Jump to content

JOIN OUR GAME!

Your Stories Await Telling

Charles Blount

Lost Among the Plots and Plans, April 12

Recommended Posts

Lost Among the Plots and Plans.

Tuesday April 12th

 

After his vigil with Kingston Mountjoy retired to his apartments and napped for a couple of hours before engaging in his toilet for the new day. Looking out the window, as senior members of the Queen’s Household they were privileged enough to warrant spacious rooms with windows, he determined that it was cloudy but not as muddy. Before he exited his rooms, he took the unusual action of accessorizing his ensemble with a sword cane and a small pocket pistol that tended to bulge and ruin the line of his coat but he was willing to make such sacrifices to ensure the safety of the Queen.

He made his way to the Queen’s Apartments and saw Feversham off to the side seemingly engaged in paperwork but true to the Chamberlin’s task was acutely aware of the situation and immediately noted his arrival. He chatted to the Chamberlin for a few minutes as he sent word to the Margravina that he was waiting without if she was free to have a few words but was disappointed when the reply came back that she was engaged at the moment but if he was free later in the afternoon they might have tea together. This was disappointing but not wholly unexpected as waiting on the Queen was a very time intensive task and with the recent goings on it was understandable that the burdens of her service would be increased.

Sending a reply that he would look forward to their afternoon tête-à-tête he found that he was entirely unengaged for the afternoon which was something he was unaccustomed to be. Not wanting to stray over to his office for if he did so there would undoubtedly be a mountain of papers waiting for him and not wanting to risk legal matters to keep him away he decided that as he was the Master of horse he would go and inspect the Queen’s stables. Being fond of horses this was no onerous task. He spent an enjoyable few hours inspecting the horseflesh even, to the stablemen’s chagrin, going so far as to raise up a few horses legs to examine their hooves to ensure that they were being well maintained and giving instructions that the Queen’s horses were to never leave the stables without their hooves being properly blackened and polished. Aside from a few lapses, road grime on one of the carriages had not been completely washed away and some of the harness was not oiled to his expectation, the stables were up to the standards befitting a Queen of England.

He could have spent even more time in the stables for he actually enjoyed the aroma of fresh manure and alfalfa to be homely and comforting as it reminded him of the many hours spent in the family’s stables as a young boy hunting mice with a slingshot. However the tolling of the nearby church bells told him he could no longer tarry so he made haste to his rooms to have his boots quickly shined and his coat to be spritzed with cologne that he had purchased wile he was in Cologne, for although he enjoyed the smell of manure and alfalfa the Margravina did not.

Destined to be disappointed again there were two letters waiting for him when he returned. The first was from Ursula. It was a hastily scribbled note, at least as scribbly as her dainty handwriting could get for she was always precise but when rushed she had a habit of putting umlauts on English words. The note stated that an unexpected issue had developed that required her immediate attention and that she would be unable to lunch today. She did send her regrets and hoped that they would be able to dine together this evening. The second note was from the Earl of Chicester and was not disappointing. At least he now had ample time to read and respond to the Earl’s letter.

It seemed that George found himself mixed up in some legal villainy and desired counsel which please him greatly for legal villainy was Mountjoy’s favorite kind of villainy. Soon two letters were written and he explained to his man Padeen that the first was to Frau Klebb instructing her to send over a hamper containing various delicacies for their dinner, as he surmised that Ursula might enjoy a break from the palace kitchens, and the second was to be delivered to Herr Lurch informing him that as this letter was a reply to an Earl and as such he expected Lurch to deliver the missive himself rather than having one of the Footmen deliver it. He then found himself all shined up and smelling of roses with no place to go.

Wiling away his time he took Bran his Irish Wolfhound for a walk around the palace grounds secretly wishing to run into a Dutch or French agent for the pleasure of siccing his massive ball of fur and muscle on them but that was not to be and Bran had to content himself with chasing a few squirrels up a tree. He then spelled Feversham for a bit so the gentleman could take a short break and then retired to his chambers to read a bit of Plato. All in all this day had been surreal for he always had appointments and work to do to keep him busy and wondered how idle gentlemen spent their time.

