Charles Audley Posted December 9, 2022 Share Posted December 9, 2022 It was early enough that Charles still needed candlelight to work by, but working he was nonetheless, possessed by one of those floods of manic energy that so often seized him. Handwritten notes and reference books with multiple bookmarks were scattered around the table and on the bed in a seemingly haphazard manner, but actually organised in an esoteric system that meant Charles could lay his hands on any particular item in a moment. This was the physical manifestation of an idea that had first occurred to him in larval form during the Christmas season. He had researched it on and off since, and taken it through a score of alterations and expansions from that initial germ of inspiration. He had intended to refine it fully in the off-season, spurred by Ormonde's challenge, but Mary's death and his own investigation had stymied that. Until now, and this wonderful state of inexhaustible creativity, focused insight and endless energy. It had come to reward him, he felt, for managing to put aside his frustrations (Oh, he would pay for it later, he knew, when the momentum was lost and all the accumulated debt came due at once, but until then... Oh, it was glorious. He was glorious.) "We're ready, I think. I shall have to speak with Beverley, and seek to arrange a meeting with his highness, but we're ready to throw the dice," he announced, and laughed brightly with the sheer joy of it. Wodehouse's face flickered briefly with concern and then smoothed as the manservant leaned slowly in. "Very good, my lord, but in the interim shall I fetch something to eat?" Charles flicked a hand in dismissive assent, mind already moving on to planning how best to approach a meeting with Cumberland, and laid aside the sheet of paper he had been studying. The candlelight flickered, casting the paper into shadow save for the one word, handwritten heading at its top. Saltpetre. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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