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3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Marashar on Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:20 am

After an introduction of the Countess's companion, who acknowledged them gracefully, and a short exchange of pleasantries, they parted ways again – although Countess von Lieven made a point of telling Major Vickery that she very much hoped to see him at Almack's before long.
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Isabella Walham on Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:33 am

Bella made an amused sound. "As long as they manage to stay on his good side. Edward can be frightfully stiff if he does not approve of somebody, and I will declare that a suitor who can not mix companionably with my family would not suit me very well. He might be amendable to gifts, perhaps, but I am quite sure that he would find flowers not quite to his taste."

++++++++

"It is certainly true that you see sides of your fellow men you would not see otherwise, and if friendship develops, it perhaps has more true founding than it would have under ... less harsh circumstances", Torrington replied contemplatively.

++++

"If you go only North and South, it would indeed be enough. As soon as you also go east and west, you need a good chronometer as well" James explained.

"And it is always very helpful if you have a good idea where you are at the beginning. But even if you are lost ... I think it is not harder or easier than getting lost in a big forest. There are strategems you can use to help you get unlost again, and if you know where you are, then you can get home ... the only real trouble is whether your water and your provisions will hold out that long."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  John Vickery on Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:45 am

The two resumed their circuit of the room.

"Are all the Lady Patronesses possessed of such memories?" Vickery enquired of his sister in a murmur once they were a distance away.

"I could not say, but she may merely have enquired of one of her companions," Emma said. "As for attending Almack's, you know we have vouchers."

"And Mother would not give me a moment's peace if I do not attend at least once before retiring into the country," Vickery said, and patted Emma's arm.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Marashar on Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:01 am

Although the Countess certainly had a very sharp mind and good memory, in this case she had had a little bit of help. After the display before, it had taken only minutes until Lady Jersey had known the names of all the participants, and her particular friends soon had been in the possession of the same knowledge.
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:03 am

"Well then, it is best that all are informed what pleases your brother and what does not." Willoughby spoke, slowly coming to a stop when they could go no further. "It would be terribly inconvenient if you find someone of your liking but then he is disliked by your brother and thus.. cannot at all hope for confirmation from your side."

He gazed at the dark sllhuettes of trees, as if expecting that from one of those something would jump out. Perhaps he had seen movement in one of the tree tops, that was not caused by the breeze, for after a moment in which he gazed curiously at Bella, he turned to the same spot again.

++

"It is good to find friends in such harsh times." Catherine spoke thoughtfully. "I cannot imagine not having my sister or my friends, and I have far from experienced adverse moments, but to be without them in the cold or dark or when under fire... " She shook her head. She could not imagine properly how it would be to stand on the battlefield. She did read the news, she heard her friends talk, she knew of the letters of those friends but nothing could present the harsh reality as well as if she had been there. "Oh , I am sorry. Would you like to talk of something else? I have not meant to be inconsiderate." She said truthfully realising that such a topic might have been quite sensitive to one who had just returned, but more so, that it was not the best place to discuss it

+

"Oh... provisions! ..but can you not catch fish?" She had been convinced that the sea was full of them so that at least the food would not be something the men needed to worry about. Of course the sea was not good to drink, so water was something that caused much greater worry in her opinion!



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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:50 am

Bella, noticing his momentary distraction, turned her head to see what had claimed his attention. Instinctively, sh stepped closer to Willoughby and the rest of the group.

"Have you seen something amiss?", she whispered.

--------

A rueful, sad little smile played around Torrigton's lips for a moment. "You are not inconsiderate. But perhaps we should tonight rather cling to the thought of the friends we have made there."

He led her to the balustrate.

"And the new friends we are making now, back home, with the thread of war and invasion gone."

---------

"We can, though not nearly as well as a real fisher can. But you get sick rather quickly if you try to survive only on fish and hard tack. When you see sailors with their teeth missing, that is a common syndrome for long spells without fresh fruit. And of course the water is the main concern. Even if you have enough drinking water, after a time it gets foul."

He suddenly grimaced.