As dinnertime approached he had Padeen lay out the contents of the hamper supplied by Frau Klebb who did not disappoint by including all sorts of tasty delicacies and expectantly presented himself in the Queen’s chambers desiring a footman inform one of the Ladies that the Marquess Mountjoy stood ready to escort his Ladywife to supper. Having waited for an uncomfortably long time a young lady hesitantly came out and apologetically explained that the Mistress of the Robes found herself unavoidably engaged and was unable able to dine with him. If it had been one of the Guards that had told him such he would at least have had the opportunity to vent a bit of the spleen he was feeling at the moment but as it was not he could only politely apologize for disturbing her and beseech her to pass on his compliments to the Margarvina and take his leave.

Having been stood up thrice the same day he had no appetite so threw the venison joint in front of the fireplace for Bran and inviting Padeen to take whatever he wished and offer the remnants to the servants he went for a walk in St. James Park and did not return until it was time to meet Kingston and relieve Feversham for another nights vigil.    

 

(OOC: Just a quick little exposition fueled by Defiance's comment in chat about plans going awry.) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When Charles returned from his walk, Padeen was quick to help him with his cloak. The servants eyes housed a concern he was not certain how to address! 

"Err, her ladyship is returned, and is ahhh, in the drawing room." Which was not remarkable information by any accounts, other than the look of concern he gave his master.

....The scent of Ursula's perfume was a faint memory on her form, as she set with head in her hands sobbing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He had not expected her back so soon as he was told that she would most likely be occupied for some time and welcomed the news before decerning from Padeen’s behavior that all was not as it should be. He quickly removed his gloves and tossed them at his manservant as he made his way to the drawing room where upon entering he was taken aback at the dejected figure slumped on the divan. Her sob hit him like a blade sinking into his side.

 

“My Dear, whatever is the matter to disturb you so?” he said in concern as he moved to sit next to his wife. His first though was that something had happened to the Queen but if that were so there would have been a commotion. “Are you Ill?” He was tempted to gush on in alarm and ask many questions but he restrained himself and allowed Ursula the freedom to collect herself respond.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with stone castles is it there's no telltale creaking floorboards to alert you to an impending arrival. Though perhaps she should have heard the click of the door beyond the hall.   

The problem with crying, is the way it defens your ears.

Charles sudden entrance had Ursula trying to pull herself together, a handkerchief was snatched and dabbed, and an effort made to stifle the shudder of an inward breath. She might almost I have pulled the reforms off too, except for the overwhelming care and his tone that triggered her upset all over again.

Ursula burst into tears and embraced him, "I am the worst Mistress of Robes ever, I've been deceiving myself, thinking I was structuring something wonderful, but today at all came tumbling down. It's all over Charles. Is all over for good"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charles had never seen Ursula like this before. In their years together there had of course been tears of sadness and tears of joy but through it all Ursula had always displayed an inner quality of fortitude and reserve. To say that he was shocked and alarmed at her current state would have been an understatement. Most women in this state needed to be tut tutted and plied with platitudes but Ursula was not most women. He held back further speculation as he returned Ursula’s embrace letting his arms engulf her slender figure in warmth and security offering only unconditional support as she dealt with her emotions.

 

After providing her the time needed to unburden her feelings, he released his embrace and took her handkerchief with one hand and raised her chin with the other so that they were staring into each other’s eyes. He daubed away the tears and said softly.

“There. That is better. It is such a shame to obscure those beautiful blue eyes.” He paused. “As for being the worst Mistress of the Robes ever… I simply cannot believe that.” Another pause. “Something has happened that you feel threatens your good work. Tell me what it is so that I might share and lessen your burden.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Their relationship was really maturing recently.  Though both were most comfortable with reserve, in recent times they'd gone through a turbulence of emotions (and there was a forgotten fragment of fine China and the far corner to prove it).  

His embrace was what she needed at that moment, as she indulged her grief of knowing what she must do. How was Charles going to take the news? She knew he would be her champion, but even he could do nothing about this.

Would he be disappointed in her? 

Which was an awful thought in itself, and waylaid her mustering of spirits for several more minutes. 

