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Louis Killington

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About Louis Killington

  • Rank
    Lord Basildon

Character Information

  • Circles
    Libertine
    Political
    Trade
  • Title
    Earl

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  1. Louis Killington

    The House Guest from Hague Monday Afternoon

    ~ finis. Merci
  2. Louis Killington

    The House Guest from Hague Monday Afternoon

    She agreed as he knew she would. After all, Louis had trusted his wife with the testing and the girl was her responsibility. As such, he hoped she would be more motivated to vindicate the girl, or prove the French right. If Margetha was betraying them, some suitable punishment was appropriate before sending her back. "You do know that we shall never be able to prove that she is no spy, at least to other nobles at court." He walked beside Lisa as they strolled through the garden. "We can tell them we submitted her to five tests and ten hours of torture," he offered in jest, "and they shall think we may not have dug deeply enough." He offered a wry smile as they paused to observe a brightly colored flower. "We must convince ourselves first. Then let's find some good Anglican to marry her as quickly as possible." Pausing again at the fountain, Louis admitted "we shall have to accept this season will be lost to us as far as advancing into the King's inner circle. By next season, this Dutch suspicion shall have waned, Margetha will be gone and the King will realize we are more valuable assets than he gives credit. Nicci will continue to advance in his affections and he will be reminded time and again that keeping us at arms length is a mistake. In the meantime, build our ties to the Dutch and I shall build our ties with the French. William and Mary must know that we suffer from the affection they have for you and they will learn of Nicci's power, requiring them to make amends to us next season. Meanwhile, I shall continue to cater to the French party, who also sees Nicolette as a key piece they hope to manipulate, requiring them to treat us well. With the love of both the Dutch and the French we shall benefit greatly when this Sword of Damocles that hangs above us, thanks to machinations of Danby and the Dutch, is removed. With support of foreign powers without and support of Buckingham and our families within, the King will have little choice but to embrace us again. It requires mere patience, a commodity of which I have in short supply." Louis had far too much faith in himself and his family to become saddened about their current situation of royal lack of trust. The King was surrounded by mediocrity, in his opinion, and there would be a royal search for more talent to tap. Until then, he would wait and build his credentials. "Perhaps we shall spend some quality time together sparring with swords, and sparring in bed," he offered with a glint in his eyes. "Have I told you how ravishing you look in this moment? Perhaps we could retire again to our chamber to have a more intimate conversation?"
  3. Louis Killington

    The House Guest from Hague Monday Afternoon

    "Lisa, my dearest, if you think our servants will not betray us for a sliver of gold, you are far too trusting." Louis was paranoid, of course, but he also had reason to believe that the King and Buckingham had an informant in their household. "To the contrary, I think we would gain credit in the eyes of the court for sending her away as an additional security precaution." He could tell that his wife was unable to judge the situation fairly because she had befriended the girl. "Here is my challenge then. You have to the end of the week to search her, her possessions, her acquaintances, test her, and have her followed. I want to employ an actor to pretend he is a Dutch spy working for DeVries, the Dutch Ambassador, and ask her for intelligence on our family. Check every nook and cranny, every floorboard and mattress in her room or adjacent rooms. If she is not absolutely cleared of everything, she goes to Basildon at the first of the week. Agreed?"
  4. Louis Killington

    The House Guest from Hague Monday Afternoon

    "I trust your judgement, as always, my love. Our problem is that the truth does not matter. If she is perceived to be a spy, she will be treated as one regardless, and we will be suspected of harboring a spy." As they both knew, perception was more powerful than reality at court. "Buckingham and the Duc were convinced she is likely a spy. Can the King think any differently? As long as she stays with us, she will exile us from the inner circle of the throne. It might even negate Nicci's growing influence." "We could put her at Dorchester House instead, though that would be but a partial remedy. We could send her to Basildon to help ready the house for the summer. She could look after things there and clean up the chapel. I think that is our best move. She might not like leaving London, but she might like the country. She would be protected there and we could still seek a match for her. She can hardly refuse us."
  5. Louis Killington

