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Charles Blount

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About Charles Blount

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    Lord Mountjoy

Character Information

  • Title
    Hunting, Riding, The Law, Collecting Meissen Porcelain
    Solicitor General & Queen's Master of Horse

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  1. Charles Blount

    Unleash the Peacocks | Woolsack Weds 2pm

    Mountjoy in turn sat in silence for a moment as George clarified his position. “Well…” he said slowly “…my advice can only be as good as the information provided but I will endeavor to provide the best counsel given the information you are at liberty to bestow. He then went on to give the Earl his advice. “If you have, or can obtain, proof that the subject did indeed act in a criminal manner then yes you would have legal recourse. If the embezzlement concerned real property then there would be documents to discover that would provide proof. If it were investments and the like then, as it would be the Solicitor himself that would document the transactions, proof would be much more difficult to come by if the Solicitor was in any way competent. And I need not tell you that ability and honesty are independent qualities. I would also bring to your attention that, in order to pursue any formal legal remedies, the identity of the aggrieved party and the particulars of the malfeasance would be made public. If you are not willing to have the details of the issue become known then you will be unable to avail yourself of the procedural powers of the legal system.” Mountjoy had some personal experience with just this sort of conundrum. “The willingness or at least the appearance of willingness to engage in an unpleasant and public litigation can be a powerful incentive for the other party to settle but that is something you will have to be willing to risk.” “Academically, absent direct proof, there are still avenues of recourse. The practice of law is an insular profession and there are many soft pressures that can be brought to bear. That you say he is from a well-known family complicates the matter for that could make the application of influence more difficult as easily as it could make it easier.” He thought it a sound idea that George was planning to accost the family for indeed family pressure, if he was able to obtain it, could be a powerful motivator. He was however concerned about the use of his name given that he knew so few details about the issue. “Application to the family seems a reasonable course of action for even if the individual is of low repute the family may not be so.” He smiled at the comment that his name alone would put the fear of God into anyone. “You flatter me My Lord. I would not quite admit to the ability to instill the fear of God but I do recognize that I poses a certain weight within the legal community. But, as His Majesty’s Solicitor General, my reputation is intwined with the reputation of the Crown so I must be very prudent in the application of its use. Without knowing the particulars, and I fully understand the reasons why that is necessary, I cannot allow carte blanche for the use of that reputation.” “There is a middle way I believe. As you are a man of repute in your own right I advise the following; Do proceed with your plan of contacting the family. Do present your suspicions and your facts and state your resolve to right the injustice done quietly without harm to involved parties’ reputations. To lend weight to your position I would have no qualms, for I hope it would be true, that you consider me a friend and that your next step, should the family prove to be obtuse, would be to avail yourself of that friendship and cause more vigorous actions to be taken. You may also wish to think about what you will do if they agree to your proposal for they could hardly apply familial pressure without knowing at least the information you are obliged to withhold from, I hope, a trusted party.” He leaned back in his chair, raised his eyebrows and took a sip of his whisky at the conundrum he had just posed. His was a weak reply, he knew. He had offered more but he could not in good conscious commit further without knowing what he would be committing to. “If I may offer you this additional advice. Get as much documentation as you can lay your hands upon and determine first how much you are able and willing to divulge for that will be the ultimate limit of what you will be able to achieve. Even if I send my Bailiffs to seize and confiscate this Solicitor’s papers, force restitution and bludgeon his family into silence it would be of little avail unless they know what it is that they are searching for or what was to be recompensed. In addition, such an action could not be done without causing notice.”
  2. With the matters of the resignations and of blame addressed the tone of the conversation did lose some of its formality and solemnness as a great weight was lifted from Mountjoy’s shoulders. “I am heartened by Your Majesty’s magnanimity for it can only increase the esteem and regard of those who serve you.” The king was not a harsh master and having been in uncomfortable positions himself was ready to ease uncomfortable positions in others. But he was still the King so his stern words regarding those that would serve him were not totally out of character. Especially if the matters concerned the welfare of his wife and child. He bowed in acceptance. “You speak wisely Sire and with great wisdom. In fact, I said something very much in the same vein to the Margravina.” He smiled cheekily for his self-complimenting way of flattering the King. “I am sure that once her confidence is restored, which is inevitable given your Majesty’s remarks, that she will ensure that her Majesty is served with the utmost competency. As for her ability to keep the gentlemen in heel I must take some credit for that myself as I frequently provide Lady Mountjoy with the opportunity to practice that skill.” He thought of what the King said about Davina. “It very well could be that the perpetrators were aware of undercurrents within the Queen’s Ladies and sought to use that to their advantage. It is easy enough to spread around some coin for information and gossip is plentiful with or without coin.” He began to think and plot. It would be satisfying to quash these doubts and have Ursula reestablish firm rule over the Ladies but might there be an advantage in continuing the scheming. “Majesty, my purpose of coming here today was to end the uncertainty and eliminate any avenue of threat to the Queen. My judgement may have been clouded by my personal feelings. I have no wish to foster division within the Queen’s Ladies but what if, with the Margravina’s cooperation, we continue to give the outward appearance that there are fractures within her household or indeed create a fracture to entice the malefactors to make another attempt but from a direction we are aware of and would be able to counter and expose the perpetrators. I hesitate for there could be some risk but if indeed Mistress Wellsley was misguided and not malicious her naiveté could be put to use.” He was taking a risk for if anything were to happen to the Queen because of this his resignation would indeed deserved to be accepted and that Ursula would need to endure the stain upon her character as the deception played out. He was thus putting both his professional as well as his private life at risk.
  3. Charles Blount