But with his arrival had begun the countdown to disclosure, seconds that were measured as unstoppable the tick of the clock. Within her mind the correct length of time to keep him waiting was already long past. That measurement, the overdueness, would be shouting to his mind also. She had to pull herself together, before his patience ended. 

I would be so much easier to muster herself, if what she had to say wasn't so bad.

Charles seemed to possess an impossible amount of patience.  Ursula's face nearly crumpled again as he dabbed her eyes and reassured. "You stretch the truth My Lord, my eyes cannot be pretty after weeping like this." 

"Today, we discovered one of the Lady Maids was approached by Jesuits last week, they gave her a while of poison, an abortive, instructing her to treason.  This happened days ago, and she did not approach me, but kept it a secret."

"I have failed, this is my duty to protect the Queen and to see that her household is running smoothly. Engendering the trust of the various Ladies there is surely the primary requirement. Oh. I've heard the whispers of the youngsters, tones of resentment, but I chose to think nothing of it. In some few weeks ago it was a small group that tried to trick me for a permission. Which frankly angered me rather than giving me a pause to think I have been overly harsh. 

"But now this. There is a plot to kill the heir to the throne, possibly the Queen too, and I am not trusted to receive that information? Instead, she went to the Duke Buckingham." 

"She made a complete fool of me, before His Grace and His Majesty, for her I had no idea what had been going on right under my nose. Poison! I'm left with no other option but to retire, it shall be expected, the maids vote of no confidence in me has now been transferred to The Royalty."

She'd not being able to look at Charles face and she confessed, but now did. She was laid bare to her bones, and with a sadness profound. "I have no doubt now, to who stole my ribbon, the one you gave me, with the Rhinestones. I have had everybody turning the Palace upside down trying to find it, for I did not want to admit to you that I'd lost it. But now, well now I'm certain this is the doing of the ladies in the household, one or all of those ladies that all hate me." 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charles waited. Whether in patience or not it was hard to tell for though he was not the most patient of men in things he could control his penchant for hunting had instilled in him an acceptance of things that he could not. He would not do anything that would cause Ursula more distress so wait he did until it was she that spoke. It was a small relief that she was able to summon enough presence of mind to chide him for his compliment to her watery eyes.

“The weeping I must admit was not a welcome sight but the eyes, whatever the state, are the same ones that have brought me joy these past years.”

Ursula went on to explain the reason for her state. He had no cause to interrupt for she was thorough in her narration. This was not to say that he did not wish to interrupt for as the details became clear he wanted to stand up and shout about the treachery against the Queen and the spitefulness of the ladies. He could not help but tense up which Ursula was sure to notice but he did not wish he to think it was because of her. He looked about as he digested the information, his mind rapidly noting the pertinent facts and organizing them into related portions so they could be addressed in detail. It was now time for Ursula to be patient for it took Him several seconds to accomplish this. She was correct in that he would be her champion. If this was a case of simple palace intrigue he would have known how defend against it and attack the persons behind it but it also seemed to be that Ursula herself had doubts and saw herself to blame. This was not something however that he could be easily attacked or dispelled. He swallowed.

“Regarding the plot against the Queen…” he could not believe we was saying the next part… “Let us put that aside for the moment for we will certainly discuss that later but first let us address your feelings so we can then discuss what must be done and how it should be done.” For a moment he had a selfish thought that if Ursula resigned her position he would be able to have her all to himself. To have her waiting for him to instead of waiting on the Queen was an attractive thought but it was a thought that rapidly passed for he knew that Ursula deserved more and that her service to the Crown was valuable.

“I understand that as Mistress of the Robes you have a responsibility over the Ladies but how can you fault yourself for being purposely deceived? Have you given the ladies under your charge any indication that such serious matters should be withheld from you or that you would chastise anyone for coming forth with such information?” He thought for a moment. “Could this woman be indeed foolish enough keep such information to herself or might she have deliberately circumvented the normal hierarchy to deliberately obfuscate the situation for her own ends?”

When she spoke of resigning, he shook his head and said compellingly. “You can not resign now with the Queen in need and her babe in peril. To do so now would be to disrespect the trust the Queen has placed in you. If the King or the Queen specifically request that you step down then it is your duty to do so otherwise it is your duty to stay. If, as you say, there is a rift between you and the Ladies it is you who has the obligation to remedy the situation. Speak to them candidly and without reproach and let them know what is expected of them. If you are reasonable and they are mindful of their duty accommodation will be possible. If not and they allow their emotions or their opinions of your supervision to affect their ability to serve the Queen it is they who must go.”

He softened when Ursula explained about the ribbon and that she believed the ladies hated her. “The ribbon? Would the Ladies be so petty? And how would they know about the trinket to take it, surely if pilfering was the object a more valuable piece would be taken?” He was disappointed that the ribbon was lost for it was a gift of little material value but it did have sentimental value to him but it was hardly her fault that it had been stolen or misplaced. In one aspect he was pleased that she put such value on the trinket for it proved that she was sentimental about the item as well and the real value of the trinket was in its sentimentality. “We were agitated during that meeting and I know for certain that I did some things that I hope you will forgive and forget about and if during that exchange, if that is the correct word, or its aftermath, the ribbon got misplaced then we both can forgive and forget that as well.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"You make true points, my devotion to Her Majesty and the unborn babe is surely without question. And this is of course the most important time not only for her, but for all of England."

"But I accept in my single mindedness to attend to those duties, I became unapproachable to any of the ladies. Ladies who did not see me as their Shepherd guiding and giving assistance, but rather the wolf. There can be no other explanation for Mistress Wellesley's secrecy of the plot against the Child."

"Would you believe she went to Buckingham." Just why she had chosen the duke, Ursula could I could not understand. 

"I am decided Charles, I shall submit my resignation in the morning, along with my profound apologies that the events took place under my watch." Voice strengthened ashy made that statement. She knew it was the right thing to do. If everything else was a mess, she could at least exit nobily. 

"Then it is to His Majesty if he wishes me to stay.  But it is his confidence is lost in me, wish I could understand, I would not presume to remain."

Then there was the matter of the rhinestones, a matter that had been a huge upset to her for weeks. But Charles spoke softly of it, and with understanding, forgiveness too. She reached to hold his hand, "The next day, after we had rowed, and there was some event we were going to. Separately but then together to meet. I wanted nothing more then to be able to wear the rhinestones, as a message to you." Her eyes welled up again. "Please Charles, know I am not ungrateful of them, even though lost. And the tale you told me, did you carried them with you always as a memory of me during your travels. That means so very much to me."

Which did not change her belief that one of the ladies in waiting, most probably Davina, knew where the rhinestones where. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the law and in politics it was Charles’ goal to persuade people and bring them from their own opinions to his. He fancied himself adept at the art and capable of taking advantage of any inconsistencies or reservations they may have but he would not ply such skills upon Ursula. She had made it clear that her position of responsibility made her ultimately responsible for Divina’s actions and that her dignity required her to face that responsibility. He could understand that and even respect it.

 

“I see that you are resolved and shall support your decision. Normally I would say that it is to the Queen that you need to address yourself to but considering the circumstances I agree that approaching the King is the correct thing to do. It does you credit that you will take responsibility for the failure of a person in your charge and to be that speaks well to your suitability for such a position. Offer your resignation and let the King decide if it pleases him to have you continue your service to the Queen. If not, you may retire with dignity. If so, you may continue with the knowledge of Royal affirmation.”

 

He could not help but offer one bit of advice. “I do recommend that, absent from a direct dismissal from His Majesty, which would be completely unwarranted, that you preface your resignation that it should not take effect until after the child is born.” He added quickly to forestall any objections. “I understand the nobility of your scruples compel you to offer your resignation but I also emphasize that your honor and duty compel you not to abandon your charge at such a time. True you have a responsibility to the Ladies in your charge but your overriding duty is to the Queen and such a disruption to her inner circle at this time may increase the danger.” He paused and then uttered what he believed to be true. “The Queen needs you now more than ever.” He had said his piece for he himself had a duty to the Queen and truly believed his wife was an asset as Mistress of the Robes and that if there were failings and misunderstandings, as Ursula believed, she would be able to modify her conduct with the Ladies if needed. He would support her either way and to that end made an offer even though he knew that she had the fortitude and dignity to approach the King on her own. “Do you wish me to accompany you when you address the King?”

