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George Hardwick III

Sunday Service | Morning 3rd April

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Davina with The Marchioness

She could see that many were intent to leave and so since no objection had come down she too made that decision. She was blocked for some moments and in the shuffling caught sight of a familiar face - not the one she was looking for but a welcom'd one nevertheless.

"Good Morrow Marchioness." She dipped a curtsey and smiled. "You are well Aunt?"

It was a small joke between them.

Davina's mother, afore her marriage, had been a Paulett thus the Marchioness of Winchester was her Great Aunt by Marriage but that was by Title for that Lady was but ten years older than Davina. The current Marquis, Charles Paulett, was Davina's first cousin and the step-son of the Marchioness.

"And You are the very person I need to see! Shall we walk together and I shall explain ...."

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A joke that was funnier for the younger than the elder, but Isobel smiled of it none the less.

"I am fit and well yes." she replied honest on those accounts at least, she was hardly about to express her malaise of the past months and months and months, really ever since Brighton.  It was nice to see Davina seemingly so buoyant of spirits. 

"So tell me then..." she listened.

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It was a rather short answer and so she took a moment to look closer thinking that there was some underlying cause but it was not the time nor place for such a discussion and so she moved to the one at hand.

She would draw the Marchioness a bit off to the side as they walked beginning to explain.

"Well. The house next to Baintree has been taken. Its occupant is young with dark hair like mine and with brown eyes. But here is the surprise - tis a woman and I would guess eight and ten or there abouts. She is also a Widow. And a Countess."

She paused to let all that sink in for it was a whispered speech a bit rushed.

"Devereux is the Family name and Cambray the Title. She hails from an island called Barbados and was returning to England when the ship was tossed about and broken and she the only one that survived. Why tis like a Play!"

"She resided with her mother-in-law in the country for some time and has now come up to London. She is ..... Libertine by Nature ... yet I confess quite likable."

"She is desirous of a Household Position and has by chance, when she and I were together, already encounter Lady Mountjoy. Now that Lady has set forth a task for the two of us and that is where You can be of great help so I believe."

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"All the Libertines are likeable, it is their redeeming trait." the older woman replied, wondering where this was going. Were Davina's interests drifting to the frivolus and reckless side of court? 

She saw Lord Chichester* leaving then, he did not even look her way. 

But instead Davina said she was reforming the girl, using the lure of a place in the queens household.  And somehow Lady Mountjoy came into it.  "I do not know how I can help, you seem to be doing well by yourself. Well done my dear, the Order of St George would be proud of your turning her back from her immoral ways." Ah the irony that the order possessed the same name as the English man of whom she'd once thought there had been possiblities. 

 

* Brighton they had a bit of thing that never came to anything. 

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The young (mid-twenties) redheaded Rev. Adrian Hamilton stood at the, both farewelling and available to parishioners should they wish to seek out god fearing advice.  

 

* OOC: yes this is Heather's brother, last at court  in spring '76

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Cordelia and Henry

     Women! You try to tell them what a blessing they are, and they find a way to turn the knife, stab you with it, and then twist it so it hurts!

     Henry smiled… beatifically, as he patted her arm.

     “You have me wrong, Lady Lucas, I did not mean that, not at all. I did not even mean its total opposite. What I meant was neither, and both, at the same time. Which means, I meant whatever would make you shine in the most flattering light, my lady!”

     Henry’s face was the image of innocent sainthood as he spoke, and his tone corresponded to his visage. He was a book work, that was true, but that was not all he was.

     I am going to enjoy our friendship so much, Lady Lucas, so much!

Edited by Henry Grey

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Davina And The Marchioness

"Lady Mountjoy has indeed got a bee in her bonnet and rather than simply saying that she might think on it - a position in Presence Chamber for the Countess I mean - she said assigned a task as if we were back in the Schoolroom!"

"Told us to seek out those Ladies already in the Household and play twenty questions and get the answer as to how they were themselves elevated. The going about it was up to us."

