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7th October: Charming play

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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed May 07, 2014 8:56 am

The countess claimed her arm, leaving Torrington to escort Bella.

"Come, my dear - let's see whether we can do anything to smooth over those unkind rumours."

They entered and - with Torrington's assistance again - divested themselves of their outer garments and left them at the cloakroom.

"Ah, there is the Duchess of Richmond. A very useful person to know, and a very levelheaded one. She won't be impressed by the rumours. You might have met her son, Lord March? I believe he was in the Peninsula as well, as a staff officer, and distinguished himself at some hotheaded attack on Ciudad Rodrigo. Come, my dear - let me introduce you."

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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Wed May 07, 2014 9:04 am

Estefania observed the lady which she was shown. She had seen many officers, some living and some dead and it would not have been easy to recall just which son was that of belonging to the lady. Ines followed quietly behind them.

She spared a last glance at Torrington before turning again to walk with the woman to the first person, she was to be introduced to.

"I do not think I have met him in person, though there have been many officers and many faces to remember. I might have heard of him however. The name sounds familiar." She answered politely and with the best propriety fit for her station.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Isabella Walham on Wed May 07, 2014 10:46 pm

By the time they had to retire to their box for the beginning of the play, Lady Gleve had managed to introduce both Estefania and Ines to nearly all women of social importance who were present, as well as several persons who moved amongst Gräfin Oyenhousen's circle.

Thinking it the best defence against the rumours currently troubling the younger woman, the countess subtly spread the word of Estefania's family connection and previous stay in London. Malicious rumour mongers would still spread their poison, but the better informed would see that there was nothing at all improper or uncommon in Estefania's stay in London and her aquintance with Lord Torrington and his family - after all, what could be more natural than an old aquintance taking her under her wing a bit in lieu of her aunt, when said aunt was not in town for health reasons. And if the rumours that there had been an improper liason between Estefania and her son persisted, and Torrington decided he had enough of it and did something rash (and Lady Gleve resignedly thought that given the current impertinence of said rumourmongers, it was only a matter of time before he did), at least it could then be seen (quite correctly, she suspected) as the actions of a honourable man, on behalf of a friend under his mother's informal care.

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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Wed May 07, 2014 11:22 pm

No fault could be found in the way Estefania greeted the newly met ladies, the way she politely conversed with them, nor in the questions she would answer when needed. She would also remain silent and speak only when the moment was right, and then not excessively, nor brag of anything or other. Even her posture and manner of carrying herself seemed to fit that of a lady and not a wench for which she had nearly been labeled.

She may have spent a good portion of her past years as an irregular, among men who would make many a woman blush with their crude language, and she may have ridden the horse astride, but so have some of the female representatives of royalty abroad. Never the less, none of that showed here.

Once they returned to their box, she felt as if she needed a rather large book into which she could write her impressions of the many people she had met, and add faces to the names she had heard before she might forget them. Little details she dutifully imprinted in her memory would serve her to present herself with good conduct if meeting again.

Ines was glad to meet the many notable ladies as well since she would rather soon have them become an important part of their life, especially once she had married Captain Burlingame.

Estefania turned to Lady Walham as they began to enter the box and spoke:" Thank you. It has been a while since I was in London and then I was a mere child. It was nice to reacquaint myself with some of them again, and build new acquaintances with others. I doubt I would have been as successful without your assistance."
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Marashar on Wed May 07, 2014 11:39 pm

"Don't mention it, my dear - I would be a rather bad friend to your aunt if I did not do all I could to ease her niece's way while she is away. She will be unhappy enough to have missed your arrival."

The countess settled herself in a chair in the second row, leaving the first to the younger ladies, when a rather puzzling event occured:

A lieutenant of the 33rd, who Torrington had uncharitably classified as fast and loose bigmouth, stood in the still open door with unexpected meekness and inquired:

"May I talk to Senora de Almeida for a moment, Sir?"

