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Mischievious Machinations | 13/08, Late Afternoon


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Baintree had indeed not gone to Kemp's, but instead gone straight to the palace. He had changed into something a bit nicer--a suit of dove grey with a purple silk waistcoat and a pearl stickpin--in anticipation of his scheme coming to fruition.


His admonitions had gone unheeded, but he knew of one person whose word Davina valued over any other person's, and Baintree intended to use this knowledge to his gain.


He waited in the Queen's Presence Chamber for two hours before Queen Karoline appeared, impatiently biding his time. Time, time--he did not have much time! A sister who was getting older by the second, and a tenuous political situation that threatened to go sour at any given moment; action was needed!


Baintree waited further before he dared approach the queen, and when he did, he swept into a low, courteous bow. "I would speak to you, Your Highness, of my dear sister Mistress Wellsley. It is of the utmost importance."


The queen had always struck Baintree as frigid, and she seemed to be made of stone, for there was no expression that flickered across her face at all at the mention of his sister. She got to her feet and the room roused to attention. "If you would follow me, Lord Baintree," she said formally, and allowed him to escort her into her drawing room.


Surrounded only by the ladies that had accompanied her, Baintree witnessed a veritable transformation. Her cool demeanor seemed to soften, even it was only marginally. "You wished to speak to me about Mistress Wellsley?"


Baintree watched her settle onto her seat on the raised dais, and took a seat on the chair she gestured at. "Yes, I fear I am quite worried..." The tale of their family's position, the Catholicism, and his efforts to assist Davina came pouring out, ending with Chichester's proposal and Baintree's desire for Davina to marry well, but not to a Catholic.


"I would ask Your Majesty's assistance in this matter, for as you have heard, my sister does not heed my advice. She does, however, value your opinion more than anything in this world--if you would suggest a suitor, I have no doubt that she would pay him more mind than any I could possibly suggest."


The queen sat there for a while, before she gestured. The eldest of her ladies and the most senior, Lady Blount, stepped forward and there was a hushed conversation in their native tongue. A significant glance was shared between them, and Lady Blount stepped away, disappearing back through a door into the Presence Chamber.


"A young nobleman from Saxony who was in the service of Lady Blount's brother has recently arrived to London. He is a Freiherr, and will inherit both land and title upon his father's death." The queen's eye strayed to the door when saying this, and Baintree fought the urge to turn to see what was going on behind him.


A slightly-taller than average, dark-haired man accompanied Lady Blount, dressed in fine sapphire brocade. Baintree sized him up; he was older, perhaps, than his appearance indicated but that was not entirely bad--perhaps Davina could do with a man and not a boy as a husband. There was another conversation between the man and the queen in German, and Baintree felt singularly frustrated for being out of the loop.


Queen Karoline turned back to him, an enigmatic smile gracing her features. "Fear not, Lord Baintree. I will not allow anything to happen to Mistress Wellsley--she has served me well." She glanced to the man then and a look was exchanged between them. "Freiherr von Brühl will be more than happy to make your sister's acquaintance."

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