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In a private room at Boodle's

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In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:39 am

Vickery relaxed in a deep leather armchair with a sigh. At least, he supposed, it was the Little Season, which meant that a good many of his family's acquaintance were not in Town to hear the silly rumours that were flying around. They also were not in town to scotch those rumours either, but that couldn't be helped.

He had told the club steward that he was expecting a friend to join him as a guest this evening, and had requested a bottle of cognac and two glasses be brought in. He rather suspected the brandy would be needed.

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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John Vickery
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:57 am

Torrington arrived right on time, but without too much enthusiasm. After inquiring, he was led to the room Vickery was occupying and entered with a word of thanks for the footman who had announced him.

A few steps into the room, he stopped, bowing slightly.

"Vickery. I hope I have not kept you waiting?"

His stance was rather diffident and somewhat stiff, and he seemed rather unsure what to do with his hands.

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Edward Torrington
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:03 am

"Torrington!" Vickery got to his feet and offered his hand. "Of course not! Have a seat. Would you care for a brandy? They have a rather fine cognac here, though I wouldn't enquire too deeply into its provenance, if I were you."

He indicated the chair across from his.

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:15 am

Torrington shook his friends hand and appropriated one of the snifters before sinking into the indicated chair.

"Thank you - I won't, but I will certainly praise it."

He gently swirled the liquid in the glass, then sniffed it, raising an eyebrow. He carefully tasted it.

"You certainly spoil me. Since such a honoured institution as Boodle's will certainly never purchase contraband, my greatest compliments to whoever stored this in the cellars before the war."

While he had not come to talk about brandy, it certainly provided a welcome excuse.

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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:23 am

"After the past eight years or so, I rather feel we deserve to be a little spoilt now and again," Vickery replied with a smile. "Your note left me rather intrigued. What do you require my advice about? Not a new waistcoat, I hope? You are considering purchasing a new horse, maybe? Or selling off that ruin of a castle your long-lost Scottish uncle left you in his will?"

He kept his tone light, bantering; Torrington did not look entirely comfortable even with the surroundings and the cognac.

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:31 am

"There's neither castle nor waistcoat, and while I have been swamped with offers for bargain horses today, I have no intention to buy any one of them, so no, I'm afraid you can't help me in this respect at the moment."

He took a sip of brandy and looked down into the cut glass. Taking a deep breath, he finally squared his shoulders and attacked the topic he had come here to discuss.

"It is rather the matter of your sister I am concerned about. It seems she got inadvertently caught up in this whole rumour mill, and ... well. If half the rumours I was told today are really in circulation ... I'm making a mess of this, aren't I?"

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Edward Torrington
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:36 am

That brought Vickery upright. "My sister? What does Emma...?" He had not expected that at all. He consciously relaxed back into his chair. "You might like to rearrange your thoughts into something more coherent and start at the beginning?"

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:00 am

"Forgive me ... my thoughts seem to be such a muddle that this might take longer than you are willing to spare me."

Torrington sighed and tried again.

"If rumours are to be believed, your sister and I are as good as engaged - if one discredits the malicious ones where we already have eloped or I am her lover."

He pulled up his shoulders in an unconscious, defensive gesture.

"To make things worse, my mother has informed me that several ladies have commented that ... forgive me, I can't find a way to say this decently ... that it is high time for your sister and that she should better see to it that I am brought to scratch."

He took a deep breath, trying to get his thoughts for the next bit in line, and waiting somewhat apprehensively for Vickery's reaction.

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Edward Torrington
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:07 am

"Rumours have my sister and yourself engaged, and your mother does not object to the match." He was glad he had thought to order brandy, and took rather a large swallow from his glass.

"And - Look, she's my sister. D'you want to propose to her or not? Because it seems to me that's your choice, and you can't let rumour influence you. If you want to marry her... Oh, hang it, now I can't say what I mean to!"

He took a breath. "If you want to ask her, then do so. If you'd rather not, neither one of us will get offended over it. At least, I don't plan to be offended over it."

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:17 am

Torrington, unable to stay seated, jumped up and circled his chair, raking his hand through his freshly cut hair.

