Author Topic: A Visitor in a distant City  (Read 7631 times)

(RIP) Charlotte Seymour

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A Visitor in a distant City
« on: 26 July, 2012, 02:38:25 AM »
Lady Charlotte Seymour arrived in Brugge tired and dusty from the long journey. Her trip from London had been long, though quiet, and she had found out how her stomach had not liked sea travel. She had spent the whole time with her head over a bucket, a maid wiping her brow, and fetching and carrying for her. Now Charlotte looked around at the town, wondering how busy a place it was. The street ahead was cobbled and she stood waiting for the sailor to bring her her case. She looked around quietly, spotting the maid not far behind her, and wondering where she would get a carriage from, needing to find somewhere to stay.

A little later Charlotte was sat on a cart seat being jolted about, her maid sat in the back of the cart clinging to the sides looking terrified while the case fought the rope that stopped it falling off the back of the cart. The cart driver clicked at his horse every now and then, glancing at Charlotte and wondering why she was there, knowing that the tavern to which he was taking her would have room, and the owner was a friend of his. Charlotte sat upright and firm on the seat, sitting determined, feeling every jolt as the cart went away from the harbour towards the centre of town.


'ere tis, Lady,
the cart driver muttered as he pulled back on the reins to stop his horse before getting down from the seat and going round the back to get the case, lifting it like it weighed nothing, when in truth Charlotte and the maid between them would not have been able to. Charlotte got down from the seat, her soft shoes feeling the stones beneath her feet, and proudly she followed the man, looking up at the building in front of which she stood thinking it was not extremely large. Entering the warmth hit Charlotte and her eyes took in the wooden walls, the seating and tables, the bar, and hearing crackling she looked to her right and saw a fire burning brightly in the large fireplace. Charlotte jumped as the cart man hollered and a barmaid appeared. She heard the man mutter something, but not what and the barmaid nodded, pointing him towards the stairs, giving him instruction to take up the case before turning to Charlotte.

I 'ave a room Ma'am. If your maid would like to follow me I will show her the way and she can unpack for you,
the barmaid said, lowering her voice, seeing Charlotte's tiredness. Rest yourself by the fire Ma'am and I'll be with you shortly.

With that the barmaid beckoned the maid to follow and within seconds Charlotte was alone, listening to the sounds of feet on the stairs, a thud above as she assumed her case was set down. Turning to look at the fire Charlotte let her feet carry her to it, and seeing a large comfortable chair to one side she sat on the edge of it, reaching her hands out to the heat. The bright orange colours were mesmerising as she watched the flames dancing, and glancing around briefly before returning her eyes to the fire Charlotte found the tavern had a homey feel to it, snug and at that moment quiet, though she was sure it could get rowdy.

A little later Charlotte was sat quietly, clasping the drink the barmaid had brought her on returning from settling the maid in. Charlotte had agreed a price with the barmaid for her room, and arranged for her meals, asking about the area, and if there were other guests currently. Charlotte was told not extremely busy, but those that did frequent the tavern would remember their manners with a lady staying.

(RIP) David von Habsburg

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #1 on: 26 July, 2012, 05:18:02 AM »
David was lying on the Brugge courthouse roof, admiring the stars of northern Europe when the carriage broke the sleepy silence. Curious, the young Austrian lad sat up just in time to watch the carriage stop by the local tavern where David had a room for the night. Lars the cart driver – whom David had been chatting with during dinner at the tavern – looked unusually solemn and careful. Must be a very important guest, David thought to himself.

Just then a lady with the most beautiful dress David had ever seen emerged out of the carriage. The dress struck David’s senses as it threw ruby red and graceful gold dancing into the picture. Against the dull grey of the pavement and other buildings and the boring brown of the tavern, the colours that the lady brought with her ran riot. Under the moonlight the lady looked absolutely dazzling.