The engineer, not at all certain what this was about, turned his head to glance inquiringly at Estefania, still blocking the doorway.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Thu May 08, 2014 2:07 am

Estefania look puzzled. She did not know the man and had little idea as to what he wanted to speak with her about. She may have thought that, while having had a surprisingly nice tour thanks to the countess, the man was perhaps sent to speak in the name of one of the ladies, inquiring on something?

But she had not seen him with them and thought that she would certainly have recognised him again, if she had.

It was clear by her expression that she did not know him. She also answered Torrington with a small shrug, indicating that she knew as little about what he wished from her as he did and then her searching eyes were first on him then on his mother, as she did not want to seem impolite, but at the same did not want to walk straight into something bad.

She did begin to stand however:"May we talk here?" She asked, settling for a compromise. In the view and earshot of her company, surely nothing bad could happen?
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Marashar on Thu May 08, 2014 6:19 am

On her question, the countess nodded. "Of course, my dear!"

The lieutenant looked much more uncomfortable - clearly he had hoped not to have an audience, but there was no good reason why he should be able to talk to Estefania without a chaperone. Torrington stepped aside, but remained standing by the door, quite ready to escort their guest out should his message not be to Estefania's liking, while his sister curiously studied the newcomer.

The lieutenant came in rather stiffly and bowed to the countess, muttering something that might have been a greeting, then turned to Estefania, a mortified blush on his cheeks, and said woodenly.

"Senora Lopes de Almeida, I might have inadvertendly made some remarks which, if ripped out of context, could be maliciously misconstructed, thereby adding to the general rumour mill surrounding you. Please accept my apology for that!"

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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Thu May 08, 2014 6:34 am

To say the least, Estefania was a little stunned. She had not expected an apology of all things. Nor did she expect that a man would come forth, thus exposing himself as one of the rumour spreaders, rather than remain under the veil of anonymity.

She looked a little lost in thought. Did she want to know what he had said, or just let it pass? Did he deserve to be let off so easily for perhaps nearly ruining her reputation and good name?

She tilted her head a little, showing neither contempt nor any too strong an emotion, be it positive or negative. At best the movement, stance and expression seemed to keep an air of propriety and calm confidence.

"May I inquire which remarks you speak of?" She prepared herself for anything that he would say. She studied him, her dark eyes searching his face for an answer. She did glance briefly to Countess, as if asking for permission to ask it, and to apologise for having this follow her into the theatre. At the same time she also made sure that they were not yet required to sit down and be silent as the last she wished, was to ruin the experience of he Walham's and others.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Marashar on Thu May 08, 2014 6:42 am

A kind of smirk passed over the man's features.

"Unfortunately, I have given my word not to repeat those remarks, madam."
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Thu May 08, 2014 6:50 am

Estefania's doubts in his sincerity were proven partially by the smirk that she briefly noted. She arched an eyebrow rather subtly, giving her face an inquiring and yet somewhat subtly sterner look. Still her voice was soft as swan down but still rather neutral.

"Who has given you such a request?" She inquired first then added. "And I'm afraid one cannot offer to forgive when one does not know what they are meant to forgive." A hint that he was expected to give more than he did so far.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Marashar on Thu May 08, 2014 7:07 am

The lieutenant now looked rather uncomfortable, and for the first time sounded sincere.

"He did not tell me his name. But he was rather insistent!"
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Thu May 08, 2014 7:15 am

"May you at least say .." She hesitated. It was dragging long enough, and while she was certain that this man did not come here for an apology to be accepted, she did not want to take time from what was supposed to be a pleasant evening, to deal with him.

"One thing you have said in context so that I may know it was terribly misused?" Which of course it was probably not. "And then.. I will ask that you think as a gentleman when you mean to speak of something others may misunderstand."
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Marashar on Thu May 08, 2014 7:34 am

""I may have made some unguarded remarks concerning your previous aquintance with Lord Torrington", the man admitted, instinctively edging away from the more and more scowling engineer, then realizing what he was doing and straightening up.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Thu May 08, 2014 7:44 am

"Then he deserves your apology..." She said softly, yet calmly. She straightened a little more when she continued. Her tone was surprisingly calm and composed: "And refrain from slandering his name and by that indirectly that of his family , in the future." She took a step back. "Just as well refrain from saying anything untoward about us." Whether the us meant all that were present or perhaps Ines and herself, was not clear, but the more he stopped slandering, the better.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Marashar on Thu May 08, 2014 8:20 am

The man looked as if he had just swallowed a life cuttlefish, but turned to Torrington.

