[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Armitage as Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex, Kate Winslet or Emma Lady Hamilton as Lady Madeline Lucretia Sinclair, Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Polly Mabrey as Lady Elizabeth Blount, Crispin Bonham-Carter as Lord Harold Blount, Dame Judi Dench as Lady Catherine Blount the Dowager Countess of Sussex, Rupert Penry Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay, and others as noted.]
Authors Content Note: “Encouragement” is a frothy love story with sometimes humorous and sometimes dramatic themes of love and relationships. It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of: D for dramatic emotions, and LS for love scenes that are tenderly sensuous and not explicit. And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of each chapter.
Author’s recap from the previous chapter: While shopping with her Grandmama and his younger sister, Lady Madeline and Lord Christian had a heart to heart chat about their respective marriage prospect wishes—and not wanting to be overwhelmed with suitors, in Lady Madeline’s case as she was the past week. For his part, Lord Christian finds himself disappointed because he perceives that Lady Madeline does not consider him a suitor—merely a visitor. Yet that is very far from true as this pair continues to misunderstand one another. For Lady Madeline is Lord Christian’s chosen—if not announced—hoped for betrothed. That is, if his old school chum Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay does not get there first.
“Encouragement, A Regency Tale of Love and Romance”,
Ch. 10: The Kimball Ball, Part I–Sincerity
As the day of the Kimball Ball dawns, Lady Maddie continues ruminating about her week thus far. Firstly, it was only through daily visits with my new friend Lady Elizabeth Lizzie Blount that her brother Lord Christian Blount and I convinced her that she really must attend this Friday night’s Kimball Ball. For Lady Lizzie’s presentation ball is next week, and it will be helpful to her to have the experience of the society and of the requirements of a ball before her own ball.
I know that I am only one week out from my own ball, but I appreciated attending another ball before my own–so I surmise that Lizzie will also appreciate it. And I realize that I have but two weeks of experience in London society. However with my daily lessons as I engage with my suitors, visitors, and friends—especially with our friends the Blounts–I feel that I am trying to find my equilibrium. I believe that I am almost there.
Or so says my Grandmama, Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott. Grandmama is so kind and encouraging to me. Though I still wish—as I revealed to Lord Christian yesterday upon our shopping outing with Lady Lizzie and my Grandmama—that I do not wish to be pursued by so many gentleman. It is daunting. I am not skilled enough in my discernment to weed some of them out of being husband prospects for me. And if I even found some nice gentleman that were suitable and pleasing, he would still not be my paragon, Lord Christian Blount, Earl of Sussex. Lord Christian would be my ideal husband—caring, kind, a man of the world, yet not condescending, and loving.
But it seems not to be. And however much Lord Christian and I allayed Lady Lizzie’s nervousness about the Kimball Ball this week, my nervousness has only increased. For my Grandmama Lady Knott is determined that I be advantageously introduced to Viscount Lord Duncan Lindsay–the heir to the Duke of York. I have only quite recently turned my thoughts to my very much liking Lord Christian Blount, the Earl of Sussex as a prospective husband the more I converse with him–and now my Grandmama proposes a different gentleman to match with me, the Viscount Lord Duncan Lindsay. I have never met the man, but whatever Lord Duncan’s virtues, he will still not be Lord Christian.
Obviously, my own thoughts have not turned away from Lord Christian as a suitor at all. As I have become acquainted with Lord Christian better the past two weeks, I can see his many good qualities. Despite his propensity for knocking ices out of my hands at parties, he dances divinely and is a most amiable gentleman. And he is a doting elder brother to my new friend in his younger sister Lady Elizabeth Blount. And he and Lady Lizzie kindly offered my Grandmama and I a ride to this week’s Kimball Ball–which we gladly accepted.
Sadly, the Dowager Countess of Sussex Lady Catherine Blount–Lady Lizzie’s and Lord Christian’s Grandmother–is once again feeling unwell, so she is unable to join us. Though Lord Christian’s gift to her of the black shawl embroidered with small pale blue roses somewhat cheered her—as my own gift of a cream shawl embroidered with small pink roses delighted my Grandmama. But Lady Blount insisted that her grandchildren Lady Lizzie and Lord Christian attend the Kimball Ball tonight, a chilly but no longer snowing Friday February 9, 1816. And it is anyone’s guess where their brother Lord Harold is. Because I do not believe anywhere near a sick bed is Lord Harold’s forte. Yet he is not with us.