Though the dress was remarkable enough for the young Austrian who had never saw much beyond the walls of his workshop and the valleys of Austria, David fascination was quickly drawn to the way the lady carried herself. She strutted into the tavern with her head held high, not making eye contact with Lars – whose sudden interest in scrutinizing the textures of the pavement betrayed his intimidated self. With bright colours running wild, commonfolk behaving unusually well, and a proud lady in the centre of attention – a scene like this David had never seen – not even in Rome (where David visited with his king on a sales trip). As the lady disappeared into the tavern, David jumped down from the roof and ran up to the still shocked Lars.

“Lars! Who’s that visitor with the beautiful dress?”

“I don’t know, but David my good lad you will do well to stay away from her – even her maid looks frightening. Havent you heard of those nobles and noblewomen who hold so much power and wealth that they can do anything to you as they wish? I heard a guard in Sweden was hanged last month for offending his Italian master. He did nothing but sing! But I heard the song wasn’t too decent...”


Towards the end of Lars’ lecture David found himself attracted to the happenings inside the tavern. The lady was sitting by the fire while the barmaid (David hadn’t had time to speak with her or learn her name – she was busy the whole day) stood by her side. The lady’s maid was nowhere in sight. David summoned enough courage to walk into the tavern – I have a room in this tavern! David exclaimed when Lars instinctively grabbed his arm to stop him from entering. Rash as always David shook off Lars’ grip and pushed into the tavern. The sudden outburst in energy produced a noisy disturbance as the tavern door slammed against the wall.

David struggled to regain his balance and when he looked back up he saw two pairs of eyes looking at him. The barmaid’s looked of horror while the lady looked annoyed. David was about to mutter his apologies when he went speechless in sight of the lady’s beautiful face. Even the slight frown upon her brows was pleasant – for it was the only thing that reminded David that he was looking at a real person, not a statue of an angel. David realized he was staring rudely and quickly tried to remedy his situation (lest it becomes an echo of that unfortunate Swedish guard) by repeatedly bowing and shouting sorry – perhaps a little too loudly. The few bronzes David had in his breast pocket went crashing out onto the floor – loud and raw - much alike David’s amazement and emotions.
« Last Edit: 26 July, 2012, 05:20:39 AM by David Von Hapsburg »

(RIP) Charlotte Seymour

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #2 on: 26 July, 2012, 11:38:42 PM »
Lady Charlotte was just having a drink of her wine, relaxed in front of the fire after her journey. She had been quietly contemplating things, her place in London, her work, and the past.

Charlotte jumped, nearly losing the drink she held, as the tavern door slammed open and hit the wall. She looked round startled, opening her mouth in a rebuke but stoppiing herself, thinking if she had been home the person who made such a commotion would have been sacked. Instead, realising where she was, Charlotte looked at the door a little angrily. There she saw a young man, unsteady on his feet. As he looked at her, Chalrlotte thought to herself there was a clear lack of manners as the man stared at her, before beginning to bow and repeated apologising, his voice raised. She watched silently as coins fell from his pocket and hit the floor. Glancing at the barmaid Charlotte saw the disbelief on her face while she herself opened her mouth to speak several times, but something stopped her, the rebuke that reached her lips and went no further lost into the air as a memory returned to her. Charlotte looked at the young man thinking he was obviously a bumpkin, but his behaviour took her thoughts back to another, months before...


Oh, Charlotte said, the sound of her voice low, confusion filling her eyes, a little sad as she remembered that the person she was reminded off was gone from this world long since. Embarrassed and a little nervous Charlotte set down her drink with shaking hand, turning to look at the barmaid.

It's getting cold in here,
she said clearly, referring to the still open door that was letting in a cool breeze, a storm maybe blowing in Charlotte wondered. Turning back to the young man Charlotte straightened her back to sit upright and rigid. You... do you have the ability to speak?

(RIP) David von Habsburg

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #3 on: 27 July, 2012, 05:40:28 AM »
When the noble lady spoke with her melodious voice, David was awakened suddenly from his trance- he stood up straight and blinked. Quickly he sought to recover his tutored grace. He bowed, and answered as politely as he could,
No my lady though I was born with speaking faculties, your beauteous presence leaves me speechless and I will not have the ability to speak without your expressed desire to grant me speech.