    A Mornings Ride, April 13

    “Thank you very much indeed.” He replied enthusiastically to the compliment of his horsemanship. Aside from discoursing upon the hunting of bear, or deer, or boar, or fowl, or of the hunting anything really (except for fish which could not be considered real hunting due to their unsportsmanlike proclivity of hiding in water) horses were his next favorite subject followed closely by dogs, especially dogs that hunted bear, or deer, or boar, or fowl or anything really. Dogs were also smart enough not to hunt fish. “I have hunted with him for years so we have developed a great understanding of each other. It is a great advantage when hurtling thru the brush to be able to guide one’s mount by more than one’s reins. Andalusians are an intelligent breed if somewhat headstrong.” Roland tossed his head and snorted as if in disagreement. “Although not the swiftest of breeds they are athletic, nimble and have great stamina. The perfect traits for a hunter. I remember Fleet from Newmarket where he easily outpaced my Roland but I would wager that if the course was for distance rather than speed the advantage would flip for Roland can trot from here to Oxford without slowing his pace. In fact it is usually my backside that gives out before Roland’s stamina.” He jested as he thumped the muscular shoulder of his mount. “I fear it is a trial for him when I am in London for he likes to be active and I am not able to go riding as often as I would wish.” Then turning his attention to Fleet he added. “He looks as if he could have some Barb in his pedigree but appears rather serene for a hot blood.” Fleet looked to be a fine horse but Mountjoy’s taste in horseflesh gravitated more to heft than lightness. “I have recently purchased two rather fine Suffolk Punches as workhorses for Epping and have been contemplating breeding them with a finer breed for the cross may make for a fine hunter. Perhaps even covering them with Roland here.” Roland perked up his ears at that and whinnied in encouragement. “Ah… yes…” He said when Beverly mentioned the unusual goings on at the palace, his jovial demeanor somewhat dampened. "There has been a minor kerfuffle that will soon be sorted out, nothing much to worry about I think so hopefully we will not be denied Sir George’s company.” With a Catholic plot uncovered against the Queen, York would be well advised to stay as far away from the matter as possible. If, and he thought inevitably when, the plot was exposed there would be enough fodder given to the exclusionists without the good old Duke of York making it worse.” He did not elaborate as he did not feel he was at liberty to reveal any details of the matter even though if the Prince had been informed Beverly would have been as well for the Prince relied upon St. Leger as much as the Duke upon Legge. “I do not know if there is anything that would keep Herr. von Bruhl from joining us but German’s are usually quite punctual.”
  4. It was fortunate that when the King refused the letters he took a breath to sigh as Mountjoy let out his own sigh at the same time. To be honest he expected the King to answer the way he did but it still was nerve racking as one could never be sure. He had the urge to say ‘A wise decision Sire.’ But felt that given the circumstances that would be a bit too cheeky given the circumstances. Buckingham might have been able to pull off such a comment but Mountjoy knew his place and kept the thought to himself. He did however bow again and state “As always Sire you are most just and gracious sovereign.” The King’s next statement was a question not so easily answered and caused him to reflect a moment. “Well Your Majesty, I am confident that I need not explain to you the crotchets of high-bred German ladies and the Margravina, is nothing if not German and high-bred. The… Lady in question actions…” he chose to be cryptic regarding Davina’s name as he was not sure how confidential the King wished to keep the matter. “…was so past understanding in keeping the plot to herself that the Margravina, that is to say Lady Mountjoy, believed the explanation must be that she had failed to instill trust in the Queens Ladies thereby preventing… the other Lady… from being forthright and thus increasing the danger to her Majesty. She also indicated that some of the other Ladies may not understand or perhaps even resent the need for the strictness and probity she demands of the Queen’s Ladies.” It was well known that the King himself preferred his ladies to be less strict and proper but Mountjoy also knew that Charles Rex was astute enough to allow for double standards in his desires as a man and as a King. He took a breath for the last part was venturing into perilous waters for woe betide a man to get between sparring women. “She convinced herself that such a lapse betrayed the trust Your Majesties had placed in her and that you no longer had confidence in her ability and judgement. As this was a situation she could not bear she thought the only solution was to tender her resignation. As she was distraught at the thought of facing you in person and would not burden the Queen at such a time, I promised that I would deliver her letter to Your Majesty. With the Queen in confinement the Margravine has been consumed with caring for her charge and I believe this added burden has pushed her to the limit. If that is indeed the case, I know it would reassure her to no end if I, on your behalf, can explain to her that you do not hold her to blame and that she still retains your trust and respect.”
  5. Charles Blount

