I forgot to post again and may well have forgotten to sign up as well. I have a tooth abcess – owie! – and am not even as inefficient as I am normally.
Last week Patrick was told that a family member had come to visit. I’ve skipped a bit describing Pat’s house because, I’m reliably informed, readers don’t care about descriptions. They prefer to imagine things for themselves. But in case anyone out there is a bit short of time, here’s a picture:
Pat flung open the library door and ducked beneath the lintel. He stifled a laugh as the figure by the fire jumped and exclaimed at the four hounds advancing, hackles raised, towards him. Pat whistled them away and greeted his cousin.
“Stop looking at the pictures, Gerald,” he ordered, pausing at a side table to fill two glasses.
“Patrick, you devil.” Cheeks aflame, Gerald stared up from the heavy volume on his lap. He was also a big man but lacked an inch or so of Pat’s height and his splendid physique. His elegance of dress and deportment worked hard, and with moderate success, to conceal such deficiencies as a short neck and a slight paunch, but his exquisitely arranged neck cloth and artfully brushed hair could do little to improve his face with its heavy features and lines of temper.
“Where did you get this book?” he demanded, his sneer deepening.
“Put it back on the shelf if it disgusts you so much,” Pat suggested, dropping into a wing chair and extending his boots towards the fire. “It’s a religious work of great antiquity, though the binding is more recent and I took it in part exchange for a load of Brummagem tin ware. I still wonder who had the better on that deal.”
“There’s little doubt in my mind,” Gerald told him. “I obviously went to all the wrong places on my Grand Tour.”
“You wanted to go on yours,” Pat reminded him cheerfully, “I had no choice. Just a one way ticket on an east bound merchantman and a message from the old man to say he didn’t want to see me again until I’d made something of myself.”
“Well, you’ve certainly done that,” declared Gerald. “You have made the FitzRoy name a byword for outrageous behaviour. The Earl is not pleased.
“Pleasing Father is one of the least of my concerns,” said Pat, his jaw hardening momentarily.
More next week.