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New to the District

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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:49 am

"I suppose we must all have our favourite spot," Emma said, smoothing her skirts again. "Mama far prefers Bath to anywhere else except London - she does love being in Society, you see." She folded her hands in her lap. "Do you hunt? Or do you prefer fishing, or shooting?"

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:00 am

Her mother sounded rather like his elder sister, he thought. Eliza would be cross for the rest of the year if she wasn't able to go to the Capital for the Season.

"I do hunt, though mostly for the fun of riding, and fish, if the occassion permits, but have never been much good at shooting. That was my brother's domain."

He added some texture to her dress, then darkened the walls in the background to better set off her brighter colours.

"Does your family hunt, too? I know that your brother does, but I haven't had occassion yet to ask with which pack. Do you keep your own?"

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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:05 am

She nodded. "We do. And yes, my brother hunts - he shoots as well. I suppose that is why he joined the Rifles." She chuckled a little. "Although, I believe he finds that the men are better shots than he is. Still, I suppose that is to be preferred, when the quarry are French soldiers and not harmless pheasants."

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:51 am

He joined in her chuckle.

"Probably, yes. There are some remarkably fine shots in the company, but his own batman is the best."

Edward applied some finishing touches, then put his pencil down. He knew from experience that even if he tried further, it wouldn't get better. If he wanted to improve on that painting, he would have to start a new one. Silently, he passed the book to her. On the open page, Emma was sitting at the table, glancing out of the window, beautiful and serene, but indubitably a lady with a mind and a brain of her own.

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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:01 am

She took the offered sketch book and studied the completed drawing. "You have a good eye and a fine hand, sir," she said. "I must own I am flattered. You draw very well. Thank you for showing me." She passed the book back, a faint blush colouring her cheeks. "What other accomplishments do you have? Do you like music, maybe? Or do you prefer to dance?"

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:27 am

Edward looked a bit ruefully down at his fingers.

"You flatter me. It doesn't do you justice."

He took up her offer of anther subject with alacrity.

"I like to listen to music, if it is well played, but I can't claim any accomplishment of my own there, unless you count some amateur efforts to provide my sisters with a second voice in their duets. As for my dancing, should I ever have the fortune to meet you again in Britain and the occasion permit it, I will do myself the pleasure of asking for a dance so you might decide for yourself. I know that I would greatly enjoy it."

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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:33 am

"I should be pleased to accept," she replied, a distinct twinkle in her eyes. "Of course, I should be even more pleased should it transpire you are lighter on your feet than Mr Cowdray. He has the misfortune to dance like a cart-horse."

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:19 pm

"Not having seen a cart-horse dance yet, I am of course loath to comment on that, but I hope I might pass that test and at least be linked to a hack."

His eyes helt an answering twinkle.

"Who's Mr Cowdray? I don't think I know the family."

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Edward Torrington
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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:34 pm

"He belongs to one of the landed families in our district - there is no title, which is no disgrace, of course. He is very often at the local Assemblies, despite his lack of grace when dancing. Whoever has accepted his invitation to dance must needs be very light on her feet, lest she find her toes - or her gown - stepped upon. Which, one need hardly say, is no mean feat in a country dance."

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:15 am

"Then, since you have danced with him voluntarily, I must conclude that you are obviously very well able to face such challenges. Let me assure you that the pleasure of dancing with you will be infinite."

He smiled, a mischievious twinkle in his eyes.


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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:58 am

"You tease me, sir. How do you know that I do not come away from a set with Mr Cowdray with my feet trod all over and feeling altogether as though a carthorse has been dancing all over them because I was too slow to prevent him from treading all over me?" she replied, laughing.

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:04 am

Edward grinned.

"Instinct. And of course the fact that your brother told me that you were a very accomplished lady."

He tilted his head a bit, shrugging lightly, then explained honestly: "I think if Mr Cowdray had made a habit out of using your feet instead of the floor to dance on, you wouldn't jest about it the way you do."

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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:36 pm

"I may be merely in the habit of laughing at myself and those around me," she replied, smiling. "As it happens, however, I consider myself to be not ungraceful in a ballroom. I have not managed to disgrace Mama yet, at least."

He looked far nicer when he smiled, and she wondered if he cultivated his stern expression merely to discourage people from talking with him. His grin had a sort of boyish charm that reminded her a little of her brother, although there was very little that the two of them had in common, apart from some slight similarities of height and build. And bearing - though perhaps Captain Torrington was a little more erect than her brother, in his carriage?

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:59 am

"I doubt that you ever will."

He collected book and pencil again and idly began to sketch the whole room with them sitting near the window. With another of his slightly rueful smiles that seemed to become easier the longer he talked to Emma, he asked:

"Do you consider the question whether you like music too predictable now?"

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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:09 am

"It may be predictable, but is that not the best way to keep a conversation going once it threatens to come to a halt?" She adjusted the position of her book on the table in relation to the tray. "Yes, I do like music. I play the pianoforte better than I draw, and Papa is to engage a tutor so I can begin to play the harp - I have longed to learn to play the harp since I first heard it played, in Town."

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:21 am

"Then I will also wish not only for the honour of a dance with you, but also to hear you play some time. What do you like to play most? The novelties? A certain composer? Duets?"

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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:42 am

"Have you heard of Beethoven? He is a composer of note, in Bonn, I believe, and he has written some interesting music for the pianoforte. There is one especially beautiful piece of his that I like, a sonata." She smiled. "There are other composers, of course - we live in such an age for music and poetry. I will try almost anything written for the pianoforte, although I may not do it justice. I play country dances, too, when we have visitors who like to dance."

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:36 am

He smiled.

"I have indeed heard of Beethoven. I will gladly admit that he is indeed a very fine composer. Have you ever heard his songs? There are several beautiful pieces of music there, but I especially like one about a little flea."

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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:52 am

She shook her head. "I do not think I know that one, though it sounds delightful." She smiled. "Well, if one can consider fleas to be delightful, that is, of course."

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:19 am

"Well, this one is very important. It's a king's flea and a minister, no less."

Edward grinned.

"Should I ever have a chance to do so, I will have the score sent to you, should you not consider it impertinent. Which sonata is your favourite?"

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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:57 am

"His Moonlight Sonata. It is so simple and so beautiful." She smiled."Have you heard it at all?" She would be surprised if he had not... although he probably did not have much opportunity to hear any music played in Portugal that was not military music.

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:00 am

"Possibly, but I must admit that I can't put the title to a specific piece. Would you mind ...?"

He looked around, hoping that this strange place might sport a piano so that she at least could play out the motive for him. He was missing hearing a beautiful piece of music, even if his affection for music wasn't of that sort that collected tunes like butterflies and immediatly labelled them for future referrence. Even just being reminded of it would be worth something, but he believed her when she said that she was skilled on the piano.

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Edward Torrington
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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:40 am

"In the corner behind you, sir," she said, guessing that he was looking for a piano so that he could hear her play. "Of course I would not mind. After all, what lady could refuse to show off her skills to an admirer?" She smiled and got up to take her seat on the piano stool.

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Re: New to the District

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:51 am

He followed her to the instrument, opening it for her and pulling back the sashes on a window behind her to give her good light to play. Then he picked a chair where he could listen comfortably. Before he sat down, he made a little bow, teasing, yet oddly serious at the same time.

"You may count me among them."

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Re: New to the District

Post  Emma Vickery on Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:55 am

"Do you flatter every lady of your acquaintance thus, sir?" she asked, adjusting her seat and smoothing her skirts again. "It is a beautiful instrument," she added, playing a couple of scales to get a feel for it.

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Re: New to the District

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