    A Mornings Ride, April 13

    Roland, the Marquis’s stallion, was a black Andalusian and like most Spanish horses was a proud animal so gave a return nicker and affected an elevated gait into his step in acknowledgment of Fleet’s greeting. Mountjoy, the stallion’s owner, gave his own greeting by touching his hat and responding “And a good morning to you Lord Beverly, I am very well thank you, as I hope you are as well. It does look like it is shaping up to be a fine day that will allow the mud to recede. In the country I do not mind a good gallop in the wet but I do have to say that I find London mud not quite as salubrious.” He then noticed the blue clad servants holding trays of pies and gave the soft command “Roland” and made a clicking sound as he taped Roland’s shoulder with the crop causing his mount to cross step over to the servant in a show of horsemanship. “You know for some strange reason on the ride over I developed an unusual hankering for the pork pies that one can get for sixpence on the Strand. These look most splendid and I shall avail myself of one if there are no objections.” He said as he helped himself to one of the pies with one hand and accepting a cup in the other. Thanking the servants, he then realized that he had to relinquish the reigns and muttered something that sounded like ‘bugger’ but which of course was not. He tapped the horse with his heels who obediently returned to face Lord Beverly. ‘… good show darling.’ He said as he completed the maneuver. Beverly could be reasonably certain that Blount was speaking to the horse and not him. “Just the thing to hit the spot on a fine morning.” He said complimenting his host’s hospitality. This time Beverly (who could be forgiven for thinking of ways to ask his guest if he had just called his horse darling without being rude) could be certain that Mountjoy was addressing him and not the horse. “I hope I am not early.” A valid question given the lack of other mounted gentlemen. “I did not take my morning walk today so this outing will be a welcome exertion.”
  6. The delay in the granting of the audience was, considering the recent happenings, not unexpected. It was in fact welcome as it gave Mountjoy time to reflect upon the possible ramifications of his lady’s insistence on assuming guilt and what might be done to mollify her concerns. It had always been Blount’s practice to associate his encounters with the King with the subtraction of, rather than the addition of, problems that Charles Rex needed to resolve and to offer palatable alternatives to unpleasant decisions. This would not be one of those times however for, although it was well known that His Majesty was a gallant man who was loathe to distress a Lady, Mountjoy would not make it easy if His Majesty chose to do so in this case. At the appointed time, exactly, as Blount was unwaveringly punctual if at all humanly possible, the Marquis Mountjoy was announced and Blount advanced into the Drawing Room and bowed to the King. He had chosen one of his German suits which was of fine material and cut but otherwise stoically plain with only the barest of gold lace to catch the candle light to differentiate him from a cleric or well to do merchant. Like the King he also put great store in his shoes which were black leather with modest gold buckles each set with a table cut onyx. The heels, in light of the diplomatic state between France and England were not the gallic red of the French court but a deeper shade of red befitting St. George and England. Also, curiously enough considering the general somberness of his attire, the Marquis wore a royal blue ribbon upon his breast from which hung the Thames Medal which the King had awarded for service during the assassination attempt upon his life not so long ago. Blount was not above subtle (or not) iconography. Recovering from his bow he glanced upon the sparsely inhabited room. Again this was not unexpected given the sensitive nature of the likely topic. Noting the King’s two attendants, younger gentlemen than the usual bevy of advisors. The king was probably chafing at the protectiveness of his household and this was likely the minimum escort he could reasonably get away with. He was a bit surprised that Arlington was not in attendance and wondered if the King had him sticking his plastery beak into other matters. “It pleases me to inform Your Majesty that Lord Kingston and I have passed the past couple evenings at cards with no more excitement than poor Kingston’s purse being a trifle lighter than before and that nothing occurred to cause us trepidation or hinted to any overt threat to the Queen. Your majesty may rest assured that Her Majesty is attended to most diligently and protected most discretely.” That was not the main reason for the requested audience and the King doubtless had already been informed but he though it prudent to begin with what was surely uppermost in the King’s mind and offer reassurances to quell any anxiety. “It is fortunately not a matter directly concerning the threat to Her Majesty that brings me here today but that of another exalted Lady. When the nature of the plot became known and the… decisions… of the Lady approached to carry out this treason became known we were all shocked to the core but no one more so than the Margravina, Lady Mountjoy is so devoted to Her Majesty that she has taken the occurrence of those decisions as a personal stain upon her honor and upon her conduct as Mistress to the Queen. She feels that she ultimately bears responsibility for reluctance of the Lady to come forth and expose the plot and that the Lady’s actions are a result of a failure on her part to perform her duties and protect the Queen. While her devotion to Her Majesty remains steadfast, she is convinced that she has somehow failed in her charge to the Queen and no longer has the trust and confidence of Your Majesty.” He paused for a moment and his hand absently patted his left pocket which contained Ursula’s letter. “Distraught with the prospect of harm being done to your Queen or your child she has written a letter of resignation as Mistress of the Robes which I am honor bound to present to you.” He stepped forward and drew an unsealed letter from his right pocket which he presented to Charles Rex. “Sire, I seek nothing more in life than service and loyalty to the Crown and to my family. If heads must roll I will spare you from punishing a blameless Lady and hereby offer my own resignation as Your Majesty’s Solicitor General and Master of Horse to the Queen.”
  7. Charles Blount

