com/711105224-expectations-book-2-by-gratiana-lovelace-2018


Previous “Expectations” (Book 2)  Chapter 13 story URL on my SAL blog post (#1221), on March 17, 2019:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2019/03/17/expectations-book-2-ch-13-questioning-vicar-whitby-march-17-2019-by-gratiana-lovelace-post-1221/

Posted in "Expectations" (Book 2), Creative Writing, Drama, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Regency, Richard Armitage, Romance, Rupert Penry-Jones, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

WCW:  Brexit?  Relax, don’t do it—RCA Characters Tweet about life and leaving the European Union, March 22, 2019 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1222)

You might recall that the talented British actor Richard Armitage’s [image below] characters occasionally meet up at their favorite TWEET (Thornton-Woebegone-Epicurean-Establishment-and-Tavern) pub and chat via tweeting.

And though the Tweet character limit since their last Tweet gathering has jumped from 140 to 175 characters, clarity and brevity may yet be their problem.  Or should we say that  Brexity is their problem?

Rich@RCArmitage:  “Politics & liberalism have been upon my mind of late—especially Brexit, with the EU March 29 exit deadline looming.  To quote a friend, the whole thing is ‘bum backwards’.” (174 char)

JohnS@IDontNameMyFood:  “Who told?  I only realized my unders were on backwards this afternoon—when I had to go, but I had no opening after unzipping me pants. Very embarrassing at the trough.” (172 char)

Grati@GratianaL(barmaid):  “And JohnS@IDontNameMyFood squirms even now just thinking about it (above).” (77 char)

Lucas@UndercoverNorthSpy (image below):  “Your metaphor about needing to eliminate–but your finding no pathway to do so—is apt.  And your Briefs-exit frustration is palpable.  I, also, go without—unders, on occasion.” (174 char)

GuyG@GisborneStallion:  “I concur with Mr. Lucas Spy.  Wearing cloth under my leather pants is unnecessary.  My leathers are like a second skin to me.  As you can see. (I gesture to my gif, below)”  (175 char)

HarryK@BeTheSpreadsheet:  “But JohnS@, not to be a “townee jerk”, weren’t your unders  worn backwards uncomfortable? And sorry, GuyG@, but don’t unders and pants go together, like pencil and paper?” (170 char)

Grati@GratianaL (barmaid):  “Realizing his unintended analogy to the male anatomy, HarryK@ smiles shyly in chagrin (image above). So I put a fresh mug of EUbeer in front of him.  He looks like needs it.” (173 char)

 

JohnS@IDontNameMyFood:  “Nay.  But for no front opening, me backwards unders were comfy-like.  And for Mr. GuyG@ and his leather pants, I tend to animals.  So I don’t hold with wearing them on me.” (174 char)

 

Rich@RCArmitage:  “Oh for PETA’s sake! I tried the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle a while back for a friend.  Never mind my leather shoe wearing fetish, but I was ‘back on the burgers’ in no time.” (175 char)

Grati@GratianaL(barmaid):  “The moral of the story is—be it Brexit or unders—looking forwards or backwards evokes competing opinions. So just ‘Relax, don’t do it—the Brexit—then you’ll come through it.’” (174 char)

P.S. Images/gifs  thanks to:  RCATweet; Pinterest?; Simonne; Pinterest?; Teresa; & RAVenezuela

Posted in Animals, Brexit, Fangurling, Fantasy, Gifs, Goodwill, Gratiana Lovelace, Humor, Political, Richard Armitage, Richarding, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 13:  Questioning Vicar Whitby, March 17, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1221)

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 13:  Questioning Vicar Whitby, March 17, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #1221)
an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved);  [(1) story cover art, left]

[As is my custom, from time to time  I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/ mention in this chapter):  Vicar Whitby (aka Lord Alfred Lindsay Marquess of Malten)]; Lady Elizabeth (Lizzie) Blount portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay;  Rupert Penry-Jones as Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay; Lord Christian Blount the Earl of Sussex and elder brother of Lady Elizabeth portrayed by Richard Armitage;  his wife Lady Madeline (Maddie) Sinclair Blount Countess of Sussex; and Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Grandmama to Lady Madeline]

 

Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes:  For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.   And I always put the previous chapter’s brief recap at the top of the next chapter.  Also, I hope to post new chapters weekly on Sundays.  I hope that you enjoy this chapter.

