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Adventure Awaits: Main Carnival Thread | Wednesday late morning/early afternoon, Open to All


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Charles, Susan, Lady Pembroke

Charles found himself laughing as Susan did not fall for his game.  She was going to present a challenge, or perhaps she knew him better than he imagined.  "Did I say three, I meant 13 ," he retorted with another laugh.

The Earl of Pembroke would be a problem for Charles, but he told himself that all would be well if he would keep his distance.  Maybe there would be an obligatory visit to Pembroke's home for a holiday and then they would be unlikely to see each other much thereafter.

The entry of the elephants caused a boyish grin to appear on the officer's face.  In wonderment he uttered aloud "i must ride one of these magnificent creatures!"  Once calmed he turned to Susan and added "though it might conflict with my nickname of Lightning Langdon."

As his eyes roamed, he saw the Gillis clan sitting together.  For some reason, Alice was glaring at him.  Perhaps she wanted him to spend more time with her sister Samantha, he thought naively.  He offered her a smile and then looked away, not wanting an awkward glance with Sam, who seemed to be enjoying her duty as much as a patrol in the winter.  

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Louis, Nicci, and Lucy

 

The commoners muttered among themselves when the arrogant nobleman strolled up to the table, figuring that he would demand that he and his companions visit the fortune teller next. Yet when they heard that he was willing to pay their fees for that privilege, they turned toward him in surprise. “I don’t mind waiting,” one said. “Me neither,” another one added. The third man nodded his assent. Now they had more money to spend on other attractions.

 

Lucy grinned when Louis told her to pick a kitten. “I want this one,” she said, lifting the little red ball of fluff into her arms. It began to purr. Though she still worried about her son, she felt happier and more optimistic now. One day, she hoped that he and this kitten would play together.

 

A wild animal show was announced by a crier. “Let’s go see it,” Lucy suggested. “We can come back when it’s over.”

 

A group of nobles walked by the fortune teller’s tent. One of them was Bridget Osborne. She glanced at Louis as if she didn’t recognize him and then turned back to her sister and cousin, laughing at something one of them said.

 

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Louis, Nicci and Lucy

A sum of silver was delivered to the fortune teller on behalf of the commoners in line and the kitten.  "The Killington family wishes you all good fortune today," he announced.  Lucy collected her kitten and she seemed genuinely happy.  It made him smile to see his sister happy, as she frowned too much and over-worried about things.

"Madame Fortune we shall return after the animal show, so we shall allow these good people to proceed for now."  It was calculated to earn the goodwill of people.  Louis knew to plant seeds of kindness here and there.  It would pay dividends later.

On the way out, Louis caught sight of Bridget Osbourne. What was she doing at court?  She ignored him, as she should, and he likewise did not acknowledge her.  Nicci did not like him toying with the girl.  He had thought to punish her for the betrayal of her father, but he had lost interest in the game.  It was best to do nothing unless the girl sought him out later.

Off the trio went to the animal tent.  Nicci was encouraged to speak as they entered the tent and moved to take seats.  Elephants were already on display, causing him to pause to admire them briefly.

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John and Anne-Elisabeth

 

Anne-Elisabeth wasn’t worried about the carnival’s animals attacking them. All animals … even dogs and cats … were unpredictable and accidents probably happened now and then. It was wise to be cautious. She also felt safe because they were not sitting in the first few rows. A rampaging beast would have to plow through everyone in front of them first and by that time, they could run well out of their way.

 

“I had a knife in Barbados, but it was lost in the shipwreck and I’ve been too busy to have another one made for me. We were accompanied by armed guards when we left the settlement but it was necessary to be able to defend ourselves in case we became separated.” She smiled in remembrance. “And some of us like to sneak out when we weren’t supposed to.”

 

She leaned toward John when he brushed back some curls that had escaped from her coiffure. “I accept your offer. I might also need to refamiliarize myself with how to use one.” Her low sultry voice took on a light teasing quality. “Do you know anyone who might be willing to teach me?”