"I apologize for any statements that might have founded false rumours, Mylord."

He looked to Estefania, as if he had to check whether she was satisfied with it. Torrington, angry but also rather confused, found that it was easiest to do the same, since he had absolutely no idea whether he should accept the apology, call the man out or start laughing at the absurdity of it all.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Thu May 08, 2014 9:57 am

"Good..., have a good evening, sir." Estefania nodded to the man, a clear enough hint that his business with them was done and that he may now leave. She began to turn, ready to return also to the sit she had left empty when greeting this man.

At least it was done.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Isabella Walham on Sat May 10, 2014 5:55 am

The man looked confused by the abrupt dismissal for a second, then nearly fled, muttering the required phrases with the barest minimum of civility.

Torrington very slowly and deliberately closed the door, still rather uncertain what exactly had just happened. Bella, who had been watching the whole scene with great curiosity, inquired:

"Who was that? Did you know him?"

She spoke with a low voice, though - having grown up to the ton, she had learned a certain careful attention to a possible audience.

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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Sat May 10, 2014 8:20 am

Estefania looked at Torrington apologetically. "I did not know that the starters of rumours would follow me here...Sorry." She sighed and then braved up a smile as she looked at Bella. "I do not know this man personally, but it seems that he was responsible for some of the slander. " She straightened a little.

"Let us enjoy the evening rather, shall we?" She said softly.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Allhands on Sun May 11, 2014 12:26 am

There was another knock on the door, followed by a light push to open it. Estefania sighed, feeling quite distraught, and showing the stress from it too, that this was how the evening would go. She tried, since having been picked up, to present herself with an air of nothing being wrong and as if the world was at peace with her. Of course it was not. It was hard enough, when having to deal with it in a country that was not her home, worse when she felt she had to weather it alone.

Lady Ines's soon to be mother-in-law was rather adamant in having her either find her own place of residence, willing to supply a chaperone of no relation to herself, or to remain out of public view as completely as possible. She expressed her unwillingness to have it reflect on Lady Ines and her own son's reputation or worse, to draw the Lady by association, into a scandal, a certain dealbreaker for the wedding. And to top it all, now instead of making a good impression with the Walhams, she would have one of too much trouble and bother as well.

She began to stand, ready to excuse herself, thank them for the thought of inviting her here, and to leave before the third would come with his own agenda or something worse. But just as she was about to do that, Ines seemed to recognise the face at the door and smiled. "Hello!" She hurried to introduce Burlingame's close relative and who then greeted them back only to ask, rather hurriedly - as the show was nearly begun - whether they could borrow Lady Ines to join them at their box.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Isabella Walham on Sun May 11, 2014 9:35 pm

Isabella was still very curious about the incident with the sudden and unprompted apology, but since Estefania seemed unwilling to discuss it, she dropped the subject and instead was just about to hand Estefania an opera glass to point out a well-known artist in the audience, when Ines' aquintance arrived and they had to get up for the introductions again.

The countess, feeling slightly guilty for paying not as much atttention to Ines as perhaps she ought to have, and seeing that Ines would be properly chaperoned by a respectable female in the other box as well, graciously nodded her consent to the "loan", subject of course to Ines' own wishes.

"If you wish to go, we shall wait for you after the play, dear, unless Mrs. Burlingame will take you home in her coach herself?"

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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Mon May 12, 2014 2:23 am

Estefania turned from Ines after having given her a solemn nod, confirming that if she wished to go, she would be quite fine with the Walham's. Ines smiled apologetically at Lady Walham. "I promise not to be long." She said softly. "And should there be a change of plan, I promise to consult you first, ma'am. And thank you." She curtsied a little first to her and then also to Lady Isabella and her brother before turning to leave.

