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To Lord Chatham | late on the 16th, an envalope slid under his door

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Dear Lord C

I have discovered myself in need of your assistance. Yours particularly upon account that I know you are a man prepared for adventure, for that you so happily accepted the invitation to act as chaperone for my lady friends evening out sleuthing for villains on the docks of London.

Your rise to that previous occasion pronounces you as especially qualified for this my new (and even more perplexing) quandary. Oh but I cannot expound it upon paper, for that might jinx it. Quite apart from the fact that my communications may be being monitored, one never knows when the evil doers of this world choose to meddle. And I have an especially horrid evildoer that I am currently avoiding. When I see you in person, I shall certainly tell you everything about that blackguard, so that you too shall give thim a wide berth. 

But back to the adventure at hand, or shall we delight to call it a misadventure? I require a gentleman of bold and brave, who cares not a fiddle for persons who's name start with the letter U. I can hardly imagine what mother would name her daughter so,  although of course I might be talking about a man (for all that the prying eyes that also read this might know) in any case mens names that start with U are also awful, anyhow.

But yes I need to speak to you, in utter secret.

I don’t actually think that anyone else will read this letter Lord Chatham.  But just in case they do, we cannot actually say where the secret meeting place might be.  So, in that case, I shall count upon you, with your clever abilities to find me as swiftly as is possible.  For even as I write you the clock is ticking, and I have very limited time left.  So please, do make all haste to find me.  

Covertly Yours


It's actually me Darlene!


Edited by Darlene Hamilton
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  • Darlene Hamilton changed the title to To Lord Chatham | late on the 16th, an envalope slid under his door

Charles had spent most of Friday out in the Great Park and, even after returning his mount to the stables, he had passed the evening circumnavigating the castle on foot and exploring the gardens. Thus it was well after dark when he returned to his apartment, to be greeted by Wodehouse proffering a note.

"Slid under the door," his manservant offered in a carefully neutral tone as Charles took the note.

Charles hummed inquisitively as he began to read, an eyebrow rising and staying raised as he scanned the missive. He read it again, more slowly, then a third time, to commit the details to memory. Darlene had said something about a Savoyard plot against York last season he recalled dimly. Was this something to do with that? But then who the devil was U? Lady Mountjoy was the only bearer of such an initial that he could think of, but that was patently absurd. 

U is probably a man, besides, and that bit about women and men's names is just a double-bluff, playing off any perception of her as flighty.

He frowned in thought, crumpled the note and tossed it into the hearth, watching to make sure that it burned away completely before getting out his own writing utensils.



My lady,

The bearer is my manservant, who can be trusted to carry messages or shelter you at need.

Currently I await you at the waterfall in the Middle Ward, where I will remain all morning.

In future, should you need to contact me urgently and do not feel you can trust a message, hang a scarf from your window and repair to some public place where you are safe. I will find you.

Burn this note once you are finished reading.

Your servant,



He brushed excess sand from the dried ink and rose, beckoning Wodehouse over to show him the note. His manservant read it and nodded once, silently. Charles returned the nod and folded the note, sealing with a drizzle of candlewax. He paused a moment, then crossed the floor to his book chest and rooted around for a moment before straightening with his prize — an annotated copy of Moliére's The Imaginary Cuckold. He placed the note inside and handed the book to Wodehouse.

"I found that in the drawing room yesterday evening," he said conversationally. "I believe it might be Lady Oakham's. Return it to her tomorrow morning, would you?"

Another thought struck him and he returned to the desk, scribbling a quick sentence and showing it to his manservant before throwing it, too, on the fire.

See if she is followed.

And so early on Saturday, perhaps a quarter of an hour after his master had finished breakfast and stirred forth for the day, Wodehouse rapped smartly on Darlene's door, book under one arm.

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On that Saturday Darlene was midst process of having her hair styled, it was a fancy upswept beehive style pinned in place with more than a dozen faux honey bees.  The dress she intended to wear was copper toned and the bodice was embroidered with a pair of bears fighting. 

Lord Mountjoy was bound to admire it. 

(Those giving more careful attention to the needlework might note that one of the bears was stood atop of a mauled life guard.) 




Maisies attentions were interrupted by a knock at the door, and presently Darlene was drawn to the door way too. "How do you do Mr Wodehouse." her eyes flared as she accepted the Play Book inside finding a letter... heart beating excitedly she moved into the light to read it.  This was her Intrigue!  

Shelter too.   Darlene was very impressed at that part of Chatham’s letter, she'd not even imagined she might need shelter. It was thrilling. Also, she felt assured that she'd chosen the exact right man for the task at hand.  I think I shall need shelter too, that shall make an excellent additions to my memoirs when I write them.

It was all very exciting, that he called himself Cromwell was salacious even. Darlene could hardly contain herself as she re read the letter.    Before tossing it, dramatically, into the embers of coals still burning in the grate.

"Would you please thank your Lord for his reply, and I shall make haste to not keep him waiting too long.  Adieu!"

Darlene never spoke French usually, but it just felt right at that moment.  The letter seemed to think so too, for it was at that precise moment it burst into flames and disappeared. Poof! 

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Wodehouse was altogether too professional, too dignified, and too long in his master's service to allow any hint of his thoughts to disturb his customary imperturbable expression of alert, diligent competence. 

But even he could not control all those thoughts, and a rather unfortunate one struck him as he bowed and made his exit.

This begins to remind me altogether too much of Naples.

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