 

Anne-Elisabeth found John’s excitement adorable. So many gentlemen preferred to remain stoic in the presence of ladies. Perhaps they were not taught to suppress their emotions in the Colonies. “They can probably crush humans underfoot as easily as we crush ants. And yet they look so gentle, don’t they?”

 

The elephants rose and she, too, wondered what they would do next.

 

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The Toledos

 

Had Esteban failed to notice that she had not attempted to sneak away all season? Sophia no longer even complained about Karl following her everywhere. But her husband seemed to be blind to her efforts to show him that she could be trusted. What else could she do to convince him that she was grateful for his protectiveness toward her? Though she did hope that he would eventually call off his guard dog, she was becoming more paranoid as her her pregnancy advanced. There was a target on the back of every royal mistress, no matter what kingdom she lived in.

 

He very rarely flattered her or smiled. Maybe she was making progress after all. “They are bowing to our child, because they know he has royal blood in his veins. I’ve read that elephants are very smart animals.”

 

A familiar form came into view and quickly moved to the back of the arena. Henry! He was back! She hoped he had good news for her and she wanted to discuss her newest plan with him. Sophia assumed that he would contact her and arrange a meeting. As he had obviously wanted her to see him, perhaps he wanted to give her that information now.

 

“Esteban, I need to pee,” she announced, wincing in feigned discomfort. “The baby is sitting on my bladder again. The privy area isn't very far. Send a guard with me but instruct him to wait outside. I need privacy while I relieve myself.”

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Charles, Susan, and Lady Pembroke (with a cameo by the Gillis girls)

 

 “Thirteen is an unlucky number,” Susan replied with a mischievous grin. Her voice lowered. “Though it might be lucky for us since we are personally acquainted with a ghost.” It was still difficult to believe that ghosts actually existed. She and Charles might be the only people in the world to have actually met one.

 

She was as excited as he was when the elephants stomped into the arena and not a bit surprised that he wanted to ride one. “You might be called ‘Lumbering Langdon’ instead,” she chuckled, ‘especially if you try to ride one in a horse race. I doubt they can run very fast.” Again, she spoke in a whisper. “I should like to ride one too, after we are married. My mother and brothers would never allow it.”

 

When Charles smiled at Alice Gillis, she smiled back. Maybe that lady he was with was a sister or cousin and not his sweetheart. There was hope for her yet.  She needed to find an opportunity to be alone with him. When the elephants rose, she focused her attention on them instead.  Sam was so busy with her niece that she didn't notice him at all.

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Louis, Nicci, and Lucy

 

After Louis’ announcement, the commoners spoke about him among themselves. Though he looked like he was full of himself, he was generous and gracious, nothing like the stories they had heard about the nobility. They decided to stay where they were instead of hurrying off to the wild animal show. If they left now, they might have to pay when they returned, and they could just catch the next show.

 

Lucy cradled the kitten and spoke softly to it as they trio headed toward the arena. They were a bit late, for there were already elephants in the center of the roped off area. Louis stopped to look at them and all four of them immediately bowed. “I think they recognize your greatness, brother dear” Lucy remarked, knowing that was what he would think anyway. Maybe it was true.

 

The three of them found seats at the end of a row of benches. Lucy placed the kitten on her lap and it didn’t protest when she lifted its tail to determine its .... well, his ... gender. After she released it, he turned around a few times and settled down. The elephants were rising. “Aren’t they splendid?” she asked Louis and Nicci.

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All

 

(OOC: The arena is a large roped-off field with benches surrounding it on three sides. It is not enclosed in a tent.)

 

After rising, the elephants, led by their handlers formed a line and marched around the arena in time to the drums to give everyone a chance to view them up close. The beat changed and they moved back into the center and began to perform what looked like an intricate dance. They moved around and in front of each other and at one point, they joined trucks and walked in a circle while their riders stood up on their backs, their hands raised in the air. They stood on their hind legs and trumpeted in unison and did many other wondrous things.

 

“Stop that thief!” The voice came from the audience and a few seconds later, a ragged and dirty boy of about eight ran into the ring straight toward the elephants. If one looked closely, the panic on the faces of the performers looked a bit exaggerated.

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John and Anne Elizabeth

He nodded a she explained about having had a knife but lost it.

"Good. Then I shall find a qualified blacksmith and then we shall pay a visit."

"The fact that you are familiar already is a plus but there are still things that must be   ..... taught."

His slow smile was answer enough.

"Every day is an opportunity to Learn is it not? Why even this very day we may discover such."

"Indeed. Their strength and power are nothing to laugh at. If we have a chance to get close shall we?"

"But safety first no matter what you want."

He was familiar with her actions now and she was impulsive as well so he knew to be a step ahead if he could.

It was then that someone ran into the 'arena' and John was quick to note that by expressions the assembled Company did not seem too concerned.

"I think." He whispered" That this is something planned. If I was a 'thief' why would i run straight into where all can see me?"

"I hope tis an enjoyable addition and not some silly thing  ..."

He looked about to see if perhaps any 'performers' might be hidden amongst the assembled Public.

 

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The Toledos

Esteban did not credit Sophia's lack of escape because he assumed she was too pregnant for mischief.  Still, she bristled staying in bed and staying home, whereas other Spanish wives were so dutiful that they would never think to anger their husbands by not protecting their first-borns.  He had been far too indulgent of her wishes, even in jeopardizing Don Juan's child.

Her reference to their child having royal blood was met dispassionately.  This was not the place to speak of such things.

Was it the elephants that caused her to need to pee?  It was most unfortunate.  She would miss the climax of the show.  With a sigh, he nodded.  As she rose, Esteban rose with her.  He would not allow a guard to accompany her alone.  If she had an issue, she would need her maid or her husband to see her unclothed.  "We will transport you to the facility," he explained as two guards moved to lift her back into the cart.  She should not be walking.

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Charles, Susan and Lady Pembroke

Charles was not certain why 13 was an unlucky number, but he was quick with "the spirit shall make it 14 then."  He had to laugh at the idea of Lumbering Langdon,  He was glad Susan had a sense of humor.  "I wonder if they have side saddles for elephants," he jested back.

As often was the case, Langdon was oblivious about what went through the mind of Alice Gillis.  He thought her just wanting to be friendly.  Sam seemed distracted.

A cry went out about stopping a thief.  That was all that was necessary to get the young officer's attention.  His instinct was to hurl himself in that direction.  Susan would see him stiffen with resolve as he watched the miscreant run.  Yet, his job was to protect the ladies, as opposed to chasing children.  As such, he relaxed and observed the show, both that of the elephants and also the thief.

 

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Davina and Company

"Lady Toledo is not a 'typical wife' of any nationality." She answered back. "I have known her for some time and while she has matured in some ways she still thinks nothing of doing whatever she wants."

"I can not tell you of all the talks we have had about so many topics and it always ended up with me being too frustrated."

"Perhaps Lord Toledo allows her because she is pregnant? A woman goes to Hell and back giving birth and I also think he is too superstitious to do much."

She did not need to elaborate for Henry might well guess she spoke of Toledo being a Catholic.

George then interjected and made comment about Susan and Charles.

"You have his Company then George? Why would you think that?"

His words had given her some surprise.

Then the huge beasts appeared and attention was drawn to that.

"How can they ride with so little fear?"

 Referencing the women that rode atop each elephant.

"Would you ride one?"

Asked of the two men collectively.

 

OOC~ merged post into this thread.

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Davina, Henry and George

 

"I thought the Spanish to be more sensible," Henry observed.  "Davina, you would not go about like that if you were that far along with child would you?" George asked.

Davina asked about George's interactions with Langdon.  "We do not walk in the same circles," he confessed.  "He is an odd fellow.  Seemed more interested in riding and arresting people than ladies.  Then, one season, he travels to Savoy," he added quietly "at the invitation of the Duchess," as if it were a secret, "and he comes back to London with a French wife.  She is twice his age, has a fortune, consumption ... and a sordid past.  They say she was a mistress to a French Duc, and ... well, a whore."

