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A Chance with the Chancellor?


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During the Mourning Week


"Thank you for seeing me," John Digby stated to the man before him. The Chancellor had declined to meet with him, claiming that there would be no official duties during the period of mourning. John suspected that this was just a ruse to further delay presentation of his claim. The man had delayed even before the death of Dorset.


The meeting was in St. James Park, so it would seem to have no official overtones. Getting a chance to speak with one of the clerks of the Chancellor was better than nothing.


"Has the Chancellor read my letter?" the former priest queried. "He has ... sir," came the reply. "I should like to know the status of my title."


"It is very complicated you see," came the explanation from the bespectacled clerk. "You see, it is without precedent."


"It seems perfectly clear to me. There is no ban upon Catholics holding titles. I am the closest male relative to the Earl of Hardy. I have his letter. I am no longer a priest, if that were to cause a problem. I do not understand the delay. This should be a simple case."


"Nothing is as simple as it may seem sir. There is further research to be done. The title traces to a barony that may pass along female lines, you see."


"My cousin, Jane, she is asserting this claim?" His English bore an accent.


"I am not at liberty to divulge such things you see." The man seemed more nervous than before.


"Yes. Yes I see," came the cool voice of the former clergyman. It was as he was warned. "It is no longer a barony. I do not understand."


"Perhaps you should employ a good solicitor sir. This is the sort of dialogue best had between legal scholars."


"I suppose that shall be necessary," John mused aloud. "I thank you for your time sir. It seems that I shall need to make a number of visits. You have been very kind to meet me."

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