"Well, what I want seems to be pretty much out of reach at the moment. Mainly I had wanted a chance to get to properly know her and her sentiments on that matter before this question ever came up. But now, thanks to this infernal rumour mill, it seems I can't even discuss this problem with the one person it should concern most without making things even harder. Yes, I have thought about asking her - I have a feeling that we could deal extremly well together. But not under these circumstances. This is no basis to properly build a life on! On the other hand, if we don't find a way to make the rumours disappear without lasting effects, any future interaction might become awkward, and frankly, if this goes on, she has every right to demand a proposal - even if only to turn it down in the most public way. Which might do well in a Greek tragedy, but in real life would make the future rather ... oh, this is such a muddle!"

He visciously kicked a log in the fireplace, and a shower of sparks flared up. The uncustomary outburst seemed to calm him somewhat, however, and he dropped back into his chair.

"Look ... to put it plainly, I would prefer being engaged to her to being out of her life and on an awkward standing with you, and I even more would prefer if we could reach this point without outside pressure. And first and most of all, I want to know which result and course of action at the moment would be most agreeable to her. The plain truth, not polished by politeness or society."

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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:33 am

"I would that we could deal with these infernal rumour-mongers the way we dealt with the French," Vickery said feelingly, leaning forward to top Torrington's glass up. He held it out.

"Things ought to be easy to negotiate, especially as you and I are friends, and it appears that our sisters also are becoming friends," he said, finishing his own brandy and pouring another; he knew he had been right to request the bottle. "So, if we can manage to do things together as friends, it should help advance things. And if those blasted gossips poke their noses in too far, God help them."

He calmed down. "I understand you have accepted Emma's invitation to tea later this week?" he added mildly, swirling his brandy around in the glass.

_________________
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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:38 am

Torrington accepted the glass gratefully and raised it in a silent salut to Vickery's words.

"Yes, I have. Or rather, Bella has on our behalf. I wanted to keep the options open should you tell me to stay away."

_________________

Story !  God bless you !  I have none to tell, Sir.
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Edward Torrington
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:45 am

"Well, I can hardly imagine the circumstances in which I would warn you off. You are honourable, and your conduct is above reproach - as exemplified by this meeting. The people I should dearly like to warn off are those who will insist on linking Emma's name with yours this precipitately."

He leaned back in his chair and held his glass up, watching the firelight through the amber liquid.

"Did you know Emma accepted a proposal a few years ago?" he asked conversationally. "Lord Ravenshaw - the Earl of Amersham's son. Fellow was thrown from his horse two weeks before the wedding, and broke his neck."

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:59 am

"I can only be thankful for your high opinion of me."

Torrington likewise settled himself more comfortably, calmer now that the cards were on the table and Vickery seemed to be rather understanding and not angry. He would not admit how much he had dreaded the alternative.

"The version brought to my ears was that your brother dispatched of him with a pistol at twenty paces."

While he answered rather flippantly, his face betrayed his sympathy. Loosing the partner in your future life even before it had begun was dreadful enough, but so close to the wedding ... Rather irrationally, he wished one of the Vickery brothers had really shot the man - they would have had good reasons, and it would perhaps not been quite as hard on Emma as a simple, pointless and unexpected accident.

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Edward Torrington
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:07 am

Vickery couldn't prevent the chuckle at the picture.

"Oh, I daresay Robert wouldn't shrink from a duel should it be absolutely necessary in his considered opinion. I think he should very much hate the whole affair, however - dawn is not a time of day he has ever liked seeing from the side of the new day."

He sighed. "Naturally, Emma took the whole thing pretty hard. She didn't come into Society for a year after the accident. I think she has quite recovered her spirits by now, though these rumours are not going to help. She seems to get on well with Lady Isabella, though - and I think she likes you, also."

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:43 pm

Edward grinned ruefully.

"That is very gratifying to hear. I can only hope that the current events will not tear open wounds just healed. Given the tragic circumstances, the current rumours are doubly inexcusable - both to Amersham's family and to your sister. Isabella quite looks up to her, you know - her accomplishments, her poise and wit, her ... calmness."