As we take the cozy carriage ride to the Kimball Ball in the Earl of Sussex’ large and comfortably cushioned enclosed carriage–made more agreeable by the warmed bricks at our feet—Lady Lizzie and I discuss our plans for the evening with regard to dancing and refreshments in whispers into each other’s ears.
My Grandmama and Lord Christian sitting across from us in the large carriage also converse in hushed tones.
Lady Knott: “Thank you again for kindly inviting us to ride with you to the Kimball Ball, Lord Christian.”
Lord Christian: “You are are most welcome, My Lady. We are glad that you could join us.” I notice that she does not use her pet name for me, of Christy. “Am I still out of charity with you, Lady Knott? Or am I forgiven for my boorish behavior at Lady Madeline’s presentation ball?”
Lady Knott: I look at this earnest young man for a long moment. He seems sincere. “Since my granddaughter has forgiven you, then I must also” I state pleasantly from years of practice.
Lord Christian: Not willing to let her merely civil response drop, I query. “But?”
Lady Knott: “But, I was disappointed that you chose to take out your frustration upon dear Maddie with regard to your grandmother’s and my own misbegotten matchmaking attempts. Maddie was completely unaware of our hopes. It was not her fault.” I admonish him chastisingly.
Lord Christian: “I am aware of that now.” I say more curtly than I intend. “I have apologized to Lady Madeline and she forgave me. Will you not do the same?” I try not to whine. But Lady Knott tends to make me feel as if she is the school mistress, and I the errant student. And I am well aware of the power that ladies like Lady Knott wield, and I do not want her ire at me to become misdirected at my sister Lady Lizzie.
And I admit that I am put out that Lady Knott no longer considers me a viable suitor for Lady Madeline. Even though I had not originally sought that office, I have warmed to the idea of a matrimonial arrangement with Lady Madeline Sinclair and its benefits to my family–more particularly to my sister Lady Lizzie’s marriage prospects by my receiving the Knott dowry money saved for Lady Madeline. Yet, Lady Madeline’s dowry is no longer my sole goal now. Lady Madeline has my heart, as I wish to have hers.
Lady Knott: “Very well.” Then I change the subject. “I hear from my granddaughter Maddie that you know the Viscount Lindsay, Lord Duncan.” I am eager to hear more about the Duke of York’s heir. And if I can promote some jealousy on Lord Christian’s part with regard to my granddaughter Lady Maddie’s marriage prospects, all the better. I do not give up easily, and mine and Lady Cathy’s hopes are still afloat with our grandchildren’s continued society with each other.
Lord Christian: I take a calming breath and reply to her through somewhat clenched teeth. “I do. We were schoolmates at Eton.”
I am not certain why, but I bristle at thinking that my friend–the Viscount, Lord Duncan Lindsay–is now in Lady Knott’s thoughts for Lady Madeline’s matrimonial prospects. Whilst I am pushed aside, discarded as a potential suitor for Lady Madeline—when just last week our grandmothers were encouraging the match. My past tense fate is both humbling and humiliating.
Lady Knott: “We thank you for agreeing to introduce my granddaughter Lady Madeline to Viscount Lindsay. Were they to take a liking with each other, it would be a brilliant match!” My eyes sparkle with hope. Though my true hope for my granddaughter Maddie is not what I have lead Lord Christian to believe.
Lord Christian: “There is no better man than Lord Duncan. I commend you for your choice.” What else can I say? Lord Duncan is a good man. And it is not in my nature to try to further my own goals at the expense of others. In that, Lady Madeline and I agree wholeheartedly.
Lady Knott: “Ah! Yes, thank you. Now it remains to be seen whether the Viscount is my granddaughter Lady Madeline’s choice.”
