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Grace Preston

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  1. Grace Preston

    Gracie and the Bandit-April 6th, noon (open)

    Grace finally blushed, but it was more in being compared to the lady's cousin than the talk of Cromwell and bosoms. You don't grow up surrounded by males and not here talk of both. Especially about bosoms and also especially around her nephews and cousins of similar age. They all seemed obsessed with them, when they forgot Grace was around to hear them talk. They probably talked about them when she WASN'T around too. She gave a glance down at her own less than outstanding breasts. They were fine, her mother had told her, but she knew she'd never compare to Dorcas, the upstairs maid, who always looked like she was about to fall out of her top. She'd asked Trip if he wasn't allotting enough funds to the maids' clothing because of this, but he had just stared at her while seemingly blushing at the same time. She blinked for just a moment at the sudden fierce statement from Lady Oakham in defense of her pet. Sliding her hand up towards the creature as she held several more nuts, he patted her cheek before taking them. His was of apologizing for being a terror. He then daintily took a nut, rolled it around in his paws and then crunched down on it. "Since he seems to have worn himself out with his escapade, I think Bandit will be taking the rest of the walk staying right where he is. He often gets these spurts of energy, but for the most part, he's rather lazy." She reached up again and ran her fingers through the fur on his head and gave him a scratch. Chittering happily now, he nuzzled in. "My eldest brother mentioned a menagerie at the Tower," she offered as a suggestion for learning about more animals. "I was hoping to see it while I'm here. Of course, this is just my first full day in London and there's lots to see and do, I've been told. I've even been told of a Ladies' adventuring club. So many exciting things to do and see." She paused, turning her head to eye the raccoon relaxing on her shoulder. "But perhaps not while accompanied by this escape artist." Noting the animal's calm state, she offered to the lady and gentleman, "Now that he's relaxed, if you wanted to pet him, you can."
  2. Grace had to chuckle. "Bandit will seemingly eat just about anything. Whenever he manages to get out, we can always find him in the refuse. His favorite treats are worms and and nuts, but he'll eat anything. My brother told me of tiny lobster type creatures that are found in the streams of America that raccoons often eat. And they're very clean animals, as raccoons like to wash their food before eating, which is why I'm always surprised when he eats trash. It seems a bit of a contradiction." "I plan on taking him out tomorrow if the weather is nice. He's been cooped up in the carriage with myself and my maid and is likely driving my poor Lizbeth crazy right now." With a grin at the prospect of a picnic, Grace replied, "I'll see if I can find somewhere nearby!" She did so enjoy outings. Like her pet, being cooped up didn't agree with the young lady used to tramping all over her family's estate. At the thought of getting out and exploring this new place, she grinned. "I look forward to seeing all there is to see. Now, if only I could get used to the smell, I have no doubt it shall be just as you say."
  3. Sarah and Grace, with Henry's departure Grace also expressed her concerns to Henry as he departed. Moving next to Sarah, so that all available seats were, indeed, available. "I do hope it isn't something terrible," she agreed with her current companion. Looking forward, she noted that Sarah was correct. "This should be fun," she said, settling down to enjoy the music. At least there would be no eyes on her during this time. She could relax. No way she could make a fool of herself simply listening to music. She hoped
  4. Grace Preston

    Gracie and the Bandit-April 6th, noon (open)

    Grace wanted to sigh, but managed to hold back. Now everyone seemed put out with her because of her defense of her pet. She was so used to taking care of her own issues, as she had been taught by the multiple males in her life, that the idea of accepting assistance was foreign to her. Besides, she was simply trying to keep everyone from being at the wrong end of Bandit. Friend or foe might get bitten or scratched. Taking a deep breath, she calmed herself while her pet moved up to drape across her shoulders like a stole. She accepted a nut from her maid and handed it up to the rascal without bothering to look. "I apologize if I was short. Bandit is my responsibility and as such, I'm a bit protective of him," she said. "The idea of shooting at him..." She couldn't even finish the thought. Looking at the lady whom she had snapped at, she finally dipped an appropriate curtsey, still with the raccoon peering out from her shoulder. "I'm sorry." She had no idea if the lady liked her cousin Heather or not by the comment.
  5. Grace Preston