    Unleash the Peacocks | Woolsack Weds 2pm

    As his wife was Mistress of the Robes whose support would be advantagious for any Lady wishing to join the Queen’s Household and he was a prominent legal official it was only logical that the reason for this meeting was likely to involve one of the two areas he was proven correct when George explained that his issue involved, if not a specific legal matter, at least the legal profession. He nodded as Chichester uncommittedly responded to his suggestion that he join the club but did not press the matter further for it was up to the Earl to decide his own role at Court and his path of advancement. The Earl then went on recite the story of an unscrupulous trustee misappropriating funds for his own benefit rather than for the benefit of his charge. Such situations were unfortunately not entirely uncommon and was something that Mountjoy had had some experience with and distaste of. “That is unfortunate.” He said when George explained that the said solicitor was not a member of the bar. Unlike Barristers who were required to be accepted by one of the Inns of Court and thus were more accountable for their actions, Solicitors had no such requirements and indeed could practice without any academic qualifications having only to undergo a term of apprenticeship under an established Solicitor. In theory this worked rather well as it gave the aspirant more practical knowledge but if the Master was wanting the apprentice could often be so as well. “If you provide me his name and any other pertinent details you may have, I will make inquiries as to his reputation and qualifications.” His position as Solicitor General did not give him any actual authority over Barristers or Solicitors however, he could exert quite a bit of influence within the profession and, aside from his general disposition to aid in the protection of Women, especially a lady of quality, he also had a well-earned disgust of those who would betray the trust placed in them by those in a weaker position. “I shall aid you in this noble endeavor.” He stated. “I can appreciate your desire to be discrete but in order to be helpful I will need to know the identity of the Lady in Question and must press you to share any details as to the nature of the embezzlement such as if it involves real property or liquid assets so I may ascertain what remedy may be pursued to make your damsel whole.” He thought for a moment and then inquired further in light of his promise to be discrete. “I will limit the inquiries to general requests which are a common enough thing not to cause any undue speculation and inform you before any additional action is taken. Is that course of action acceptable to you?”
  8. Charles Blount