 

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 13:  Questioning Vicar Whitby

With the revelation hanging thickly in the air of the Sussex Hall Dower House parlor as Lady Elizabeth presses fresh damp and cool cloths to the fainted Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay’s forehead–that Vicar Frederick Whitby might be the thought to be killed in battle ten  years ago Lord Alfred Lindsay Marquess of Malten–you could hear a pin drop as Lord Christian, Lady Madeline, and Lady Elizabeth stare at each other and Vicar Whitby.

No one speaks for several minutes, as their concern is focused upon the prone and still form of Lord Duncan while they await the physician who was called for, rather loudly, by Lord Christian.

Yet in less than a quarter hour, they hear the brisk walk of an individual using a cane and the swish of abundant skirting in the outer foyer—not the gait, nor the attire, of their local physician.  Soon, the walking individual enters the parlor and she is revealed to be Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott—Lady Madeline’s maternal Grandmama, her having just come from being in conversation upstairs with her good friend and Lord Christian’s Grandmother, Lady Catherine Blount the Dowager Countess of Sussex.

Lady Knott:  “Children!  Is there a new commotion—beyond Lord Harold’s rantings about leave taking in the hope of him being in time to save someone—and, against my better judgement, my loaning him fifty pounds for his journey?”  Then she spies the fainted Lord Duncan upon the settee with Lady Elizabeth soothing his brow with cool cloths.  “Oh dear!  What have we here?” And she sits upon a chair near the end of the settee where Lady Elizabeth is tending to Lord Duncan.

Lady Madeline: “Grandmama, you cannot guess the momentous news!”  She exclaims as she gazes from Lord Duncan to Vicar Whitby–nee possibly Lord Alfred Lindsay Marquess of Malten, the Vicar not having confirmed nor refuted Lord Duncan’s pre-fainting claim.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: He bows deferentially to his patroness.  “My Lady Knott.  How good it is to see you.”

Lady Knott: “And you Vicar Whitby.” She slightly tilts her head to him—in a regal half nod.  “Vicar, since you are present several weeks before your scheduled time to visit, should I surmise that an urgent circumstance commands your precipitate visit?”  Then Lady Knott spears a look and her good friend Lady Catherine’s granddaughter Lady Elizabeth tending to a seemingly unconscious Lord Duncan lying upon the settee.

Lady Elizabeth swivels her head to gaze upon her friend and sister-in-law Lady Madeline’s Grandmama.  Then her eyes widen at the obvious implication being made.

Lady Elizabeth:  “Oh no, My Lady Knott!  Lord Duncan and I have no need of a Vicar’s services yet.”  Lady Knott’s piercing gaze silently conveys her requirement for more explanation.  “He and I have not even held hands or kissed, let alone …” With her pause,  now Lady Elizabeth’s brother Lord Christian’s raised eyebrow indicates his potential fury as her guardian—were he to learn that Lord Duncan has compromised his sister Lady Elizabeth as a way to thwart his parents’ wish for him to marry Lady Constance Knightsbridge, daughter to the Ducal Lancashire’s and the late–or perhaps, current if Lord Duncan’s earlier outburst is to be believed–Lord Alfred Lindsay Marquess of Malten’s betrothed.    “… nor has he proposed marriage to me—though I dearly wish he would.  I love him!”

Lady Madeline: “Please Grandmama, the situation between Lord Duncan and … Vicar Whitby is muddled enough not to add in Lizzie’s hoped for betrothal to Lord Duncan t0 it.”  She takes her Grandmama’s hand in hers and gives her a pleading look.

Lady Knott:  “What do you speak of, Maddie Dear?  I was not aware that the Viscount Lindsay was at all acquainted with the good Vicar of St. Timothy’s Parish.”  Lady Knott queryingly gazes up at the still standing Vicar.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “If I may?”  Vicar Whitby [(2) below] looks to Lord Christian Earl of Sussex as the highest ranked individual in the room.  Lord Christian slightly tilts his head in approval.  “There seems to be a case of a possible mistaken identity.  Upon being introduced to me, Lord Duncan became distressed and declared that I looked like his long dead brother, a Lord Albert.”