Lord Christian: “Indeed.” I pause at Lady Knott’s use of the word choice to describe Lady Madeline’s matrimonial prospects. And I wonder who else Lady Knott might hope for her granddaughter to become acquainted with as a potential suitor? The list is becoming rather long—with Lord Duncan, myself, to other Lords and Duke, and my brother Harold. Though Harold is out of the running, in my view.
And then our carriage ride with the Blounts comes to a stop at the Kimball’s London Mansion with extensive grounds and my friend Lady Lizzie grips my hand like a vise before we exit the carriage. I turn to her next to me on the bench and say soothingly.
Lady Madeline: “Lizzie, Dear, it will be alright. We will have fun tonight, I promise. And your brother and his friend Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay will insure that we do not want for dance partners.”
Lady Lizzie: “But that is the problem. I am certain that I will faint when I see Lord Duncan. I was only a child when last I saw him, but he made a lasting impression upon me.”
Lady Madeline: “It seems that my Grandmama also favors him.” I roll my eyes. “Come, Lizzie. Let us meet this paragon of manly perfection.” Then I turn to Lord Christian with an impish smile as he assists me out of the carriage. “And to think that once you made me tremble with your handsomeness, Lord Christian.” In truth, Lord Christian makes me tremble all the time. If only he would welcome my forming an attachment to him.
Lord Christian: My eyes widen as I assist Lady Madeline out of the carriage. “Did I, Lady Madeline? Was I not the granite mountain who knocked ices out of your hands?” I counter cheekily. She responds with the lightest of lilting laughter—quite charming.
Lady Madeline: “Ha ha ha ha ha! That you were–but you were my granite mountain, Lord Christian.” I smile up at him shyly as I turn to gaze at him after reaching solid ground. Lord Christian is a good and a nice man. It is a pity that he sees me only as his sister Lady Lizzie’s little friend. Because I do not view him with sisterly affection.
Lord Christian ponders Lady Madeline’s statements wondering what she can be about–telling him that she had fancied him. Had being the operative past tense verb.
As my cloak is taken by the servant after we enter the Kimball’s grand marble foyer, my pale blue satin gown trimmed with delicate lace at the bodice and capped sleeves is revealed. I feel that my gown’s shade complements my hair to perfection. Or at least, I hope it does. Then I turn to look at Lord Christian, who seems to be staring at me.
Lord Christian freezes [(2) right] upon seeing Lady Madeline’s evening cloak removed. For before him stands Lady Madeline Sinclair– an ethereally beautiful goddess with her auburn curls framing her delicately featured face, and a plunging neckline on her gown bodice that is giving him a pounding heart, thundering in his ears.
This is no girl before him, but a womanly temptress divine. Yesterday, she was merely pleasant and charming. And now? He wonders how in one day, that she could effect such a change upon her person? Lady Madeline might be only a few months older than his own seventeen year old sister Lady Lizzie. But Lord Christian thinks that Lady Madeline is a woman fully grown and he aches in his heart—and elsewhere—for her to become his bride and wife. Soon. To love and to cherish her for all of their days together.
Lady Madeline: “You are staring at me, Lord Christian. Is my gown hem ripped or do I have a blotch upon my face?” I gaze up at him worriedly [(3) right] through my lashes. Though Lord Christian’s eyes to not seem to be focused upon my gown hem.
Jolted out of my reverie, I remember my manners and bow to Lady Madeline.
Lord Christian: “No indeed! I was merely struck by how the burnished hue of your lovely tresses are complemented by your pale blue gown. And your lovely creamy complexion could never be thought of as blotchy.” I hope that I do not seem to be gushing. But by jove! Lady Madeline looks quite enchanting this evening!
Lady Madeline: “Oh! Well! That is alright, then!” I smile prettily at Lord Christian as I blush. He also looks a bit flushed. Then I turn and glide gracefully after my Grandmama Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott who is slowly making her way up the stairs to the second floor where the ballroom is.
However, as we are announced and enter into the large and elegantly decorated Kimball ballroom, I feel quite alone due to the enforced protocol of introductions. As the Earl of Sussex, Lord Christian Blount enters first with his sister Lady Lizzie upon his arm, then my Grandmama Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott enters, and finally I enter by myself, Lady Madeline Sinclair.