    Lost Among the Plots and Plans, April 12

    Sonnets to bear hunting? Now that was an idea he had not thought of. The muse inspired him. ‘The Bear turned at bay with hackles raised, only to end supped upon with mayonnaise.’ he thought to himself that that was rather good and he would have to write that down. Hmmm, he thought to himself again, poetry was not all that difficult and wondered why poets were often tortured and brooding souls. If they would only concentrate on the important things in life like hunting instead of love and the human condition, they might be cheerier chaps. If he was not so devoted to the law, he felt he could have made a fine career as a poet. He would endeavor to spring his muse upon Ursula at the appropriate romantic moment which would undoubtedly throw her into the expected tizzy. But he digressed. She accepted the emotions expressed without demur which made him verry happy for they were both alike. Devotion did not come easy for them but when it did it ran deep. “I would always hope to be your strength just as you are mine.” She kissed his hands as he often did hers. It was exhilarating to recognize that they shared such a bond. They might have digressed again but there were Kings and Queens to save so, as their situations often dictated, they had to put their personal desires aside and focus on their duties. “So, the Duke at least believes that Mistress Davina is more an unwitting pawn rather than a sly conspirator. That is something for it would prove that although treasonous forces have tried to corrupt the Ladies of the Queen they have not done so.” He did not think it was kind heartedness that swayed the Duke’s opinion but practicality that Davina could be useful. “I shall ask for an audience with the King this afternoon to present your letter and discuss the matter further to see what the King wishes us to do. It would appear at first glance that direct violence is unlikely which is a shame in a way as that sort is easier to guard against and thwart. It appears that the real threat will manifest itself in a more sunning and subtle way. With your closeness to her Majesty, you will be in a good position to counter any such plots if they manifest themselves. He was willing to reserve judgement on the actions and innocence of Davina. If she proved herself he was willing to accept her claims but if she did not he was also willing to see that the King’s justice was carried out. “I trust all is well with the Queen and she has not been disturbed by these happenings?”
  9. They played a few more hands of cards as a glow emerged from the eastern horizon and spread into the break of dawn for a new day . The quiet of the night was slowly replaced by the usual hub-bub of the palace as the servants awoke to perform their morning tasks before the awakening of their betters. Two of their betters were still at table when the first of the servants entered the chamber to draw back the curtains and rekindle the fire in preparation for the morning activities. Bowing or curtsying as they encountered the unexpected inhabitants for the Queen’s apartments were, unlike the Kings, not known for late night goings on. The final hand was played and the last splash if wine was poured so it was a perfect time for Mountjoy to lean back in his chair and stretch. “Well it appears that we have survived the evening with nothing untoward occurring and as Lord Feversham’s arrival is imminent I would venture to say that our vigil has been fulfilled. I do not know about you but although it has been a pleasant evening it has been a long one as I am not accustomed to such late hours being more apt to rise at the dawn than retire to it.” He stifled a yawn and rubbed his chin, the extended hours together introducing a degree of informality. “I do believe I will forgo joining His Majesty on his morning walk today… walks that I do not believe I have seen you upon.” He said with a smile knowing that Buckingham was notorious for his distain of any early morning activities and as Buckingham’s protegee Kingston was probably more used to late nights than early mornings. Downing the last bit of wine, he totaled up the accumulated ticks and came to a reckoning jotting down the points and passing the totals to Francis. “Well Sir, this is how you faired this evening. My points are on the right, yours on the left. Even after a long night at cards Blount’s handwriting was impeccably neat and tidy more befitting of more befitting of a court treaty or legal declaration than a scribbled score of a card game. (Yes we can call it game. Set and match. We can fade out here or you can put a period on the thread.)
  10. Charles Blount

