succumb to his hypnosis."
"Good lord." Samuel threw his hands up in frustration. "Just because he's a hypnotist doesn't mean he's unethical."
"He hypnotized a child!" Sylvia cried.
"That was years ago. Perhaps he learned his lesson and has changed. Everyone deserves a second chance." This last part came out as a mutter.
"Of course they do." I tried to catch his gaze, but he didn't look at me. He didn't look at anyone, but stared down at the vibrant Oriental rug under his feet. "I'm sorry, Sylvia, but I won't be staying here with you. I feel quite well enough to go, and I wish to speak to Mr. Myer too."
"Well I'm staying here for the day," Sylvia said with a click of her tongue.
"Why not come with me?" Mrs. Beaufort asked.
I could have kissed her. Sylvia's smile lit up her face and assuaged my guilt at leaving her.
Sylvia positively bounced in her seat. "Shall we go shopping?"
"If you wish. We'll luncheon at home with the children, if that's all right with you. Afterward, I'll take you wherever you wish to go."
Sylvia clapped her hands. "Are you sure you don't want to join us, Hannah?"
"Quite sure. It sounds even more tiring than meeting Mr. Myer."
Both Mr. and Mrs. Beaufort frowned at me again. They would have guessed from the look of me that I was unwell, but manners forbade them from asking outright.
The three of them waited for us in the foyer as we retrieved our hats, coats and gloves from our rooms. While our carriages were being brought around, Mrs. Beaufort invited us to dine with them that evening. "George and Adelaide will be there, and Cara too."
"It sounds wonderful," I said, hoping I'd have time for a nap before then.
Mrs. Beaufort, Mr. Culvert and Sylvia took the Beaufort coach while Jack, Samuel, Mr. Beaufort and I climbed into ours. The drive to St. James' Street was short. Women weren't allowed in White's gentleman's club, so I waited in the coach. Jack remained too, most likely to keep an eye on me, although that wasn't the reason he gave.
"A place that doesn't accept female members sounds dull," he said with a devilish grin.
"We women are indeed great conversationalists," I said. "You only have to listen to Sylvia to agree."
He laughed. "If all women were like Sylvia, then I might see the point of a gentleman's club. But I wouldn't want to belong to something that doesn't admit the likes of you, Hannah."
His rich, masculine voice made me blush furiously again, and it took a moment for the heat in my face to subside. It wasn't until Jack lowered the window and let in the cold air that I cooled down.
"What if Mr. Myer is there?" I asked, taking a more serious approach. "You should be inside to question him."
"They'll fetch me if necessary. Here they are now."
Samuel climbed back in the cabin while Mr. Beaufort gave the driver an address.
"Are you not coming with us?" I asked him through the window.
"I have business to attend to in the city."
"Can we drive you there?" Jack asked.
"Thank you, but I'll catch an omnibus." He urged the driver onward and gave us a wave. "See you tonight," he called out as we rolled away.
I leaned back in the leather seat and regarded Samuel, sitting beside Jack. "The manager gave you Mr. Myer's address?" I asked him. "Just like that?"
"There was no 'just like that' about it. Beaufort claims he doesn't go to White's often, but he's clearly an important figure there. The manager couldn't get the address fast enough."
It wasn't far to Myer's house in Mayfair. Samuel acted as tour guide along the way, pointing out the houses belonging to various noble families. I was surprised that he knew where they lived, and wondered if he'd been inside. The driver stopped in front of a tall townhouse that commanded a view over pretty Berkeley Square. We alighted and climbed the steps to the gleaming black door.
"Mr. Myer is not available," said the footman who answered Jack's knock.
We met his response with silence. He had not said Myer wasn't home, simply that he