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To Baron Dundarg | by hand, late Thursday evening, The Hen's Toes

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A handwritten note using lampblack soot ink on parchment, embossed with the three-crowned royal coat of arms of the Tsardom of Moscow.

To the Much Honoured Douglas FitzJames,
Baron Dundarg,

The Honourable Pyotr Fedorovich Sheremetev, Ambassador from the Tsardom of Moscow to the English Court, requests the honour of your company at a private meeting, at the Van Dyck Room of Windsor Castle on the morning of Saturday, September the 24th, of the year of Our Lord 1678, to discuss a matter of possible mutual interest.

Your most humble and obedient servant,
Aleksandr Andreievich Potemkin

Ambassador’s Secretary


Along the invitation a blue-grey squirrel muff was delivered, large enough to be used by a man. 

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Douglas had been called plenty of things in his time, but 'Much Honoured' was a new one. He ran his calloused fingers over the soft, blue-grey fur of the muff absent-mindedly as he pondered the unusual letter. Moscow was... east. Somewhere in the Rus... states, or principalities, or whatever they called them over there. Tsardoms. He'd heard something about there being an ambassador from the east at court this season, but he'd never heard of Pyotr Federovich Sheremetev. Clearly however the man had heard of him, and now wanted to meet with him privately. Whether or not that was a good or bad thing remained to be seen, but Douglas was intrigued. 

Friday morning he set to carefully copying out the name and honorifics, because there was no way he was going to spell that right otherwise. 


To The Honourable Pyotr Federovich Sheremetev,
Ambassador from the Tsardom of Moscow,

I trust that you are enjoiying your time at Windsor. I would be most pleased to atend on Saturday and have the honour of meeting you in person. I look forward to our discussion.

Yours in Service

Captain Douglas FitzJames
Baron Dundarg
Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeen

The letter, written in his usual rounded hand with it's backwards slope, was accompanied by a cravat pin carved from the shell of a Scottish pearl mussel. Remembering hearing somewhere that Rus folk esteemed horses, Douglas chose to send the one carved in the shape of a Kelpie, showing the front half of a horse rearing out of rolling waves. 

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