    Gracie and the Bandit-April 6th, noon (open)

    Grace managed to throw her weight back enough that she didn't end up completely flipping over, though her hair decided it rather was tired of being in the up-do and tumbled around her face. Dresses and skirts were stupid items to wear when wrangling raccoons. The new lady decided to admonish her instead of helping and the gentleman offered for her to land on him. Deciding the lady was the second of her worries, she glanced at her pet, who's leash now dangled closer to the ground unnoticed by the fiend. Instead of addressing either noble first, she said, "Lizbeth, get it!" Without having to guess what 'it' her mistress spoke of, the maid quickly caught the leash. Wrapping the end securely around her wrist and giving a light tug, the maid spoke to the miscreant. "Down now, or no treats for a week." While the raccoon might not understand human speech, he was familiar with 'treat' and the negative tone of voice being used. He began his head first descent from the tree. Grace, meanwhile, pushed herself back up on her arms, pushed away from the branch, and lowered herself back down from the branch she had previously launched herself on. Brushing bark and leaves from her dress, then pushing back her hair with was haughty a manner as she could in such a situation, she turned to the lady and gentleman. "A ladder would have caused him to climb higher and since he has been known to nip at those he is unfamiliar with, it falls to me to take my pet in hand. Which is why," she turned to the lady, her brows drawn together, "a gun would never be used." The idea of shooting her pet. "Do they often shoot pets who climb trees in London?" Turning to the gentleman, she locked her most serene expression on, one she used to irritate her male relatives. "I appreciated your offer, milord," she said, while her maid brought over the raccoon, who Grace swept up in her arms, cradling like a baby. "But as I mentioned, he is nervous of new people and nips." Bandit, whose leash was now double wrapped around Grace's hand, climbed up to her shoulder, where he could pick twigs and leaves out of her hair. Not exactly a dignified look.
  6. Grace Preston

    Gracie and the Bandit-April 6th, noon (open)

    Another person arrived as Bandit continued to stay just beyond reach while ground bound. Blast it. More people meant her chance of climbing up after the scamp were dwindling to zero. "Good afternoon, milady," Grace said with a shallow dip of a curtsey. "He is indeed a raccoon. And a most naughty one at that." She returned her eyes up the branches, where said naughty raccoon had just fixed his eyes on the basket held by the new lady's maid. Bandit, well acquainted with living on the Truxton estate, was no strangers to baskets. In his vast raccoony knowledge, they often held such delights as sausages and cheeses and sometime cakes and other things that were delightfully edible. He moved down another branch, wriggling his nose as he attempted to sniff out any nuggets of delight that might be hiding therein. Then another branch. He wasn't keeping his eyes on Grace, just the basket. As he descended one more branch, Grace quickly grabbed the nearest branch, gave a small jump to pull herself up and then, as she balanced on her waist with her feet dangling, reached out and snagged Bandit. Who, as might be expected, was not at all happy about the turn of events. His wriggling to get free made Grace off balance and she started to tip forward and downward. "Oh, bugger!," she muttered as she began a downward facing descent from the tree.
  7. Grace Preston

    Gracie and the Bandit-April 6th, noon (open)

