Hi, so here is another entry. It has been a nightmare again to get this one published but here it is. Updates will be longer than some of my other stories just because work and uni are pressing concerns at the minute.
I hope you enjoy this entry.
Please Read and Review.
And again this is fictional. If anything is inaccurate historical wise and then I apologise. Also grammar and spelling are not my strongest suit so please keep that in mind.
The Twenty-First of August in the year of our Lord 1856
I am writing this in the Queen's Privy Chamber where she and the Prince are working their way through the red boxes. Lord Roxbar who has an appointment with the Prince is sat reading at the desk opposite to where I am sat and Lady Clara is sat with the Duchess of Sutherland working on an alter cloth. The whole court is agog with what has happened this morning and the Queen has taken to working in silence one hand on her stomach. The Prince is furious.
I am trying not to let my quill scratch against the paper as the Prince is scowling. I am dressed in my blue shirt with strips and my long skirt that has become the newest fashion. My hair is tied neatly at the nape of my neck but I find it most disconcerting raising my eyes to Lord Roxbar after this morning…
But no, I am getting ahead of myself. The whole court has been rocked since this morning and I must record these events before I loose my train of thought.
This morning after I finished my last entry I sat up, I changed from my night shift into my corset and underskirt so I was more respectably dressed. Or so I had thought. I had to lace myself up which meant that I was…rather loose…anyhow I grabbed my shawl and slipped on my old brown boots that I kept under the bed and ran down the stairs into the main corridor.
I ran down the main corridor into the atrium of Buckingham Palace and then followed the voice upstairs to the to Grace and Favour Chambers where most of the men have been staying. There was a crowd of people around the Chamber that belonged to Lord Gerald my guardian was staying. I hurried my pace naturally.
There were several men and servants mulling about and I pushed my way through them. For men who claim their eyes only alight on me whenever I walk into the room they very clearly did not see me. They were fixated on the sight in front of them.
I did not scream though I do confess to clapping my hands over my mouth so I did not. I swallowed trying to breath without vomiting.
There on the bed was Lord Gerald's nephew. He was facing the ceiling and their was a knife stuck in his chest! The bed and the floor was covered in dried blood. His eyes were closed but the colour of his skin left one in no doubt of what had transpired here. He had been murdered.
I turned and ran.
I confess I do not know where I was going but I was running. Perhaps to awaken the Queen I do not know. All I know is that I was running up the long passageway when I ran into something or someone and fell on the ground again.
I confess for a second I thought it might be the assassin come to kill again!
I scrambled upwards my shawl loose around my waist. It was Lord Roxbar. He was in his night shirt with his trousers thrown on and he was clutching what looked like a heavy ceremonial officer's sword though where he got that from I do not know.
"Lord Roxbar" I dropped a curtsey because…well I do not know why but he was the only person that I knew and I was not going to offend him. I came up to see him staring at me his face half in shadow.
And then I realised that more corset was loosened and I was half dressed in front of a man that was admittedly very attractive.
"Lady Charlotte" He said looking around and dropping his sword slightly so it was hidden behind his back. "What on earth is going on at this time of night?"
I tried to hold my emotions in check. Lord knows I am not a woman to be overcome by a sentimental moment but the whole events of the past few minutes had been so shocking I could help but blurt out (sounding slightly hysterical)
"There has been a murder!"
Lord Roxbar looked alarmed and he muttered something in the language of the Danes crossing himself hurriedly.
"Lord" he said switching to English. "Not the Queen?"
"No not the Queen" I rushed to assure him.
"It's Lord Casteroy's nephew" I said. "He's been murdered in his bed"
Lord Roxbar swore loudly. I had never heard so much language in my life but I did shock a little bit of sense into me. I am not some sort of hysteric like Lady Georgiana but the whole thing had just been so shocking.
He turned around and then ran grabbing me by the wrist and the two of us ran down the corridor into the chamber where more men and a few women including half of the Ladies in Waiting who were sobbing in a corner-I did noticed that they were still shooting the body avid looks. Most of the men were muttering mutinously.
"Good Lord" said a voice behind me and I turned to see Lady Georgiana. She looked horrified as she made the sign of the cross. She reached out and grabbed my hand and I took it back for once feeling warm towards her. The court was our home. And there had been a murder in our home.
There was some shoving and some shouting and Lord Roxbar grabbed both of us by the arm and pressed us into the wall. It was Lord Casteroy. He took in the scene with his nephew on the bed blood steadily dripping out of his body and then he leaned against the bedpost his hands curled against it. I noticed in the light of the candles his hands looked red raw. I moved to comfort him. He was my guardian after all! But as soon as I moved Lord Roxbar's hand came out and grabbed me pushing me back against the wall. I could understand why a second later.
