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3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:48 am

"Oh, do you? I prefer to sing! Oh we shall have so much fun, and I'm sure we will find a way that the gentlemen can applaud us soon!"

Bella said the last bit with a sly smile, and her brother immediately bowed, very hard fighting a smile.

"If this is my cue to invite them again, Bella, you don't need to prompt me - I certainly will want to hear you both, and Mama will give a dinner party for this purpose alone, should you just mention it."

With a slightly guilty look to Vickery, he added: "That is, assuming, that Miss Vickery would welcome the invitation and is not too much appalled by my manners. Forgive me, ma'am. I hope I need not say that you are always welcome, Vickery, and need no special invitation. As do you, Gwydyr."

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Emma Vickery on Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:00 am

"Oh, of course I should welcome such an invitation - what lady could resist a chance to show off her talents in such distinguished company as yours?" Emma said with a polite curtsey. "I should be delighted to play for you at any time - if you do not mind Beethoven; he is quite a favourite with my brothers and I."


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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:13 am

"I certainly don't mind - I am quite devoted to his work myself."
Ruefully, he smiled.
"But I must wean myself from the pleasure of your company for the moment, I fear. Bella, if there is anything you want ..."

Wilson cleared his throat.

"I believe you will find a footman will be occupied in the hall, just in case Mr. Bromwell gets lost or cannot resist the charms of Mr. Beethoven's music. shall I send Mr. Bromwell up now?"

Edward pulled his shoulders back and looked around for final confirmation of readiness, just like all the times before he had given any order to advance into enemy territory. Bella grinned at Emma, ready to lead the way to the music room.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:17 am

Willoughby bowed though he was too far back that he could be much noticed by anyone, let alone the two ladies that were ready to depart. He had nodded then, though again thinking that perhaps had he done nothing, it would have been just as well, for Torrington would do the next step no differently.

He knew he would have been much more awkward, should he have needed to speak much to the ladies. Vickery had his sister that helped ease the conversation, and Torrington had his. Either could act as a 'buffer' to the other. He turned to the other entrance instead, pretending to busy himself with the ornaments that were left and right of it and of the style in which Torrington had this room furnished.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  John Vickery on Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:18 am

Emma smiled at her hostess and indicated that she should lead the way to the music room. She was very much looking forward to the prospect of trying someone else's pianoforte.

Vickery nodded, preparing to take his seat again the instant the ladies had left. He was not willing to give a hint that anyone apart from the three gentlemen had ever occupied this room, if it meant that Bromwell were to be thrown off the scent and cut his visit short.


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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:45 am

Bella swiftly ushered Emma out and Edward closed the door behind them, nodding to Wilson. The butler disappeared, leaving the men to arrange themselves around the table again.

Edward tried to recall what Willoughby had last said, feeling he had somewhat neglected him, and replied:

"The horse moved well enough once it was clear of the water. Let us hope that it was nothing more than a unexpected bath and a harsher gallop then it was accustomed to."

While he felt several things could be said to the second part of Willoughby's comment, he prefered not to voice them when the subject of his not entirely complimentary comments was on his way up to see them.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  John Vickery on Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:57 am

Vickery resumed his seat the instant the door closed behind the two ladies.

"I did not see any signs that the animal had strained anything - although I should hesitate before hiring a beast from a common hiring stable, myself. One can have very little idea of how an animal has been treated and therefore how it will react in a strange  situation. I think it a mercy Mr Bromwell was not thrown, all things considered."


Last edited by John Vickery on Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:37 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:49 pm

"I quite disagree with you on that matter." Willoughby, who has sat down, and had listened to the thoughts of both men, replied. "While it is true that each horse has its special traits and its temperament, just as every man has theirs, a good rider shall have the horse know that he expects little funny business. And the horse might test him at first, but shall very quickly understand this." He glanced at the door to see whether the new arrival has yet greeted them with their presence and paused to listen whether the ladies had begun with their play yet: " Most commonly horses in such establishments will grow insensitive towards strikes of the whip, and might stubbornly ignore your demands should they feel that there is even the slightest opening in your confidence, the faintest hint of your riding knowledge lacking." He continued. "There are few that are still too wild at heart... and many that would rather pick a pace of a snail, than that of a vigorous goat." He smiled briefly. "Alas, they may have more experience of the unusual than our own horses, for they are made to walk in parks and places where loud sounds and flighty children are in abundance. I am not of course, comparing them to the military trained horses. Those.. are a 'breed' of their own." This he said more proudly than the rest, for indeed a good military horse for a cavalryman should be worth gold if the cavalryman's heart was in the right place or his common sense.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  John Vickery on Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:30 pm

"I should not care to ride Brandy were he to spend a year in such an establishment, without the time to allow him to learn to trust me again," Vickery said. "But consider - a horse from a hiring stables may go out to an excellent rider with light hands and sense one day and the next may be hired by... by a butcher's boy who has no notion how to make the animal move other than by use of the crop. I would not be surprised to find that the mouths of quite three-quarters of the horses in a hiring stables have been spoilt by unhorsemanlike use of the reins."