"Forgive me. Not the subjects one should discuss with a lady after suppper."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:09 am

Willoughby took a half step to the side to give Bella more space. "..It is probably nothing, most certainly not French." He answered, his gaze trained on the area where he had seen movement. "..ah no.." He added after a moment when he saw it again. From the spot a dark silhuette was seen in flight, dropping fast to the ground. It was gone as quickly as it had appeared.

For a few moments he looked animated, happy, without the mask of propriety and of acceptance that he was intended to entertain that evening but think no more of it the next. He looked genuinely pleased to have spotted the animal in the dark.

"Have you seen that?"

++

"I wholeheartedly agree." Catherine smiled charmingly and pleasantly. She was relieved that Torrington had not taken offense, nor became distressed by her lack of consideration. Her hold on his arm was gentle and light but wished to give the support that no man might aknowledge openly, but might want never the less.

"With the events of today you might need to wave through them and bat them aside to ever be able to reach your own home." She mused. "I would suggest a sturdy carriage."

++

"You need not worry! I delight in hearing about the..odder things you can never find in books. You will never read in a novel that a seaman had lost his teeth because of the terrible conditions on board. Oh no.. they are all filled with such pleasantries that make you wonder if you would not want to abandon your abhorring life there for one of such luxury." Anne spoke softly and chuckled. "You need not fear, If my sensitivities might be in danger, I shall not hesitate to tell you. But please do not tell that to my sister, she would scold me so!"


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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Isabella Walham on Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:55 pm

Bella had seen some movement and for just a moment, large yellow orbs reflecting the light. Trying to see where the bird was now, she leaned over the balustrade.

"Yes ... it was some kind of owl, wasn't it? Can you still see it?"

--------------------

Torrington laughed briefly and without any real mirth.

"Certainly. If not because of the friends, then because of the enemies. But still, I think I will keep this evening in very fond memory for the aquintances I made."

Nevertheless, he watched his cousin warily.

"Your sister has very engaging manners."

There was neither criticism nor infatuation in his voice, only a slight prompting; if there was something he needed to know, now would be the time to inform him.

-----------

James laughed softly.

"Your secret is safe with me."

His eyes twinkled.

"It can't be my objective to make her view me as somebody who has an unfortunate influence on her sister. So let me try to improve my standing by offering that life on board is not always unpleasant and that having to aquire fresh food fairly regularily means that you get to taste a surprising array of fruits, vegetables and meat. When we brought some good news to an island in the South Seas, the grateful chief gifted each of my men with a banana - personally presented to each them by a delegation of his tribe. The confusion that caused entertained us for nearly a week."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:16 pm

"I can't see it. We could..." At that he bit his tongue. What he was nearly to propose would have been fine had Bella been a fellow gentleman and even then it might be considered a little boystrous and silly, but he could not under any excuse suggest that they go into the bush together to find the owl! "uh... wait to see if it returns." He spoke after his earlier hesitation, his embarrassement barely concealed. "Or we could ask your brother whether we could ride in the country sometime... at the earliest or later hour, before it is night in hopes that we might see more wildlife than wishes to appear during the day." He hoped it was a good enough save and certainly did not want to have Bella feel as if he had nearly offended her integrity!

-----
"I would suggest that the identity of the horse you intend to ride remains as long a secret as it can, and then... certainly it would do should you have any of the soldiers stand guard on them." She could imagine it almost, though she was not sure whether an engineer had any of his own or whether he would need to borrow them from another side.

Following Torrington's gaze she could see what seemed to weigh on the gentleman's mind. "She is a delightful creature." She spoke softly, giving some praise to her little sister, knowing full well that what she would say could determine Anne's happyness be it directly or indirectly. "I am quite surprised of her today. It must be the charm of your cousin that captivates her so." In this she hoped that should there be more that she should know, Torrington would say it too. "For she is not known to engage in conversation with many gentlemen. Friendly she is, do not understand me wrong." She hastened to say. "Amiable and inquisitive and honest. She values that most."

----

Anne listened and tried to imagine just how grand such a life could be, even with its flaws and its sickness and danger. To be the first to taste an exotic fruit, the one to bring home, or send home something exquisite and strange, and see the world beyond how books would describe it. Her imagination reflected in her gaze, her smile a little dreamy and yet also filled with the excitement and curiosity.