Though he attributed those points soley his sister, his tone could not hide that he was admiring the same traits.

"I'm very glad that they go along so well - my sister can only profit from such a friendship."

_________________

Story !  God bless you !  I have none to tell, Sir.
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Edward Torrington
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:06 am

"Don't put her upon too high a pedestal I beg you," Vickery said dryly. "Your sister is quite accomplished herself, you know - I very much enjoyed our duet together during our call the other day."

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Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:43 am

"Bella did as well. She very much enjoys sharing her music with other people, but she seldom finds somebody accomplished enough - and of course male voices have been something of a rarity before."

The engineer, slowly finding his way back to a more normal state of mind, crossed his legs.

"I hope we shall have the opportunity for another musical meeting - either here in town or in the country."

_________________

Story !  God bless you !  I have none to tell, Sir.
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Edward Torrington
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:36 am

"Well, between private musicales, dinners and calls, I foresee that you will have numerous opportunities to get to know Emma better without raising the least suspicion," Vickery said. "She has quite grown up in the years I have been away, though. Did I ever tell you of the time Robert dared her to climb the apple tree when she was nine?"

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:29 pm

No, you didn't."

Edward raised an eyebrow expectantly.

"I assume it wasn't such a straightforward matter as climbing up, being applauded, and coming down again without your parents being any the wiser?"

He made a note to solicit introductions to Vickery's older brother as soon as any opportunity arose.

_________________

Story !  God bless you !  I have none to tell, Sir.
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Edward Torrington
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:37 am

"He bet she couldn't reach the top of the tree. Which she did, and climbed down again, though apparently she tore the worst hole imaginable in her frock. Our Father was in Town for Parliament, and never learned of it. I believe Robert gave her a guinea for her trouble."

He crossed his legs at the ankle. "I am not sure what I expected to find when I returned home. She is quite elegant and refined now, but I think I will always remember the triumphant expression on her face when she got to the top of that tree."

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:23 am

Torrington, who could well imagine it, chuckled.

"No wonder she and Bella are becoming such fast friends ... William and I had to teach her how to hold a sword at one point, simply so that she would not accidentally hurt herself when she snuck in and played with ours. From a more mature point of view, it would probably have been better if we had made sure that our foils were stored properly instead of dropping them whereever, but ... Well, I'm happy to say that she has quite outgrown her aspirations to become a smuggler, and it is rather comforting to know that should a bounder accost one's sister, she would at least know which point goes where."

He looked at his hands, more callused and with a few small scars that had not been there before he had gone to Portugal.

"Five years ... for them probably the most exciting years of their lifes, and we missed them. Did you get to dance with your sister at her first ball?"

_________________

Story !  God bless you !  I have none to tell, Sir.
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Edward Torrington
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:56 am

"The Year Seven... I had just taken a Lieutenant's commission in the 69th, I believe. I did have the honour of standing up with her - she dances very well, which is only to be expected in someone musical, I think." He smiled. "Did you have the opportunity to dance with Lady Isabella, at her coming-out ball, or did she come out while we were in Spain?"

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:55 am

"She does indeed, as I had the pleasure to experience."

Torrington returned the smile somewhat ruefully. The walz he had shared with Emma was after all part of the current dillemma. Answering Vickery's question, he turned regretful, however.

"The evening my sister had her ball, I was discussing how and where to best construct the semaphore station on Monte do Socorro with Colonel Fletcher and some colleagues - we raised a glass of port at the end to mark the occassion. The best I could do was to commission my father to give her a pair of pearl earrings from me and send her a spanish shawl. The dance at Lady Caroline's ball was actually the first during a proper London Season ball I could share with her. I never was on furlong during a Season. Where you?"


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Edward Torrington
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Re: In a private room at Boodle's

Post  John Vickery on Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:51 am

"I had the... misfortune... to be present for part of the Season in the Year Seven - the year my sister came out and was presented to Her Majesty Queen Charlotte," Vickery replied. "I was fortunate enough to be able to escape to my regiment after a month or so, although it did allow me the pleasure of seeing Emma at her come-out ball. I am sorry you missed your own sister's, though. I had not realised that she is that much younger than Emma."

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
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