    Lost Among the Plots and Plans, April 12

    Serious matters could often be softened by humor but it would not make them go away. “If you are reduced to reading my briefs then the quality of our library is sorely lacking. I will direct Mr. Bayzos to include some volumes of poetry in our next shipment.” Ursula was clearly upset over this matter but she was not hysterical and was willing to think through her decisions in a rational manner and heed his advice. “I believe that you could face the King or any man quite well if you so chose but I understand that doing do would be distasteful.” As she then went on to ask him for his assistance in delivering her letter to the King he was relieved that she was able to ask this of him and not bear her burden stoically alone. “Of course I will take your letter to the King as I would do anything to help or ease your burden.” It was becoming clear to Charles that the main impediment to their happy relationship was that they were both prideful, stubborn and devoted people who could easily forgive the other but not themselves. He sighed and changed his tone indicating that he was not just speaking about this particular circumstance. “Ursula… Last evening you offered to mend the lost button of my coat. You did not have to as we have servants aplenty but you wanted to. You did so out of a feeling of intimacy and devotion because you wished to do something for me and that is very loveable of you. I know this is not quite the same but it pleases me greatly that you are trusting enough to ask this of me for I would gladly do this and much more. I am your husband and you are my wife. I would do no less for you than you would for me. Sometimes I think we both lose sight of that fact.” He cupped her face with his hands and wiped the tear away with his thumb. “I will not tell you that you should not worry for this is a serious matter but I do tell you that you are not alone. The Ladies may or may not have their issues. You are there to serve the Queen not them. “The Queen is devoted to you, of that I am certain, the King holds you in esteem and the Court respects you. I will take your letter to the King and if he asks my advice… and even if he does not, I will tell him he would be a fool to accept your resignation.” He smiled a comforting smile. “Besides, I probably would have interceded weather you had asked it of me or not for I would not want you to suffer for your guilt.” He allowed her time to get her emotions under control for he did not like her to be distressed but there were also matters of importance that had yet to be said. “Besides if His Majesty were to lay the blame for this plot upon you he would also have to hold Lord Feversham responsible as well for there is at least one other lower in the household that has been turned and it is the Queen’s Chamberlin who oversees the domestics and the kitchens. Which beings us to the saliant question. What can be don and what is being done to thwart and uncover this treason?”
  11. Charles Blount

    Hope Birthday Poll

    I have always thought that Darlene could use a good stabbing. You may take that literally of figuratively depending on your view of Darlene.:)
  12. Charles Blount

    Unleash the Peacocks | Woolsack Weds 2pm

    Sufficiently brought back into the current world Mountjoy was able to see to the needs of his guest. “No bun William but if you would be so good as to bring a beaker of my private reserve and glasses for myself and His Lordship.” William bowed at the request and took a closer look at the George. The man was obviously a gentleman of some taste and means as exhibited by his dress but at the Woolsack that was practically a condition of entry but now it was established that the gentleman was a Peer and must be a Peer of some importance to merit the serving of the Marquis’ private reserve. “Oh.” Mountjoy said as the Earl expressed trepidation due to his political leanings. “One does not have to be a partisan to hold membership here. The Woolsack has members of both the Court and Country parties for we here are a congregation of gentlemen of high standing and political consequence who find this place a sanctuary where we can put aside our bickering and quarrels and unburden ourselves within the privacy of like situated fellows. Politics are often discussed but only consensually between individuals and we never let it intrude upon the calm of the establishment. There are many members whom I oppose politically but in here am able to have a perfectly agreeable conversation about many other subjects. Within these walls the parties are not enemies they are the opposition… the Commons are the enemies. As a newly ermined representative of The Lords, you should seriously consider membership. It would provide many benefits whatever fence you desire to roost upon and will provide you a place where you may unwind shielded from any private or professional apprehensions. If you are so inclined, I would readily put your name forward for I believe you are just the sort of gentleman this club was formed to serve.” The servant returned and unobtrusively placed a silver tray containing a decanter of amber liquid and two glasses on the small table next to them and stood by for just a moment and evaluated the situation. As Mountjoy moved to serve his guest himself William bowed and retreated making a mental note to in the event Hardwick ever returned. Charles poured two glasses and listened to George as he explained his reasons for requesting a meeting. Nodding in acceptance of the request for confidentiality, as was only proper when a Ladies reputation could be at stake, he indicated for the Earl to continue. “I see that it is chivalry that brings you here today and not political winds that threaten to knock you off your fence.” He surmised that there would be two primary reasons why George would choose to seek him out in a situation like this. “Would I be amiss to assume that the Lady in question has gotten herself into a legal tangle or that she is involved in a matter involving the Queen or her household?” It had been speculated upon good authority that Hardwick had or would soon enter into an engagement of matrimony. Under such circumstances it would be understandable if one might be desirous of mitigating the possibility of any unfortunate ramifications of previous liaisons or secure for his intended the same service.
  13. Despite Mall’s attempt at frivolity the conversation the subject tended to revert back to more somber issues which was not all that surprising considering the late hour, the seriousness of their vigil and the ramifications for the Kingdom if they were to fail. “The drunkenness of sailors is well documented but that I think stems from visiting port after much time at sea. Our young friend here has been on land long enough to spread out is drinking and debauchery into more acceptable levels from what I hear. Give him a decade on land and we might be able to make a Deacon out of him.” He said offering a mild touch of teasing. He could well sympathize for he himself had yet to produce a male heir. When Mall stood Mountjoy automatically rose as well. “Your servant Duchess.” He intoned as the Lady took her leave to resume her part of the mission. “I thank you for your congratulations but nautical men are resourceful creatures and as it is said ‘A bird in the hand get the worm’ so our gracefully thighed friend might still rally and carry all before him… but… I will make him work for it.” He bowed as the Duchess left the room and then resumed his seat and pulled out his pocket watch. “The night grows long… or the dawn come early depending upon your point of view so I hope that I do not tempt fate by saying that we may pass unto the daybreak with no more excitement than for one of us coming to possess a fine pair of pistols. Although I would certainly love to come face to face with any who dare to plot against their Majesties I would rather all such guards experience nothing but boredom. Not that your company is in any way tedious. “He dealt out a fresh hand. “Shall we see if the cards will allow you to, how do the sailors put it, claw away from a lee shore?”
  14. Charles Blount