"It must be so exciting to see animals that nobody has ever sketched, taste the fruit that only the locals have ever eaten and discover so much more than we here can ever imagine. All hardships are forgotten when this is the reward!" As if to reign her own excitement in, should it bother James and knowing it more proper that she would act calm and composed and not dream like a child, she straightened a little.

Still, she could not keep her face serious for too long, and with the radiant smile she inquired again. "Do you ever bring them home with you? Have you had a monkey on board? Or one of those colourful parrots, the big ones?"

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Isabella Walham on Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:15 am

If Bella had realized the faux-pas Willoughby had nearly commited, she did not show it, commenting only on what Willoughby had really said.

"That would be nice. I'm sure Mama would allow it if Edward came along. Will you be coming to visit soon, then? – Oh, have you heard that? She must have flown to her branch again!"

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:22 am

"I would be glad to if my performance from the last time had not been so bad that you might bar the door before me." Willoughby answered and then as quickly turned to where she had said it would be He thought he might still have caught a glimpse of it before it was back in the tree.

"Lovely, aren't they? Amazing hunters too..and..it's amazing how far their heads can turn. It would look rather creepy if we could do something like that."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:23 am

"She matches him well in that regard", Torrington replied.

"Although I think James would place loyalty highest. But then, his line of work requires it, and he very much loves his profession. He might not be one of those sailors who cling to the sea like others cling to a bottle of rum, but I guess she will always call to him."

He took a small step back to still see Isabella without having to turn from his current partner.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:34 am

"Loyalty is an amiable trait in a man, a highly sought after one." Catherine did not add that it was also a rare sort of trait.

"You need not worry about Anne's loyalty. She may not give it freely, but whomever earns it may have no fear that such trust may be betrayed." She smiled."... your sister has managed to enchant my cousin it seems." She gazed at Torrington with a playful twinkle in his eye. "It must run in the family, this!"
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:45 am

Torrington's mouth quirked.

"Perhaps it is more correct to say that he has intriqued her. She does not usually focus so much on just one person out of a group. But then, your cousin does have many interesting things to tell. Making a very dashing figure in his regimentals is of course not detrimental either."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:48 am

"As do many of others. Ever since the man have returned, a uniform of the military kind is no longer a rarity.. it is perhaps more rare that the military fashion is adhered directly... but not that it is worn by a greater number." Catherine smiled and found it a little amusing that both she and Torrington had their eyes on their siblings to make sure that they were not doing something they might regret.

"How do you find it, returning to the... scene? Even if it is not yet the main season, of course."
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Marashar on Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:00 am

"They are a nuissance and a danger to all fingers!", James explaimed, his voice torn somewhere between amusement and indignation.

"But one of my men has a smaller bird, with a very nice black plummage and yellow stripes, called a Myna; he can imitate almost any sound, including the human voice and speech. He often send us into confusion by imitating the ship's bell, a distant drum and on one remarkable occassion Admiral Pellew."

Cautiously, he asked:

"Would you like to see him sometime? He is really a remarkable bird, and though his vocabulary might be a bit coarse, there is nothing in it that would overly shock you, I am think."
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:48 pm

The parrots seemed dashing and colourful but nowhere near as interesting now, for they were dangerous too, than this strange bird that sounded as if a blackbird's yellow beak had leaked its colour over the rest of it's body a little. The Myna could imitate human sounds and talk and even the noises that were quite artificial. It intrigued her very much, so that when James asked whether she would like to see him sometime, she eagerly answered with: "I would love to!" And then upon a moment of hesitation. "If of course my cousin could come,. or my sister." She knew this was necessary though bothersome, but a reputation was too easily lost to nasty rumours that held little truth.

"You say he can imitate just about anything? My pappa would have been furious with it, I can already tell!" Already she thought what other things such a bird would be useful. "Though if you'd train him well he might imitate a ghost? " A bird would be a perfect ghost in fact for he could fly from one part of the room to the other without being seen and make all those eerie sounds. Of course if this one really was so good at imitation! She wanted to see.
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Marashar on Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:12 am

James laughed. "I believe so, if you can give him a few examples of ghostly speech from which he can learn. I'm afraid I never met a talking ghost before."

He considered for a moment.