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:45 pm

"Yes, they are changed through experience, however it is more often that what they refuse to do, such as move, than, that they wish to throw you. After a time they may not seem to feel the whip at all and it is much harder to bring them into motion. They may be stubborn and 'hateful' but this can hardly be used as an excuse or the horse hardly be blamed for reckless riding that endangers all, young and old." He said the last firmly.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  John Vickery on Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:12 pm

"If a horse bolts, a bad rider is far less likely to be able to keep his seat, and thus will be thrown, which is the fault of the rider not of the horse," Vickery said, and nodded. "It was quite the most reckless sort of riding i have seen in a long while. I should be loath to lend or sell a horse to a man who habitually rides like that, for he is likely to abuse his animals cruelly and then to blame them when they do not do as he wishes."

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:56 am

Before Torrington could rejoin the conversation, Wilson oppened the door and announced:

"Mr. Bromwell, Mylord!"

The man entered right behind, somewhat startled to find Edward not in the expected company of his sister, but of two males that looked very vaguely familiar. He had changed his clothes, and now wore morning dress of impecable cut and style. His legware was a credit to his valet (though Edward less than charitably thought that a darker colour than was the hight of fashion might suit the somewhat soft legs better), the coat was of excellent material and the buckram and wadding worked in so skillfully that it was only noticable to the keenest observer, and Edward could not help but admire how the adoption of Lord Byron's wind-swept hairstyle lend an air of fashionable rakishness even to the most indifferently coloured hair.

Rising, he greeted his guest in most polite tones.

"Mr. Bromwell, how good of you to call so promptly. Allow me to introduce you to Major Vickery, of the 60th Rifles, and Captain the Lord Gwydyr, of the 15th Hussars."

He did not yet mention that they had been instrumental in recovering Bromwell's horse this morning, giving the man a chance to thank them without further prompting, but it was clear that the man did not recognize them when he bowed to them with an expression of impressed confusion on his face.

====

[The ladies have fled to here!]


Last edited by Edward Torrington on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:46 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Shifted the girls to their own thread)

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  John Vickery on Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:56 am

Vickery stood, being careful with his sword, and gave a brief bow as Torrington made the introductions. "Mr Bromwell."

His second viewing of the man was no more promising, really, than the first. He obviously spent far more time in front of his mirror than Vickery judged was strictly necessary. His coat was impeccable, cut in what must be the latest fashion. His trousers were equally fashionable, a pale colour that did not suit him, and his tow-coloured hair was brushed forward in style made popular by the rather dashing Lord Byron.

Vickery himself made no pretensions to following fashion, but did not need to - his uniform was just as dashing, in its own way, as anything Lord Byron's tailor could produce. The dark green jacket with its scarlet collar and bright silver lace suited Vickery's dark hair and tanned skin.

That Bromwell did not recognise him was a little surprising - although if he recognised anything, Vickery would have thought it would be the uniform, which was unusual in both its colour and its style.

He hoped that Bromwell's visit would not last too long.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:41 am

Willoughby nodded last, gazing at the newly arrived peacock. From head to toe he was dressed in the fashion to impress and flaunt the money that he must have possessed for such meticulous dress.

"Mister Bromwell... how is the horse? Any news?" He doubted that the man went to see if the animal was completely unharmed and calmed and that there was no physical, nor mental problems caused by that adventure. He was perhaps somewhat direct in inquiring, and perhaps inconsiderably bold.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:52 am

"The horse, Mylord?", Mr. Bromwell asked, somewhere between surprised and mortified that the 'unfortunate incident' was brought up so directly.

"The Captain was the one who pulled your horse out of the water this morning", Edward informed him softly, which made the man stammer some disjointed sentences. Most likely they were meant to convey thanks, flattery and reassurances, but all in all they only managed to sound uninformed, piqued and syncophantic.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:12 am

"Quite, quite. " Willoughby interrupted the stammer, before it would get even more embarrassing. "You did inquire about its well-being, have you not?" He tilted his head to the side, inquiringly.

"While that animal was most fortunate not to have broken a leg, I would certainly had wished to know." He continued, polite and in a much more refined manner, still chiding the other, like he were a child.

"But,..I am sure you have done so." Unconvinced, but still polite.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:39 am

"It is ... the stable would have ..."

