Lucas Cole Posted February 18, 2016 Share Posted February 18, 2016 Over the last few months, whenever the pressures of life threatened to become overwhelming, it had become Master Cole's habit to take a long walk. What had begun as a ploy to distract from the inevitable lure of laudanum, (a simpler but far more insidious form of relaxation that still, on occasion, proved tempting) had soon become a habit unto itself, for Lucas found the act of walking to be a supremely restful one. Aside from the rhythmic motion of it, there was something very satisfying in being alone with one's thoughts and freed from all obligation. Nothing could be demanded of one who was busily walking, after all, except for the act of walking itself. He had wandered all over London these last few weeks, in all weathers, at all times of the day and night, hands buried deep within the pockets of his warm greatcoat, collar turned up against the wind... directionless, and surprisingly content. And as the opera's debut had approached, the habit had become ever more necessary. Indeed, some nights, the only way he could get any sort of sleep at all was to walk himself to exhaustion, and then collapse. This evening, the opera would grace the stage for the very first time, before King, patron, and court. And so today, the composer walked, snow be damned. Along the Strand and up Maypole, through Wich street and Drury lane, skirting through Covent Garden and then north, through narrow alleys carpeted in grey, furrowed slush, toward Holburn. The winter air was crisp with the clean, sharp scent of the snowfall; the sun threw long, blue shadows from every wall and tree and rooftop. These simple things were somehow deeply soothing. Still, given enough time the English winter would drive even the most determined of men indoors, and by the time Lucas had reached the end of Monmouth street, he had begun to feel hungry, and despite his thick wool socks and gloves, his fingers and toes had begun to grow numb with cold. Reluctantly, he turned south toward Charing Cross... and the nearest warm hearth. The Red Lion Inn is located at Charing Cross. Solidly built in grey stone the inn has an air of permanence and protectiveness. The three storied building displays a shield-shaped sign of a red lion rampant guardant on a white ground. The legend above the door reads "Red Lion Inn. Hezekiah Golightly, lndld." The taproom is furnished with an oak settle before the fireplace and tables and stools are scattered in congenial groups around the room. The floor is covered with the finest sand which is changed weekly. Before the fire, (with a bowl of white bean soup, a cup of mulled wine, and his boots off) Lucas let out a long, contented sigh, enjoying the comfortable tiredness of limbs, of extremities thawing. The snow clinging to his coat had begun to melt, beading upon the nap. For a time, this restful state of mind would persist... though what he was expected to do with the remainder of this anxious day, he had no idea. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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