"She also pointed out and rightly so that the Countess would need a Sponsor. She has no Family that she knows of so that option is useless. Might we make use of your memories and perhaps you might offer some suggestion as to which Ladies might be helpful?"

"And I am not asking you to sponsor My Lady. There is also my Lady Mother ...." She gave a quick shake of her head to negate THAT thought. "Perhpas I mught sound of the Duchess of Norfolk ..."

"Reform? Me?" She gave a chuckle. "In this those Ladies will find only disappointment."

"I assure you that Countess Cambray has no plans as far as I am able to see to do such. She is not bad in the true sense of that word and I think she is too much alone right now and the cloak of Widowhood to fresh." 

She was painting the picture a bit thick but they were in need of assistance and so Davina hoped it might work.

"Will you think on it for this for a day or two and then send me word? Do not I pray you feel obligated! Tis just you were the first into my thoughts and have more experiences."

She supposed God would allow for a little flattery on a Sunday.

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Davina And The Marchioness

 

Isobels eyes flared and halting her stately exit she turned to face Davina directly! "Have you forgotten where you are." She whispered, " and I have said nothing against Lady Mountjoy, those are your thoughts not mine. Don't you see her here also attending? Whispers move quickly, what if those words of yours are repeated back to her."

The disloyalty evident in Davina's complaints could very well put her hot water, if not dismissed outright (if it got back to Ursula.)

Still in a hush she continued, "I refuse to talk about this here in public." The Marchioness valued her own position in society more than Davina valued her own, it would seem.

Davina clarified of not wanting Isobel to sponsor this libertine woman into the queens household (not that Isobel had thought that was her wish), and also that she did not want to reform the other either. Isobel was confused, Davina had said too much all at once, seemed to be upset and indeed passionate about it, but it was the open distain towards the Mistress os the Robes that was most concerning.

 "Davina, as Family, my best advice to you is to speak nothing on any of this to Anyone, but come to visit me in private, where I hope I can help you regain good sense." She spoke kindly to Davina who seemed to be losing her way, "meanwhile, let me give You something to think about: that the first thing the young Queen did when settling into Whitehall was to evict all the mistresses. She made her stance on immoral behaviour very plain. There is absolutely no chance for a libertine woman to have a place within her household."

"Come and see me, tomorrow morning perhaps, before your youth and excitement gets the better of you and you do something rash." 

If naught else Davina has made Isobel forget her own troubles for a time.  This had been a most unexpected conversation.

 

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Charles, Darlene, and Thomas

Thomas's face was quite the shade of pink, and he stared at Darlene in shock for a beat before remembering himself. "Oh, I am so very sorry, my lady," he said, drawing the offending foot back and moving slightly away in the pew to give her more room. "I hope you were not hurt -- I could not forgive myself."

Apologies put forth, Thomas cast a curious look to Charles. Was this the lady's husband? This was court, so probably not, but he had a rakish look to him -- no doubt due to the eye patch. Thomas squared his shoulders and faced the pair resolutely, his composure recovered, as he awaited the lady's answer.

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Davina and The Marchioness 

She was caught off guard by her relations admonishment. Her own manner now undergoing a change as well into one of some confusion.

"You are wrong in the assumption that I am less caring of my 'Position'. There is none to overhear which is why I wanted this space. I have said nothing aganist Lady Mountjoy as you suggest. Twas only her mood I made comment upon."

What she had said was true but it in no way had impled she was casting some disparaging remarks so she did not see how that had been misconstrued.

"Yes. Here is not best at all."

She looked away for a moment and gave a silent sigh. She had not expected such.

"Not to speak of it? Lady Mountjoy herself expressed that we were free to address any Ladies that might be helpful. Which is why I sought You out. What has made you of a sudden so cautious of a task I have been assigned?"

Oh. She had been forgetful in her own rememberances of that event. Yes. Her Aunt was right - the Countess would not be accepted as a known Libertine. The only way was to hide it but that was dangerous and Secrets always got found out in the end especially at Court. The additional fact that the Countess had already been so Public in her manner and speech was not going to help either.

hmmm   .....