I see all eyes looking at me as I hold my head up and greet their inquiring eyes with a small smile as I glide into the ballroom. And I wonder if they are calculating my dowry size–and how it might replace their manor roofs or afford them a London townhome. I feel like a piece of meat at the market–though I am certain that my Grandmama would decry that metaphor. And yet, I vow to maintain a serene countenance, despite their impolite ogling.
We greet our hosts, the Kimball’s whose daughter Penelope is being honored with this evening’s ball. She is a tall, reed thin girl of golden hair so favored my men—or at least, favored by my Sinclair brothers. Lady Penelope seems pleasant with a musical tone to her voice, but I do not know her. And I notice that her gown is rather an almost white pale ivory, and I wonder if my pale blue gown is too showy. I know that married ladies may often be found in vibrantly hued gowns, whereas unmarried ladies tend to wear white or ivory. But I am tired of white gowns. And my Grandama did not say anything contrary about my gown’s pastel light blue color choice for tonight. So, perhaps, Lady Penelope merely prefers white clothes to match her blond hair. Hmmm.
Then the Blounts and Grandmama and I stroll about the room until we find an unoccupied sette. And there upon it, we deposit my Grandmama Lady Knott and I. Lord Christian bows, then he takes his sister Lady Lizzie onto the dance floor for a waltz. Lady Lizzie looks a bit uncertain—until after the second or third twirl that her brother enacts for her enjoyment. He is such an expert dancer, that my friend Lady Lizzie must feel like she is dancing upon clouds. Then Lord Christian has Lady Lizzie laughing and enjoying herself—I presume with his commentary about the others in attendance, to help puncture her nervousness.
So Grandmama and I chat and remark about the people whom she knows who are in attendance. I can honestly say that I am stunned at the number of individuals who do not pay their bills, ride poorly, sing abominably, or are disliked by dogs, etc. Shocking!
Then Lady Knott spies the Viscount Lord Duncan Lindsay across the ballroom as he is announced. Lady Knott has been particularly listening for his introduction.
Lady Knott: “Ah! Maddie! The Viscount is here!”
Lady Madeline: “He is? Where?” I notice my Grandmama’s head tilt and my eyes follow its direction to a tallish, well built, and superbly dressed youngish man, who is probably in his late twenties or early thirties [(4) right] –as is Lord Christian. His black jacket, ivory waistcoat and cravat, and dove grey breeches look as if they were tailored to perfection, since they fit his muscular and broad shouldered frame so well. “Lady Lizzie was right!” I gush as I stare at him across the ball room.
Lady Knott: “What did you say, Maddie Dear?” I heard her, but I wonder if my granddaughter will become besotted with the Ducal heir? And if so, what will happen to poor Christy?
Lady Madeline: “Lady Lizzie told me that Lord Duncan had made a lasting impression upon her eight years ago. I can see why. He is magnificent!” Where Lord Christian is dark and brooding, this Lord Duncan is blond and smiling agreeably. Well, perhaps, Lord Duncan’s collar is not starched quite so sharply as Lord Christian’s. Though I could never understand why gentlemen want collars so highly starched that they cannot move their head. What sense—or comfort—is there in that? The young man is quickly gobbled up within a sea of diaphanous ballgowns from the surrounding maidens and their mamas.
Lady Knott: “He is, indeed. And when you meet Lord Duncan tonight, dear Maddie, please curb your … forthright conversational tendencies.” I plead. “Let him direct the course of the conversation. If he calls upon you in the future, then you might share some of your interests with him—but only if he asks.”
Lady Madeline: “Very well, Grandmama.” I wince. And I wonder how is one to discern if a particular man is someone whom I might wish to marry if we do not converse without constraint—in order to find out our commonalities and dissimilarities? I ponder this perplexing notion through the remainder of Lady Lizzie’s and Lord Christian’s dance.
After Lord Christian finishes dancing with his sister Lady Lizzie, he then brings her back to us and proposes switching dance partners–to me.
Lord Christian: “Lady Madeline, may I have the next dance?” I extend my hand to her, and she takes it.