Lord Christian: “It is Lord Alfred, Vicar Whitby, uh … .” Lord Christian is uncertain how to address the individual before him who is Vicar Whitby—but who also might be Lord Alfred Lindsay Marquess of Malten.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Ah yes, thank you.  But the name Lord Alfred is unfamiliar to me.  I have been a vicar these past nine years—the last two at St. Timothy’s in London.”

Lady Madeline:  “Yes, but what were you before you became a Vicar?”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Before?”  She nods—in fact, they all nod in encouragement. “Well, I …”  They lean toward him.  “I do not know.  I sustained grievous injuries ten years ago and was taken in and healed by some monks in Rome.”

Lord Christian: “You were injured in Italy?”  Lord Christian’s [(3) below]  interest is piqued due to Lord Alfred being presumed killed at the Battle of Maida [(5)] in Italy.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Yes.  My physical injuries took nearly a year to heal—due to several infections that I contracted with my more grievous wounds–but my memory never returned.”  He unconsciously lifts his gloved right hand, then with his left hand touches his right side and his right shoulder. But I could not remember who I was—other than remembering that I knew of a town in England called Whitby and thought that I had once been called Frederick, or Fred.  And since I spoke English, the monks order kindly had me returned to England’s shores to finish my convalescing at a related monastery.  So in honor of their kind care of returning me to physical health–and my affinity for their order’s religious devotion and reflection–I pledged my life to God and studied to became a deacon, before pursuing additional religious studies and taking my final vows in becoming an Anglican vicar.”

While the inhabitants of the Sussex Hall Dowager House parlor were held in rapt attention with Vicar Whitby’s telling of his recent history, no one has noticed that Lord Duncan’s eyes fluttered open and he has been listening intently as well.

Pushing the cool cloth away from his forehead, Lord Duncan sits up on the settee—which causes Lady Elizabeth to be the first to attend to his change in consciousness.

Lady Elizabeth: “Duncan!  You’re awake!” Then she quickly jumps up from kneeling next to the settee to sitting beside Lord Duncan  upon the settee.

Lord Duncan:  “Yes, for several moments now.”  His eyes boring into those of Vicar Whitby’s—whom he knows instinctively is his brother Lord Alfred.  And Lord Duncan proceeds to question him.  “If you knew you were English when you were convalescing in Italy, why did you not ask the monks to contact the British Embassy?  Do you not think that your family has been devastated by believing you dead these past ten years?”  He accuses.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “As I said, I was grievously injured, and almost died several times due to infections.  Keeping me alive was more important to the monks than finding out who I was.  I had no identification upon me.  My body had been stripped to my uniform’s trousers by thieves already thinking me dead.  And they had taken what I perceived much later to have been my only valuable on me.”  He raises his gloved right hand.

Lord Duncan: “What do you mean?” Lord Duncan’s eyes narrow.

Lady Madeline: “With respect, Lord Duncan, Vicar Whitby uh well, his right hand’s injury necessitates him always wearing a glove.”  She explains gently—her trying to intervene for Vicar Whitby, who might feet self conscious about his infirmity.

Lord Duncan: “Thank you Lady Madeline, but I need to know the nature of Vic … This gentleman’s injury.”  And Lord Duncan [(4) below]  stares at him.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “It is alright, Lady Sussex.  I have long since grown accustomed to my disfigurement.”  Then he turns to Lord Duncan as he peels off the glove, showing him missing the little finger on his right hand.  “You see, I must have worn a ring upon my little finger, and the thief thinking me already dead and bloated, cut my finger off to take it from me.”  The ladies gasp in hearing the full measure of his injury. “Be at ease, Ladies.  I was unconscious, and therefore insensible to what must have been a quite painful amputation.  Though the injury did become infected and was painful for many months after that.”

Lord Duncan:  Raising his own ungloved right hand, Lord Duncan shows off his signet ring. “This ring?”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Perhaps I wore a signet or other ring, similar to yours.  But I do not recall.”  He shakes his head in his lack of recognition—of the ring or of Lord Duncan.