"Very well. I have no wish to agitate you and yes you have a valid point. I shall indeed have to rethink this business."

"Come let us continue out and I shall speak only of plesant things so if by chance we are overheard nothing will come of it!"

She smiled and would take the others' arm so that they could continue to walk side by side but only if the Marchioness wanted it so. 

Her private thoughts were in a termoil. She needed to organize them and so would hold off on a visit until she had become clear.

Her Aunt had voiced a Truth and so Davina was now unsure if this was even a thing that could be accomplished. Her meeting with the Countess later would be the chance to put it to the test.

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Davina had misjudged that they were somewhere other than the file of courtiers exiting the church* with persons close in front of and behind them.  

Isobel sighed as Davina took her words of caution of further complaining to mean that she should not proceed with the instructions Lady Mountjoy had given her. "Davina, concentrate on what I am actually saying." she replied, "not on what you are imagining. Of course you have to follow her instructions. But do not bad mouth her like this!"  

Lord knew who had already overheard, and who might be continuing to overhear this conversation!   The Marchoness looked behind them, to the front and to the sides.

The Manners family was behind them.

  

OOC: you'd not specified going anywhere to talk in private.  I felt like we needed to identify who was next to them at this point, so Davina can do damage control if she is inclined.  To do that I went into the Char Profiles forum, closed my eyes, moved the mouse around in a frantic sort of random while clicking many times, then, when opening eyes again I was still in the forum but in an actual char listing.

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Cordelia and Henry 

She being other than who she was did not take umbridge at that 'pat upon her arm' instead she smiled back.

"You are clever indeed for you have managed to not only save yourself but compliment me as well! There must be something tonall those books after all."

Her manner implying that she had found something out about him and was pleased.

"I shall be watching your progress with much interest Lord Grey. You are much like still water - deep yet with hidden charms - and so bound to attract many. I had thought this new Season to be a repeat of the last yet how wrong I am!"

"What, I wonder, lies ahead?" Her comment was all innocence.

She would natutally find out more the next day for she was to spend some time in his company and yes she was fishing but he was someone she had taken a liking to and wished to cultivate.

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Charles, Darlene, and Thomas

Darlene should have been alright, but, with both gentlemen looking at her so concerned like that... 

"Oh, oh," she whimpered helplessly, "but I don’t know if I can walk!" Naturally she stood upon single foot, and now did teeter a little as she stood just on one.   "But, it's alright, I really should have been looking where I was going, it's hardly your fault at all Lord...?" teetering a little more she clasped hold of both gentlemen’s arms.  Perehaps one or the other would carry her, or maybe even both.

Yes, some days were just perfect. 

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Cordelia and Henry

     “You do deserve the praise, Lady Lucas. And yes, books do serve a purpose. I wholeheartedly agree with the thought”. Too bad there were more books than Henry would be able to read in his life. Still, he at least perused anything that seemed worthwhile.

     “What lies ahead?” Henry stopped for a moment, before looking at Cordelia directly in the eye. “A beautiful friendship I hope, my lady. A beautiful friendship”. The baron truly did. Cordelia would kill probably poison him if she knew, but she reminded Lord Grey of his mother, a loving creature behind as stern a façade as she could manage for the wellbeing of her two sons.

     Henry lowered his voice, and whispered close to Lady Lucas’ ear, “do you know any of these people, my lady? I must confess I hardly know anyone…”

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Charles, Darlene, and Thomas

Very young, Charles amended his summation as he saw Thomas blush. He could not remember when last he himself had flushed quite so red. The youth recovered well, thought, Charles would grant, his mental judge grudgingly awarding seven out of ten points for Composure, Regaining of. He was being assessed himself, Charles realised, and debated revising the score downwards for obviousness. No, he decided. The patch was too eye-catching to hold any scrutiny against the other man.

That was inconsequential though, and Charles set the train of thought aside as Darlene whimpered. He frowned and hissed softly in sympathy. The bones of the foot could be damnably delicate, he knew, and he almost opened his mouth to flay the clumsy interloper. But Darlene seemed to be in a much more forgiving mood, and, as the injured party, it was her prerogative to decide how best to proceed.

