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The Offices of the Royal Exchange | by hand, 28th afternoon- Xmas 1677

Charles Audley

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To Whom it May Concern,


This is something of an unusual letter and I apologise in advance for any inconvenience.


I write to you with regards to one Arthur Cadogan, a former business associate of my late father. My father was no meticulous record keeper, yet going through his papers it is clear that something lay unfinished between them and I cannot in good conscience allow the matter to rest.


I know that I impose, but I have written to enquire if the Exchange has a place of business listed for Master Cadogan. (My father, as previously mentioned, kept poor, disorganised records). If so, is the Exchange willing and able to share the aforementioned?


I greatly appreciate your sensitivity and discretion in this matter, but not half so much as I would any aid you could give me in discharging my filial responsibilities. My apologies once more for any inconvenience.


Charles Audley, Lord Chatham.


Charles sealed the letter and handed it to Wodehouse.


"Wait for a reply if they seem like to give one swiftly and tip as seems appropriate. I trust your judgement."

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  • 4 weeks later...

The recent passing of the late Lord Chatham, gave grounds to an enquiry such as Charles. Although it was usually letters from solicitors offices to deal with such matters, the Clerk who opened this letter supposed that the new Lord Chatham was one of those sorts that liked to see to such things personally.


The information requested was easily found, and within a few minutes a fresh sheet of paper was laid out to pen reply.


Dear Lord Chatham,

Please accept my condolences for your loss, with wishes that tying these loose ends runs expediently both for your own and others business endeavors sake.


Mr Cadogan is indeed registered with us, and just recently updated his address, which no doubt explains your difficulty in locating him yourself. His office and postal address is currently c/o Jno. B. Parsimmons & Co. of Westminster Hall, off whom, I believe, he sublets an office space.


Compliments of the Season

Master C Maxwell


The paper was sealed with wax, and passed to the waiting man.

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That was almost suspiciously easy.

The thought ghosted across the Earl's mind as he read the prompt response. He considered it for a moment. It probably wasn't a trick, he concluded. These things often were easier than one might expect. People rarely seemed to realise the ripples they stirred up in their passage through life. Cadogan might well be taking precautions against being followed and other such skulduggery, but it almost never occurred to amateurs to protect against such mundane means.


His next step was obvious. An unannounced visit to Arthur's place of business. Simply turning up in places the other fellow expected to control, expected to be safe in, was often an effective tactic. It put them off balance. Not that Charles was going to be overtly threatening. No, he would be polite, and cordial, and pass on the news of his stepmother's imminent arrival. His presence would convey the real message.


His gaze flicked over the note again, and he snorted.


Westminster. He damn near lead me right to his office. I think I'm more offended by that than the blackmail.

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