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Petitoners seeking York | Tuesday late Morning

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The Prince's Lodging

The Duke of York's lodgings comprised the suite known as "the Prince's Lodgings." It is a great set of rooms, an entire wing of Whitehall Palace, compromising bedrooms, drawing rooms, kitchens and other spaces.

Visitors are guided into a small waiting room, where a statue of the lady Mary looks down upon all that enter. Upon indication of the recipient of the visit one is then guided to the right room.

*

Manfred and Otto would have been there much earlier, but the security on the Palace gates was frankly excessive. Not content with the declaration that both were unarmed, the Guards had performed a pat down search. 

It was appalling in their good opinion. 

“Sapevo che gli inglesi erano brutali, ma non me lo aspettavo.” Muttered Otto

Which earned a grunt of agreement from Manfred, who was occupied reading a document. 

Behind them a servant, he carried a barely manageable crate.

Entering Whitehall, they made a turn left, then right, neatly making all the correct turns in fact to deliver them to the Princes Lodgings. There, they paused long enough to Knock.

 

 

 

* I knew the English were brutish, but I'd not expected this.”

 

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The day was to be spent at Whitehall and at his perch in Somerset Castle.  The morning had seen reports to the Duke of York about a Savoyard plot and then there were royal reports to be made about the murder at the fountain.  

Charles found himself pacing the hallways of the royal apartments awaiting a summons.  It was nerve-wracking frankly.  It was then that he spied men carrying a giant crate.  Given the heightened security, it drew the young officer's attention.

"Excuse me," he called out as he approached.  It was a surprise that no Lifeguard member was accompanying them.  "Can I help you?"

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Manfred, a fellow dressed with Italian flamboyance, though with an expression that showed little tolerance for nonsense, turned towards the voice that shouted out. 

Sighing, he replied, "I do not know. Can you?" So far none of the English had been of any help at all.  He hardly imagined that this full of buff guard to be any better. 

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The man was obviously a foreigner.  In that regard, perhaps Charles could forgive the man for neither deferring to either rank or host status.  "You are in the private royal areas and should not be here without an escort of the guard.  Perhaps you can identify yourself and tell me what your purpose is here."  He took a good look at the man so that he might be better able to remember the face again.  After having one stranger evade him, he was more careful this day.  Given the lack of other giuards in the area, Charles was alert to any sign of weapons or blood stains. 

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"Yes we seek audience with His Grace the Duke York." Manfried replied directly as he took a visual assessment of Charles. 

By his manner he deduced that Charles was more than one of the soldier sorts holding doors.

"I am Cavaliere Manfried Chambery, and my Brother Otto Chambery, recently arrived from upon a mission with political sensitivity." following such gravity, it was poor timing for a cluck-squarking sound to emanate from the crate the servant was caring.

 

 

 

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Since the men introduced themselves, introductions were in order for Charles.  It was good that the foreigners spoke English well.   "I am Charles Whitehurst, Earl of Langdon and an officer in His Majesty's Life Guard.  I am responsible, in part, for the security of His Highness the Duke of York." 

It was after this that Charles heard a cluck from the crate.  "From which country do you hail?"  He was beginning to suspect which one.  "Are you seeking to bring the Duke live fowl or poultry?"  That would be inconsistent with office etiquette.  Fowl was better examined in a barnyard that in a palace.  "That would be most irregular.  As I am in the confidence of the Duke of York, I need to know the nature and substance of this sensitive matter."

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Otto remained silent, though his gaze followed Charles with a frown at the squark of a bird, and uttered a “Si’ to answer that.

"Earl Langdon did you say?" Manfred’s eyebrows pitched and he looked with surprise towards his brother, then looked again at the opened document in his grasp. "Would that be the same Charls Whitehurst as of Tintagel?"  one needed to be sure. "My brother and I are from Savoy..." he hesitated, wanting confirmation that the Charles in front of him was the same as that within his notes.   

 

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As if struck by lightning, in that moment, Charles realized that he had encountered the very same Savoyards he had been seeking!  His hand moved unconsciously towards his sword but then he stopped it.  No need to signal the Savoyards that he had been warned of their intentions.

"Yes, I am that person.  Fate, it seems, has brought us together.  Now then, I need you to be honest with me about your purpose here, your present for the Duke, and your message.  He will not wish to meet with you unless I am convinced that your intentions are worthy."

