Lady Adventuress 02 - The Education of Lord Hartley

Lady Adventuress 02 - The Education of Lord Hartley by Daphne du Bois Read Free Book Online

Book: Lady Adventuress 02 - The Education of Lord Hartley by Daphne du Bois Read Free Book Online
Authors: Daphne du Bois
this decision means for you. I promise that you will not suffer for it. I shall use some of my mother’s money and help you set up your shop. Perhaps, it will be a solution for us both!”
    “You would do that?” There was an unmistakable longing in her voice.
    “Yes, you have my word. Mama’s money will serve us in good stead, at least for a while. Will you pack a few necessities? Not many. Paris will require new gowns, I believe. I’ve heard it said that there was once wild blood in the Dacre line – knights, conquerors, and the like. I think perhaps it’s time I found out whether there is even a drop of it in me. Vivez san regrets – that is our motto, and I shall do just that.”
    She would take her sketchbooks with her, she thought. They might just be the key to a whole new life. Such dresses she would make!
    Of course, they would need new identities, Maggie thought, to match new gowns and new lives.
    Her mother’s money would be of great help, if she could get at it. “I must raise the wind,” she mused aloud once Cecile had gone to bed. She considered selling her horses instead… but it would only be a matter of time before someone in the stables noticed and told her father.
    The trouble was that Maggie had no way to access her portion without her father’s man of business getting involved…
    Unless she should write to him in His Lordship’s hand, a skill taught her long ago by Frederick when he came home from Eton for the vacation. She could insist that His Lordship was quite intolerably busy and could not think of attending the bank himself, but that Maggie was to be given access to part of her portion in addition to her pin money. Given a suitably demanding tone, such a letter would not be out of character for her father.
    Well, she decided, I may as well leap with both feet in.
    Maggie got out of bed, and lit a candle, taking it to her little writing table.
    She produced the note her father had sent to summon her to his study, and turned a fresh sheet of paper up-side down just as Frederick had shown her, before beginning her brief missive. Thankfully, her father’s letters were always abrupt, so she was spared any tricky explanations.
    Pleased with herself, Maggie sealed up the letter, and crept downstairs, to add it to the pile which would go out in the morning.
    After a few hours of restless sleep, Maggie spent the day packing, repacking and doing her best not to worry about what future lay in wait for them. On the day of their departure, Maggie rose early under pretence of taking herself to London to look at wedding silks. She made a huge production of compiling a list of dressmakers over breakfast before calling for her little brougham.
    With Cecile as her chaperone, and a few bags for each of them, cleverly hidden in the carriage, they made for Dover.

Chapter 3
    The road to Dover proved long and tiresome. Maggie and Cecile passed the hours by attempting to formulate a likely story and new identities. Maggie felt somewhat giddy at this new freedom – she had never attempted anything this daring in her whole life.
    “I’ve done with all of it: Stanhope, the dreadful solitude of Chenefelt and most of all The Ballroom Etiquette for Young Ladies ,” Maggie said as they flew down the country road as fast as they could. She thought of the world around them, the myriad new possibilities that lay beyond the next twist of road. She could do so much.
    Already it felt as if the dull life she had led at Chenefelt belonged to someone else. Someone quite different.
    “To think, the boot is quite on the other leg now, and it is our turn to be free, Cecile. We must become women of independent means – it is intolerable to spend one’s entire life obliged to hang on someone’s sleeve. But how shall we do it? We must have the shop, and some way to make our gowns noticed. Oh, I know! It is so obvious, now that one thinks about it. I shall be a fashionable widow just out of mourning, and a great covert to

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