23 November 2010

My Lady Miriam Part 7

...Miriam stood up and went slowly over to the window and looked out on the estate; it was a large one and well-kept, pleasingly situated in Surrey—at a perfect distance from Town—their nearest neighbor being a good 10 miles away, and one of the most lively counties in the aspect of parties, balls and pleasant invites.
Miriam smiled at the many times she, Lady Philippa, and Lord Blackmoore had run about those grounds and had so many entertaining times. She imagined that they would both be game to do just that even now, but she always had to remember her station and the proprieties. How dull proprieties were!
The only person who had managed to make her forget them was the—the Duke! She had forgotten him, oh, she had forgotten all about him! How did he find his way back into her mind? For yes, he had made her forget the proprieties; he made her want to say the most improper things to him…and yet, somehow she didn’t believe the Duke would care a fragment for what she said. Miriam smiled ruefully, how silly she must of seemed to him! A knock on her door reminded her of the time and she started moving towards the door, while murmuring darkly,
“Not that I care a jot for what he thinks…the abominable man!”
They were soon all seated around the table, keeping up an amiable flow of small talk as the butler’s presence made it difficult for the conversation to be any more than commonplace. When the butler left, Miriam’s mama fell into conversation with Philippa and so it came naturally that Miriam turned and spoke to Charles as she enjoyed the pleasantry of country—yet most civilized!—food.
Charles smiled over at his aunt and spoke to Miriam,
“By Jove, Aunt seems well! I never thought (though I shouldn’t be surprised a bit!) that an afternoon rest would so liven my Aunt.” He paused and looked at Miriam,
“And you too! I daresay you’re prettier each time I jolly well see you. Ah, you may laugh my lady! Its true and I am not the one for compliments, as you may well recall.” Miriam shook her head and laughed,
“Why thank you, my lord! I am sorry I cannot repay the compliment—‘tis a great shame to disclose to you, but you have greatly declined in your appearance. Why, and you such a handsome boy!” She added regretfully.
Charles played mock horror and sank his head into his hands tragically,
“Oh! To be wounded so by my own cousin! I shall never eat again!”
At this Philippa and his aunt Rosalind looked up from their conversation and both gazed quizzically at him. But upon seeing Miriam laughing softly, they returned to their conversation with shakes of their heads. Miriam explained soothingly,
“Oh do not be so disheartened cousin! You will make your mark on the world, I have no doubt of that, and nobody shall judge you by your…your appearance! You shall become great and the very model for society; why, they shall look to you and you alone for all their—”
“No! Stop cousin, before I find myself sunk beneath reproach with the retort that is rising in my mind!” Charles suddenly struck in, “Tell me, do you fancy a ride tomorrow? I have the most bang-up—I mean, I have the best ride in Surrey in my stable, just waiting for you to ride her! Does it sound agreeable to you? I do not think I can persuade Philippa to join us, you know how she is with cross country, but…well?” Charles looked expectantly at Miriam. She replied with a tolerable assumption of amusement,
“Of course! I have not ridden since I met that awf—” She broke off with one brow raised, but continued with considerable composure, “Since I do not know when! By all means let us go tomorrow, and we may visit those places where we used to frequent when we were young.” Charles beamed back at her and turned to his aunt who had interjected and asked his advice for the right course of action as to her carriage.
“Philippa, you said that we had been invited to a great many parties, when might the first be?” Miriam turned and spoke softly to her cousin across the table.
Philippa nodded while signaling at the butler—who had returned to take the first course things away—to her person to pour more champagne into her glass.
“Well, we are to accept and to attend the Nonesuch’s party first—for to go to another party before his would not be at all the thing. Then we have our own party of course, which shall be oh! so grand. Why, I had the most charming satin sent off to the dress-makers for my gown; I wish I had but shown it to you! But I daresay your own ball gowns are far lovelier than mine; I shan’t be the belle of the ball, that I know…” Philippa trailed off a little wistfully. Miriam smiled sympathetically back,
“No, we shall both be surpassed by the Miss Alexandria Lacey who has been all the rage in Town, and has now decided to reside in Surrey while the Season is out. She is said to be very pretty indeed, and with a handsome fortune, though no title to call her own of course. Shall you be inviting her? Though, I suppose, as she is quite beneath our touch—” Philippa interpolated with a choked gurgle, and Miriam looked up from her plate with a delightful look of guilt,
“Oh dear. I hadn’t quite meant for that to slip out! What I meant was—”
“How refreshing you are Miriam! No, indeed we shall not be inviting her, but as she is at present staying with Lady Russell—whom we shall invite—I believe she will be attending. They say she is very charming and given to the sweetest temper imaginable! She has an unfortunate connexion with her brother however, who has quite ruined himself.”

To be continued....
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  1. Nice Story! :)

    BTW, I tagged you, check it out at my blog to see for yourself!

  2. Very fancy dancy, loved it, (like always).
    Well done Dearie. ;) Keep up the good work. :)
    As always,