Henry cleared his throat and replied "you sound jealous George."  As Churchill thought on it briefly, he laughed and acknowledged "I suppose I am."  He then realized how that would sound to Davina.  "I was merely jesting Davina.  "I would only marry a proper lady."  Henry was entertained by George's faux pas.  Foolishly, he tried to carry the story further, hoping to forget the late Countess of Langdon.  "He then associated with Miss Sedley openly, and in an insulting manner to His Highness."  Davina would know that George was in York's service.  A look from Henry suggested that he stop speaking.

Instead both men expressed acclaim for the elephant parade.  Both, unsurprisingly, exclaimed they would enjoy such a ride.

 

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Louis, Lucy and Nicci

Winning over a few commoners was enough to feed Basildon's ego for a time.  He could always be generous to those that bowed to him.

It was the bowing elephants that caused him to laugh as Lucy proclaimed the beasts recognized his greatness.  She knew just what to say to feed his ego further, causing him to be generous in return.  "More likely the eyes of an elephant see beauty.  Sister and cousin, not one lady here can approach the beauty of our bloodline.  Others pretend at it, but animals can see through cosmetics," he boasted.  "Your new pet," he declared as he watched the kitten, 'is so smitten that it yields to your charm immediately, completely conquered despite the threat of giant braying beasts nearby.  It is magic I say.  The magic of our mother and aunt's bloodline surely."  His aunt was Nicci's mother.  Both French ladies were beauties in their day, just as their daughters now were. 

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Davina Henry and George

Following the line of thought came her easy answer.

"Of course not - I am brought up correctly."

"Who is to say what goes on in the households of others' hmmm. Perhaps Lord Toledo and his Lady have some agreements where she is 'allowed' some freedoms in exchange for something else?"

"Either way that Lady will continue on her own path and I hope, truly, that she safely delivers and that that will give her some clarity."

She listened as George raked her former lover by words her head a bit tilted to one side and a small frown unrealized.

"How well informed you are George - for a person not closely associated - yer knowing so much about him."

"Presumptive as well. It is fortunate that Lord Langdon is not close enough to have heard you. He is quite capable with both word and sword I can say."

"What was said regarding York's business I have no knowledge of. And his company with that Sedley I have no wish to hear of."

"Shall I wager which one of you fall off first then  ..."

Just at that moment someone ran into the Ring with the words "Thief" clearly ringing out.

 

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The Toledos

 

Sophia knew that he would not try to stop her, but she had not expected that Esteban would accompany her himself. Didn’t he want to stay and watch the elephants? She wished she didn’t have to leave, but Henry had wanted her to see him, and she assumed he had a message for her. It seemed unlikely now that she would get the chance to speak to him, but he could bump into her and pass her a note.

 

She was surprised that her husband allowed the guards to touch her. He had lifted her out of the cart himself. At least Henry wouldn’t be able to miss her departure. Would he follow or had he just wanted her to know that he had returned? The baby shifted and pushed against her bladder. Having to pee wasn’t an excuse anymore. She really did have to go, and this probably wouldn’t be the last time she visited the privies today.

 

Sophia hoped that Henry saw her being pulled out of the arena. The distance to the privy area was farther than she had remembered, and walking would have taxed her energy, of which she had little these days. The time was coming when she would no longer be able to leave the house.  With any luck, that wouldn't happen until the season was over.  She didn't want to miss either the masquerade or the christening.

 

There was a sign that pointed to the privies. They were at the edge of the field and separated from the attractions. Curtained off areas on either side of the clearing concealed long boxes with holes in them set over a deep cesspit. One side was designated for men and the other for women. Between them in the back were several smaller boxes, each surrounded with its own curtain for those who wanted privacy and had the means to pay the fee.

 

“I want one of those,” she said, pointing to the private privies. She wanted to look around to see if Henry had followed, but feared it might look suspicious to Esteban. If he had, maybe he would choose the privy next to hers. Or perhaps there was a way in through the back of the curtains.