    The House Guest from Hague Monday Afternoon

    He had spoken with Buckingham, Norfolk, Worcester, and le Duc, so he was ready to share the thoughts with his wife about things. It seemed that the Dutch had been meddling more than he had imagined. They were not free from blame about the attempt on the King's life and may have been involved in other plans against the Kingdom. Danby had been in league with the Dutch in trying to ruin York's chances at succession, and fomenting the Papist plot. He had conjured a false act of Irish treason to throw off the support of the older houses and had betrayed the King by fanning the flames of intolerance against all Catholics, allowing himself (and Shaftesbury) to weaken the monarchy's hand to defend York against exclusion. It had been a brazen act. Hill had knowledge as to the falsehood of the Irish affair and was a threat to reveal it, so Danby had seized his grandchildren. That explained the kidnapping of of the two boys. Typically it was fear of the French that drove London, but the King was now fearing the machinations of the Dutch and his nephew. King Charles was pulling in his old advisors to help root out which courtiers were complicit in the Danby plot. It seemed as if the Dutch might want to kill Danby to silence him. That was a surprise to him. The Somersets and Worcesters had been denied a place in the inner circle because of three factors -- Louis' connection with Danby, Lisa's connection with Princess Mary in Amsterdam, and the arrival of Margetha, who is suspected of being a Dutch spy. "Buckingham and Chevreuse both think she is a spy and believe the King has excluded us from trust because of her. We need to do something my darling. Send her home, marry her off in the next few days, or have her watched and her room and possessions searched with care every day. I think we do the latter for now and look for ways to distance ourselves from her. She does not seem smart enough to be a spy, but it could all be a ruse. Just how well do you know her?"
  6. Louis had returned from the visit with le Duc and his paranoia had been inflamed against Margetha. Could she be a Dutch spy? As far as he was concerned, the girl hardly seemed to have the requisite wits, but perhaps she was a fine actress instead. In search of his wife Elizabeth, the Earl suggested they go for a walk alone in their garden, where they might have little opportunity to be heard. They needed to design a plan to watch her, neutralize her, or send her home.
  7. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    "Fair point," Louis replied with a laugh. "Irish whiskey makes you think like an Irishman I fear," he continued as he felt compelled to take another swig. "You have been most kind with your time your Grace. We shall have an entertaining evening to be sure. Have you any words of advice or warning in parting, other than next time leave the whiskey at home?" He laughed at the thought but he worried that his mind was somewhat muddled and he may have forgotten to ask an important question. If the Duc wished to deliver any other message, the Earl wished to afford him the opportunity.
  8. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    "So it was likely Danby that created the whole Irish problem. No surprise there," Basildon admitted. "I had thought Williamson too smart for it, but His Majesty chose to let the man sit in the Tower and sell his office to Sunderland." That seemed rather unfair to Basildon, though he knew Sunderland to be friendly with France. The Hill kidnapping became more clear to Louis in that moment. Their grandfather knew the truth of Ireland perhaps and the boys were to keep his silence. Interestingly, the Duc spoke dismissively of York, expecting the Queen to have a live child. It would certainly mollify Shaftesbury and make him easier to work with going forward. It was more understandable that, once York was no longer the heir, the Whigs would become more cooperative. "Fair enough Your Grace." As for Margetha, "her rooms are cleaned daily," he replied with a smile. Of course, in the future, he would have her room examined even more closely. "When you come for dinner, we could keep her occupied so that you can look for yourself," Louis jested. "Or we could have your spy or Buckingham's spy in my household look as well." His laugh continued. His paranoia was in full bloom, wondering if he should replace all of his staff periodically just to make it harder on spies. "It shall be a grand evening. I shall ask Elizabeth and Nicolette to pick a date and an invitation shall be sent," he promised.
