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The Incomparables by unknow

The Incomparables by unknow

Author:unknow
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00


***

Paul found plenty to occupy him after the bleak couple of hours before the club began to stir. He was accustomed to waking at dawn. Maybe one day he would overcome the habit. Weariness dogged him but he was used to that too, and fighting through it. He accomplished all he had to, and a little more before he set out for his London town house at two.

Knocking at his own front door irked him. He did not know the man who opened the door, but the footman wore Paul’s family livery, the black, blue and silver familiar from his childhood. “Is her ladyship in?”

The man looked him up and down. “I will enquire, sir. May I tell her who is calling?”

“The Earl of Sherstone,” he said. He thoroughly enjoyed the man’s discomfiture. “My valet, Robinson, should already be here.” Or would he be turned away from his own front door and have to return ignominiously to the club?

Swallowing, the footman stepped back, and someone else came forward, clicking his tongue. Paul didn’t need to see him to know who was approaching. Vickers gazed at Paul as if he was seeing the second coming. “My lord!” Pushing the hefty footman away as if he weighed nothing, the much smaller butler pulled the door wide open. “Welcome home, welcome home! And dare I venture to say that the household will be delighted to see you.”

Paul spared the footman his blushes and did not look in his direction. He offered Vickers a broad smile. “Did my valet arrive?”

“Yes, indeed, my lord, and your luggage. Your man is presently unpacking your belongings in the earl’s bedroom.”

Ah yes, he was the earl, so he would take possession of that huge, gloomy room at the back of the house. He would have that changed as soon as possible. “Is anyone at home?”

“Her ladyship is currently holding her Wednesday salon. She holds a meeting twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays when she is in residence. Your mother is also with her.”

Just what he needed. He had hoped his mother had remained in the country. Too much to expect, with the general excitement about Napoleon’s escape and the subsequent hundred days. “I will not disturb the ladies until their meeting is over.”

Too late. A stifled shriek from the doorway told him someone had espied him. “My lord! To see a war hero in person!”

He stifled a sigh as he turned around to face his mother’s old friend Lady Dormer. To his dismay, she was not alone. Two young ladies stood behind her, peering around her more than ample form, their mouths shaped into O’s of awe.

Paul forced the semblance of a smile to his face, and bowed.

Ten minutes later he found himself in his drawing room, surrounded by admirers, all of them women, none of them his wife. She stood at a distance by the windows, her hands folded before her, watching with an air of detachment as the ladies cooed around him. They asked him



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