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John and Anne-Elisabeth

 

Anne-Elisabeth’s smile echoed John’s. “As the saying goes, you learn something new every day. In truth, I have absolutely no idea how to acquire a knife. Mine was a gift from my dear departed father. I am extremely grateful that you will assist me in that endeavor … and perhaps others as well.”

 

The elephants were performing some interesting stunts. “I doubt they will let us get near them. They don’t look as gentle as those llamas we saw. But if I’m wrong, I would like to pet one. Their skin looks like leather. I wonder what it feels like.”

 

She wasn’t surprised that there was a thief in the crowd. There were probably many. Anne-Elisabeth watched as a little boy ran into the arena straight toward the great beasts. Though the handlers looked a bit alarmed, they made no attempt to stop him. She agreed with John. “He has to be part of the act. At least I hope so.”

 

A few of the men in the audience stood up and started to rush forward, presumably to catch the child or to save him from being trampled. “Some people are so gullible,” she whispered.

 

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Charles, Susan, and Lady Pembroke

 

“You know I’m going to ask you to name them all eventually,” Susan chuckled. Teasing Charles was so much fun. “I shall not tell you why I am attracted to you. You shall just have to wonder what my reasons are.”

 

On the topic of riding elephants: “Those women don’t have sidesaddles, so why should I?” She didn’t know how to ride any other way, but he could teach her. Or ... Her voice lowered again. “I think it would be fun to ride one together.”

 

A man shouted to stop a thief and Susan noticed how Charles’ body tensed. Of course he would want to apprehend the culprit, even though it turned out to be a child. Other men had the same idea and began to run toward the roped-off area. The boy didn’t look frightened, and the handlers did not try to turn the elephants away from him. “I think that boy is a performer and not a thief at all," she remarked.

 

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Louis, Nicci, and Lucy

 

Although Lucy knew courtly flattery when she heard it, was Louis right? Could animals see true beauty? All three of them were known for their exquisite looks. Sometimes she wondered if Francis would have refused to marry her if she had been plain. He was already a Duke when she came to court and would have been able to marry any lady of his choosing, despite his sickly disposition.

 

The kitten was drifting off to sleep. “He’s so young that he was probably born here. I doubt that he is afraid of elephants. Maybe he even played with them.” She hoped that he would adjust well to a quieter life than he was accustomed to.

 

“He needs a name,” Lucy said as she watched a ragged little boy run straight toward the animals. Several men began to pursue him. She hoped that the elephants didn’t trample him before he was caught.

 

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All

 

Before any of the men who ran toward the boy got past the ropes, he reached the elephants. The first one grabbed the child with his trunk and tossed him up in the air. Most of the audience gasped. It set him down in front of the second elephant, who did the same and passed him onto the third. When the fourth one released him, he bowed theatrically to a large round of applause and ran out of the ring on the opposite side.

 

When the applause died down, the handlers led the elephants around the ring again and then they formed a line and marched out. Once they were gone, the music changed to a livelier tune. In ran a half a dozen ostriches, followed by slender acrobats dressed in bright colors who were chasing them. They tried to jump on their backs but the ostriches always darted out of their way, causing humorous slips and falls. The audience was kept laughing at comical antics of both the performers and the huge long-necked birds.

 

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John and Anne-Elizabeth

"It will be easy enough to acquire so I shall ask around once back in London - or here if you would rather have one now?"

"That reminds me  ..... We still have a thing that needs attention. Do you remember  ...... I had asked you to go with me to check over the Estate that I have no inherited."

"Shall we plan for it soon? I have received letters from my man there and he thinks I should come. It would require several days traveling."

"But I shall not hold you to it as you are busy with other things."

He was of course referring to that Grey fellow and HIS invitation

She had spoke of touching one of those great beasts and he too was curious.

"If it is allowed we shall indeed seek one out and see if you are proved right."

