In the last episode I was invited to the opera by the Duke, ugh, and was able to get a preview with help from the Prince. That opera house was where my late mother used to perform. I also got a letter from my father warning me about the countess trying to slander me and that I need to do some husband hunting.
So you were just reading your father’s letter:
So I have two goals: one stop all rumors that the Countess is spreading, and two-find me a man. I write back to let me father know that I don’t have anything concrete-no formal proposal or possible engagement.
After finishing my letter, I hurry to Mr. Woods so that he can mail it out before Countess, Miss Sutton, or my step-brother tries to steal it.
Mr. Woods and Briar are planning on going off to drop letters off. Briar is such a little flirt with Mr. Woods and with Mr. Marcastle, she’s going to get in some serious trouble. And, as my dearest friend and the one I was raised with, IF she gets a bad reputation, than so will I. I’ve got to keep my eyes on her.
They ask me to come with them. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend my money on that, BUT, if I let her go off-she might do something. Plus, I might run into Mr. Sinclaire. So after some hemming and hawing, I decided to go with them.
Remember how in another chapter I bought a horse?
Since I have her, Fancy is what I named her, I get to ride her around London.
The first person I run into is Mr. Sinclaire.
We give him the letter, and then have to go on our way.
That’s it? That’s all I get?!!
You better have something better for me!! I’m going to be mad if I wasted 19 diamonds!
We get a little back story on Mr. Woods, how he grew up in London and went out to the country-hoping one day to settle down, marry, bring his parents out there.
Briar says how love is the most important thing, that it would be okay to “be as poor as a church mouse” as long as she is with the man she loves. Then why are you messing around with Mr. Marcastle? Hmmm…? Stay with Mr. Woods and leave Marcastle ALONE!
We then visit with Mr. Chambers, who’s pants are undone as he was getting it on with another guy. We give him his letter and move on.
To be honest, this is soooooooooooooooooo boring! I WOULD NOT buy this at all if I was you!
Later at home, Miss Parsons pay me a visit and brings a little puppy pug. Her sister’s dog had puppies, and offers me one-but I don’t have enough diamonds to purchase one. I don’t really want one as all I can think of is in Mansfield Park where the Mrs. Bertram has a pug.
“She was a woman who spent her days in sitting, nicely dressed, on a sofa, doing some long piece of needlework, of little use and no beauty, thinking more of her pug than her children…” –Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Afterwards, Miss Parsons and I head over to the opera house in Prince Hamid’s luxurious carriage. We are discussing things, and Prince Hamid tells me how he has heard awful things about me…but he still likes me:
Of course I am, because:
So we get to the Opera where the Duke is trying to get all over me-
The Viscount Westonly is trying to get with Miss Parsons, and I’m trying to help her avoid him. Her family is trying to marry her off to anyone with money, they don’t care that he is a seven wife widower. Hmm…did they die of natural causes or…!
Just kidding, it was natural causes…I think.
At the Opera, Mr. Chambers also joins us and, ugh, Miss Holloway.
Miss Parsons mentions that she hasn’t seen Mr. Sinclaire at the opera and the Duke gives a comment that Mr. Sinclaire visits other costumed ladies-ladies of the night!
Could Mr. Sinclaire be a skeeze? I know the Duke is one. The whole performance he keeps trying to touch me and comments about how he wants to see me-see me naked is more like it-ugh.
After the opera, instead of having my ride with the Prince and Miss Parsons, the Duke’s sent them all away.
Should I stay in the carriage and risk being assaulted by him?
There aren’t a lot of choices for women in the 1800s.
I spot Mr. Sinclaire and follow him. He is on his way to do something, and invites me along. I know it isn’t proper to go off with him, but what other choices do I really have? At least I know he will keep his hands to himself.
We go off as Mr. Sinclaire is giving food and clothing to people who live in the poorer areas. He is amazed that I would go with him, but first-he hasn’t been a woman trying to fight off the Duke, and second-he’s forgotten how I grew up. A little dirt won’t bother me, and I remember what it was like to have little.
Mr. Sinclaire is a very charitable and kind person, he thinks that no matter where or what station you are born, you should be treated right. So then why did he act like a jerk the first time I met him? He almost ran me down and then:
Right when I’m thinking that, he apologizes for any way he treated me that wasn’t right. Did he just read my mind?
I don’t apologize for the way I thought about him:
We walk along together, and then Mr. Sinclaire shares his feelings with me, but we get interrupted by rain! Romance always blooms more in rain!
After he holds me close, he calls a carriage and takes me home. It turned out to be a nice night…
That is until I get home and Grandma is there!
She’s heard the rumors that have been spreading about my “reputation” and has set out to control my London season.
She wants me with the Duke and will do whatever she can to catch him. I want nothing to do with that guy.
So with Grandma coming, how will it go?
Keep reading to find out! Or play the game yourself!
For more Desire & Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 7, Opera St. James
For more choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 6, An Intimate Affair
For more on the Opera, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra