Apologies to anyone who tried to get onto the Riskies recently and couldn’t. Some of us could, some of us couldn’t, but eventually we sent Carolyn out with a blunt instrument and she clubbed something at FB until it lay as a mangled, wretched mess.
So I thought the least I could do to show my appreciation is to continue the saga of the mysterious letter to our hero, which, as you may remember, had a faint violet scent (oh good one, I typed violent first).
My lord, the letter read.
Your proposal interests me greatly.I shall call at three, if that would be at all agreeable.
The Earl of Haque dangled the letter between his fingers as he regarded the visitor his butler had announced as Mr. Crewe. “A perfume factory in this house?”
Crewe grinned through gapped teeth. “You said you was agreeable, my lord. Your idea, in fact. Lots of extra rooms, you have here. Close to the canal.” He fingered a priceless Chinese vase on the mantelpiece. “Oops. Sorry.”
Haque tugged the bellpull to summon a footman to deal with the fragments.
“Besides, it’s the least you can do for your brother, innit?”
“Twin brother.” Crewe beamed. “Identical.”
“Identical?” Haque glanced at the mirror above the mantelpiece, which reflected his blond, well-tailored, six feet of pure lithe muscle [insert suitably heroic description here] and Crewe’s five foot nothing of dark hirsuteness. Something was wrong, very wrong.
“Yep. And I’m the eldest by five minutes.” Crewe produced a handkerchief soaked in his product and blew his nose. He sank onto the sofa, apparently overcome with emotion, and something screamed and fled for the door.
“That was the cat,” Haque said, looking around for a suitable weapon. Yes indeed, the canal was very near, and …
“My lord, a lady has come to call,” said the butler, insinuating himself into the drawing room.
So now what happens?
She is Miss Caroline Cumberbatch and she sent the letter. Her proposal was for backing of a fragrance shop she wished to open with a distillery to produce the scents to be used. Crewe had heard of her plan. He decided to attempt, with forged papers, to usurp the Earl of Haque’s title and property.
Was this a writing exercise? As things are turning out, maybe violent scent was accurate.
Actually, I think Miss Cumberbatch has come in response to a request to supply violets for the perfume factory from the garden of the cottage where she lives with her widowed mother. They are destitute, and this is Miss Cumberbatch’s last chance of earning a living respectably. Her backup plan is to offer herself as a mistress to Lord Hague to save her family (because that hasn’t been done before in Regency romance). While Hague is considering the second option, Crewe chimes in to accept, claiming of course that he is the real Lord Hague…
Actually Caroline has come to inform Lord Hague and his supposed brother they are BOTH out on their ears! The title is actually of Scottish derivation and should have passed to her late mother before Lord Hague was born and therefore the title and all of the property is HERS! She intends to grow lavender, violets and other flowers on the estate and turn it into a perfumery supply endeavor certain to shore up any financial difficulties. However, out of the kindness of her heart she might consider marrying Lord Hague to keep the title in his family as well IF he can persuade her he will be a good and obedient husband.
Love the variations : )