Loose lips and reckless accusations ‘ll get us in trouble every time. Best hold off.
I went to the Marquess of Wellbridge’s townhouse as you said, but I couldn’t get past the butler. When I asked after Lord Ethan Alcott, all I got was a cold stare, and “His Lordship is as well as can be,” before the door shut in my face.
I set up in the pocket park in the square behind some bushes. You’ll owe me extra for this one. Cold it was. The watch caught me making a small—really very small—fire and almost took me in. Anyway, the Earl of Chadbourn, you know—the one with his paws in all the charities for the raggedy parade of veterans being shipped back from the Peninsula—came and went every day. A couple of times I saw two ladies I later figured out were the earl’s sister and—get this!—Lady Georgiana Hayden, daughter of a duke and the sister of the Marble Marquess hisself. Yep. I mean Glenaire. I’m guessing the whole bunch of them’ve made a project of Lord Ethan, that’s what I think.
I tried the nearby pubs and all I got is that the lost sheep had returned. He’d been missing all right, but I couldn’t find anyone who could confirm he deserted after Badajoz. I know your man Baker got wind he disappeared from his unit, but here he is in London as free as you please.
Before you go calling the man a deserter in print, Sam, we need something solid. With a Marquess for a father and with Glenaire and Chadbourn involved, they’d be able to cover it up, even if it was true and thrash you in the process.
Besides, what if it turns out your boy here was actually a certified hero? Have you thought of that? You don’t want to get on the wrong side of this one, I’m telling you. I’ll sniff around the mews at Lords and Horse Guards but no more freezing my arse in front of Wellbridge House. I’m done with that.
Yers most sincerely, Horace Coffee
Horace is right to tell Clemens to be cautious. Just how Ethan found himself transported with the enlisted men and unidentified remains a mystery. You can bet his father will keep it that way—unless the facts make the son look like a hero.
Watch for Lord Ethan’s Honor in Fire & Frost: a Bluestocking Belles Collection
When a young woman marches into an alley full of homeless former soldiers, Ethan Alcott feels something he thought dead stir to life: his sense of honor. Effort at charity put the chit in danger; someone needs to take her in hand.
Lady Flora Landrum discovers that the mysterious one-armed ruffian she encountered in a back alley is Lord Ethan Alcott, son of the Marquess of Welbrook; her astonishment gives way to determination. As Ethan comes to admire Flora’s courage, perhaps he can reclaim his own.
About the Book
Join The Ladies’ Society For The Care of the Widows and Orphans of Fallen Heroes and the Children of Wounded Veterans in their pursuit of justice, charity, and soul-searing romance.
The Napoleonic Wars have left England with wounded warriors, fatherless children, unemployed veterans, and hungry families. The ladies of London, led by the indomitable Duchess of Haverford plot a campaign to feed the hungry, care for the fallen—and bring the neglectful Parliament to heel. They will use any means at their disposal to convince the gentlemen of their choice to assist.
Their campaign involves strategy, persuasion, and a wee bit of fun. Pamphlets are all well and good, but auctioning a lady’s company along with her basket of delicious treats is bound to get more attention. Their efforts fall amid weeks of fog and weather so cold the Thames freezes over and a festive Frost Fair breaks out right on the river. The ladies take to the ice. What could be better for their purposes than a little Fire and Frost?
Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2020 with six interconnected Regency romances from the Bluestocking Belles.
Caroline Warfield is a Belle. You can learn about her and her writing here: https://www.carolinewarfield.com/