Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 337

Chapter 337

"Miss Lennie,"  Violet burst into the drawing room.  

Punch, Robert, Lennie and Speaight looked up at her.

"Violet," Speaight grumbled.  "It's not proper for a lady's maid to run into a drawing room, especially when she's shouting at the top of her lungs.  Furthermore, you've forgotten to refer to Lady Fallbridge as 'My Lady,' or 'Your Ladyship.'  Additionally, His Grace, His Lordship and Lady Fallbridge are just about to settle in for tea."

"Speaight,"  Lennie smiled.  "We can hardly remember, Lord Colinshire and I, our new titles. There will be a period of adjustment for all of us."

"Certainly, Speaight."  Robert nodded.

"Now, then, what's got ya tearin' in here like this, Violet?"  Punch asked.

"I didn't mean to.  Only this package just come from Garrard's for Her Ladyship.  Charles received it and gave it to me for Lady Fallbridge."

"Garrard's?"  Lennie's eyes widened.  "I didn't order anything."

"I should say not."  Robert glanced at Punch who was frowning.

"I do know better, brother dear."  Lennie smiled.

Punch's smile replaced his scowl.  "Oh well, just 'cause I got somethin' o' a rivalry with them blokes at Garrard's don't mean other folk can't buy from 'em."

"After all, you're hardly a commercial jeweler."  Lennie nodded.  "Only Their Majesties have been granted with immediate access to your genius."

"Oh, bah."  Punch laughed.  "You don't gotta soothe me.  Open your package."

"But, I didn't order anything."

"My Lady, it don't mean that someone else didn't order somethin' for you."  Violet squealed excitedly.

"Go on."  Punch gestured to Violet.  "Vi, give her ladyship the box.  She may be aloof 'bout it, but the rest o' us wanna see."

"I can't imagine what it is."  Lennie shook her head.

"Well, easy 'nough to find out."  Punch urged.

"Violet,"  Speaight interrupted.  "Shall we leave the masters in private?"

Violet looked pleadingly at Mr. Speaight.

"Violet may stay, Speaight."  Lennie nodded.

"Very well."  Speaight sighed his slight disapproval.  "However, Violet, don't make a nuisance of yourself."  With that, he stepped out of the drawing room.

Lennie carefully opened the paper-wrapped package to reveal a small box of red leather stamped in gold with Garrard's mark.

"There must be some sort of mistake..."  Lennie shook her head.

"No mistake, Lennie."  Robert smiled.

"This can't possibly be for me."

"It was sent to Lady Fallbridge, My Lady."  Violet nodded.

"Go on and open it,"  Robert urged.

Lennie opened the box to reveal a brooch of gold scrolls set with six jewels.

Her eyes widened.

"Well?"  Punch leaned in.

" looks a bit like your ring."  Lennie mumbled.

"That it does."  Punch grinned.  "Don't ya know what it is?"

"It's a brooch."  Lennie answered softly.

"But, what it means?"  Punch pressed.

Lennie looked up blankly.

"Them gems.  A ruby, an emerald, a garnet, an amethyst, another ruby and a diamond."  Punch smiled.  "Spells 'regard.'  Ya know, like me ring spells 'dearest.'"

"There's a card in the top o' the box, My Lady."  Violet pointed.

Lennie nodded and carefully removed the card.  She looked at it and blushed.  "It's from Matthew."

"You don't say?"  Robert teased.

Lennie shook her head.  "I can't accept this."

"And why not?"  Robert asked.

"Yeah, why not?"  Punch added.

"It's too...too..."

"It's what a gentleman does, Lennie."  Robert interrupted.

"But, I've never...."  

"It's about time that you do."  Robert nodded.

"What does it..."

"He just wants you to know how he feels, Lennie."  Punch explained.

"Should I send him something?"

"Oh, no, My Lady."  Violet shook her head.

"Perhaps just an invitation to dinner."  Punch smiled.

"Now?"  Lennie looked nervous.

"Not now."  Robert chuckled.  "But, in coming days.  You might right him a note, letting him know you received his gift and, then, extend an invitation."

Lennie nodded.

"It's too sweet."  Violet beamed.  "Shall I take it up to your room, Your Ladyship?"

"Not yet."  Lennie shook her head.  "I'd like to..."

Violet nodded.  "I understand."  She grinned.  "If you'll excuse me, I'll go prepare your gown for tonight's dinner."

"Yes."  Lennie answered absently.

Violet hurried off.

Lennie looked up at Punch and Robert, tears forming in her eyes.  "My whole life, I was just a girl like Violet, ostensibly.  I always thought my lot in life was to serve people, to look after people."

"Now is the time for someone to look after you, Lennie."  Robert replied.

"Sure, it is."  Punch agreed.  "It's time, Lennie.  Roger's back in his rooms.  He's bein' taken care of.  And, now, Robert and me...well, we want to see ya happy, we do.  Seems Matthew does, too.  You might let 'im."

"I might."  Lennie answered thoughtfully.

"And, if not 'im."  Punch smiled.  "Some other lucky gent."

"Oh..."  Lennie looked away.

"And, why not?"  Robert interjected.  "You are the Belle of Belgrave Square."

Did you miss Chapters 1-336 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square?  If so, you can read them here.  Come back tomorrow for Chapter 338.  

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