Estefania on the other hand gazed out from the box. There was inner turmoil she did not want seen. She let out a slow, soft, quiet breath and briefly closed her eyes. She was not ignorant of the things said and written in those few days. LAdy Walham's tour was a short ray of sunshine, but it was far from enough to make her London time anything that she expected it to be.

At first she meant to briefly glance at Lord Torrington, but then her gaze seemed to linger there a little longer. She pursed her lips a little as she turned away, giving Lady Isabella a smile, that was kind but perhaps just did not reach her eyes.

"..It is a lovely place." She murmured conversationally. She chewed lightly on her lower lip and though her posture appeared relaxed, her mood was betrayed by the tension under which the fabric of her mantle was as she gripped it.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon May 12, 2014 8:11 am

Torrington quietly took the seat Ines had vacated - he liked the theater, so he was going to enjoy the performance from a place with a decent view, now that it was not impolite to do so. He briefly smiled at Estefania and explained:

"It is quite new, after the old building burned down some years ago, and so there was a chance to not only rebuild it in the current style, but also to include all the modern stage trappings and vastly improved accoustics and lines of sight. And decidedly more comfortable seats."

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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Mon May 12, 2014 8:28 am

There was a more genuine and heartfelt smile that lightened Estefania's features as she turned to Torrington. She nodded lightly gazed around as if to take in the details that he had just described, to see the modern additions and styles and perhaps any 'technology' that was visible to the eye and to admire the style in which it was designed.

"I can say that the seats are much improved. I remember some, quite a long while ago, that refused to give you the chance of watching a play and not feeling as though you will not be able to get up again after the first half is finished." Her hand relaxed a little.

" Have you been behind the stage yet, since it's rebirth?" She inquired then smiled more warmly to Bella, feeling a little guilty for how she had acted a little before.
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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon May 12, 2014 11:00 pm

Bella returned the smile, instantly forgiving, then suppressed a giggle as in an opposite box a silent shouting match between a lady and a gentleman started.

"Lord and Lady Freemantle. They are famous for it - they never can stay apart for more than a month, but as soon as they are back in the same place, they start fighting again. Mama, you must introduce Senhora da Almeida later. They are both the nicest people!"

Torrington, who had been privy to a few of Freemantle's maudlin and drunk laments when he was parted too long from his wife, grinned as well, before answering Estefania's question.

"No, I haven't. In fact, it is only the third time that I am here since it was rebuild."

Although he was sure that Estefania had meant it innocently, knowing his fascination with machinery, and probably did not know of the implications her comment could have, he choose to skirt over the second part. The things happing behind the curtains after a show where not something he was going to discuss in the presence of three ladies - and even without them, if he could help it. The greenrooms of a theater had never exactly been to his taste.

"I believe you have a very advanced Opera House in Lisbon as well now? I did not have time to visit it, but I heard many things about it. Was not the Opera in Rio de Janeiro modelled after it, after your Royal Court arrived there?"

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Re: 7th October: Charming play

Post  Estefania Lopes d.Almeida on Mon May 12, 2014 11:14 pm

"Like fire and wood then?" Estefania asked Bella and hurried to explain. "They cannot live far appart and yet they closeness seems a fiery ordeal for both? Sometimes bringing cherished warmth of the campfire, sometimes 'destruction'?" She smiled and inclined her head, as if to say that she would gladly meet this intriguing pair and decided to accept their word on saying that they were pleasant and very nice.

She turned briefly around to Look at Torrington again and seemed quite ignorant of the fact that her question could have meant a completely indecent supposition. Her mind of course was on the technicalities of the stage and how the hidden worked, to make the visible so much more amazing and unbelievable.

"Well, you could call it as more advanced, than the old, although.. it has only been opened in 1793, I believe, so it already has years to its name. It still has the elements of the bygone era, heavy on the ornamentation inside, though rather lovely never the less. It is indeed an inspiration to the Opera in Rio de Janeiro. Marcos Portugal had been a musical director there. He had quite a few of his operas staged there. You are invited to come visit it when you are next in Portugal. There should be some very fine pieces to see there!" The very last was intended for all of the present, Lady Isabella, the countess and of course also Torrington.
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