    Bandit chittered as he saw the man crunch one of his treats. He was not fond of sharing. He came down one limb, but was still out of reach. "Miss Grace Preston," the blond replied, dipping a quick curtsey while still not taking her eyes off her wayward pet. "A pleasure to meet you." The idea of using her pet to steal things thoroughly confused her. For just a moment she glanced at the man in puzzlement. She thought about responding as to that being a truly horrible idea, but managed to think better before opening her mouth. Perhaps he had meant it in a teasing sort of fashion. "Raccoons are not normally pets to the natives. The Northern tribes have legends of one they call Azeban," she said, using the pronunciation her brother had taught her, Az-zuh-ban. "He is always portrayed as a mischievous fellow, always getting into trouble, but only for himself. He doesn't harm anyone." George was one to lecture when he had an audience. She knew a couple different legends from different tribes he had visited with. "I don't understand how men can enjoy tobacco. It's rather nasty and made me sick," she muttered, shaking her head then shaking the treat bag. Bandit moved down another branch, holding out his paws in hopes that Grace would toss a nut up towards him so he could retreat into the branches. She, however, was wise to this idea and simply lowered the bag again. "Come on down. No treats until you're back on the ground." Bandit grumbled, looking from the bag to the upper branches back to the bag.
  8. Grace Preston

    Away & Here Notices

    The float has been fun, but now others see it coming together and want to add their own 2 cents. I wish I could join you on that trip. Some sent sounds AWESOME! Glad you're back!
  9. Grace Preston

    Gracie and the Bandit-April 6th, noon (open)

    Sophia had warned her people would have a strange reaction to her exotic pet. At least this gentleman seemed curious instead of afraid. "My brother brought him back to me when he visited a few years ago," she answered, searching her pockets for any treats. Something...anything would work. Bandit would eat anything. Vegetable, animal, probably mineral, though they hadn't tried. One of his favorite things was rummaging through the trash. "He was bringing one back with him for study but during the voyage, she gave birth. George kept one baby for me." Her pockets were empty of any treats, but just as she was about to give up and hoist herself up into the branches, Lizbeth gave a triumphant gasp and handed her a bag full of nuts. "Brilliant!," she told her maid. Taking one out, she held it up so that the creature could see it. "Bandit! Look what I've got. Yum, yum." She put it between her lips and then crunched down hard. His ears perked up as he chattered at her. "You want one? Come here and get it." She held up another one, moving it slowly towards her own lips. One thing she could always count on. If she was eating it, the wee beast would want to eat it too. She shook the bag towards Edward. "Would you like to enjoy a nut too?," she asked, briefly glancing in his direction before returning her eyes to the animal in the tree.
  10. Grace didn't wonder at Sophia's lack of true knowledge of the Colonies. If her brother wasn't an explorer over there, she likely would have similar expectations. Luckily, with as many brother, uncles and male cousins as she had, knowledge about natural things was something she was well versed in. It was courtly knowledge she severely lacked. "Oh, a monkey! That sounds every so nice," she responded. She then gave a small frown. "Sometimes he doesn't like to be petted, unless there's a chance of food being involved. He's quite round." The best thing she found to bribe her pet into better behavior (because good was just beyond his reach) was food. "I hope the weather clears tomorrow, because he'll definitely need a walk. He doesn't do well cooped up for too long." Grace understood the problem with handling a bow while quite small. "My uncle, Alexander, gave me my first bow when I was about 5. He had it modified to be easier for a girl to use." It was interesting to find out there was a range on the grounds, but the knowledge it was mostly for soldiers made her pause in her consideration of using it to practice. Gerald always warned her to stay away from soldiers, saying they only had one thing on their minds. He never bothered to expand on what it was that WAS on their minds. The fear that Sophia felt around water made Grace feel very sorry for her. There was nothing so relaxing as sitting by the river, listening to the water gurgle over the rocks, the wind blowing through the trees, the animals in the branches making soft noise. More than once, Grace had nodded off, only to be brought sharply awake by the tug on her fishing pole. "It sounds as if you're making wonderful progress. I'm not sure if there's somewhere to fish nearby, but I shall ask about and if I find one, not the river, I shall let you know and we'll make a picnic of it!" "This is the first time I've been outside of Truxton," she admitted. "My family isn't immersed in politics, mostly keeping to ourselves, though Trip came to London to find his wife. I was still a baby then. This is all a new adventure for me."
  11. Grace Preston