    Lost Among the Plots and Plans, April 12

    They had put their past difficulties behind them but it seemed the core still remained. Their feelings were so strong that they had difficulty in giving the very same forgiveness and understanding that they readily gave each other to themselves. The thought of censure or disappointment had not even crossed his mind and he would not have understood how she could ever think that of him at the very same time, if the roles were reversed, he would have been tormented with those same feelings of apprehension. “A subclause?” He said smiling as he teased. “Have you been reading my papers or listening at the door to have learned such a legal phrase? Well Mistress of the Bar, I will not overrule your objection but… and I do stress that such a caveat would hardly be self-serving as it would be done out of affection and service to the Queen. At this juncture in time it is the Queen’s stress that takes precedence. Perhaps I expressed myself too forcefully and issuing a demand would be inconsistent with your honor. But honor also demands that you offer to serve until the time is best for the Queen. It would not be self-serving to point out the Queen’s needs and let the King decide.” He understood Ursula’s motivation but he was of the firm opinion that the Queen needed safety and security more now than ever and this was not the time to disrupt and disorganize the Queen’s household. But and however, Ursula was a determined woman used to getting her way and Charles was not going to belabor the point. He only hoped that she would not martyr herself for this cause. As for how Buckingham fitted into this intrigue, they were both in the dark. He had no doubt that the wily Duke was capable of using a woman for his own ends, politically speaking, and of engaging in questionable conspiracies but that he would be a party of such a heinous crime was not something he believed the Duke was capable of for his ties to the King were deep. “If you say that Kingston is unlikely to be the channel in this matter then I defer to your greater familiarity. I suspect that trying to reason out a logical reason that Mistress Davina did what she did and why she did it is a futile effort for I can fathom no sound reason why she acted as she did other than she realized she was over her head and panicked and fled to the one she thought might best be able to protect her. Did you ask her yourself why she went to Buckingham and not you? She might not be willing to give an honest answer but in her predicament it would behoove her to garner as many allies as she is able” It was a sticky subject for sure. “I think you are correct in that the King will rely on Buckingham for council when you offer your resignation but are you positive that tendering the offer to him and not the King himself is the proper course of action?” He accepted that the King had ultimate authority and deferred to his judgement but he was less willing to have his wife be beholden to any man but himself, even the Duke. It was a hard thing to see that Ursula was distressed and wanted to do everything that he could to protect her and see that her reputation was not besmirched by this incident. All he could do was to do his best to make Ursula see that such incidents could not in any way shake the attachment he had for her. He was prepared to rant and rave in her defense but her words of appreciation and devotion rendered him speechless. How could she ask how he could be anymore perfect when it was she that was without flaw? How could she question the devotion that was her due? When he was able to respond “If I am the Rhine the you my love are the Nile, majestic and eternal but let us hope not as prone to cataracts. He kissed her forehead so she could not see his face but could readily feel the contentment when he embraced her. His embrace was not strong and filled with desire, although his embraces often were, but softer, melting, lingering as if to express physically what was felt in the heart. The combination of his mature devotion and childish tease exemplarizing the totality of his being.
  15. Charles Blount

