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A Much Lauded Lady | Beverley Rooms Late Afternoon 16th

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Lord & Lady Beverley

A modest room with a magnificent view over the Upper Ward, and beyond, viewing the Great Park in autumn splendour. There is a bed with suitable curtains, yet small. There is a hearth with two comfortable chairs and a small table. On a side table there rests a bowl with some lemon water, with a towel next to it.


Beverley was exhausted, and it was only halfway through the day. He entered the small room he shared with his lady wife and closed his eyes at the peace of it. He had been for a ride early that morning, seen to organizing his master's correspondence, seen to his own, dealt with courtiers in his position as Steward, and he was certain he had not spoken so much in a day that entire year. 


He allowed his valet to take his hat and justacorps before he crossed to the bed and sat back against the pillows, closing his eyes once more and heaving a sigh. 


His lady mother had sent him an update about his infant son which was in the pocket of his waistcoat. Little Ulcombe was doing well, babbling constantly and eating like a champion. She wrote he was very healthy. That was more than could have been said of Baby Beverley. He had always had a sensitive stomach and went through many bouts of sickness. The match between himself and Mary had definitely been a good one, and his fondness grew for her constantly. 


She had even done well with Her Majesty and that was no easy feat. 


He wondered where she was, if she was with the Queen, or if she might be back to their room. He wouldn't mind spending time alone with her other than in passing or in sleeping. He still had yet to tell her of what assistance the Duke of Cumberland would ask of her, but he was excited to do so. It would be nice for them to have a duty to work on together.

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She's been told that she could entrust a note to a servant and it would be delivered. But Eleanor didn't know Lady Beverley and wasn't accustomed to that system at it's more extensive at court. She was anxious that her letter might never reach it's intended and, since she did not know the woman, she could not outright ask. Fear of being seen to ignore a Royal request drove her to take a more personal route. 

A few simple enquiries had revealed Lady Beverley to be the wife of Robert Saint-Leger, Lord Beverley, and the room in which they were staying. Entrusting both the letter and the wrapped parcel containing two pieces of the precious, exotic baklava that she'd purchased the day before to her maid and chaperone Mary, the pair set out to locate the rooms of the Beverleys. Eleanor had some thought that Mary might deliver the letter to one of their servants and, having seen it safely delivered, she might assuage her anxiety and move on to something else. 

The very thought of meeting the Queen again had butterflies dancing in her stomach. She still had trouble believing she'd said what she did in front of the Royals, having been trained all her life to be pliant and quiet, but she kept reminding herself that they hadn't reacted negatively. His Majesty had laughed. Her Majesty had requested her company. Surely if it was for a scolding, the Queen had people who could do that. No, Eleanor sensed that this was an opportunity, and one which she was determined not to let slip away. 

They reached the designated room and Mary stepped forward, knocking on the door in a businesslike fashion. 

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"Beverley, you are here at last!"

The relative peace of their modest apartment was short lived, as Beverly discovered that Mary was stood on the top of a trunk while clasping her parasol in the manner a fencer might hold his epee.  Near the chair there was a book tossed aside on the floor, and a basket with embroidery cottons kicked over - signs of a scramble. 

"There is a mouse, I saw it run under the chair. Oh I do hope it was not a rat, it's quite difficult to tell the difference." she fretted. 

At this moment there was no servant about, he might guess Marys maid was off upon some manner of errand. 

And then there was a knock at the door. 

Mary’s eyes met her husbands, with a plaintive despair.  This was hardly a good circumstance to receive.  “I’m not expecting anyone - is that someone for you?”

The pair had come to know each other well enough by now, that their joint sense of duty had become a mutual bond.  Right at this moment Mary was mentally preparing herself for his possible instruction to ‘carry on as if there was nothing out of the usual’.  Hopefully whoever it was, the visit would be brief, and the mouse or rat would remain hid.   

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Beverley had scarce made it toward the bed before he noticed Mary standing on a trunk. He blinked and startled at her sudden gasp of his name, for a moment thinking she was going to hit him with a parasol. Then he noted book and tumbled belongings on the floor. Surely nobody would dare bother her in her own room!