David closed the tavern door shut before the barmaid made her move, and gave the unnerved bar maid a reassuring smile, before returning his gaze to the noble lady.

I am very sorry my lady, the sight of you distracted me.
That clown was not me, and I am no clown,
unless you desire me to clown and if clowning wins your smile.
T’is not common to witness with mine humanly eyes such beauty of angelic degrees. Please forgive me, David von Hapsburg, for the scene of carelessness.


(RIP) Charlotte Seymour

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #4 on: 27 July, 2012, 04:34:52 PM »
Charlotte looked at David in astonishment as he spoke. The more he said the more afronted she became. He had a nerve. He dared to speak to her like she was some common friend of his. His silvery words, the brazeness of him. Lady Charlotte rose from the chair in which she stood and stood to her full height, glaring at David as she did, aware of the fear in the eyes of the barmaid.

You have a nerve. Your words are disgraceful... where are your manner nave?
Lady Charlotte asked, her tone icy, her eyes looking through him. I wish not for clowns, though its clear to me that you are such. I am no more an angel than you are a gentleman.

Win me? You have a bare faced cheek with your afront...
Charlotte turned to the barmaid and angrily spoke to her. Where is your dining room girl as I am sure it must be time for dinner by now?

The barmaid scowled at David as she turned fully to the Lady and curtseyed, her cheeks bright red with angst spoke nervously. It's through that door Milady. Dinner will be ready shortly.

Lady Charlotte nodded, thank you. Smoothing her skirts she glanced at the young man.

(RIP) David von Habsburg

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #5 on: 27 July, 2012, 05:30:46 PM »
When the lady stood up and faced David, David’s eyes lit up. With her head tilted slightly upwards she looked haughty but confident. David felt a tinge of respect and it quickly became profound admiration when he heard the way the lady chided him. The lady had an aura of confidence that David has never seen before and her slight pout of annoyance actually made her look cute.

When the lady threw her glance at him, David returned her gesture with the biggest smile he could command – and said,

Yes please do enjoy your dinner my lady. As I have already had my dinner, please excuse me for a moment. Please don’t miss me for I will be back in the tavern soon!
David winked playfully, half expecting the lady to scowl and march straight through the open door while plotting his next move.

(RIP) Charlotte Seymour

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #6 on: 27 July, 2012, 10:42:47 PM »
Lady Charlotte nearly choked at his words, so sure was he of his charm. She looked at him coldly and shook her head.

My dinner is none of your concern,
Charlotte said coldly. If you will excuse me I suggest you go find yourself a master who will teach you better manners. And if that master fails, then I would happily advice him to flog you till you learn.

Lady Charlotte gave David a look that was one of disbelief. She had never known any one dare... but a memory entered her mind, and she frowned slightly, looking at David again, an odd look in her eyes. Shaking her head she turned on her heels, fighting to keep her composure, and without another word walked to the dining room, entering and glancing round at where to sit. Walking to a table, she pulled out her own chair and sat down, struggling to keep her composure, unwilling to admit even to herself David had made an impact, unwilling to acknowledge it that he had reminded herself of a time when she had relented on a situation that had reminded her of feelings she preferred to bury deep.

(RIP) David von Habsburg

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #7 on: 28 July, 2012, 12:08:55 AM »
David ran out of the tavern when the lady disappeared into the dining room. He ran to the nearest valley where he had been in the afternoon – there were some roses growing there and David was sure that they will make a perfect gift for the lady. David found the flowers and collected nine of them.

When David made it back to the tavern, Lars was outside and looked like he wanted to speak to David. David gave him a polite nod and signaled that he will be back later. David entered the tavern just in time – the lady was done with her dinner and was walking back to her seat by the fire.

David, holding the roses in his hands, knelt on one knee by the fire to present the flowers to her


My lady, pity these flowers for they deserve a better master than I. Aye they need a mistress whose beauty and grace trumps them – so that they may learn from her, and grow better – and there is no one on earth more suitable than you my lady. You need not accept me, but accept these flowers, for although they house my heart and my affection, they are not me – in fact in their beauty they are much more like you.

