It’s about six months (in the 21st century; I won’t speak for Ballroom time) since Lord Montague Moylan-Hazwell (pronounced Marzipan Hatbox) burst into The Ballroom. Aside from the fact that Monty is Lady B’s nephew, we know that he has eyes as green as the grass at the Beaufetheringstone country estate (wherever that may be) and rich, wavy brown hair, with hints of coffee and mahogany. He likes to rescue damsels in distress and does so with more enthusiasm than skill. As a result, none of us has yet seen his face unmarred by cuts and cruises. His constant companion is a toucan named Harold and, lastly, he is Lord B’s heir. Though we have theories about how this genealogical aberration comes about, Lady B has not yet deigned to share it with us.
We’ve all been attempting to get close to Monty (ask Katharine about the buttons on his breeches) and each of us has learned parts of his story. Over the next few weeks we will piece them together into a coherent narrative (don’t laugh), filling in the gaps with help from our readers.
Our story begins in India, where Monty was banished by his father the duke. We’ve heard a number of highly plausible reasons for his exile but I had a hard time pinning Monty down.
*By the way, he tells me that Lady G. only invited him to her room to show him her etchings and Nothing Untoward happened.
Whatever the reason for his departure, he spent a few years in India eating curry, studying the Mahabharata, Ashtadhyayi, and Kama Sutra, and rescuing damsels. Apart from the occasional encounter with thugs and assassins, he managed to pass the time quite happily. Until, one day, he was sitting under a banyan tree, sharing a hookah with Harold.
Monty: I agree, old boy. Remarkably fine shisha. Have another toke.
Harold passes out.
Lady B: Montague! Pull yourself together.
Monty: What was that?
A vision of Lady B appears in a cloud of smoke.
Monty: Aunt Tropey! I didn’t know you were in India.
Lady B: You must come home, Montague, at once. Lord B needs you.
Monty: Right-O, Auntie T.
So Monty packed his bags, tucked Harold (who has no head for tobacco) under his arm, and booked passage on the next boat to England. Unfortunately he became confused at the dock and, instead of boarding an East Indiaman, he found himself on a leaky tub captained and crewed by some very shady characters. They were well out into the Pacific Ocean before he realized his mistake. (He had also forgotten that he was in Madras instead of Calcutta).
Monty: Stop! I must alight. I cannot head across the Pacific for Aunt Tropey needs me!
Captain (a desperado with exotic taste in jewelry and mascara): Hahaha! We’ll drop you at the next island. Maybe.
Our readers will choose Monty’s destination. Meanwhile, Monty discovered that he’d loaded the wrong trunk at the dock. When he opened the chest in his cabin, what do you think he discovered?