Unraveling the Earl

Unraveling the Earl by Lynne Barron

Book: Unraveling the Earl by Lynne Barron Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lynne Barron
telling her the truth.
    “Truly?” she asked. “But wasn’t the lovely actress your
mistress for months?”
    “She was my mistress for all of two weeks,” he corrected.
    “Ah yes, weeks become months and months become years in the
retelling of tales,” she agreed with a sigh. “But were you wishing yourself far
away each and every morning of those two weeks?”
    “Will you think me a cad if I say yes?”
    “I already think you a cad,” she answered as the Misses
Brookes skipped up the street arm in arm.
    “Jilly and Laura are not in the bakery shop,” Miss Eleanor
reported.
    “Perhaps you ought to try the apothecary’s shop,” Georgiana
suggested readily.
    “What on earth would they be doing in that dusty old shop?”
Miss Margery asked.
    “Just this morning while Mary made her way down the aisle I
heard Silly lamenting the freckles that have cropped up across her nose,”
Georgiana replied.
    “You are a gem, Miss Georgiana, you always know what
everyone is about,” Miss Margery replied.
    “Is that why you were telling her about Dalrymple’s patented
cream?” her sister asked, her gaze intent upon Georgiana. “You’ve only been in
the village a week and already you know everyone’s secrets.”
    “You’ve been in Deerfield for a week?” Henry turned to
Georgiana in surprise.
    “I would hardly name Jilly’s need for whitening cream a
secret,” Miss Margery replied with a giggle, cutting off whatever reply the
lady might have made.
    “And precisely how to solve their problems,” Miss Eleanor
continued, ignoring both Henry’s and her sister’s words entirely.
    “Oh, but didn’t Mrs. Mortimer use Dalrymple’s cream with
disastrous effects?” Miss Margery asked. “I seem to recall her complexion
turning green.”
    “Only for a fortnight,” Miss Eleanor replied before turning
to flash Henry a radiant smile. “Is not Miss Buchanan a gem, Lord Hastings?”
    “A rare gem, indeed,” Henry agreed, wondering if he’d
somehow lost track of the conversation. Surely Georgiana had not suggested a
remedy to the unknown Jilly that would turn her skin green.
    “Go on with you,” Georgiana replied with a husky laugh.
“Bring Silly and Laurel to meet Lord Hasty. You’ll not want to miss the
opportunity to lord the lord over their heads.”
    “Thank you so much,” Miss Eleanor whispered, giving
Georgiana’s gloved fingers a squeeze.
    “Ach, off with you, you tiresome creature,” Georgiana
replied, tugging her hand free.
    “You’ve been loitering in Deerfield for a week?” Henry asked
as the sisters drifted down the street, green and pink skirts billowing in the
breeze.
    “It’s lovely country in which to loiter,” she answered, tugging
on his arm to get them moving again. “We read of this small corner of the world
and hastened to see it for ourselves.”
    “We?”
    “Brain, Tag and Silas made the journey with me,” she
explained.
    “How is Tag adjusting to life as a footman?”
    “Oh, that was only a momentary whimsy. This week she has
decided she shall be a baker.”
    “What? She? Tag is a girl?” Henry spluttered.
    “A young woman,” Georgiana corrected. “Tag will be ten and
eight come winter.”
    “You employed a young woman as your footman?”
    “Oh, I did not employ Tag. She’s always been about, trailing
along in my shadow. In truth I believe Lady Joy asked her to follow me on my
ramblings when I first came to live with her. To be certain I did not stumble
into the loch or wander too far from home, you understand?”
    He didn’t but he nodded nonetheless, entranced by the
laughter that laced her sultry voice. “At what point did she become your
footman? And why?”
    “I asked her to be my lady’s maid some time ago.” She turned
to meet his gaze, shot him a rueful smile. “Best laid plans and all that. Her
mother was Lady Joy’s maid for decades and truly what does a lady’s maid do
beyond following her mistress about assuring she is dressed appropriately.

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