    Unleash the Peacocks | Woolsack Weds 2pm

    Punctilious in manners Blount had informed the Steward that he was expecting a guest so George was greeted by name. ‘Welcome to the Woolsack Lord Chichester. If you would please follow the Footman…’ He gestured to a tall strapping fellow in livery. ‘… Lord Mountjoy is expecting you.’ The Footman led George sedately through a few rooms, all wainscoted in polished wood with a few gentlemen lounging about in various activities. Each time they entered a room the Footman would give a polite cough and say ‘Stranger passing through’ until they came to a smallish room in the rear of the establishment. There George would see Mountjoy seated by a window looking over the rear garden. Mountjoy had finished his discussion with the Earl of Basildon about 20 minutes prior to George’s arrival and had retired to the reading room which was usually uninhabited this time of day with a thought to peruse the London papers but his late evening and a plentiful luncheon not to mention the faint scent of polished mahogany, leather and tobacco persuaded him to rest his eyes ‘just for a minute.’ He was just drifting off with sweet thoughts of Ursula when she leaned over to place a dainty hand upon his shoulder and softly said ‘My Lord, the Earl of Chichester is here to see you.’ It was then that he realized that Ursula did not have a moustache and that he still was at the Woolsack. “Ahem.” He said as he straightened in his chair and looked about seeing that indeed Lord Chichester was waiting a mere few feet away. ‘Really William, you should not sneak up on people so.” He said as he collected his bearings and stood to greet his guest. William, whose real name was Albert was used to slumbering members and limited himself to an obedient ‘I beg your Lordship’s pardon.” And stood back to await any requests. Like many who were surreptitiously dozing Charles mechanically attempted to dispel the notion that he actually was. “Welcome to the Woolsack Sir, I was just ruminating upon some obscure legal precedent and became lost in thought… Wont you have a seat?” and once they were settled “May I offer you a whisky, I keep a small cask from County Louth here or if you are not amenable to an Irish beverage perhaps you could be tempted with something else? They have a very fine cellar here.” Charles was dressed in an outfit of German cut which had longer coat sleeves that went to the mid forearm rather than to just below the elbow as was still fashionable in France, a cutaway front and matching breeches that had recently become fashionable at the Court of the Holy Roman Emperor. The coat was of dark Egyptian blue velvet with lighter blue silk lining turnback cuffs edged with silver embroidery in the shape of acanthus leaves, an amaranth waistcoat of jacquard silk in a floral pattern embellished with silver thread and buttons set with blue spinals which was worn with crisp white linin cravat with Flemish lace ruffles held in place by a pin consisting of a square cut lapis lazuli, white silk stockings, black patent leather court shoes with silver buckles and red heels. As a fashionable man himself George would certainly be able to notice that Charles was dressed with his customary finesse. The theme of blue and red was conventional as befitting an officer of the court but the shades and cut denoted an attention to style with the choice of sleeve length being particularly adventurous. George might further note that Charles had foregone a kerchief so as not to overwhelm the fashion conscious which indicated a limit to his adventurousness. His accessories were rich and luxuriant without being ostentatious. There was a crease in Mountjoy’s left sleeve where he had been resting it on the chair arm but if George was inclined to be charitable such disarray could be excused after a well-earned lunchtime nap. “Have you had the pleasure of the Woolsack’s hospitality previously? Most of the sitting Lords maintain a membership here. They serve a particularly fine luncheon of roast beef and buttered parsnips timed for when the House is sitting so it is very convenient to pop in after a session. Speaking of which, I have already dined but if you have not had the opportunity may I have William fetch you a bun?”