 

The pique Ursula showed about the matter having been taken to the Duke of Buckingham was shared by him as well. He would not put it past the wily Duke to use this for his advantage but he could hope that the seriousness of the matter and his real concern for the King’s wellbeing, would override his penchant for intrigue. “The fact that she went to Buckingham is odd for I do not believe she has any direct connection with him so why not go to one of the King’s attendants directly if she wanted to confess.” He paused. Perhaps it was because he had just spent the evening with the man that a thought burst into his head. ”AH!... of course… Kirke! Has not Lord Kingston been making himself agreeable to the Ladies by procuring whimsical fancies for their enjoyment? Would not the Lady be more comfortable seeking out this amiable Lord that her Mistress or the King? And what is Lord Kingston if not the Dukes creature thus it is for certain that if she revealed a plot of this magnitude it would have immediately been taken to Buckingham. Think on it. Such a scenario is reasonable and would not cast dispersions upon you.”   

 

As she held his hands and spoke of more personal matters he drew them up and kissed them. “I doubt not that you were ungrateful and the fact that you understand what they meant to me and that they meant something to you is what matters most for the value in them was their meaning and if that is what stays in your heart they are valuable beyond measure even though they are gone.”  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Yes my Lord." She felt a level of relief that Charles understood, quite possibly she was more upset at the thought of telling him than his Royal Majesty. It was her husband's opinion of her that she valued most highly of all.

"Though I do not know adding a sub clause upon timing in the situation is an acceptable practice..." She paused with that concern then added, "...while I would not want to add any additional stress to his Majesty during this time." 

"Mostly I do not want to be seen as self serving."

The puzzle of 'Why Buckingham' mystified Charles equally, who then tried to work out why Davina had gone to the Duke.  "I have not witnessed Davina being chummy with Lord Kingston either, it is a tenuous string of connections that would link her to the Duke as a confidente."

She was not convinced of it, "I wonder if rather she thought she was giving Buckingham a gift of intelligence, and she would then be rewarded and some way by him. That perhaps she had some manner of designs within his household? This was, in my view, a shift in allegiance."

"Never the less I'm certain any plans she made with that information has backfired upon her, her mistake was to treat it lightly. Yes but given the Dukes involvement in this, I would think to put my letter of resignation to him to relate to the King. My instinct tells me that my jury shall be the pair of them."

But all those grim concerns melted into nothing as Charles took her hands. And he spoke, words that no poet could ever match, words that caressed her heart so tenderly. Her breath caught, and eyes flooded with emotion. "Can you be anymore perfect..." Her voice was a small thing, dwarfed by her feelings, "how can I deserve to have you." Ursulas hands,  just kissed, moved to cup his cheeks as she kissed, "You are the Rhine itself, the source. While those stones may be lost, even then their existence must endure, indestructible as the Earth itself. As is our love." 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They had put their past difficulties behind them but it seemed the core still remained. Their feelings were so strong that they had difficulty in giving the very same forgiveness and understanding that they readily gave each other to themselves. The thought of censure or disappointment had not even crossed his mind and he would not have understood how she could ever think that of him at the very same time, if the roles were reversed, he would have been tormented with those same feelings of apprehension. “A subclause?” He said smiling as he teased. “Have you been reading my papers or listening at the door to have learned such a legal phrase? Well Mistress of the Bar, I will not overrule your objection but… and I do stress that such a caveat would hardly be self-serving as it would be done out of affection and service to the Queen. At this juncture in time it is the Queen’s stress that takes precedence. Perhaps I expressed myself too forcefully and issuing a demand would be inconsistent with your honor. But honor also demands that you offer to serve until the time is best for the Queen. It would not be self-serving to point out the Queen’s needs and let the King decide.” He understood Ursula’s motivation but he was of the firm opinion that the Queen needed safety and security more now than ever and this was not the time to disrupt and disorganize the Queen’s household.

