Perhaps I’m channeling Barney. I did, after all, name a character after him. Maybe it’s nostalgia (Although, who else feels ripped off by that ending??)
Anyway, it’s Thesaurus Thursday, as you know. Well, the lovely folks over in my favorite Facebook group set an excellent challenge. This week, the word is HINGE, but two others were thrown out as well. IRKSOME and LUCUBRATION. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I did. YAY!
So, without further ado, I give you…
“What a terrible crush mama. I thought you said only a few people would be here.” Eloise splayed her ivory fan in front of her face, whispering behind it to ensure no one could overhear them.
“Hush child. My friends are merely here to support us.” Lady Pourchart glanced around, assessing the crowd, and how well they would suit her purposes. “Blame that stupid niece of mine if you must. Were she not at home in bed, you would need only her word to back you up.”
“Why so many, mama? I thought the plan hinged on only a select few hearing the news.” Jerking her head about, Eloise surveyed the crowded Bridgemere music room, her mouth suddenly dry.
Too many people were present – she would end up a laughingstock if the plan did not come to fruition. No, that certainly would not do, and she would do anything to ensure it never happened.
Moments later, Lord McGillicuddy walked into the music room. His spinster sister clung to his arm, gripping the dark blue superfine of his waistcoat. Ignoring the whispers her attendance caused, Patience McGillicuddy’s eyes darted around the room until she located Eloise. Smiling brightly, she tugged Lord McGillicuddy in their direction.
Settling into the seat next to Eloise, Patience sighed heavily. “Thank you for the kind invitation, Lady Pourchot.” With a wink in Eloise’s direction, she said, “Poor Augustus is just sick over this whole ordeal, as you can imagine.”
Feigning innocence, Eloise turned a sympathetic eye to the large man next to Patience. “Ordeal? Oh, you poor man. Do tell us everything.”
“Come, let us walk about the room before the entertainment starts. Join us, Eloise?” McGillicuddy stood. When they were away from the seating area, but closer to the other guests, he said “It’s that, um, that is – my -”
“It’s that dreadful fiance of his, Eloise.” Patience broke in, speaking when her brother could not.
“Fiance? Well, that is good news. My felicitations, Lord McGillicuddy. Who is the lucky girl?” Eloise ended with a squeal, hoping it sounded sincere.
“Why that’s her, right there – the Harley girl.” Patience spoke loudly, causing all eyes to turn in the direction she indicated.
Lady Helena walked in, Duncan and his mother accompanying her. Helena wore a daring gown in beige and olive, causing Eloise to rethink the bright pink dress her mother had chosen.
“The Harley girl? But she’s – she and um… Oh, no.” Eloise said, twisting the sleeve of her new dress. She was determined to make this plan work, to rid London of that irksome girl, once and for all.
“Yes, and that is exactly what has my poor brother in such a state,” provided Patience, following Eloise’s gaze to the party across the room.
Eloise faltered – the marquis would be an intimidating enemy, one she did not necessarily desire. Staring at the girl, Eloise caught a flash of silver about Helena’s neck. Red clouded her vision. The path was set.
“Were I you, Lord McGillicuddy, I would put an end to the entire affair. I have it on good authority the girl is carrying on with Lord Blacke.”
Lord McGillicuddy paused for a moment, quickly swallowing the glass of watered-down punch being given to guests. “Yes. I hardly slept last night. Rather, I spent the night in intense lucubrations, but still – I am not sure what to do. I gave my word as a gentleman.”
At the front of the room, the four Bridgemore girls walked into the room, each carrying an instrument. The guests around them quickly made their way to sit down.