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Thomas Easton

Traps and Tricks | Evening, April 3rd

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On 10/12/2012 at 3:33 PM, Charles Rex said:

Cards Room

  • The room is decorated in blue and teal, the chairs and settees scattered around in small groupings matching the decor, located in the tower just two stories beneath the Scarlet Drawing room.
     
    Clusters of chairs set around felt covered tables are frequently filled with merry courtiers enjoying banter and a glass of wine over sometimes heated games of cards.

The room seemed slightly less full after the crowd that had been at chapel, which was mildly surprising to Thomas. Cards were always a fun time to be had (at least in his opinion), and it seemed odd that people would not take the opportunity to mingle and socialize on a Sunday evening. (He, of course, had no idea about certain other games going on at court this very evening!) He felt woefully under-dressed, overshadowed even by the wallpaper and adornment, cutting a severe-looking figure in his navy suit with a light blue waistcoat as he sat on one of the settees removed from the card tables. A glass of wine in hand, Thomas sipped and took his time observing those around him, trying to suss out who was here and who was not based on his habitual reading of the daily newspapers. It was made difficult by his newness to court and lack of introductions, but he tried all the same. 

Maybe if he tried hard enough, he could blend into the wallpaper? Similar shades of blue and all that. It was hard not to feel mildly frustrated -- he was used to a more informal approach to rank, or at least kept company with those of his own milieu. These people were his social betters by far, and although Thomas was a patient person, he could not help but feel slightly anxious about it all. Fidgeting, he took out his silver pocketwatch to check the time before snagging another glass of wine from a servant's tray.

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Sunday evening was typically a family night, groups that attended Chapel together often as not went on to spend their day together.  For the staff of Whitehall it was a chance to do some of those extra jobs that might be overlooked on busier evenings, come Monday these halls would be overflowing with courtiers again.

But not everyone was sitting in their Family dining rooms tonight.  It was a mismatched trio that had found their way here, and now sat around a single cards table this evening.  

"... just last week." a youth in lifeguard costume replied. He sat at the table with his feather plumed hat in his lap.  “Err, I think I’ll fold.”

The dark eyes of a handsome and well dressed gent in navy blue slid to the other at the table. 

“It’s a good career for some.” a sober fellow with a gruff voice replied to the young man, “but the best officers of course realise that study is as important as any of your afternoons of target practise. Study in any secular field will benefit a man who intends to work within it.” He frowned at his hand, and judging it poor he turned it face down on the table said, “I fold also.”

Scooping the meagre winnings (stakes only) to himself, the fashionable and dapper chap declared, “You give me little sport tonight gentlemen!” it was then that he noticed Easton arrived. “You are a gaming man I take it, come join our table, I need some competition before I start apologising to these two for winning their lunch money!”

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Thomas's attention turned toward the group, eyes flickering over each one as he took a drink of wine to give himself time to formulate a response. The well-dressed one seemed to think he was running the show, he noted, and Thomas stood, making a leg to the table as a whole. "We certainly cannot allow that, my lord," he replied, a shade of a sly grin curving up the corner of his mouth.

Thomas was confident in his skills at cards, and had spent many a night in taverns perfecting his strategy. While not possessing a notable talent for cards, he knew enough to not be taken advantage of at every turn. He set his wine glass down and took a seat at the empty chair. "Cornet Thomas Easton, of the Oxford Blues," he said to the group as a whole before addressing the dandy, "What game are we playing this evening, my lord?"

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“Pleased to have you at the table Easton. ” The polished gentleman said, reaching to take up the cards (though hadn’t he been dealer for the last round?) he begun to shuffle again.  “I’m Daniel Finch, Lord Winchelsea.”

“And I’m Bradley Whitehurst, I new to the Queens Lifeguards, you’ve probably heard of my brother Lord Langdon.” The youngest on piped up brightly, “So how long have you been in the Oxford Blues? Bet you’ve seen some action eh…”

“Robert Hooke,” the stern faced man supplied his name and fixed a studious gaze on new comer, another military man but this one least had his whiskers grown in (unlike little Bradley here).  Of course the big question in his mind was, “And would you be known to Earl Oxford personally?”  

"Whist, shilling stake."  Having left a shilling on the table Daniel was ready to start dealing again, as the other two put in their stake money. 

 

ooc: for ease we are playing poker though that is not invented yet, ic we shall call it whist cause that was being played way back then.

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The title of Lord Winchelsea did not ring a bell for Thomas, but he filed it away for further consideration. The mention of Lord Langdon did, and he nodded to Bradley. "Yes, I have heard of Lightning Langdon, of course. Who hasn't?" A prolific horse racer, he was somewhat of a local god among young cavalrymen who aspired to be just like him. "I have been in the Blues since I was sixteen... So, roughly twelve years." 

Taking a sip of wine, Thomas elaborated. "The Blues have always been stationed at home, but we have traveled a lot domestically -- our line of work is more about keeping order as His Majesty dictates, rather than fighting abroad." It was a diplomatic answer that hedged around the actual term "police work" for politeness' sake. "One still sees much of the country, and it was nice to be stationed outside of London's smog, though eventually one does long for society."

The name Robert Hooke also was recognizable--an architect as well as a scientist. "I am not personally known to the Earl of Oxford, sir. He is much to busy to bother with a lowly cornet like myself." Thomas had seen the Earl in passing of course, but had never had anything relating to quality social time with him.

Thomas dug out a shilling and added it to the pot, waiting for the cards to be dealt. 

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The cards made a soft flap flap flapping sound as Daniel dealt them out onto the felt topped table.

 “I am sixteen! Well, seventeen soon.” Bradley replied enthusiastically, pleased to have found a point in common with the other man.  “So, do you have to deal with some of the fuss up in Scotland then? 

“I mostly only know about the Life Guards, and Navy of course, from my Brother.” Bradley was starting to think he’d made the wrong choice to have joined the Lifeguards for their duties were rather uninteresting.  “I’d love to see a bit of action.  Have you ever killed a man? Err, you know, an enemy of the crown.”

“Are you stationed at the same place as my brothers city guards?” Bradley then asked.  Charles Whitehurst had a regiment of men that policed the city streets, but that regiment had been barred by parliament from residing within the walls of London itself.  

His cards dealt were K❤️ A♠️ 9♦️ Q♣️ 9❤️

“Hmm, mores the pity.” Hooke was clever enough socially to know which side of the bread to butter, discovering that this officer was not as connected as he might have been was indeed a shame. “I noticed Oxford attended the New Years ball just passed, so perhaps he’s not as busy now as he’s been in the past. Though it might be more to do with this demandable war announced.”

“I’ve recently gained a contract for supply of salpeter to the military.”  Winchelsea volunteered out of the blue.

 

Bidding:  Winchilsea bid 5 shillings, Hooke Folded, & Bradley copied Thomas bid

 

OOC: people have hardly got to know each other yet, so lets go with a few more rounds before fading on out on their scene 😊    

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