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It was quite a surprise for the Savoyard pair also, it seemed the fates were smiling down upon them at last. 

"Our young master gave us your name as one he trusted, and whom we might call upon should it be needed. Although as yet that need has not presented itself, It is an honour to meet you Lord Langdon." both bowed.

Which was not to say he could be utterly free with his mission and information, there was no doubt a reason that they had been sent to the Duke of York directly, and not via this Earl. 

"My Master being the Prince of Piedmont." he clarified slowly, measuring Charles reaction/inteligence with his eyes. 

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"So you are here on behalf of Victor Amadeus?" Charles queried as he relaxed.  "We became friendly on a hunting trip.  His mother, the Duchess, sent me a letter saying that you two would be arriving and would be up to mischief; but, I cannot imagine that Victor means anything but goodwill towards myself and England.  You can count on me.  Now tell me why you have brought this poultry to the Duke of York."

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Charles had made a good impression on Victor during that Tintagel visit, what with his bold stories.  

"So the Duchess learnt of our visit.." this was news to the Savoyards, received with a frown but also gratitude for the lifeguards honesty.  That Charles revealed this suggested he was not so blindly loyal to Victors mother as they had thought.  "We had n\hoped to go unnoticed by Madame Royale, thus this guise of merchants with a gift of a pair of Padovana dal gran cuiffo* to The Duke."  Alas Marie Jeanne watched her son too carefully for the ruse to be a success.   

"While the details of our mission to the Duke are for his ears only, might I explain that The Prince seeks an ally in a situation, and Duke York both as a Catholic, and a man with great strategic mind, might assist in his predicament." The predicament being primarily his Mothers doing, though King Louis was also in on it.  

 

* Padovana :D  

 

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"I assume his predicament is his mother," Langdon jested, knowing how cunning and manipulative she was.  She would attempt to control her son up until the day of her death, Charles supposed.

"I will help you and Victor get the message to His Highness.  The difficulty is that he is unlikely to meet anyone who has not had a meeting scheduled far in advance with his secretary.  I can assist, but I cannot ensure that he will meet with you.  If nothing else, I could deliver a sealed letter into his hands, or the hands of one of his gentlemen.  He is certain to read it."

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Both men laughed uncomfortably at the joke. 

"Nothing is committed to paper." Manfried explained. Documents could fall into the wrong hands. "But if you could assist us to gain an audience with the Duke, we would be grateful."  

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Charles pondered briefly the wisdom of intervening between mother and son, but supposed he would aid Victor since the Duchess misrepresented the danger.  Victor would be Duke one day and would like to further curry favor.

" We can go into the outer chamber beyond this door.  You can leave your present with the Duke's man and request a meeting.  He will need a way to contact you when he is able to meet.  It may be a day or two, so he will need to know which inn you are staying at.  I will try and see if I can convince him to see you.  Without my assistance you might need to wait for weeks for an answer, as His Highness is a very busy man.  Are we agreed then?"

He paused to see if they would agree and he would escort them to York outer chambers.  During the subsequent wait, he would make sure that some of York's gentlemen would be in attendance as well, for security.  

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Charles offer was as generous as it could be under the circumstances, Manfriend turned to meet his brothers eyes in a non-verbal communication (for while Otto hardly spoke English he could understand it passably) and following a slight nod from the other he turned back to Charles.

"We would appreciate that very much, and relay your assistance to the Prince when return."  they moved through to the waiting chamber. A day, a week, they would wait as long as it took. 

Thus matters were able to proceed in the manner Charles recommended.  As the Life guard, seeing matters of security all in hand, prepared to leave Manfriend bad him farewell and added, "I fear you are left in a more difficult spot for reply to The Duchess. I wish you inspiration for that. Thank you Lord Langdon." 

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Things progressed in good order, making arrangements with one of York's many clerks or secretaries.  The only thing gnawing at Charles was the secret mission alluded to by the pair of Savoyards.  As Manfred bade him farewell, Charles inquired "what would it be that Victor would want me to write to his mother?"  Perhaps he could glean something from that.

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Manfried gave pause, appreciating the delicacy of the question.  "Perhaps that, you discovered that there was no malice intended towards either England nor Savoy, nor between them. But rather the token of a gift might be a forbode of greater union." 

The savoyard's eyebrow rose, wondering if the Regent would be upset greatly!  The thought was enough to make him smile. 

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