"My dear," he finally managed to say. "Ugh, a mouse?" Or a rat. He wasn't going to further he thoughts of that. The servants had been being lax! "I think it is likely as frightened of you, my lady, but we will get rid of it."


His honey brown eyes moved to his valet, who had returned with him, and he said, "Is there a broom. Let us chase it out the door."


Just like clockwork there was a knock on the door. 




"No, I am not either, but I have become very popular lately," he opined. He reached a hand up to her to help her down from the box. "You look quite fetching up there and have perfect form for a rapier," he teased. The ladies in Lord Worcester's family were not mild, timid little vacuous things and for that he was grateful.


His valet went to answer the door.


"Perhaps we should pretend we were just exiting for an appointment and then if we need speak to someone, we can walk and speak whilst my man takes care of the mouse problem?"

Edited by Robert Saint-Leger
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Mary took his hand, wary eye in the direction of the chair.  She was not a timid woman no, but that didn’t mean she could keep a pan face if a mouse ran up the readymade ramp that was a dress. Mice  were alarmingly fast. 

"Yes, that is genius." she swiftly agreed to his plan, moving closer to the door so that her husbands notably large feet were most convenient to dealing with a possible mouse-rushing-out situation. 

Aforementioned parasol was hooked over her arm. "Do you really think I have potential?" Said with a slightly forced laugh. 

Door opened. 

"My Lord Beverly, there is somebody here for you." 

Mary stepped out into the hall, not recognising the young lady who stood there with her lady servant, as such she imagined it was someone calling for Beverly. Hopefully not another complaint about accomodations (while The Beverleys shared one of the castles more humble rooms.) 

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The door opened, revealing voices within. Eleanor certainly hadn't wanted to disturb those, only to ensure that this extremely important missive made it to the right location. Mary stepped forward, letter and paper-wrapped parcels in her hands, basket at her feet. "For Lady Beverley." She said, stepping forward to offer the two items to the valet.

Unexpectedly a finely dressed lady stepped out into the hallway, closely followed by an equally fine gentleman. Both were quite young, why Eleanor thought that she and the lady might be of an age! Was this Lady Beverley? Somehow she'd expected the Queen's attendant to be older, more matronly. More like Ursula Blount. The idea that she could be young was both surprising, and intriguing. If such opportunities were open to young courtiers, then why not to Eleanor herself, if she played her cards right. 

"My humble apologies." She said, curtseying to the pair. "It was not my intention to disturb you. I only wished to ensure that my letter was delivered." She said, fan raised to cover some of her embarassment. She probably should have just trusted her Mary to do the job, even if she'd had thoughts of the two of them going out for an evening walk afterwards. 

Edited by Eleanor Bayning
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Beverley stepped out after his lady wife and his eyebrows went up. There was a woman and a young lady. 


He certainly did not know them. He blinked.


Then he heard the lady say "For Lady Beverley."


"Our visitors are for you, my dear Lady Beverley," he said. "Erm, no need for apologies. No disruption. We were simply readying to leave for an engagement, but we have some time, do we not?" He allowed his wife to take the lead, for she was more than capable.


He supposed if it was someone to see her that it had something to do with her service to the Queen, for why else would a lady of neither of their acquaintance seek her? 

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Mary maintained an aura of calm gentility, allowing schooled surprise to register on her face as the visitor revealed herself as there to see herself.  "Oh that is so kind." she uttered taking receipt of parcels and a letter, the first of which she turned to pass to her husband - while keeping the latter letter in her naked hand.  

It was then she noticed she'd not put on her gloves before leaving the room. 

Beverly explained how they were just to leave, expanding their 'cover story' while Mary wondered if she had to go back in side now to read the letter?  Nobody read their correspondence in the hall!  Thankfully there was at least no sign of the mouse.

"Well now that you are here, perhaps the letter is superfluous. Or do you wish me to read it, and then form to you a reply? I am sorry but I am not sure to the protocols of our situation. And also the door is open still." 