"Here, let me take the weight," he said instead, stooping and wrapping an arm around her waist to support her. He looked quizzically at Thomas, waiting for the other to either contribute or introduce himself.  

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Charles, Darlene, and Thomas

Thomas might have looked young, but his actual age was closer to thirty than twenty and his appearance belied his worldly experience. He also was not bad at getting a read on people, and so he took Darlene's dramatics for what they actually were -- and decided to play along.

"Cornet Easton of the Oxford Blues," Thomas supplied, inclining his head in a bow to them both due to limited space to bow properly. "Please, do allow me to assist you, my lady." He stepped closer to take Darlene's other arm to support the her other side lest her ankle give way. 

"What did you think of the service?" Thomas offered to the pair as a conversation topic, trying to draw attention away from his blunder. "I hear that this is MIstress Dwight's third engagement, the poor girl."

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Anne-Elisabeth and the Angleseys

 

Anne-Elisabeth returned the elderly lady's smile. That must be his wife, she thought. Good. I won't have to worry that he'll think I want to sleep with him just because I sat by him. Though she felt the gaze of the young man upon her during the service, it didn't bother her a bit. The arrogant Countess adored being watched.

 

The old couple introduced themselves to her, and she glanced thoughtfully at the lady. Could she possibly be of sufficient influence to recommend her for a position with the Queen? Anne-Elisabeth doubted she was supposed to hear the words Lady Anglesey said to her husband, and she pretended that she hadn't. Could it be that an opportunity was being presented to her ... a chance to be taken care of by this kind couple and treated as a daughter?  She missed her parents a lot more than she missed her husband and wished they were still around to give her wisdom and guidance.

 

The young Countess sighed sadly when asked about her family. “They are gone, my lady. I grew up in Barbados and after I was married to the Earl of Cambray, we traveled to England together. Alas, a sudden storm tore our ship apart shortly before we reached our destination, and it crashed upon the coast. I was the only survivor. I am alone now, and I am trying to make a new life for myself here at court.”

 

Edited by Anne-Elisabeth Devereux

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Nicci and Sophia

 

“Marrying a foreigner has given me a chance to travel again and explore new cultures. Here, though, my position has not yet proved advantageous. I hope to change that, though, and now that I am a Countess, maybe I will be able to travel in higher social circles.”

 

Sophia considered Nicolette's question about her marriage. “I suppose that I am a bit more content, especially now that I'm pregnant, but my lord husband is still distant with me. Maybe it will not matter once I have a child to love.”

 

Once the service was over, her compliment was received with Nicolette's usual graciousness. She stood up and accompanied her friend out of the pew and into the aisle.  A blush suffused her cheeks when the Frenchwoman inquired about her former guardian's love life. Was she interested in marrying him herself? "Lord Kingston is like a big brother to me,” she said. “He never discussed his love life with me.” Leaning closer, her eyes sparkled with mischief. “Would you like me to find out for you?”

 

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Anne-Elisabeth and the Angleseys

"Good heavens, it's a wonder you are alive!"  Elizabeth declared in her voice too loud, just everyone anywhere near them would over hear her startle and any number of people looked towards their little group.  "Have you got lunch? Arthur, how much of the beef roast is left? You must come to lunch. Look at her, she s just wasting away."  

Arthur patted his wifes hand, "Dear, I am sure she's talking about months ago even.  Shes hardly fresh from the sea now." 

 

 

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Charles, Darlene, and Thomas

Lord Chatham adopted a magnificently protective tone & Darlene wilted a little against him.

While the other, her 'assailant' you might say, was a  proper gentleman also, "Why thank you Cornet Easton, Cornet, is that a rank?" breathy voiced she clasped Thomas' arm.   At that moment she knew with one hundred percent certainty, that every woman in the Chapel must be jealous of her. "And I am Darlene Hamilton, Lady Oakham, though you've hardly caught me at my best. I am usually more robust." to punctuate her point she made a wobbly hop.  (It was likely to take quite long time exiting the church this way.) "And my companion is Charles Audley, Earl of Chatham.  We were just..."