I can speak with flowers and they tell me that they will really want to know the name of their mistress. Will you please grant them their wish and let me tell them your name?


David thought of the thorns of roses, and smiles, This lady is really much like a rose, beautiful dignified yet difficult to handle. But that’s what makes the rose such a perfect flower, he thinks to himself.
« Last Edit: 28 July, 2012, 02:17:17 PM by David Von Hapsburg »

(RIP) Charlotte Seymour

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #8 on: 28 July, 2012, 04:33:59 AM »
Charlotte had eaten slowly, her stomach unsettled from the sea journey she had only hours before ended, but also her mind was occupied. She was annoyed at herself for being affected by a simple man who barged into buildings with no decorum, had the manners of an unkempt child, and confident arrogance in himself to think he could speak to her as he had. Charlotte just would not tolerate it. She would not at home in London and she certainly would not by someone while abroad.

Charlotte finished her food, though simple faire, it had been delicious. Charlotte had thanked the barmaid who had brought in the plate of beef and vegetables, and wine. Charlotte had especially enjoyed the wine, the taste of which she had not tasted in a long time. It had been a while since she previously had travelled, having returned to London on the death of her parents. Taking a breath Charlotte stood up, picking her wine glass up as she did, and deep in thought she left the dining room and stepped back into the main room heading to the fire place, to the seat she had found herself comfortably settled in before.

As Charlotte sat down, adjusting her skirts to keep them safe from the fire that was burning brightly, throwing out heat to warm the room that evening, she heard a sound and looked round to see David returning. She gritted her teeth as he approached her and looked at him in sheer shock as he knelt before her and held out roses. As David spoke Charlotte looked at the flowers, roses, her favourite of any other. She sat silent, anger and amusement at the whole situation mixing. Charlotte was astounded. As David asked her to accept the roses, even if she would not him, Charlotte looked at his face to gauge if he was laughing at her, and seeing him smiling knew he was deadly serious.


Accept... you? Are you crazy? I do not know you... Charlotte started to say, barely keeping her voice level as she exclaimed, her eyes going to the roses again thinking David must think her stupid. She knew flowers did not speak. Why would he say such a thing. She was not going to tell flowers who she was. Then his words began to sink in. His words were of romantic roots, if feeble at that.

 Whose garden did you take these flowers? I am sure some poor person is wondering what oaf stole their flowers,Charlotte said, pausing to replay his final words, looking at him slowly, glancing at the roses, her resolve tampered with by his apparant honesty. Charlotte sighed.

Charlotte... Lady Charlotte Seymour, she said, her voice barely audible as she told him her name, unsure why before lowering her eyes to her hands, a gentle frown appearing on her brow. She was confused.


(RIP) David von Habsburg

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #9 on: 28 July, 2012, 12:49:38 PM »
Though delighted that Lady Charlotte made her name known to him, David could see from her face that she went through a small emotional storm while responding to his abrupt gesture. David couldn’t tell what it was that bothered Lady Charlotte, but he felt a surge of determination to protect the lady before him – though tall proud and confident she had a soft side to her too and David could sense that she was very scared of exposing her vulnerabilities. His cheeky grin dissolved and he sighed softly. David felt an urge to hug Charlotte but he controlled himself.

David smiled, Beautiful name, Lady Charlotte. I consider it a miracle that I met you today and got to learn your name.[/b] Sincerely he continued, I do not dare to tarnish your grace by presenting to you items of ignoble source - these wild roses were found in the valley to the east of the tavern – perhaps we may take a stroll there tomorrow morning?

