I know that today you were expecting to receive a missive from that most bounteously haired of my aunt’s authoresses, Miss Noble, but I must disappoint you. I came across her earlier, tucked away behind a potted palm, being soothed by Miss Darby, as she rocked back and forth, wailing about some line that brings death. Apparently, it was a curse to all authors and authoresses everywhere.
Her hair was quite a mess, too.
Thus, I, Lord Montague Moylan-Hazwell, have taken it upon myself to rescue her as best I could from her woes, and took up my quill, to assume her responsibilities to the Ballroom today.
“Monty! Monty, where are you?”
And I am doing so whilst hiding.
You might have noticed of late that I have been absent around the Ballroom, with merely a hint of my hessian clad heel here and there to tide you lovely females over. But Aunt Tropey has made it impossible for me to move freely about the house! I’ve event sent Harold to Spain for an early migration, so he won’t follow me around and give me away with a trail of toucan feathers.
“That boy, always being difficult.” I can hear my aunt shaking her head in disapproval. It should be noted that I am hiding in the priest’s hole, that leads to look behind the eyes of an alarmingly lurid painting of cupids in spring romping over a pastoral countryside.
“Difficult!” is Albert’s answering squawk. Then, I swear, the bird looks me dead in my cherub eyes.
Damnation, I will have to abandon this spot for the secret room behind the library. I suspect it was once a lab, but it hasn’t been used as such since the Ballroom had spent a season in Switzerland hosting a teenage writing camp.
“I have a dozen of the most eligible young ladies coming to call today, and my nephew, which I have so very kindly made heir to my husband’s fortune, cannot bother to pay even the slightest kindness to them!
“Marriage mart!” Albert squawks.
“Albert! How dare you accuse me of something so base! Of course I’m not putting Monty on the block for marriage.”
Both Albert and I both role our eyes at this one.
“But if he should happen to find one of the girls lovely…” Aunt Tropey says, letting her
I’m certain I will find one of the girls lovely. I’m even more certain I will find them all lovely. And therein lies the problem.
How can I possibly go on adventures to rescue as many damsels in distress as I can squeeze into my schedule? How can I ‘have a way with the ladies’ when I am tied to merely one lady?
There is no fun to marriage. Marriage — I abhor the word! All it means is growing fat and bored and taking a decided interest in dogs and hunting. I am meant for a broader world! And that world is meant for me.
“Well, he cannot dodge me forever,” Aunt Tropey says – with a markedly huff in her tone. (There is no need to get huffy about it, Aunt Tropey.) “Mark my words, Albert. I will have that boy engaged to an appropriate young lady before this season is out!”
Oh, Aunt Tropey. We will see about that.
Oh, a challenge has been laid down! Lady B declares she will match her nephew off before the season ends and Monty declares he will have none of it! Who do you think will win… and how?