A Most Novel Revenge

A Most Novel Revenge by Ashley Weaver Read Free Book Online

Book: A Most Novel Revenge by Ashley Weaver Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ashley Weaver
be said for Mr. Roberts. Not only is he in a strange country, but the conversation at dinner can’t have been pleasant for him.”
    â€œNo, I suppose not.” Lucinda looked across the room at the young man in question. “I don’t know what they see in each other, really. He’s much too young for her. I find older men much more interesting.” Her gaze flickered momentarily to Milo as she said this. “In any event, perhaps I should go and speak to him, since Reggie isn’t here to be host.”
    â€œThat would be nice of you.” She was young and quite pretty, and I couldn’t help but think it would be much preferable for her to lavish her attentions on an unmarried gentleman of her own age rather than my husband.
    I really was being unbearably snide tonight.
    She rose, smoothing out her skirt. “I’ll just go keep him company for a while, if you’ll excuse me.”
    I took Lucinda’s vacant seat on the sofa, and Milo sat close beside me.
    â€œCome to rescue me, darling?”
    â€œShe’s not the first of your admirers I’ve had to chase away,” I replied with a smile. “Really, though, I’m glad you diverted her. I imagine all of this has been rather difficult for her.”
    â€œI’d wager she’s been a bit neglected.”
    â€œYes, I doubt her brother and sister have had much time for her since they returned to Lyonsgate.”
    â€œI’m sure she shall be excessively diverted by Isobel’s dashing amanuensis.”
    One could hope. I hadn’t come to discuss Lucinda, however. What I really wanted to do was speak to him about what had occurred at dinner, but we did not have the chance. Reggie and Beatrice came back into the room just then.
    â€œForgive us our absence,” said Beatrice, who appeared completely unruffled by the events of the evening. “Has everyone had their coffee?”
    Conversation resumed its normal course as everyone attempted to pretend that the night had not had any impact upon them.
    I glanced at Reggie. He stood at his sister’s side, looking as though he could use a drink.
    I was not, apparently, the only one to think so, for Henson came almost at once with a glass upon a tray, the contents of which were not the strong coffee we had been drinking.
    â€œLet’s play a rubber of bridge, shall we?” Laurel suggested suddenly. She was looking at Reggie as she said it.
    â€œOh, I don’t think…” he began.
    â€œOh, do partner with me, Reggie. We always play so well together.”
    He hesitated for only a moment. “Very well.”
    â€œNo, thank you, Laurel.” She took a seat by the fire and lit a cigarette.
    â€œMr. Roberts and I will play,” Lucinda said. She looked at Mr. Roberts expectantly, and he nodded his agreement.
    The players moved to a table in the corner, and Gareth Winters wandered over to where we sat.
    â€œI’m glad to have escaped that,” he said. “I don’t care for the game.” Somehow I didn’t find this surprising. Mr. Winters didn’t seem as though he would enjoy maintaining the concentration required to follow the bidding.
    â€œI’m afraid my heart wouldn’t be in it this evening,” I admitted. “It seems you were right this afternoon when you said things were bound to get unpleasant.”
    He smiled that vague smile of his. “I’m afraid the worst is yet to come.”
    *   *   *
    As soon as politely possible, I made my excuses and retreated to my room, leaving Milo and Mr. Winters to have a drink together. It had certainly been an eventful evening, and I was very tired.
    Winnelda was sitting in a chair, which she had dragged perilously close to the fire, and reading a book. She set it aside and sprang to her feet when I came into the room.
    â€œOh, madam!” she said with great

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