David placed the roses into Charlotte’s hands. If you desire some quiet time by the fire, I may retire to my room. I am afraid I have caused you much distress with my awful behavior. Once again I apologise. He stood up and bowed.
« Last Edit: 28 July, 2012, 02:18:53 PM by David Von Hapsburg »

(RIP) Charlotte Seymour

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #10 on: 28 July, 2012, 01:21:57 PM »
Charlotte listened to David quietly, jumping slightly as he put the roses in her hands, the touch gentle. She found herself questioning the very fact she still sat there, llistening to a man she knew nothing about, and a foreigner at that. Charlotte looked at David as he stopped talking, his request though unexpected, was pleasant. At least he did not push himself, while she saw in him a determination, a strength, and she guessed this was why her manner had not deterred his eagerness. Yet Charlotte looked at him, thinking of the position she held in London, thinking of her family, and she asked herself what she thought she was doing. If her parents lived still she would have been locked in her room.

I don't think a 'stroll' is something I would wish to do,
Charlotte started to say. I think that in light of the fact I don't know you, that you barged in like a bull in a china shop makes me wonder at my safety. If you'll excuse me...

Charlotte began to stand from her chair, her intention to retire for the night, tired, the confusing emotions caused by this man clouding her mind. Glancing at David, Charlotte paused. Sighing she dropped back slowly into the chair, clasping the roses in a hand, unable to leave like this, something making her reconsider, a memory stirring. Shaking her head she looked at the roses, a gentle pink, a finger tracing the petals of one, and Charlotte smiled slightly to herself. They were beautiful, even if she did not say so aloud.


If you would like to sit we can talk... but only if you wish,
Charlotte said finally, looking at David, a gentle colour in her face, her eyes curiously exploring his face, looking for signs of anything untoward. Something was making her stay, and this caused some consternation within Charlotte.

(RIP) David von Habsburg

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #11 on: 28 July, 2012, 04:02:35 PM »
David’s heart skipped a beat in sight of Charlotte tracing the petals of a rose with her finger and couldn’t believe it when Charlotte gave him permission to talk to her. Yet as Charlotte spoke David could sense a shade of melancholy about her face. David felt a stream of unknown emotions running through his heart – he couldn’t explain it - I don’t even know her, why do I sense that I can feel her?No matter, I must get to know her better.

David smiled gratefully, Thank you my lady for allowing me to stay. I did not wish for it, because I considered it beyond my wildest dreams. Despite the unknown sense of sorrow in his heart, David managed to squeeze out a cheeky line. This must be a dream come true! David smiled and quickly took the other seat by the fire side.

Please allow me to introduce myself; in Austria, where I come from, I am known as David von Hapsburg. However, David was a name I gave myself and von Hapsburg is a surname I took from a statue of Mathilde von Hapsburg – the first sculpture I laid my eyes upon after waking up and walking out of an Austrian tavern of Osterreich. I have no memory of my past, no money, no possessions and nothing but a free spirit.

David looked down and whispered, half hoping that Charlotte will not catch his words, Perhaps a worthless commoner like me shouldn’t even be talking to a noble lady like an equal…

David paused for a second before summoning the strength to look up. I don’t know much about the rules of nobility for these institutions aren’t developed in Austria. I heard from Lars the cart driver that nobles are treated and treat people differently – if I have broken any codes of conduct please forgive me. I have nothing but utmost respect for you Lady Charlotte.

(RIP) Charlotte Seymour

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #12 on: 29 July, 2012, 02:50:36 PM »
Lady Charlotte took her glass of wine from the side table on which she had placed it previously and took a sip as David sat, pausing at his comment about a dream, amused at his audacity. She glanced down at the roses she was still holding on her lap, curious. Is this how people from his country, where ever that was, behaved to complete strangers, or was he simply just a romantic who cared little for decorum. Looking at him as he spoke further Charlotte nodded slightly as he introduced himself finally, his explanation for how he came by his name interesting, if strange.

So Austria is your home country?
Charlotte asked, more a statement as he had just told her so. So thought of her previous travels and did not recall having been to that country, but she could not remember for sure as her mind had been on other things since her return to England.

Charlotte watched as David looked down and was surprised at his next words, almost a whisper. She replaced her drink on the side table and seeing the barmaid looking across at them waved her over. Would you place these roses in a vase? she asked handing the barmaid the flowers, taking her handkerchief after to wipe her hands.