She'd not meant to mention the door, it was evidence, to Beverly at least, that Mary was actually a tad rattled.    


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The young lady was indeed Lady Beverley! How terribly fortunate. And the fine young gentleman called her 'dear' must surely be her husband. What a sweet pair they made. Alas but they were just leaving; not that she had been seeking an answer immediately. But Lady Beverley accepted the letter and the gift with kind words, which gave her hope. "Oh no, there is no need to read it, if you have a moment for me to explain." Eleanor assured the other lady hurriedly. "But there is no urgency in response." 

Oh but this wasn't going at all how she'd planned. Taking a deep breath, Eleanor started again. "I am Eleanor Bayning, daughter of Viscount Bayning and neice of Baron Grey of Codnor Castle." She introduced herself quickly, bobbing another graceful curtsey. "And I apologise for approaching you without an introduction. You see, I had the great honour of being introduced to Their Majesties, by Lord Mountjoy, and Her Majesty and I spoke briefly. She kindly asked to see my embroidery work, and that I contact your good self to make suitable arrangements." She explained quickly. "I can only ask your indulgence of a debutant, that I feared my letter might go astray, and would not be seen to neglect a Royal request." No doubt any seasoned courtier would have just handed the letter off to some servant and assumed that it would get there. 

Eleanor fluttered her fan nervously, hoping that Lord and Lady Beverley would not think her a silly country girl. For all they were also young, they seemed far more at ease, with the air of experienced courtiers.

Still, at least she wasn't here to complain about her accomodations.

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Beverley passed the parcel to Dudley, his valet, and then turned his attention back to the grouping of ladies. He was content to let his lady wife take charge since they were her visitors. So he merely added to the conversation to ease the young lady, who seemed a bit surprised at their personal reception, rather than just receipt of a letter. Honestly, his dear Lady Beverley seemed a bit startled by the situation as well! 


"Ah, Lord Grey, yes, I just met him earlier in fact," Beverley replied. "A most interesting gentleman. I gave permission for him to set up his telescopes and equipment on the roof," he explained to his lady wife. "He wishes to make an evening event of it, and I thought it might have interest to His Majesty who they say is fond of telescopes and the like, so it would be good for Her Majesty to hear of it." He nodded at his wife. It was always good to be the lady who brought news of such things that might be of interest; being good at one's duties tended to endear royals, and they were both quite good at it.


"Lord Mountjoy you say? And Her Majesty wished you to make arrangements? Well, erm, if it was Her Majesty's command, surely you have done right; it is part of Lady Beverley's duties to see to such things, after all, introduction or no. Time must always be made for that."


He thus gave his lady wife some time to decide what she wished to do and how she wished to approach things. If she wished to go back inside, he was happy to do so. If she suggested the walk and talk, he was happy to do that as well, and leave Dudley to deal with the mouse problem.


"I serve His Highness, the Duke of Cumberland, and plenty have spoken to me who I am positive have never been introduced to me prior, do not concern yourself," he assured the young lady. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mary was worried for a moment, as Dudley moved forward to take the parcel - but thankfully the servants feet were not accompanied by a mouse.  "I shall enjoy your written words later then, lets not linger in the door, you can tell us your adventure thus far as we walk." 

Mary tucked the letter into her pocket, so missed (though Beverly did see it) the dart of a mouse which disappeared at Eleanor hem.

"I quite understand that you would want to follow out such instructions in person." Mary agreed as she heard Eleanor story, "You must have made some impression upon Her Majesty." she did not add that the young Queen was not usually so keen on needlework, it was not her place to comment like that.   "Lady Mountjoy knows of this also then?"

For Mary thought that was the important part (from her perspective at least).    

Meanwhile Beverly knew of this Lord Grey, of whom Mary did not, and mentioned an event the Baron was getting permission for.  "What other equipment does he have aside from a telescope?" this question she directed to her husband, before returning (reassuring) attention to the plainly-nervous Eleanor,  "It sounds as though your guardian is rather unique, and I mean that in a good way. This shall be quite the thrilling season for you."

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