It was then that the boy made his appearance and the 'Show' continued for the reaction of the Players was not one of shock or even surprise and once taken up by each elephant and passed it was clear there was familiarity.

"You see. I was right. All part of this show."

"Look there how he is tossed up  ...."

John stood the better to view what was happening applauding along with the crowd. He reached for her without thought drawing her to his side his eyes twinkling with amusement.

"Ah! I have heard of these great birds but never thought to see any. I have no desire to seek them out later. I have heard that bite."

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Charles and Susan with Her Mum

"Well," he teased back, "if we do not get married soon, I may forget them."  As for her claim of not telling him, he replied "but I already know," he continued the silly banter between those in a mating ritual.  "It is my uniform, is it not?"  He was only half teasing as he held a belief that his uniform was very attractive to ladies.

Susan was correct about the boy.  It was a great performance.  He applauded along with others.

"If your brother has an elephant in his menagerie, maybe we will ride together."  Philip was said to own exotic animals.  Charles uttered "I would like to ride one of those striped horses from the Dark Continent as well."

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The Toledos

Esteban could see the walking taxed his wife and he regretted not bringing the cart.  Two men followed attentively.  Sophia, if she looked hard enough, she would see Henry exit the tent and stand next to an older woman.  She had white hair and was dressed modestly.  He stood next to her for a reason but did not follow Sophia and her guard.  He seemed to evade Esteban's glance, but other eyes watched him from another direction.

Sophia attained her privy, which was surrounded by her Spanish guard.  Once her business was done, Esteban told her "I have summoned the cart.  There will be no more walking for you today."

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Chatham, lurking at the fringes

Charles had recovered enough from his migraine to venture out to the carnival, though it was still obvious that he had been unwell — his complexion was a little pale and his face a little gaunt, his cheekbones in particular now so sharp as to leave him looking feral. Wodehouse would have preferred his master spend the day resting, but Charles had felt a great need for some air and to stretch his legs, and so his manservant had acquiesced and laid out a forest- and mint green ensemble.

Charles stood to one side, apart from the crowd, and smiled thinly at the performance with the elephants. He appreciated showmanship, and that display had had plenty of it. He appreciated nerve, too, and the boy had show a deal of it, letting himself be tossed around that.

Without conscious volition, Charles felt his gaze slide to the fortune-teller's tent. He was by no means superstitious, but Charles had spent too much time with death to believe that there was nothing to the world beyond what one could see and touch. 

Even allowing for that though, predestination is nonsense, surely.

It was. Character was the only destiny, and even that only in so far as a man's character shaped his choices. Still, he conceded, it might be entertaining to have his fortune read.

Later, perhaps.

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Charles, Susan, and Lady Pembroke

 

Susan turned her face so that her mother could not see it and pouted melodramatically. “You won’t be reminded of them every time you see me?” she asked. She hoped that they would be able to marry next spring. It was the perfect time for a wedding. And they had plenty of time to deal with the obstacles that were standing in their way.

 

“Do you?” she asked when Charles claimed he knew why she was attracted to him. A chuckle escaped her lips at his answer. He did look quite handsome in his uniform but that was not the only reason she wished to wed him. “Maybe …” she replied mysteriously.

 

She gasped when the elephant closest to the boy rolled him up in its trunk and tossed him in the air. The other three followed. She applauded with the rest of the audience. “I don’t think my brother has an elephant or a striped horse. If he was not banished from court, he might have tried to buy some from the carnival.”

 

The ostriches ran into the ring, chased by acrobats who were trying to jump on their backs. “I suppose you want to ride one of those birds too?” she inquired between bouts of laughter.

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The Toledos

 

Sophia noticed Henry when she, Esteban, and their guards left the arena. She only got a glimpse of him and wondered why he stopped next to an older woman who looked like a commoner. Was it coincidence or was there a reason he wanted to speak with her? If so, then he was unlikely to follow her to the privies.

 

And it seemed he had not, for she didn’t see him when she came out. She supposed that she would have to wait until he contacted her. Patience was not a trait the young Countess was known for.

