Mr. Punch walked over to Charles and smiled. "Watcha lookin' at?"
"Oh, nothing, Your Grace." Charles shook his head, tucking a card into the pocket of his livery.
"No, no. Let me, see." Punch leaned forward.
"I don't think..."
"Charles." Punch frowned playfully.
"Very well." Charles shook his head, removing the card. He handed it to Mr. Punch whose eyes widened.
"Blimey!" Punch exclaimed. "What is that?"
Charles blushed. "It's...it's a lady, Sir."
"Don't look like no lady to me." Punch handed the card back. "Is that what goes on under those gowns and such?"
"Yes, Your Grace." Charles nodded.
"Coo." Punch shook his head. "How'd you come to have somethin' so...so like that? Does Her Majesty know that photography is used for such things?"
Charles chuckled despite himself. "I doubt Her Majesty knows, but, her groom does. He gave it to me to give to Gerry just before he left."
"Coo." Punch repeated. He turned. "Here, Chum! Come look at what Charles 'as got."
Robert nodded from across the library and walked toward Charles and the Duke.
Punch looked around. "Where's Georgie? Is he in here?"
"No, he's got back downstairs." Robert shook his head. "What have you, Charles?"
"Your Lordship, I..."
"Go on..." Punch insisted.
Again, Charles produced the postcard.
"Oh." Robert nodded. "Poor woman must suffer from gastric troubles. Look at her stomach. It's distended. Probably gas on the stomach."
"Is that so?" Punch looked again.
"Charles, is this someone you know?" Robert asked. "If so, she must come and see me at once. I've some oil of peppermint which would help her immensely."
"He don't know her, Chum." Punch shook his head. "She's a friend of the Queen's groomsman."
"I see." Robert nodded. "Charles, would you tell him, then, to send the young lady..."
"Dr. Halifax, she...I mean, he doesn't know her. It's just a photo." Charles blushed again.
"Why on Earth would you have a photo of a young lady you nor anyone else knows? Especially one wherein she's no clothes?"
"They're gonna give it to Gerard." Punch nodded.
"Whatever for?" Robert asked. He then shook his head quickly. "Oh! I see!"
"What?" Punch asked, wide-eyed.
"I'll tell you later, dear Punch." Robert laughed.
"Hmmm..." Punch sighed. "Perhaps, Chum, you and me weren't the right ones to plan this gathering for Gerry tonight. Charles, perhaps you and the others would have more of a time for yourselves if Lord Colinshire and I stayed outta your way."
"Certainly not, Sir." Charles protested.
"You could go to a pub, maybe." Robert suggested. "Wait...no, that wouldn't be good for Gerard. "Or..."
"I beg your pardon, Sir." Charles smiled, "but what you've planned is perfect and I know that Gerard will appreciate it immensely."
"You're sure?" Punch asked.
"Very." Charles nodded.
"All right, then." Punch grinned.
"I'd best get to my duties." Charles said. "Before I leave, is there anything else I might do?"
"No, I think not." Robert replied.
"Good afternoon." Charles nodded.
"Here, remember our scheme," Punch added. "We're countin' on you to get Gerry up here."
"I shall not fail you." Charles smiled as he exited.
Robert chuckled again. "The two of us don't know much about the antics of regular gentlemen, do we?"
"No." Punch shook his head. "But, we do know our Gerry and our other lads. And, they're just what you said. Gentlemen. Servants or not. We shall show 'em, 'specially, Gerry, how they're 'preciated."
"I believe we will."
"Then, they can all go off and look at pictures of other girls with stomach ailments on their own." Punch concluded.
Did you miss Chapters 1-352 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 354.