  9. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    Bastard was such a tawdry word in polite company but Basildon found himself nodding. Louis had plenty of his bastards running about. One was in his own household. One day there would be a price to pay. "Oui, the whiskey must be slowing me," he agreed with a laugh. Self-deprecation was a useful tool in such situations. "William could promise her something in Holland perhaps, but she is not welcome there. I had hoped to use her baseness to offer her something more useful and tangible here ... something for which she would be motivated to act in her own interest to assist me. Rest assured she will be further tested. She may yet prove herself an asset rather than a liability. We shall see." He asked about Danby, but it was in jest. It made sense that the Dutch might be more incentivized to find Danby, if the Duc was speaking the truth about the Dutch plot being conspired with Danby. Basildon would have paid a good amount of coin to sit down with Danby later in the day and challenge him as to what in the world was thinking. The former Chief Minister had shared nothing with him beyond niceties. Curiously, the master plotter had no escape plan other than to blame Louis. The Earl told himself that if and when he hatched such a plot, he would have a more elegant exit and excuse, with plausible deniability. Such mediocrity from his former patron was disappointing. "Do you have a idea as to why Osborne would kidnap the Hill brothers? There is some connection to their grandfather." Perhaps the French had better information that the speculation of Buckingham and Worcester. It was also a surprise that the Duc spoke well of Shaftesbury, Basildon had always viewed him through a lens of treason. "A patriot in disguise? That is an unexpected compliment to him. The problem is that his view of what is good for England is different than His Majesty's." "If you are to stay in London until the matter is settled, perhaps you will accept an invitation to join us for dinner later this week, or next. I know that my wife and Nicolette should enjoy your company. We can have Margetha there for you to engage. Feel free to let slip a false military secret to test her," he chuckled.
  10. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    Louis had been told by more than one person the nature of the Catholic flight to Anglican connections. It was all well and good but that did not mark the path to the resolution of Dutch and French plots. It was more relevant to the Popish plot, which might have been the product of an unusual marriage of Danby and Shaftesbury. He felt obliged to take another drink of whiskey, making him feel comfortably warm. As for the Dutch, he was now realizing what a millstone Margetha was around the neck of himself and his family. "The Dutch girl, Margetha, has royal blood but born on the wrong side of the sheets from Lady Ormonde and Lady Arlington. As such, she is largely disdained by the ladies back in her home. My lady wife took pity on her and thought that an English husband might be the answer. I suppose I need to send her back, or find a husband in haste for her so we can be rid of this millstone. Perhaps a French husband would be just the thing," Basildon laughed. "Do you have a gentlemen that is a pebble in your shoe and we might make a grand match of them?" Louis decided that a conversation with Lisa was in order. If nothing else, they could send her to estates in Basildon to await them. "Buckingham holding a royal secret that he cannot share with me merely stokes my curiosity." He wondered if the Duc knew the topic. "Is it about Danby's current location and status I wonder? In the past 48 hours I have come to revise my speculation as to where that pain in my backside went." The French had yet to know which lord(s) might be involved in the Dutch plot, but it suited them that the plotters be foreigners, as it would only counter their cause. "I would enjoy delving into the matter to ascertain the identity of the Dutch villain, but my instincts tell me that it would only heighten fears about my own loyalty if I were to call upon key members of the Dutch party. I find myself in something of a predicament," he admitted as he looked into his glass of whiskey. "A wise man suggested that I visit Shaftesbury of all people, as if he might be coaxed into assisting the matter. I know the Earl to be a practical man who considers many bed fellows; but, we are of limited common interest." It seemed that Louis was precluded from becoming the sleuth that would solve the mystery. Far more capable powers were stymied and did not run the same risks of associating with the wrong witness as did the Earl of Basildon. The better strategy, he imagined, was to use his newspapers to draw suspicion on Ormonde perhaps. The man was not well respected. "This game is far too intriguing for me to be immobilized on the game board. Perhaps you might have a recommendation for an interesting move on my part?" His eyebrow arched in invitation and then he paid the price with another drink.