"The dancer is laid up in Portsmouth for the moment to get a new main mast and some other repairs and refittings. Hastings, the man who owns the bird, is there as well. I don't suppose that your family will have occassion to travel there in the near future, though?"

He had the impression that the family hailed from the north of the country, although he was not sure whether he had actually been told that or it was just an assumption on his part.
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Isabella Walham on Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:27 am

Bella clapped her gloved hands over her mouth in an attempt to contain her mirth.

"Oh, yes, it would! Think of all those people who go to the opera only to see who is sitting in which box. They would forever have their heads swivelling around. It would be quite practical during dancing, though ..."

Hoping she had not chased off the bird completely, she peered into the darkness again.

"There ... is that her? That whitish tuft on that big branch just over that statue?"

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:56 am

"Well.. I might impress on my father that we ought to visit his sister who lives in Brighton. It is near and they, my momma and pappa, were considering to use the opportunity to visit her, since we are already here. And it had been long since we saw her!" She smiled hopeful that this would be near enough that they might go to Portsmouth and see the ship as well as the bird and have James show her around.

"I'll see what I can do, but do tell me what time it would be most convenient to you, so that we might arrange it so it is befitting for both." Her smile was radiant and it was clear that she would do all that she could to convince her parents that the trip to see her aunt was indeed of great importance and that they could of course stop at Portsmouth to see the beautiful ships there.
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:17 am

Willoughby gazed more attentively at the direction in which she pointed and leaned over the fence as if that would give him a much closer and much better view. He squinted his eyes and then nodded. "Well spotted!" He complimented her grinning. "She or he is there indeed. Considering the size...it must be a barn owl!" He smiled. "Did you know they don't hoot exactly.. but emit a rather. .unpleasant, ear piercing shrill?" And there he bit his tongue again looking quite embarrassed. "...anyway, ....speaking of owly necks." He looked sideways at her and then chuckled softly for the idea of many owl-necked people in a theatre or at the opera seemed as eerie as it was entertaining. "..Well, they would not always be wrong to have."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:28 am

Estefania and Ines have gravitated slowly towards the open air, both having danced some of the dances and skipping some of the others. Ines was accompanied by her soon to be husband, while Estefania was at the moment without a partner. She did feel a little cold when they stepped outside, and a shawl like adornment of lace that was worn as a headdress, covered only a part of her back and some shoulder but offered little respite from the cooler English air.

"It is lovely, and so much wetter." She murmured. "And greener." She gazed past the couples outside, recognising Willoughby, Torrington but not the ladies that were with them nor the naval officer. She did find all three familiar however. Two from when they had been seen in Willoughby's company, and the other that she thought she was told was Torrington's sister. She did have some family resemblance as siblings would do.
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:31 am

"It is rather amusing for its novelty after four years of war", he replied; while that was true, he knew that the novelty would soon wear off, and it would only leave a different battlefield ...

"There are many new faces. I expect it will take some time until all have found their place."

He spotted the Spanish ladies and straightened up a bit, unsure whether they were engaged in a private conversation or wanted to be introduced. He would leave it to them to turn to thier group or pass with a nod of the head at best.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:59 pm

Catherine noticed the change in Torrington's posture and glanced curiously in the direction which he had looked when this happened. "Do you know them?" She inquired, recognising the somewhat different dress of the two ladies and the hussar as one who had visited them on an occasion. "They are a novelty even to us, but regretfully not one that might stay long enough." It was said in a polite manner, as Catherine thought the Spanish group was quite interesting and so different and to many, it was that bit of Spain, that the soldiers could not bring home.

The dress of the lady without a partner looked to carry stronger influence of Spain, while the other could nearly blend in as an Englishwoman, if her attire was judged. Ines inclined her head towards Torrington and seemed to have asked a question of Estefania, then turned to her soon to be husband who nodded. They were heading towards Lady Catherine and Lord Torrington now.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:36 pm

"I do indeed know one of them. Lady Cathrine Cumberland, allow me to introduce you to Senhora Andrea Estefania Lopes da Almeida, who has been of great help during the Peninsular Campaigne."

He took Estefania's hand and bowed formally over it.

"It is good to see you again, senhora."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

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