 

But and however, Ursula was a determined woman used to getting her way and Charles was not going to belabor the point. He only hoped that she would not martyr herself for this cause. As for how Buckingham fitted into this intrigue, they were both in the dark. He had no doubt that the wily Duke was capable of using a woman for his own ends, politically speaking, and of engaging in questionable conspiracies but that he would be a party of such a heinous crime was not something he believed the Duke was capable of for his ties to the King were deep. “If you say that Kingston is unlikely to be the channel in this matter then I defer to your greater familiarity. I suspect that trying to reason out a logical reason that Mistress Davina did what she did and why she did it is a futile effort for I can fathom no sound reason why she acted as she did other than she realized she was over her head and panicked and fled to the one she thought might best be able to protect her. Did you ask her yourself why she went to Buckingham and not you? She might not be willing to give an honest answer but in her predicament it would behoove her to garner as many allies as she is able” It was a sticky subject for sure. “I think you are correct in that the King will rely on Buckingham for council when you offer your resignation but are you positive that tendering the offer to him and not the King himself is the proper course of action?” He accepted that the King had ultimate authority and deferred to his judgement but he was less willing to have his wife be beholden to any man but himself, even the Duke.

 

It was a hard thing to see that Ursula was distressed and wanted to do everything that he could to protect her and see that her reputation was not besmirched by this incident. All he could do was to do his best to make Ursula see that such incidents could not in any way shake the attachment he had for her. He was prepared to rant and rave in her defense but her words of appreciation and devotion rendered him speechless. How could she ask how he could be anymore perfect when it was she that was without flaw? How could she question the devotion that was her due? When he was able to respond “If I am the Rhine the you my love are the Nile, majestic and eternal but let us hope not as prone to cataracts. He kissed her forehead so she could not see his face but could readily feel the contentment when he embraced her. His embrace was not strong and filled with desire, although his embraces often were, but softer, melting, lingering as if to express physically what was felt in the heart. The combination of his mature devotion and childish tease exemplarizing the totality of his being.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She'd slipped into using his solicitor jargon without thinking, then smiled as he teased of her choice in reading material. "It works so well as bedtime reading, I drift off in no time." She teased in reply, though the serious matter they were speaking of could not be left behind.

Returning to the topic she nodded at his thoughts... "You are correct, it should be directly to the King, but I do not know that I can face him." 

Usually such a strong woman, it was very difficult to admit that weakness. For a moment she wondered I'm taking up Charles earlier offer, "Would you deliver the letter to His Majesty, you might have opportunity to express your further thoughts, while I do not feel in a position free to suggest any 'stay of sentencing' till after the birth."

Her husband's tender kiss and embrace weree much-needed, leaning into him the weight of the days cares eased. Tentatively. With trust in him, while not wanting to be a burden. But perhaps that didn't disturb him?  A further tear slid silently down her cheek, it was all too confusing to understand.  Ursula embraced, willing herself to not worry about anything else.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Serious matters could often be softened by humor but it would not make them go away. “If you are reduced to reading my briefs then the quality of our library is sorely lacking. I will direct Mr. Bayzos to include some volumes of poetry in our next shipment.”

Ursula was clearly upset over this matter but she was not hysterical and was willing to think through her decisions in a rational manner and heed his advice. “I believe that you could face the King or any man quite well if you so chose but I understand that doing do would be distasteful.” As she then went on to ask him for his assistance in delivering her letter to the King he was relieved that she was able to ask this of him and not bear her burden stoically alone. “Of course I will take your letter to the King as I would do anything to help or ease your burden.” It was becoming clear to Charles that the main impediment to their happy relationship was that they were both prideful, stubborn and devoted people who could easily forgive the other but not themselves.

He sighed and changed his tone indicating that he was not just speaking about this particular circumstance. “Ursula… Last evening you offered to mend the lost button of my coat. You did not have to as we have servants aplenty but you wanted to. You did so out of a feeling of intimacy and devotion because you wished to do something for me and that is very loveable of you. I know this is not quite the same but it pleases me greatly that you are trusting enough to ask this of me for I would gladly do this and much more. I am your husband and you are my wife. I would do no less for you than you would for me. Sometimes I think we both lose sight of that fact.”