    Miss Preston's Scratchpad

    Uncle Alexander-makes weapons
  12. Grace Preston

    Away & Here Notices

    I apologize for my lack of posting. I'm planning on catching up this weekend. Between creating a float for our center's Thanksgiving day parade and dealing with medical issues on top of people who think it is okay to call a total stranger "A f******g stupid piece of s*** b****" the moment I answer the phone, literary creativity has been at a near record low.
  13. Grace Preston

    Gracie and the Bandit-April 6th, noon (open)

    Grace was still trying to figure out the best way up when the man in yellow approached. "No, it is not my dog. I'm not aware of any particular breeds that climb trees." She glanced at him for a moment, before returning her attention to Bandit. Gracious, but that jacket was YELLOW. "That, sir, is a raccoon. Indigenous to the wilds of the American Colonies. And that particular one is in a lot of trouble," she said, giving the animal in question her best mad glare. Unfortunately, it was completely lost on the rascal in the tree. He was playing with his leash, pulling it away from the people on the ground, all the while chittering up a storm. It wasn't long before Grace's maid, Lizbeth, came trotting up to join her mistress, taking deep breathes. "Sorry, miss," she said. In her own hand was a piece of leather that precisely matched the leash Bandit was playing with. "It's not your fault," Grace said to her maid as she finally decided on the perfect way up. She began to reach for one of the nearest branches. Lizbeth gasped. Her mistress wouldn't dare attempt to climb a tree with witnesses, would she?
  14. A blur of grey, white and black went racing over the grass, chittering merrily while dragging a leather leash behind it. Not far behind, a blond woman, her sky blue skirts rucked up to assist in running, several strands of hair having escaped the updo her maid had done for her, her pale cheeks red from exertion, ran. "Bandit, get back here. You naughty creature!," she yelled as she chased her wayward pet. Instead of listening to his mistress, the animal raced up and tree and well out of Grace's reach. "Oh, as if that will stop me," she grumbled. Pushing a few strands of hair out of her face, she looked at the tree, searching for a good handhold.
  15. Grace nodded. "George comes back to visit every couple of years. Last time he came back, he brought me a baby racoon. I named him Bandit, as he's always getting into things he shouldn't," she said. "One time he sent me a bowl one of the natives made. It's what I use to keep Bandit's treats in." She laughed. "No, they're not cannibals nor do they run around naked. They wear items made from deerskin and other natural items. George has one he uses to translate for him when he travels to different parts of the wilderness. I haven't met him, but his name translates into something like Running Water." Mentally, she put the idea of finding a man who wanted to be an ambassador on her list of qualities in a husband. That would be most useful. "Hmmm, we never used hawks. It was always horseback or stalking through the woods with bow and arrow." Plus, the gutting and skinning of the animals right there in front of her. That always made her want to lose whatever was in her stomach. The smell of copper and squishy noises combined to cause her to back out of hunts the older she got. "The estate where one of my uncle lives had pigs. I got curious and wanted to see the piglets. I was about 6," she admitted. "Trip was talking to Uncle about something to do with the tenants' houses and wasn't paying attention to me. So I strolled over to the pen, tucked my skirts up and climbed the fence. Unfortunately, my skirts still got caught on a nail and the snag caused me to lose my balance and I fell face first into the mud and yuck. The pigs weren't too happy with my landing either. Trip ran over and scooped me up before I got trampled. I smelled disgusting. Mother had to burn both our clothes." She shuddered just remembering the smell. "Oh, I am so sorry," she offered, hearing about Sophia's mother. "I can understand wanting to avoid boats, then. Coming here from Venice must have been a pure nightmare for you." She paused, before saying, "But, you don't have to go on boat to go fishing. You just toss your line in from shore, find a shady tree, and sit back and relax. With a good book and a picnic lunch, it can be a real treat."
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