More guards appeared followed by Lord Alfred Paget who works with the Queen and then the Prince. We all curtsied and bowed but the man barely saw us. My Godfather's eyes were fixated on the body that was still dripping blood.
There was a deathly silence.
Prince Albert took a second to look at the body on the bed and then around the room at half of his court who was standing in a shocked hush and then he seemed to speak.
"First double the guard on my wife's chamber. Have Mrs Francatelli woken up and get her dressed and I will inform her about what has happened. Lord Alfred find Mr Penge and tell him to call for the Coroner and then send a message to the Prime Minister, he will undoubtably want to call" He looked around and saw me, Lady Georgiana and the senior Lady in Waiting's.
"Lord Rickson" he said turning to a man halfway in the corner. "Please escort Lady Catherine and Baroness FitzGerald to their rooms. Lord Roxbar please do the same with Lady Georgiana and Lady Charlotte."
"Begging your pardon your Highness" the son of Lord Wells said looking animated. "But what is that upon the pillow?"
There was another shocked hush of silence where nobody dared to breath and the Prince looking as if he would rather someone else do it leaned over the bloody corpse and picked up a bit of bit of ribbon with what looked like a medal insignia attached to it. It was the order of King William who had been King before the Queen. That meant it was very old. Prince Albert turned and held it out aloft for everyone to see.
"That's not the Casteroy crest your Highness" And that was Brodie the footman. He had clearly been up to do the fires and had ducked into the room. He bowed low.
"It looks like Bradbury crest"
You could have heard a pin drop.
Everyone turned to the man in question who had been silent. That was unusual in itself. Thomas Bradbury was not a man to keep silent weather or not it was his political opinions or his personal ones. For him to be silent was not something that happened often.
But he did not remain silent for long. He surged forwards his whole body pushed off the wall and then he lunged for Brodie who let out an high pitched shriek and threw himself behind the Prince.
I had no idea what was happening because at that moment Lord Roxbar had flattened both me and Georgiana against the wall. There was a great deal of shouting and clashing in both German and English and some language in both languages that I will not repeat here for fear of setting this book alight with the words
Finally I managed to peer round him to see Thomas Bradbury being strong-armed by six guards.
"I do hope their not in any danger" Georgiana whispered to me. I noticed she had clearly recovered from her shock at the sight of a dead body and nearly being crushed against the wall by a man in his early forties enough to flutter her eyelashes at Sir Anthony Pemberton who had been at the feast last night one of her more…faithful admirers.
I doubted the guards would be in any danger. All of them are armed to the teeth in service of the Queen after all and even if many of the gentlemen who had found the body had been unarmed most were young and spry. Thomas Bradbury is rather fat and old and on a good day makes heavy weather getting up and down the stairs.
But the Prince had clearly had enough. He motioned towards Lord Roxbar and the next thing I know me, Georgiana, the Baroness and Lady Catherine Walters were being pushed out of the room. Lady Catherine who is heavy with her first child who should be returning to her husband later this week in their home in Devonshire was very white and Lord Rickson was far to gallant to let her go up the stairs alone. Baroness FitzGerald was very white and is getting on in years so Georgiana went to offer her a steady hand. That just left me and Lord Roxbar and I was surprised to find out that I was cold even with my shawl wrapped around me.
I wanted to ask Lord Roxbar what he thought of what had just taken place but everytime I opened my mouth I had to close it again. There was a look on his face that was most frightening and he was still gripping his ceremonial sword as if he was expecting an attacker to come stalking out of the shadows.
Eventually we made it to our chambers. Lord Roxbar walked us to the door which he should not have done because gentlemen are not allowed into the Maid's corridor. Georgiana scampered inside no doubt to wake Clara and let her know what was happening. Lord know there was no chance of me getting any more sleep tonight.
I turned. Someone would have to have some manner's it seemed.
"I thank you Lord Roxbar" I said dropping another small curtsey.
"No need Lady Charlotte. It is what any honest gentlemen would do"
I doubted that but I did not want to say it. Instead I reached out and touched his arm.
"Nonetheless" I said firmly.
Lord Roxbar looked at me for a second and then as if he was at war with himself he asked.
"My Lady how old are you?"
I blinked. "I will be sixteen in two weeks" I said.
Lord Roxbar nodded bowed once more and left.
So there you have it, a murder at court! Of course the more I think about it the more it troubles me. Thomas Bradbury is old and not strong while Lord Gerald's nephew had to be in his twenties. Surely there must have been some struggle? Or at the very least some blood? If the murder was fresh (and it had to be because of the blood all over the place) then surely there would be some evidence!
Oh dear! Lord Roxbar is making frantic eyes at me. The Queen is seems is not amused by my quill scratching, I believe it would be best to turn to some needlework while I try to think of a way that Thomas Bradbury could kill a man thirty years younger than him and not have so much as a drop of blood on him.
End of Entry Three.
And there it is, hope you enjoy