He cupped her face with his hands and wiped the tear away with his thumb. “I will not tell you that you should not worry for this is a serious matter but I do tell you that you are not alone. The Ladies may or may not have their issues. You are there to serve the Queen not them. “The Queen is devoted to you, of that I am certain, the King holds you in esteem and the Court respects you. I will take your letter to the King and if he asks my advice… and even if he does not, I will tell him he would be a fool to accept your resignation.” He smiled a comforting smile. “Besides, I probably would have interceded weather you had asked it of me or not for I would not want you to suffer for your guilt.”

He allowed her time to get her emotions under control for he did not like her to be distressed but there were also matters of importance that had yet to be said. “Besides if His Majesty were to lay the blame for this plot upon you he would also have to hold Lord Feversham responsible as well for there is at least one other lower in the household that has been turned and it is the Queen’s Chamberlin who oversees the domestics and the kitchens. Which beings us to the saliant question. What can be don and what is being done to thwart and uncover this treason?”      

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"So long as they are not sonnets of bear hunting." She returned with a soft tease on her bedtime reading material,  "you know how the subject excites me." 

He spoke her name directly then. This was the verbal equivalent to underlining the importance of what you had to say. Ursula gave her attention fully to Charles, and as she met his eyes she saw a profound depth of sincerity.  Intensity too. He was magnificent. "Yes Charles?" 

However strong a woman she was, and independant, there was a particularly unexpected and erotic joy in heeding him this way. Without question. 

And the words he went on to say were completely favourable. A soft smile grew on her face. "Thank you, my love." She accepted, "that you can be my strength for me in this moment... It is more then I could hope for." After his thumb wiped away a tear trail, Ursula turned her face to kiss his hand. 

She was relieved that he would present the letter to The King (knowing he'd not actually tell the king he was a fool if he accepted the resignation!)

Charles then wished to know the more practical things, such as what follow-through was being done? "I am not sure, aside that Duke Buckingham wondered if Davina might be returned as a double agent. Personally I think it was rather kind-hearted of him just suggest that, allowing her and opportunity to redeem herself. So as the situation currently stands, the response is for her to be placed in The Tower - the question being 'shall the conspirators make contact with her?'  The King and Duke wish more than removing the current threat, but to also find the source and crush it."

"But those are matters well outside of my expertise, so that I did not contribute much at all to that discussion. Perhaps you shall have opportunity?" Physically dealing with that sort of thing was men's work truly!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sonnets to bear hunting? Now that was an idea he had not thought of. The muse inspired him. ‘The Bear turned at bay with hackles raised, only to end supped upon with mayonnaise.’ he thought to himself that that was rather good and he would have to write that down. Hmmm, he thought to himself again, poetry was not all that difficult and wondered why poets were often tortured and brooding souls. If they would only concentrate on the important things in life like hunting instead of love and the human condition, they might be cheerier chaps. If he was not so devoted to the law, he felt he could have made a fine career as a poet. He would endeavor to spring his muse upon Ursula at the appropriate romantic moment which would undoubtedly throw her into the expected tizzy.

But he digressed.

She accepted the emotions expressed without demur which made him verry happy for they were both alike. Devotion did not come easy for them but when it did it ran deep. “I would always hope to be your strength just as you are mine.” She kissed his hands as he often did hers. It was exhilarating to recognize that they shared such a bond.

They might have digressed again but there were Kings and Queens to save so, as their situations often dictated, they had to put their personal desires aside and focus on their duties. “So, the Duke at least believes that Mistress Davina is more an unwitting pawn rather than a sly conspirator. That is something for it would prove that although treasonous forces have tried to corrupt the Ladies of the Queen they have not done so.” He did not think it was kind heartedness that swayed the Duke’s opinion but practicality that Davina could be useful. “I shall ask for an audience with the King this afternoon to present your letter and discuss the matter further to see what the King wishes us to do. It would appear at first glance that direct violence is unlikely which is a shame in a way as that sort is easier to guard against and thwart. It appears that the real threat will manifest itself in a more sunning and subtle way. With your closeness to her Majesty, you will be in a good position to counter any such plots if they manifest themselves.

He was willing to reserve judgement on the actions and innocence of Davina. If she proved herself he was willing to accept her claims but if she did not he was also willing to see that the King’s justice  was carried out.  

“I trust all is well with the Queen and she has not been disturbed by these happenings?”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×