The man fumbled - clearly he had assumed that as long as the stable owner did not appear on his doorstep demanding money, the horse would be uninjured.
Usually Mr. Bromwell was quite a confident young man, but he had never after his school time faced such a dressing down from a person whose rank so clearly demanded respect.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:59 am

"They have not informed you yet?... Oh, understandable." Willoughby made it clear that he was unconvinced and that he would much prefer if the young man would go out of his way now just to make sure the horse is well. " Still, I am most certain you will remedy their wrong, and soon inform me that the horse is in a brilliant state, completely unharmed. Right?" He smiled pleasantly. " Now, excuse me.. you have come to visit Torrington.." He gazed at the man in question and actually looked apologetic for having interrupted him.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  John Vickery on Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:07 am

Vickery had watched this exchange in silence, recognising Willoughby's - Gwydyr's - style of dressing-down. He had employed much the same sort of thing when dealing with rogue Riflemen, after all, and was pretty sure he had upbraided Willoughby himself once in a similar vein, years ago in Portugal.

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John Vickery
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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:13 am

Torrington was rather uneasy - while he echoed Willoughby's sentiments, as the host and aquintance of Bromwell, not to mention the son of his mother's friend, he felt that he should not allow this mortification of the man to go any further. Therefore, before the man had to formulate another stuttering reply, he cut smoothly in:

"I hope you yourself have not taken any harm?"

Which in hindsight was perhaps not so very clever, as it offered Mr. Bromwell an excellent opportunity to expound on the dangers of wet clothes in this weather ("fortunately still rather warm, but there was no denying that there was a chill in the air this morning"), and the thoughts of his mother on this subject.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:22 am

Willoughby's eyes stayed on Bromwell waiting to hear his answer. Would he dare boast about it, or would he consider that he was not the only man who had gotten wet that day and that he better not make it worthy of a medal of some distant battle.

He felt thirsty as well, but would not inquire about it , unless Torrington would offer. Absentmindedly he went to listen to see if the ladies had yet begun to play, or whether they chose to mingle with each other instead.

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Timothy Willoughby
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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:02 am

After assuring the company that he had taken uttermost care of his own health and even gone so far as to take Doctor Livingston's All-Purpose Strengthening Tonic - something his mother swore by -, he went on to solicitously inquire after the effects the water and morning air had had on Willoughby, mentioning that surely he had not needed to be bothered, as he knew for a fact that several persons more suitable for a bath in the serpentine had been nearby and not averse to earning some coin, but of course understanding that such a distinquished cavalry officer would not only react instantly and with the utmost decision, but was also far better accustomed to weathering such adverse circumstances.

He seemed to have found his track again - he managed to unwind this sentence without any stutter at all.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  John Vickery on Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:09 am

"And of course you knew that a cavalry officer would be nearby and, moreover, willing to immerse himself in the Serpentine when you began your mad dash? Some would call it reckless, indeed - I observed more than one young lady of good birth have to remove herself post-haste from your path lest she be run down and harmed," Vickery broke in. His tone was a little chilly, and when he had reached his conclusion, he inclined his head in Torrington's direction. "I beg your pardon, sir."

He had not meant to speak his piece quite so thoroughly, but really - the man could have acted with a little forethought.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:16 am

Willoughby was surprised at a much less pleasant tone that Vickery had taken to speak with Bromwell. It interrupted the lad's recount of the event and soon to be overzealous flattery.

He arched a brow then glanced at Bromwell. Vickery had been a bit harsh, though the youth had been no less deserving of it. He had endangered, willingly or unwillingly, plenty of people in his mad dash. He waited for their host to speak his own mind, knowing that their reception of Bromwell had been far from friendly.

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Re: 3rd October, 1814: Visiting Torrington

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:29 am

Had Bromwell taken the dressing down Willoughby had given him rather well - had he been a dog, he would have rolled belly-up - he was less inclined to do so from somebody who had no lofty title to show for himself. After all, what could a food soldier tell him about riding?

So when Vickery was finished, he found some spine and replied rather snidely and with less contrition than one would hope for:

"I will of course apologize to all ladies who felt that my gallop has disturbed their morning excursions, but as my poor horse only got spooked when some troopers came his way, I was indeed quite certain that there was cavalry present! But I see I have neglected my duty, so if you will excuse me, Mylord, Sir, I will indeed go and inquire after the horse, after I have made my apologies to Lady Isabella and her friend."

Torrington, who when not directly angered was somewhat diffident in nature, had listened to this exchange somewhat helplessly. Now that his sister was introduced into the discussion, however, he quickly inserted that he would certainly convey Bromwell's apologies.

_________________

Story !  God bless you !  I have none to tell, Sir.
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Edward Torrington
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