  11. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    The plot history and goals were confirmed. Louis had feared a new plot of murder was afoot. He found himself drinking the Irish whiskey again, as he listened. "That gives me additional context. Merci. And so, both the Dutch and French contingents are here to ensure that the truth comes to light." He offered a smile at that. The only truth that mattered was the one that was accepted. "No slight taken, your Grace. I have adopted His Majesty's call for tolerance. While there will be times that I will need to insult Catholics on the floor of Lords to prove myself free of Rome's conspiracies, real or imagined, I will serve my master by urging that all faiths and dissenters should work together to serve the realm, and the Crown thereby. Still I do not find selfishness and betrayal to be a Protestant staple. It is the man, and not the faith, that is to be trusted or not. Yet, I agree that the Jesuits are rather ... bad company." He offered that line with a serious tone and then broke into a smile. "Arlington," he repeated. "A man who betrayed the King to the Dutch, betrayed his religion for an office, married a Dutch princess, joined the Dutch party to no avail, and now lives on crumbs of kindness from His Majesty. I find him as an odd choice to become an advisor in a court of Dutch suspicion." He gave a glimpse of his low regard for the older man with the black plaster on his wounded nose. "I suppose there is solace for the advice of men who once gave advice when you were more in need of it." Chevreuse was a young man like himself. Surely he would understand. "Does Le Roi take solace in the advice of old servants that betrayed him I wonder?" "So tell me, my lord, if you will, would you advise that I sit back and let Buckingham and old friends steer the course while I continue to cultivate friends and contacts with each of the parties? Docility is not in my nature, but I can endure it for a time. I am enmeshed in no plots, as sorry as that sounds." The last was added with humor, bringing forth a smile. When there was a game afoot, Louis wanted to be a player. But, this one was a more dangerous variant. He would be advised, he assumed, to follow the lead of others and he would prevail in the end. He had friends in both the French and Dutch parties. He was well-regarded by royalists and the Court Party, so what did he have to fear? He almost fought a yawn. To combat it he took another drink of whiskey in salute. "That leaves us with predictions. That is a grand game. William will try and bury his tracks on past and current plots, employ other Protestant rulers to remind England of its duties religiously and to contain the French menace to the Continent. You will remind my master as to the value of an alliance with his cousin as opposed to a nephew. Your presence here is proof enough that King Charles does not blame his cousin for the unpleasantness of the not so distant past. If another English lord will fall, I wonder who would be next. The uninformed think it might be me, but that would be wrong. Had the King not embraced Arlington, he would have been a worthy guess for Dutch conspirator. I suppose there is Ormonde."
  12. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    It was Basildon's turn to give a confused look. "A current plot? The Dutch? Want to kill King Charles?" His head was slowly shaking in the negative. "That would be an act of lunacy," he mumbled and moved to take another sip of whiskey. "I have heard tales of Dutch plots, but I thought them to be attempts to hide possible involvement with the prior assassination attempt," he confessed. :No doubt whispers about the Dutch are slower to reach me because of my wife's close relationship with Princess Mary. I suppose we picked the worst time to host a Dutch girl with some royal blood. Now I wonder whether she is a spy for Orange," he offered with a dark dismissive laugh. Buckingham had warned as much. "So tell me about these plots, if you would. Are they planning to harm my master or just engage in the more traditional lies, manipulation, blackmail, bribery, rumormongering, spying, kidnapping and low level murder," he listed aloud with a wry grin. "I want to know how worried I should be for my master and whether I need to take action unbidden." It was interesting to hear the French duke so free with the admission that the French were paying subsidies to the King to delay entry into the war. Louis supposed it was a compliment to his trusted status.