 

Esteban was insistent that she ride in the cart again. She would have suggested it herself if had not brought it up. “Let’s go back and watch the rest of the show.” Eagerness colored her lyrical voice. “I’ll sit in the cart this time.” Sophia would eventually need to stretch her legs again, but she was quite content to ride for now.  On the way back, she would search the crowd for Henry again.

 

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John and Anne-Elisabeth

 

“Let’s wait until we get back to London. The blacksmiths are probably better and there are more of them to choose from. I don't feel I need one here.” Anne-Elisabeth would change her mind before the sun rose again, but she had no idea what was going to happen at the séance she planned to attend at midnight.

 

“Of course, I’ll come with you.” She was quite curious about John’s estate and hoped it would not need too many renovations. They had planned to go last season but something … she could not remember exactly what … had prevented the excursion. “If it’s going to take several days, I suggest that we wait until after the masquerade and the christening.” In less than a year, she had become a creature of court and didn’t want to miss any major events.

 

The young ‘thief’ was, indeed, part of the show. Anne-Elisabeth didn’t protest when John pulled her to her feet, watching as the child was tossed in the air by all four elephants. She noticed that he was very still. Any movement might cause a fall. “That looks like fun,” she said, “but even I am not daring enough to try it.”

 

She clapped her hands in approval. The elephants walked around the ring again and then left. “Well, we won’t get to touch them now unless they walk around later like those llamas."

 

“Hey, sit down! We can’t see!” The voice came from somebody sitting behind them.

 

Anne-Elisabeth resumed her seat on the bench, drawing John down with her as the ostriches and acrobats ran into the arena. “I bet they lay huge eggs,” she mused. Soon she was laughing along with the rest of the crowd, tears of mirth streaming down her cheeks.

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Davina, Henry and George

Davina scolded George for his gossip about Langdon, though she admitted that she would not be so foolhardy with an unborn child.  In a rare moment, he made no answer.  He was wise enough to see that there was no winning outcome for him in that moment.

"George would fall first as he would have likely thought to make the experience more challenging by drinking heavily prior."  Henry found it amusing that George had nothing to say.  "Fortunately, you are in better company."  By that he complimented Davina for not being a Catherine Sedley.

The boy was passed between the elephants in quite the dramatic way, drawing applause.  The ostriches were crazy looking creatures and held the attention of both men.

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John Anne-Elizabeth

"Yes London is far better." He agreed. "Not that there are not capable blacksmiths here but I want to give you one that is specific to your needs. You are delicate yet have strength and it will take someone with Talent to meld them."

"Perhaps I should go to an armourer instead? Yes that appeals more. For then I am guaranteed the quality."

"Very well. I am glad that I am to be fitted in."

He was teasing but there was an undercurrent that she might well catch. He did not like being played with. Even tho it was his own thoughts that had started it.

"I have received a written description of the house and what things are there or missing. I shall be glad of another pair of eyes and as a woman you will no doubt 'see' what I might miss."

"No. That you shall NOT try - I will bind you to my side if need be."

He tightened his hold on her bringing her closer to him until a voice shouted for them to sit. 

"Eggs?" he queried back as they resumed seating. "Ah! Of course they would be huge I'd suspect. I wonder if they are as normal ones?"

"Poor bird. Must suffer for that."

Said as he thought about laying such things. 

"I wonder what shall come next? Lions do you think? Or a tiger  ...."

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Davina Henry George 

Her cousin took a swipe at Henry and also gave, she supposed, a backhanded compliment to herself.

As for George he was silent and made no smart retort. Just as well for anything he might have said could be seen as a slight on her character. He was not that foolish.

"How easily he does tricks." She said as they continued to watch. "Do you suppose those are his sister or family?"

"What kind of Life must he have  ..... Imagine the freedoms to travel the World and see SO much ......"

She gave an involuntary sigh

"But also the hardships. And no real place to call Home. How sad."

"Do you suppose they will have the same animals that are housed in the Zoo at the Tower?"

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