She stopped to look at Charles. What had they just been about to do? 

"... going to talk about that poor Dwight girl." 

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Francis hangs back to talk to Adrian

 

Lord Kingston was rather unaware that he was anything of a topic of interest at the moment, so he put his hand up to his mouth to cover a yawn as he stood, mostly waiting for the queue to dwindle before joining at the end of it. He was too tired to wish to be stuck between a bunch of people who he might then have to make small talk with.

 

When he noticed it was Heather's brother wishing everyone well in that Godly way at their exit, Francis purposefully hanged back to speak with him, though they did not truly know each other. The lady had left him in charge of supervising her finances and books and keeping an eye on things in her absences now that she had a little baby son to deal with, and Francis (being male) still thought it important to converse with her male relations.* 

 

(OOC - I think everyone forgot that Heather had her baby *before* the start of last season (the Christmas season) since T has been gone, so I'm just making sure we all are on the same page! She asked Francis to look over her stuffs before her confinement, so late summer/early fall last year I think, so it's been awhile IC that he's been doing this.)

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Francis hangs back to talk to Adrian

 

It probably was not that much of a surprise that few courtiers stopped to speak more than a cursory farewell to the young and relatively unknown Reverend Hamilton, his was a token duty really, though he felt an honoured pleasure to do so.  The career of a Minster is a long one with hundreds upon hundreds of baby steps along the way... 

The chapel had not entirely emptied yet; glancing deeper into the interior he saw a face he believed familiar. 

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Charles, Darlene, and Thomas

A cavalryman. Well, that explains things. After all, why do cavalrymen ride horses?

Because someone needs to do the thinking.

The old joke was worth a mental snort of amusement, but Charles put it aside, his curiosity roused by Easton giving his rank as 'cornet.' Charles thought the other man young, but he still looked too old to merely be the equivalent of an ensign. It might have made sense had he been a yeoman seeking a career as a professional soldier, but in that case he would hardly be serving with the Blues, or attending chapel at the palace. It was a puzzle, if a small and likely unimportant one.

Charles might have pursued it nonetheless, but he was comfortably aware of Darlene's warm softness leaning against him, and that left him disinclined to begin probing Thomas. Instead, he let Darlene direct the conversation, nodding his head amiably as she made the introductions, and laughing softly as she declared that they had been about to discuss the Dwight girl. That was news to him, as was this gossip of her having been engaged thrice before.

(Come to think of it, had he danced with the little featherbrain last season? He fancied he had, for otherwise how would he know that she was featherbrained?)

"Indeed," he confirmed, picking up on Darlene's thread of conversation. "I am not sure what to make of Mistress Dwight. To lose one prospective husband might be attributed to ill fortune, but to lose three begins to look like carelessness."

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Davina And The Marchioness 

"Why do you persist in that direction Madam?" She whispered. "I have said nothing against that Lady.  And I have taken your meaning."

She glanced around then and took note.

"Baron Roos trails behind but I do not think that is a concern - what could He or his Company have over-heard? Snatches of a private conversation between relations discussing the 'mood' of another female is hardly fodder."

"I'd expect him to try to creep his way into out meeting if talk is to be believed. You suspect that he might have a try at something?" She whispered closer to her companions ear her smile playful as if they but gossiped together.

She understood what was meant and perhaps she HAD been a tiny bit careless. Which was unlike her.

 "Shall we continue out as I suggested  ....."

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Isobel, Davina  (& Elizabeth)

She did not enjoy being scolded for her concern. "So  I shall see you tomorrow morning?"  She looked behind once more before they made their seperate departures.

Indeed Roos  (Elizabeths brother) was straggling behind somewhere, it was Elizabeth Annesly (nee Manners) who was stood right behind Davina and Isabel - her ears waggling at what she'd overheard.  Ironically it was Elizabeths Father and Mother in laws that stood on the other side of the chapel in conversation with  with Lady Cambray.