  13. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    "Did I tell you that the English drink whiskey out of very small glasses," the Earl laughed as it was becoming apparent that he might need to take many drinks. "Yes, let us impose only a net number of drinks upon me or I shall never make it to my final questions. I did bring along an extra footman in case I needed to be carried out," he continued to offer with an amused chuckle. Quick to accept his debt, Louis drank two rounds of whiskey, the grimace on his lips giving evidence to the effect on his body. "Perhaps this should be employed more on prisoners to torture them into intoxicated confessions?" It was meant in jest but it did strike Louis as a viable plan. "I did not deign raise a question about Le Roi's complicity in the attack upon the King. Your master is no fool and I trust people to act in their own interests. My master is a friend of his cousin, as we know. Even though his brother would be one as well, any hint of French involvement in the death of good King Charles would be to destroy more than what was ever gained. No, if anyone was involved it might have been Monsieur, who may have been galled at the selection of a Palatinate ... princess over a French one. That is a theory espoused by those who are no friend of France bit not so foolish to ascribe foolishness to Le Roi. I had come to believe that that fanatics, either Catholic, Protestant or even Dissenters were behind it. Yet, as I gather evidence these days, I look to who would benefit the most from such an attempt. Clearly anti-French Protestants would stand to gain the most. There are hints that it could originate from the Dutch, though they have hidden it well from Princess Mary." The Duke would know that he and Lisa were close to the Princess. "Of course she would not forgive assassins of her uncle." "I wonder if the plan was intended to fail. Think on it. Who attempts to kill a King by shooting at him from the shore? If the Protestants were behind it, would they not want to leave my master alive, rather than to trust in the mercies of his Catholic brother? Most strange." He looked to Chevreuse in invitation to provide evidence. "Danby was involved in much of the intolerance in this kingdom, but I cannot imagine he was involved in that particular treason. Different treason, yes, but he would not be so foolish as to involve himself with a clumsy conspiracy unless he was sure that each conspirator was dead within hours of the event." Basildon was musing aloud as he mentioned it. "And that leaves the fate of Danby, my former patron. Did you know that I saw him the night he went missing? I thought him off to the Dutch but he disappeared instead. I now think he never left England." His eyebrow shot up invitingly as he hoped the Duke would know more than the French should.
  14. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    "Excellent plan," Basildon agreed. "Yes, my means are small when compared to the likely greatest network in the world." "Let us start at the beginning of the Danby affair," he offered. The attempted assassination of the King was a more prickly subject for France. "I have assumed that you saw Danby as the greater threat to France than Shaftesbury, though both are enemies of France, at least in their rhetoric. I know your master provided the treaty to Ashley-Cooper. It was inspired because it turned two enemies against each other, but it has had the effect of stirring the populace more against France, as opposed to ruining Danby in a way more benign to France. Surely some embezzlement could have been discovered, for example. I am guessing that since he survived the last impeachment for misconduct, you thought you needed a bigger cannon? Is that a fair appraisal?"
  15. Louis Killington

    The Chase Leads to Chevreuse (Monday)

    With no pause, Basildon joined the Duke beside the fire. The move could also serve to draw their conversation further away from prying ears. "Yes, do bring the whiskey." Louis urged. "You shall have your choice of bottles for this dare your Grace. The Irish are deeply enmeshed in the game it seems. The Scots less so, surely to their chagrin," he chuckled. As a southern lord, Louis held the other of the Three Kingdoms in lower regard. "Might I suggest for the rules that if I go in the wrong direction, you order me to drink. If I observe something worthy, you would be at liberty to take a drink from your own glass. As the host and of much higher rank, I shall place myself at your mercy completely," Louis dared. "How do you wish me to proceed? Do you wish to set the stage so to speak, have me walk through the steps, or would you prefer to pose questions to me? Though if the latter, if you know not the answer before you ask it, then I would ask you to signify it by sipping your whiskey at the end of the question. Is the game fair?"
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