Lady Madeline: “Thank you, Lord Christian.” I smile gratefully as I stand. Then as we walk to the dance floor, I lean in and whisper to him. “At least I will have one dance tonight. I think the striking Lord the Viscount Duncan Lindsay standing over there amongst all of the ladies is too handsome to be interested in me.” Much like yourself, I feel like adding.
Lord Christian: As the waltz begins I ask myself, did Lady Madeline just state that she found Lord Duncan handsome? Does that mean that she does not find me handsome anymore? “Oh no, Lady Madeline. You look very lovely this evening. Lord Duncan will find you charming.” My eyes gaze over her copper hued curls framing her delicate face, and her shimmering pale blue satin and ivory lace ball gown encasing her womanly curves. “Now that you are out, you will have to beat off suitors with a stick.” Like most women, she will probably view it as a triumph to be so admired.
Lady Madeline: “But I do not want that–to be fought over.” I pout.
Lord Christian: I look at her in astonishment. First yesterday, in particular, she bemoans having had too many callers. And now she decries having potentially ardent suitors in general. “You do not?” Lady Madeline slightly shakes her head no. “Why not?”
Lady Madeline: “Apart from it being ludicrous that suitors will fall prostrate at my feet, how am I to get to know anyone sufficiently for me to want to marry them if they are fighting amongst themselves and not conversing with me?” That would be even worse than them merely plying me with poems and posies.
Lord Christian: She has a point, I will give her that. “There are always balls and concerts, or trips to the museums, or visiting art galleries.” I suggest.
Lady Madeline: “Those are potential locations for real conversations. But no one lets their guard down and speaks from their heart at such stilted occasions. Everyone is on their best behavior–including me. Grandmama’s orders tonight.” I roll my eyes. Then I think of Lord Christian taking me into his confidence and telling me of his family’s precarious financial situation–not unlike my own, but for my Grandmama’s sponsorship. He and I have always spoken honestly with each other—though moderately at cross purposes.
Lord Christian: “I will grant you, balls can be a superficial way to meet and get to know someone. Yet, it is the system we have in place for meeting, selecting, and then courting our future spouses.”
Lady Madeline: “And I find it tedious. There is so much more we could be doing with our time and money, rather than going to endless dress fittings and social engagements.”
Lord Christian: “Most ladies would disagree with you, Lady Madeline. What would you prefer to do?”
Lady Madeline: “I feel a yearning to help people in need–children, especially. I do not know if I can make a difference, But I mean to at least try.”
Lord Christian: “That is very commendable, Lady Madeline.” I nod at her respectfully.
Lady Madeline: “And I fear that my social betterment interests will clash with any Lord’s wishes for a wife. And I will disappoint my Grandmama. She has been so good to me, and to my whole family. And Grandmama so wants me to make an advantageous match with a nobleman in this my first season. Hhhh!” Lady Madeline sighs, her feeling caught between her duty to her Grandmama and her personal hopes and dreams.
Lord Christian: “And your Grandmama’s present focus is upon Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay?” I try to sound neutral about having a competitor for Lady Madeline’s attentions, but I am certain that I fail since my tone seems churlish even to me.
Lady Madeline: “Yes.” I nod hesitantly. I cannot explain it, but I feel almost betraying Lord Christian by entertaining Grandmama’s wishes for Lord Duncan. Yet, Lord Christian has not given me any indication that he prefers me over any other lady. Though his compliments to me tonight were quit nice. So unusual for him. And then, there is my new friend Lady Lizzie’s interest in Lord Duncan. “But your sister Lady Lizzie has expressed a preference for Lord Duncan. And I would not risk her friendship by trodding upon her tender heart–just for a husband.”
Lord Christian: “You would refuse Viscount Lindsay for my sister Lizzie’s sake?” I ask her incredulously. “What if he were your soulmate, but you simply have not realized that yet?” I could bite off my tongue for making such a suggestion that might undermine my chances with Lady Madeline. But, I do not seem to be able to speak anything but the truth with and to her–and what is in her best interests. Frankly, I am rather astonished at my less than self seeking actions with regard to Lady Madeline. Could it be that her happiness is more important than my own to me?
Lady Madeline: “I hope that I will be discerning about who might be the best husband for me, and who will not cause others pain.” I soulfully look into Lord Christian’s eyes, hoping that he understands what I am trying to say–that I admire him.