 

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Davina, Isobel Departing and Elizabeth 

Davina smiled sweetly back at her Aunt.

"I shall be delighted. But not too early - perhaps eleven or so."

She gave a nice curtsey none of her annoyance at being told what to do showed as she then turned to face Elizabeth.

"Good Morrow Lady Annesley. Is it not a most pleasant day?"  She smiled with all the apperance of having not a care in the world.

She curtsied nicely for the other was married but just a few years older than her.

It was her intent to do a bit of fishing to see what, if anything, might have been overheard and to correct.

 Lady Annesley was of course known to Davina as a younger sister of Lord Roos before her marriage but beyond that she had not a lot to go on.

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Davina & Elizabeth Annesley

The woman's eyes widened for a moment surprised, a smile then forming on her face. "Why how do you do, it's Mistress Wellesley isn’t it, what a curious thing that so many years at court it takes a cue exiting chapel for us to finally meet."  very pleasantly stated, while her eyes slipped for a moment after the departing Marchioness,  "Lady Winchester is your cousin or some such? Why it's so difficult to keep track of who is related to who." 

 

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Nicci and Sophia separate ways out into the day

"But you have increased respect as an Ambassadors wife." Nicci replied as Sophia did not seem to see how her position was elevated, "Which is rarer than being a Countess. Why there are dozens of Countesses at Whitehall - but Ambassadors wives, you are the only one."

"Ah. I am sorry to hear that." So Sophia's marriage was not yet improved, never the less she seemed to be adjusted to it now. "I shall pray that it is a boy, for Lord Toledo is certain to warm to you if you can provide him with an heir. "  It was such a strange thing, that the man that Sophia had begged in the middle fo a ball room to marry, was offish with her.  Nicci had never understood that. 

It was not much of a surprise that Francis had not talked about his love life to Sophia either.  But still, it had been worth asking.  "No that is alright my dear Lady Toledo, I had just wondered if in times past he may have been freer with that topic. His and my mutual friends are puzzling the topic, but no need to alert him that his heart is under anyone’s scrutiny.  Still, if you do see him with anyone, and there seeming to be more than passing interest, you must tell me about it, wont you."

Nicci felt pleased with her mornings interactions with Sophia, a lady upon the rise at English court - and dipped a respectful curtsy to her as Sophia departed on towards her string of afternoons appointments...

 

Nicolette lingered a little bit longer, happy to praise the young Reverend Hamilton at the door for his excellent bible reading, and asking him to relay her affection to his sister when next he wrote to her.  One day she wanted to thank Heather in person for her most excellent tutelage.

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Davina and Lady Annesley 

"Oh  I do Apologize. I thought that we had already had the introduction of each other. Yes I am Mistress Wellsely and the Marchioness is my Great Aunt."

Her own gaze rested on the retreating figure as well. She did not make the 'joke' about their respective ages.

"Do you find that as well?" She queried back. "At Christmas twas near impossible as Whitehall was stuffed full and even now, here in Church, I found myself having to look twice sometime more at a face trying to remember the name."

She was making simple small talk until the timing was right to take her own leave.

It would seem that nothing had been overheard for she could detect nothing by the others' manner. Unless her asking about the Marchioness was it? She still believed that if anything had been she could easily offer a believable explanation. 

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Francis waits

 

Francis was unsure whether the other man would know his face or not, and he did not wish to be entirely mistaken as another inane farewell, so he waited as more filed out. Even Nicci seemed to stop to speak to the man, warmly; though he only assumed it was warm on account of Nicci's friendly demeanor most of the time. He pretended to stare at something for a moment longer, afraid he would have to start farewelling people if he stood much longer near the entrance. It would not be proper to steal the man's attention away until his duties were finished. 

 

What might happen if an elderly matron missed the opportunities to hold Hamilton's hand and tell him how wonderful the testimony to God! He could hardly deprive anyone of such things.

 

(OOC - I can't have Francis go over there unless Nicci has left ;) . It would be far too weird for me to have 3 separate interactions with Nicci simultaneously, timeknotty.)

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