Jump to content


Your Stories Await Telling

A Grey Baron at the Red Lion - from April 1 onwards [CD]

Recommended Posts


The Red Lion Inn

The Red Lion Inn is located at Charring 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."

     It was just after midnight that the coach finally entered the yard. It was a fine, spacious berline, made of good English walnut painted all black, without any visible adornments, pulled by six blue roans of even temperament. Two men rode in front, wrapped in black woolen cloaks to keep the night cold out of their bones. A rather sizable number of sturdy trunks and coffers of all sizes were securely tied on the top and back of the carriage, while inside the coach, a lone figure sat lost in thought.

     While the coachman stayed in his seat, making sure the horses stayed in place, the other man climbed quickly down, pulled the step into place, and opened the door for the passenger.

     “We have arrived, my lord”.

     The figure inside the carriage did not move for a few moments but, after mumbling something about spoltiglia and tripolo, alighted slowly, achingly, from the days of travel, wrapped in a brown bear skin.

     “Thank you, Reginald”, the passenger said as he pulled the fur tightly around him. “Please make sure that everything is taken to its proper place, and mention to each of the porters that there is glass inside the coffers.”

     The slightly heavy man smiled tiredly. Trying to explain to inn employees that his coffers contained scientific instruments was, he now knew, futile. But if one mentioned glass, they knew it was expensive, and thus they would treat the containers with care, lest they be sent to debtors’ prison until they somehow paid for what they had broken.

     There was a timid meow from inside the coach.

     The fur-clad man smiled, turned around and pulled his feline companion. “Forgive me, Rich, I am so tired that I forgot about you!” Uttering his cat’s name made the middle-aged lord lengthen the smile. People thought it was the diminutive of Richard, but it was not so. It was a short form for Richelieu. The cardinal had been so fond of cats that he had left a noteworthy sum of money in his testament to take care of a number of them. As he felt being pulled up and his chin being scratched, Rich started purring contentedly. He was a magnificent specimen of a double-coated long hair from Khorasan, with the long coat of a lighter shade of grey than the undercoat, which made the animal seem to change colours as he moved.

     Reginald knocked on the sturdy doors of a great arch until they were opened, and then preceded his master until they reached a tall, thin blonde lad hurriedly straightening his clothes behind a desk.

     “Lord Grey has a reservation, I believe” said the valet. The youth assented immediately. He had been advised that the lord would stay at the Red Lion for the season, and noble guests were to be treated with great respect, so they and their friends would stay at the inn in the future. “Of course. One of our best rooms in the first floor, The Yacht Room, is ready”. That was said to every customer, of course, but it sounded good. “Do you need help with your luggage?”

     “Yes”, Reginald replied, “there is lots of it, and there is a lot of glass inside the chests, so have your men be careful”.

     The young man stood up. “In that case, I will take care of it myself”, the youngster said. “I would not trust anyone else”.

     Half an hour later, all the chests and coffers had been carefully moved to the room upstairs, and the tired lord was sitting in front of the small writing table, paper and quill in front of him, and a mug of mead to the side. There were two letter he needed to write, so that Reginald would deliver one to the post office and the other one to Pall Mall.

     “Get some sleep, Reginald. I will wake you if and when I need you. I need to think before I write”.

     Yes, there is much to think about before setting quill to paper...

Edited by Henry Grey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

<At some hour of the night, Saturday, April 2nd>

     “Meow… meowww… MEOWWWWW!”

     The double-coated long hair from Khorasan showed his displeasure by being louder and louder, demanding that Henry paid attention to him.

     “What is the matter Rich? What has you so upset?” The baron started scratching under the cat’s chin. That always worked, and Rich started to purr almost immediately. “Yes, yes… I know. You do not like these cramped quarters any more than I do. We both need space, and you need a fat, juicy rat or two to hunt, kill, and then bring to me as you do back home”. As if the cat knew what its owner was saying, it pulled back its head and started licking Henry’s hand. "I know... I knowww...." The purring increased in volume.

     Loud laughter from the common room below could be heard, and both the man and the cat stopped and looked at each other. “Yes, Rich. The Inn can get a bit… loud... once in a while”. Lord Grey looked at his drawings and his brow furrowed. “And the noise doesn’t help me think. Look at this drawing…” it seemed that the man talked to his cat often, “… it will have to be redone. Without thinking I wrote every measure and note in plain English!” He took the drawing and shred the paper to pieces. “I cannot continue making these mistakes! I need a place with less noise…”

     An idea occurred to him.

     “Reginald, are you awake?” The lord asked without raising his head.

     A sleepy voice answered. “Yes, my lord. How may I be of service?”

     “I want you to go and find out where….”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

<At some hour of the night, Sunday, April 3rd>

     The day had been productive. Henry had met the Earl of Chichester, who he would visit the next day, and he had paid his respects to His Grace Buckingham. Not bad for a Sunday. Later in the day he had decided to focus in his studies and his first speech at the House of Lords, and he had made a bit of progress in both.

     Eventually, the noise from the public room had proven too much, so he had had to stop. Rich had been both annoyed and annoying, so the baron had decided to go for a walk to clear his thoughts. After returning, he had dinner downstairs, bidding his time until patrons began to leave. It was the Sabbath, after all.

     Once back in his room, and before going to bed, he opened his notebook on its last page, dipped his pen in the inkwell, and began to write:


Buckingham’s Lessons

1678, April 3rd.

     Buckingham’s lesson one: when someone requests an audience, make sure you know more about them than they know you know.

     Buckingham’s lesson two: politics is politics, wherever you are.

     Buckingham’s Lesson Three: there are plenty of fools at court. Make sure you are not one of them.

Lord Grey was to continue writing when a thought suddenly occurred to him. This time not even Richelieu distracted him from his task. Grabbing a blank sheet of paper, he began to sketch furiously.

     What if the distance between the two lenses is zero…

Edited by Henry Grey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Hope locked this topic
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...