Do you even know what a Code of Conduct is?
Charlotte asked, almost coldly as she was sure this man knew little of anything. You say you respect me, but your behaviour is such that shows little... till now, she added as an after thought, relenting slightly. Charlotte looked at David quietly for a moment. She was in a foreign country alone, apart from the maid, and here she was sat talking to a stranger, someone she had not been introduced to properly. She thought back to her family and how unless her parents considered them suitable she would not have even acknowledged, as also during her tour of Europe which she had been allowed to do, but only if she was escorted. On this she had been supervised daily, never left alone, a maid to do her bidding, a governess to teach her, and then Albert, the man entrusted with authority by her parents to decide for her on where and what she did each day, and who she would see or speak with. Yet never alone. Charlotte shook her head and looking at David realised how so much had changed. Here she was talking with someone, fairly alone, a man she would not have acknowledged in London.

You know my name, Charlotte started to speak again, realising she needed to complete the introductions for herself properly. I am the Vassal of London. Why am I therefore in Flanders you might wonder? I am here because of some poor information.

Charlotte did not explain further, embarrassed at having made a mistake with her travel plans, having gone to Denmark and realising the event she had gone for was not there, and had then arranged last minute transport to get to the mainland Europe, to Flanders.
I have been here before... during a tour... May I ask why you are here? You are far from home too.

(RIP) David von Habsburg

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #13 on: 29 July, 2012, 05:22:59 PM »
David frowned slightly when Charlotte asked him whether he knew anything about a Code of Conduct. It sounded pretty interesting and important but David couldnt find anything related to it in his limited memory.

He was about to apologize for his bad behavior when Charlotte criticized his behavior, but he was silenced by the sight of a shade of gloom once again descending upon her visage. When she shook her head David was thrown into complete confusion and a state of intense curiosity. He was more eager than ever to find out more about Charlotte - where she came from, what she did back home and what made her so beautiful and graceful.

Yet before he summoned enough courage to ask, Lady Charlotte told him that she was the Vassal of London. This revelation brought back vivid memories - a while ago, David had asked one of his messengers to bring flowers to the new vassal of London!

There were few cities as famous as London and ever since he read about London in one of the state reports, he had been intrigued by the famous city. He dreamed of visiting London one day, and when he heard about a new vassal, the first thing he did was send some flowers to the vassal - making friends was what he always liked to do. Who would have known that the vassal of London whom he dreamt of meeting is now sitting in front of him, in a strange tavern in a foreign country?
Oh Fortune, how strange are your ways!? David thought to himself. And when he heard that Charlotte was here because of "poor information" he was truly amazed. Indeed, Fate and Fortune never give rich information - they operate in the strangest ways, influencing the world with the slightest and poorest of hints, he whispered in his heart.

When Lady Charlotte asked why David was in Flanders, he said, I am here because i was attending a ceremony in France. At a tavern there, I met Lars and he told me of the beautiful valleys of Flanders where wild and beautiful roses and tulips dance in the winds. I was given a short holiday by my king in Austria so I decided to indulge my love for the beauties of nature. I reached Brugge this morning.

(RIP) Charlotte Seymour

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Re: A Visitor in a distant City
« Reply #14 on: 29 July, 2012, 06:27:21 PM »
Charlotte, hearing he was there after attending a ceremony in France, looked at him again, wondering could it be that this man had been to the Coronation. If so then he was not a nobody.

Do you have a role in Austria?
she asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.

Charlotte blushed slightly, realising she asked too much. She sat a moment, feeling uncomfortable, not sure of what to say, wondering if she should end this conversation. Her mind went to what he had said about Flanders. She had seen nothing as yet, arriving as it were in the evening. She would take a couple days before returning to London. She wondered if her absence would be noticed by many, knowing if she was needed, there were those who could take care of anything that might crop up.


I will be here a day or two, Charlotte said finally. I am not sure I will see much. I just wish to rest before travelling on. Nice of your King to give you a holiday, Charlotte said, wondering in what capacity David knew the Austrian King.