Lord Christian: “Lady Madeline, just because you are introduced to someone, it does not mean that you are required to allow him to court you. Afterall, you refused me.” I remark a tad curtly. Her refusal still stings. Though I see now how my half hearted suit must have looked from her perspective–as if I were only interested in her money. Though I would wish otherwise, my initial interest in Lady Madeline’s money is no better than my brother Harold’s.
Lady Madeline: “Yes, Lord Christian. But that was because you did not wish for me to be your wife. And you had not technically made me an offer.” I pointedly remind him. “So I thought it best to end the farce, as you phrased it at my presentation ball.” Though my heart wrenches at my stupidity for rejecting Lord Christian. He very easily could have my heart–if he would but claim it.
Lord Christian: “Hhhh! My apologies, again. It was unforgivable of me to say such a thing.” I shake my head at my ill mannered behavior then.
Lady Madeline: “No it was not. You were being honest. And I appreciate that. And I am being honest when I say that I want a husband who loves me, and not only my money.” Is it so inconceivable that I might find such a man? Might Lord Christian be that man, I wonder?
Lord Christian: “And what if there is a good man who loves you, but who also needs your money?” I query her portentously and listen eagerly for her response.
Lady Madeline: I think about his question before replying. “Then I suppose that this good man would need to convince me of the sincerity of his feelings for me.” I smile shyly while looking hopefully [(5) right] at Lord Christian. Surely, he can be in no doubt about my wishes. I have been plain spoken, have I not? I could not be more clear were I to reach up on my tip toes and kiss him. I blush at my brazen thoughts. A lady does not make overtures—she receives them. Well, not that—kissing—not until marriage. Now I will see how he responds.
Lord Christian: “Then let us hope that you find someone who is sincere.” And sincerity has never been one of my strong suits.
Lord Christian continues to brood. I may be sincere in my affections toward her now. But without my expressly telling her that I am sincere, I doubt that she will realize it. It is not in my nature to flatter and fawn over a person whom I admire, as others might. Yet it seems that the more affable chaps do that with simpering effectiveness. Some might call me brusque and overly serious, but I simply believe that respecting others enough to be honest with them is right and just. However, I realize that in doing so, that I might not be perceived as being of a romantic sort.
So, I worry that this defect or deficit in my personality places me at a disadvantage with regard to my hoping to court Lady Madeline and have her become my bride, my countess. And then there is Lord Duncan, the Viscount Lindsay yet to contend with this night—for my sister Lady Lizzie, and for Lady Madeline. But I have never shied away from a challenge, and I will not do so now.
To be continued with Chapter 11
“Encouragement”, Ch. 10 References by Gratiana Lovelace, October 17, 2016 (Post #984)
1) The “Encouragement” story cover is an image representing our young heroine Lady Madeline Sinclair, is the young Emma Hart in a straw hat at 17 years old in painted by George Romney in 1782; she was later to marry Sir William Hamilton in 1791 and become Emma Lady Hamilton, was found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma,_Lady_Hamilton#/media/File:George_Romney_-_Emma_Hart_in_a_Straw_Hat.jpg ; For more about Emma Lady Hamilton, nee Emma Hart/Amy Lyon please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma,_Lady_Hamilton
2) Lord Christian Blount is Richard Armitage in North &South 2004, Promos pix 28 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/NandSPromo/album/slides/NandSPromo-28.html
3) Lady Madeline’s pale blue silk evening gown for the Kimball Ball is Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood in 1995’s Sense & Sensibility found at http://dzbawards.com/images/actresses/sense.jpg
4) Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay wearing a Waterfall cravat image is of Rupert Penry Jones as Captain Frederick Wentworth in “Persuasion” found at Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/44/3d/db/443ddbb85a3217c76611f6db0f891839.jpg
5) Lady Madeline’s pale blue silk evening gown for the Kimball Ball is Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood in 1995’s Sense & Sensibility found at Pinterest and http://geek-adjacent.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SenseSensibility-ElenorMarianne-600×290.jpg
Previous Blog Ch. 9 Story link with embedded illustrations: