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Charles Whitehurst

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About Charles Whitehurst

  • Rank
    Lord Langdon

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  • Title
    Earl

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  1. Charles Whitehurst

    Back in the Office Tuesday Afternoon

    Sam was a loyal and true friend to Charles. He felt likewise. She had seen his question through the lens of duty and honor, two traits they both shared. Yet, what Langdon was asking, albeit cryptically, was whether they might manufacture some evidence that could justify their move against Lewin as a step to protect either the King or the Duke of York. It was the sort of question an honest person asks only hypothetically and to his closest friends. The fact that she did not understand the depth of his question was to be expected. Surely he was not suggesting something nefarious. It was not his way. It made him hesitant to explain further, so he thought carefully for a time as he considered his next words. His eyes followed a waterman's ferry in the Thames as he thought. "We may have to kill Lewin or imprison him," Charles offered softly. "Such actions will require explanation." He considered likely outcomes in his mind. "I cannot very well explain that I was avenging a murdered ghost or protecting a dagger I found from theft, the latter being the only sane explanation, without a reason why I was focused on such a trivial affair." In the caste society of England, the fact that he was an earl and a commander in the King's Life Guard would shield him from judicial action, but he worried how it might impact the King's confidence in him. That was more important than stopping Lewin. "As much as I hate it, I wonder whether we could find something, anything, that could either link Lewin to the Savoyards or to some other plot against the King. Though I have reason to believe his men trespassed in palace secret corridors, I cannot prove it. That alone might justify his arrest as a matter of royal security. I need something, even the flimsiest evidence that this Master Lewin is a threat to the Crown. I suppose we could ask the servants again," he offered without much thought. "Perhaps the two children might be able to muster something. I do not wish to confront Lewin until I have something in writing that he is acting in some criminal activity that warrants the Lifeguard, or the Langdon Regiment, to arrest him. I confess Sam that I am in something of a blind alley here and the freedom we enjoy normally is restricted because of the palace murder and the plot against York." He turned to his side to look at her face. "It is frustrating," he admitted. He was the sort of young man that would prefer to kick open a door and then battle villains hand to hand. "I think we should hold off Lewin until we have something to justify our actions, as much as it pains me to say. In the interim, I fear he may flee. Each day we wait is a good chance that he will escape our net. Any ideas?"
  2. Charles Whitehurst

    Back in the Office Tuesday Afternoon

    Despite the tension over the many security plots at court, Charles managed a smile and a return salute when Sam entered. Inviting her to be at ease in his presence, he invited Sam to join him at his window overlooking the Thames. The city had few places that were calming, but the river seemed to have that effect with him. Likewise, he could observe the bustle of the city from a perch above it. That appealed to his desire to be in control of the situation. The Colonel gave her a report of the murder of the potential Dutch spy in the garden and how he had failed to apprehend the man or men. Despite his passion for pursuit, he was at wits end how to proceed to find the men who had killed the Dutchman or German, having judged the victim to be one or the other. There seemed to be few ideas to find the phantom killer. There was also a report on Bradley's efforts to find the Savoyards. Little progress had been made, but the Duke of York had been warned, as had the gentlemen around him. That would make an attempt all the more difficult. In the meantime, there would be a search of the inns in the area for the so-called chicken merchants. Finally, it came to the golden dagger victim. "I am inclined to ambush him tomorrow morning but I am concerned that I am accused of ignoring threats to the royal family to chase some personal matter," he told his captain. It had been gnawing at him how he might explain the arrest or attack against the man. "Maybe we could link him to one of the two plots?" he wondered aloud. This was dangerous territory, but he trusted Sam completely.
  3. Somerset Palace Located off the Strand yet still with River frontage is Somerset Palace. Once a Royal Residence it had changed ownership several times and as currently being used by it's Steward Lord Langdon, as his headquarters for the London Law enforcement regiment. Captain Trentmont is in charge of the day to days. What a day. A murder of a Dutch spy on Monday. Plans to chase a Savoyard potential assassin, an interview with the Duke of York in the morning, following a tearful moment with Darlene at his front door. After reporting to York, he reported to Davina, who had sent an urgent summons to him the night before. When he had arrived at Davina's quarters mere hours before, she seemed odd. She claimed the summons had been in mistake. He knew her well enough to judge that she was acting peculiar. He was beginning to think she was gravely ill but was avoiding saying it. Rather, she tested whether he still felt passion for her, only to dissmiss him completely shortly thereafter. To him it was the actions of a dying woman -- hiding the illness but wanting reassurance that he still cared for her before apologizing and saying goodbye. Moreover, she was kind to him and wished him well. That was not the kind of actions a healthy jilted lover might feel, was it? He was worried about her on his ride over to the Palace. Yet, serious business demanded that he lay those concerns to one side. He had tried to help her and she had refused. Once back in the office, he sent word to see if his brother Bradley was about. His brother and another trooper had been assigned to find the Savoyards at nearby inns and taverns. His brother's heart was not in the search, so there was little room for optimism. He also summoned his Captain, Sam, to come report. They had planned to confront the villain who sought the golden dagger, yet recent events had caused the timeline for action to be delayed a few days. Now, Charles was under some self-induced pressure to confront the man in his coach to learn of the fascination with the small blade. Perhaps it would serve to distract him from other palace intrigues for a time.
  4. Charles Whitehurst

    In Search of Davina Tuesday Mid-Morning

    She apologized to him! Imagine that. It was another unexpected move. It confirmed his suspicions that she was ill and dying. Why else try and end things in an amenable way? Why else had he seen the mood swings and her defiant denial that she was ill in any way? It must be serious. He had been led to believe that ladies enjoyed laying guilt on gentlemen to get their way, and to use their anger and tears to ensure it. He imagined that a suitable and fond farewell was most likely the byproduct of a deathbed reconciliation. What could she be dying from? She had not even coughed. Regardless, only a fool would linger when there was such a happy outcome. Why linger and risk saying something stupid to upset the apple cart? He did not wish to answer who was waiting in the wings and why it was not her for the same reason. Best to beat a hasty retreat and save such a conversation for later, perhaps on her deathbed. "It is I that is to blame for any misunderstanding," he replied. Gentlemen never allowed a lady to accept blame. "Thank you Davina." He knew the passage she opened. He knew the passages well. Taking her hand, he kissed it tenderly before taking his leave, hat in hand. It was not long before the shadows of the corridor swallowed his image. ~finis
  5. Charles Whitehurst

    In Search of Davina Tuesday Mid-Morning

    Didn't sick people always deny being ill? Charles was not so sure that Davina was telling the truth, but he could hardly deny that she was. It was best to play along, he supposed. "If you say you are fine, I shall accept it." What else could he do? She tried hard to appear aloof to him, but he doubted that as well. She claimed that she was ending their affair. It had been ended already, Charles supposed, and she was expressing no interest in renewal. That was good because it would have required him to place himself in a precarious position with Darlene. She might not be understanding. Intellectually curious? Was that a big-worded way of saying she was toying with him? ""I thought I had told you," he whispered, "that I have no intent to wed Miss Sedley, nor does she expect it. It is ... an relationship of another kind." That was his polite way of saying she was his mistress. He wanted to reveal to Davina that he planned to wed, to explain he needed to marry an Anglican lady to offset the stigma of his last Catholic adventure with Jeanne. He wanted to tell her that Darlene and he had an understanding that they would marry if ever they both were free again. The problem was that, despite her protestations that she no longer had feelings for him, it did not seem the right moment, and he was not feeling especially brave or capable of explaining his situation without offending Davina, which he steadfastly wished to avoid. Instead, it seemed best to draw their conversation to a conclusion. "Thank you Davina for explaining your feelings to me. I am glad that we will be friendly going forward. I apologize for anything that I may have said or done to ever offend you. And ... thank you for our time together. I shan't forget it." It seemed rather formal, but Davina was acting in a dispassionate way, so he was left to reply in kind. "I had best take my leave then. There are villains to chase and riddles to solve." He offered back a friendly smile and prepared to exit.
  6. Charles Whitehurst

    In Search of Davina Tuesday Mid-Morning

    Davina's emotional journey seemed to come full circle. Charles was having a difficult time predicting her swings. How could she seduce him in one breath and dismiss him in the next? Perhaps it was driven by a deep melancholy or sickness. Perhaps she was dying and did not have the heart to tell him. To his inexperienced mind, something seemed wrong. There was a certain doctor that had assured him that the best way to cure a lady of illness or melancholy was to have sex with her. He was a man of science and the remedy rang true to his mind. Perhaps that was why Davina had wanted to have sex. Her body craved it. It needed a cure. If he could not provide it, she would find another, and risk her sterling reputation. What was he to do? He did not recall him suggesting that he planned to marry this year, but she assumed it to be so. How could she know before he revealed his intentions? It seemed uncanny. This whole encounter seemed curious. "Davina," he whispered as he followed her but part way. "I am worried about you. You do not seem as well as I knew you to be when we were together. Are you ill? Is there something you are not telling me?" He was trying to feel as empathetic as possible. "I still care for you and always will, no matter what. We shared merry-making surely, but we also shared a love that may seem like embers now, but the heat is there though you may say you wish to extinguish it." He wanted to let that revelation sink in. "We may each marry this year, tis true, but neither of us is betrothed as of yet. We can be friends and will certainly be so even after marriage. You are in need of intimacy as we all are. We could, if you wish it, be merry together until the day when we should not." It was the nice way to tell her that she was ill and needed a good swiving to get better. "There is that craving of which you spoke," he reminded her. "But it is for you to decide on this. I would see you smile again, with your eyes dancing and a laugh in your throat."
  7. Charles Whitehurst

    In Search of Davina Tuesday Mid-Morning

    There seemed to be a rainbow of emotions on display for Charles. Davina had seemed so sad that he had worried for her. Now she was standing and approaching him to kiss him! Blazing cannons! It was a surprise to be sure. He had been expecting the worst and now ... this. One might question whether Davina was toying with him, but that was not her style. He returned the kiss but it was done briefly. "Of course I feel it and crave it," he whispered back, though looking less comfortable than she given their proximity to a wealth of the Queen's ladies and servants. "This is hardly the place and time," he added softly. He had been rehearsing in his mind how he might tell her that he planned to wed another lady. There seemed to be no good way to reveal it to her unless she no longer cared for him, but her kiss spoke otherwise. "What would your gentlemen suitors say?" he offered with a brief smile, hoping that comedy would be one way to lessen the heat. "And my lady admirers. Should we not consider their feelings in our cravings?" It was a step towards revealing his planned betrothal and it was offered with an almost humorous touch, or so he hoped. He reached to clasp her hand and lift it to his mouth to kiss. It was better to be discovered kissing a hand than her mouth. "It would be dangerous to you and your future," he added in a whisper. Perhaps he could bring her around by portraying the caution was done to protect her. Perhaps she would become sensible, though she seemed to be in a rather emotional state.
  8. Charles Whitehurst

    In Search of Davina Tuesday Mid-Morning

    She was now relaxing somewhat and he felt some of the familiar warmth returning to her person. Perhaps he could even tease her, a favored past time. "Several gentlemen? Oh do tell. Do I know them? I could tell you if they are cads or not," he offered in hopes of coaxing names from her. His jealousy was starting to simmer, but he attempted to ignore it. Should he torment her with soliciting her advice on other ladies? That would be dangerous. Charles held her gaze. It seemed as though she was warming up to him again.
  9. Charles Whitehurst

    In Search of Davina Tuesday Mid-Morning

    "All will be well," Charles assured Davina without a basis other than his belief in himself and justice. "Thank you for your support," he offered quietly. She had flattered him and it was his turn to reciprocate. "Of course you have many admirers Davina, especially if they know what I know ... that you are an extremely charming and lovely person inside and out. Perhaps this is so evident that even brave gentlemen dare not approach you openly for fear of your disapproval. So, they send gifts and notes in hopes of warming your heart to their later approach." It seemed plausible if people were hiding behind the King to woo her. He felt more than a twinge of jealousy but he had no basis to object. "A puppy shall have to wait, I fear, till when I have time to devote to it. But thank you."
  10. Charles Whitehurst

    In Search of Davina Tuesday Mid-Morning

    "We did worry about a ruse or another attempt against a royal," Charles replied, finding it interesting that Mountjoy and Kingston thought to protect the Queen. Was it jealousy that he felt that he or his men were not there instead? He supposed it was for the best. "We are still seeking to confirm the nationalities but the killer escaped. We shall find him in time." Charles kept telling himself that it was but a matter of time. Davina seemed as though she was in distress. She sent a message and then quickly changed her mind. She offered a puppy to the Earl and then quickly changed her mind. It was unlike her. What was he to do to help? "The King gave you a puppy on behalf of another gentleman?" That seemed strange. Perhaps the Queen, but not the King. "He must be high placed for the King to act as the go between," Charles speculated. "Have you been receiving attention or other gifts anonymously?" he queried. He had thought to send her something to cheer her.
  11. Charles Whitehurst

    In Search of Davina Tuesday Mid-Morning

    There was no reason to doubt her words about the note. She seemed embarrassed by it. Yet, it was interesting to him that, when she faced trouble, she thought to turn to him rather than another. That likely meant that she did not hate him, so that was good. "Yes," he confided. "A murder in the garden. It has all been rendered a secret now, so you need to tell no one," he warned. "It could have been a Frenchman that killed a Dutchman," he whispered. "I don't think there was a plan to attack the King or Queen, but it is a mystery for me to solve. There may be other skullduggery afoot as well. I best say nothing more on that. It means that I shall be busy on the hunt in the coming days and weeks." He enjoyed chasing villains. In contrast, Davina seemed to tolerate her duties. It seemed to Charles that she was very unhappy, but he did not know what to say. Maybe he could send her an anonymous gift to cheer her. Ladies liked that. "With no duties you can spend time in the library or explore London. That is a good thing to have free time,"he attempted to assure her. "A puppy?" That was a surprise. "I admit that I have not acquired any hound for my household here." He thought himself too busy to find a suitable one. "What palace dog has had puppies?" He offered a smile as a way to change topics to something more light-hearted.
  12. Charles Whitehurst

    In Search of Davina Tuesday Mid-Morning

    Davina professed that she was fine; but, to his eyes and ears she did not seem "fine." Though he was busy, he supposed he could spend a few minutes with her. As such, he took a seat nearby but nothing so close as it would appear like intimacy between them if another maid happened upon them. "Bad news? Might it be about your brother Richard then?" He supposed she would go to her brother ordinarily if she needed help, at least male help. Perhaps she needed female help, but then why write him? Surely she was friends with Susan Herbert and the others. She had written to him, so she likely needed his assistance with something. "Would you like to talk about it?" She said it was nice to see him, so there was some hope that she might not still be angry. Still, he was learning that women could hide anger and spring it on you suddenly, so he could hardly lower his guard. "I am well," he replied. "I have been very busy these past weeks. There are potential assassins, murderers, and blackguards at work in the palace. I have been trying to ferret them out. I have my men searching for evidence and I am under pressure to solve these risks and crimes. That, and I arose very early this morning so I might get a head start. So, that might explain why I look tired. But it is all exciting work, so I am happy to have such responsibility. It sure beats boredom," he offered on a lighter note. "I hope you are happy in your responsibilities," he offered more quietly.
  13. Charles Whitehurst

    In Search of Davina Tuesday Mid-Morning

    It was to a side room he was led. Davina was seated awaiting him. It seemed as though she had been engaged in some knitting or needlepoint, but he hardly spared such implements a second look. Instead, he moved briskly up to person so that he might be ble to lower his voice. The walls of the palace were said to have ears. "I am so sorry. I just received your note this morning. I had been out most of yesterday.," he tried to explain in a hasty way, making up for his slowness in action by speaking all the more quickly. He glanced around to gain some measure of their privacy. There was an awkwardness between them and he knew little better way that to try an engage in a bit of familiarity. "It is good to see you again Davina, though I worry about the circumstances. Are you well? Are you in danger? Tell me how I might help you."
  14. His duty done with York quickly enough, Charles rushed to the Queen;s suite to visit Davina. He had not received her urgent note until early this morning and he sought her out. It was a bit early for gentlefolk, but he assumed that Davina might rise early to assist the Queen. Saluting the troopers guarding the entrance to the Queen's area, Charles sought to enter and ask a servant to tell Miss Wellsley that Major Whitehurst had come to see her.
  15. "I shall keep that in mind ... Lady Cambray." It was only then that he realized that they had not been introduced. "I am Major Charles Whitehurst, Earl of Langdon and Major in His Majesty's Life Guard. Where are you staying if I am to send a note?" He doubted he would need to do so, but it never hurt to know how to contact witnesses again. Once she was gone, he made ready to leave but worried about identifying the corpse. He owed it to himself to scrutinize the man's features and clothing again. His height, possible age, eye color, scars and other telltale features were committed to memory. In better light he looked at the boots and clothing for any sign of the bootmaker's or clothier's name. It might even reveal a different country of origin. The sword and dagger had been examined before and nothing noteworthy had been found. Frustrated, he asked the yeoman of the guard if they might have their fellow gate guards come to see if they recognized the man or could recall seeing him come and go from the palace recently. "Find an artist to come and sketch his face so that we might show it to people that may recognize him." "Please ask the Lord Chamberlain to come at his earliest ability," he instructed one of his troopers. The man was not only the Royal Chamberlain with oversight of servants at the palace, he used to be the Northern Secretary before Sunderland and his friend Joseph Williamson in the Tower. If Arlington cannot help, perhaps I should pay a visit to Joseph.
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