Lord Duncan: “I am not talking about a similar ring, I am talking about this particular ring.” Lord Duncan holds out his hand bearing the signet ring, for the Vicar to examine more closely.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “I am sorry, but I do not know.  Why ever would you have a ring that had been cut from my finger?” He views Lord Duncan with suspicion.

Lord Duncan: Lord Duncan shakes his head.  “This signet ring had belonged to my brother, Lord Alfred.  Nearly ten years ago, this ring was returned to our family, as well as another item—which lead us to believe that my brother had been killed, since he would not have parted with the items, unless he were dead.”  Then a thought occurs to him of another item upon his late brother’s person.  “Did the monks find anything else upon your person that might tell you something about your past?”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “I cannot say with any certainty about the significance of another item they found concealed upon my person—and removed to tend to me.”

Lord Duncan: “And was this item found  … in your boot?”  Lord Duncan’s eyes twinkle, hoping that his brother Lord Alfred is, indeed, alive.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  Looking astonished, Vicar Whitby nods twice.  “Yes, it was.  I also have it with me now.”

Lord Duncan: “Might it be a silver handled knife in a silver sheath?”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:   Vicar Whitby’s eyes widen in shock as he bends down and slips his left hand within his boot and withdraws the article mentioned by Lord Duncan.  “Is this to what you refer?”

Lord Duncan: “My God!  It is you, brother!  Alfred!”  Lord Duncan throws his arms wide and embraces Vicar Whitby.  Vicar Whitby is too startled to return the embrace, but he does not pull away.

Lady Knott, Lady Madeline, and Lady Elizabeth have tears in their eyes for the brothers’ reunion.  However, Lord Christian is much more circumspect.

Lord Christian:  “I will be delighted if Lord Alfred is found to be alive and reunited with you, Lord Duncan.  But we have to be cautious with regard to how to approach your sister Lady Gwendolyn and parents, the Duke and Duchess of York—in case they do not agree with you—before Lady Constance is approached.  She is so delicate.”  But Lord Christian stops, not wanting to give Vicar Whitby knowledge of Lord Alfred, if he proves not to be Lord Alfred.

Lord Duncan: Looking from Vicar Whitby to Lord Christian, Lord Duncan nods in agreement.  “You are right.  This is a very delicate matter.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Not the least of which, your lordships, is because I do not remember anything before my injuries.  You are not familiar to me, and I fear that I will disappoint your parents and sister by my not knowing them either.  Although I have been a vicar for over nine years, this type of situation has never arisen.  So I have no experience in dealing with it, from a Vicar’s standpoint.”

Finally, the men and women agree that Lord Duncan’s sister Lady Gwendolyn should be consulted before telling their Ducal parents that their brother Lord Alfred Marquess of Malten is very probably alive and in their midst.

And though a Lindsay brother who was lost has likely now been found, Lord Christian wonders what his own brother Lord Harold is up to.   And he will not have long to wait to find out.

To be continued with Chapter 14

 

“Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement): Chapter 13  images for March 17, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1221)

  1. “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art is an image representing Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font  is Vivaldi.
  2. Vicar Whitby (aka Lord Alfred) in a church is David Oakes as Prince Ernst in Victoria; image found at Pinterest at https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a1/83/0d/a1830d234d0c4a1ef81017842c357080.jpg
  3. Lord Christian is Richard Armitage as John Thornton in the 2004 BBC drama North & South and was found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode1/ns1-029.jpg
  4. Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay looking pensive near fireplace is Rupert Penry-Jones in “Persuasion”; image found at the Jane Austen Book Club at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mcRr3B03QgQ/TBsTgPHqYRI/AAAAAAAAFvo/nTclPIi7wQ8/s1600/PDVD_714.jpg
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Maida

 

 


“Expectations” (Book 2)  Ch. 13  URL for Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad story Post  for March 17, 2019:
https://www.wattpad.com/708279138-expectations-book-2-by-gratiana-lovelace-2018

 

Previous “Expectations” (Book 2)  Chapter 12 story URL on my SAL blog post (#1219), on March 10, 2019:
https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/expectations-book-2-ch-12-a-betrothal-promise-was-fulfilled-march-10-2019-by-gratiana-lovelace-post-1219/

Posted in "Expectations" (Book 2), Creative Writing, Drama, Gratiana Lovelace, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Romance, Rupert Penry-Jones, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment