February 19, 2006 at 7:22 pm #1763asseropenParticipant
silashughesx: ::leaning back in the chair, will let the maid collect the dishes, randomly decides roast turkey was the main dish, he reaches for the wine and pours himself another glass:: “Brilliant as always,” ::says to whats her face, the cook ::
ligeiahughes: The candles were already beginning to burn low as the family sat around the dining room table. With the main dishes cleared, steadfast Mary (for all maids were named Mary) entered with a tray of ices.
abrahamnhughes: Abraham sat at the head of the table, leaning back in his chair, sated from the meal. “Serve the children first, good Mary.”
silashughesx: “Thank you, Father. How kind. Some more wine?”
ligeiahughes: Mary placed before each seated family member a tall dish filled with round scoops of the sherbert and lemon flavoured ices along with a long handled spoon. First the children, from youngest to oldest, then the master. “Will there be anything else, sir?” Mary asked, her tray empty.
silashughesx: “You know, Luther has vanished. Completely,” :: speaking of the youngest in the family :: “Probably off on some adventure unless he bloody well ended up on a boat as a stowaway again.”
abrahamnhughes: “No, thank you, Mary. You may go have your meal now.” He looked over to Silas and shook his head. “Quite alright, Silas, but I've had enough for now. Perhaps I'll take some more after dessert.” He frowned. “You know you're supposed to keep a better eye on him than that, Silas. Ligeia, I don't suppose you've any idea where he's gone this time?”
silashughesx: “Father, I swear I haven't even seen him since I got back from Prussia. For all I know, he's been gone for weeks. I was looking for him the other day and realized he was just not around. He's a silent one, Luther.”
ligeiahughes: “I'm sure Luther has gone no further than the country home of the youngest Mr. Waverley,” Ligeia replied calming, spooning the tiniest bit of sherbert ice from her dish. “They are not two days' hard ride from here. Probably gallavanting around the countryside.”
silashughesx: “I remember when he used to fall off his horse,” :: smirks to himself ::
abrahamnhughes: “He was here when you returned, Silas. I'm glad you pay so much attention to the presence of your youngest brother. Waverly, Ligeia? Which one?”
silashughesx: “Well, he never came to greet me, Father.” ::: shakes his head ::
ligeiahughes: “That's because you used to push him off his horse,” she replied to her brother. And then, with a turn of her glance to her father, “Frank, father. Frank Waverley.”
abrahamnhughes: “Ah, yes, Frank. A good enough fellow. Send a letter to him, would you, Ligeia, to make sure Luther is keeping well and out of trouble?”
silashughesx: “Was teaching him how to firm up his stance, get good leg muscles, sister.” :: snagging a spoon, he dips it in a glass of hot water, tapping it on the edge of the glass to get rid of the dripping and then slides it into the cold sherbert:: “I don't know if I've ever met Frank Waverly. Nice man, is he?”
ligeiahughes: “Of course, father. I shall post a letter on the morrow.” And as she spooned another bit of ice from her dish, she lifted her glance through a fringe of dark lashes to her brother, who sat across the table.
abrahamnhughes: “Thank you, Ligeia.” His glance returned to Silas. “A nicer man than many, though certainly a tad frivolous.”
silashughesx: :: smiles briefly at Li:: ( Li) — Did you bed this Frank fellow, sister, while I was away? — “I met a nice young woman who is currently a maid at the church, Father. I think she could be looking for a job. We could use some more help, couldn't we?”
abrahamnhughes: “Who is she, Silas?”
silashughesx: “Miss Riley Mor, I believe was her name.”
ligeiahughes: (Si) — Wouldn't you like to know? A maid at a church? Oh, dear brother, are you bringing your brothel home these days? —
abrahamnhughes: “Ah, yes, I met Miss Mor myself. It didn't sound as though she was looking for hire as a maid for someone else, Silas.”
silashughesx: “She seemed quite intelligent, even has a knack for some knitting. I believe she could serve as quite an apprentice for Miss Fellows, even, during her spare time, should Miss Fellows be interested.”
abrahamnhughes: “It was my understanding that they were already working out such an arrangement themselves.”
ligeiahughes: It did sound as though her brother and her father were getting quite a collection of mistresses among them.
silashughesx: “Ah… I am obviously out of the loop.” :: sips at the wine then ::
abrahamnhughes: “Perhaps, then, Silas, your attentions haven't been where they should be. Are you getting enough rest? Feeling distracted? Perhaps I should send someone to give you more aid at the docks.”
silashughesx: “I actually had a lovely chat with Dorian the other night as well. He's going to be advising me on some trade issues, see if he can turn on some of his family's old trade customers on to our business.”
ligeiahughes: Like a silent, moving shadow, the feline Malachite padded into the dining room. He stalked over to Ligeia's chair, and curled beneath it.
silashughesx: “Mighty fine man. He will be quite a resource.” :: ignoring his father's initial rantings, and notes the cat.
abrahamnhughes: “You'll be paying him from your own pocket, then, Silas.” He frowned. “What issues do you think we need outside legal advice upon? Any changes will be run through me before being put into effect.”
silashughesx: “You missed the point, Father. It is not a legal matter that I talked to him about. His family is well known and he is to come into possession of most of its fortune. His family owned a rather large trading company and he will be finding us their customers. We will inherit customers and a diverse set of accounts as a result of him merely being there.”
abrahamnhughes: “No, boy, you miss the point. While his family may have once owned a shipping company, he has no personal experience in the business. His experience lies in legal matters, not in trade. Perhaps we may be able to gain some of their old customers, but there?s a chance of that regardless.?
ligeiahughes: “And has he taken such an eager interest in all of our family's dealings?” she asked, her brow lifting in such a way that Silas would have no mistaking her meaning. Had he been able to foist Sophie on him?
silashughesx: “It is not a chance, father. It is a likelihood. You have me find clients. And I am doing my job.” :: sips at the wine ::
abrahamnhughes: “As I said, Silas, that's fine with me, but you'll pay him from your own pocket, at least until it's been proven to me that a profit is being made from his presence.”
silashughesx: “I say the money we make as a result of him advising us be put into a separate account and we take the money out of that pot to pay him.” (Li) — Sophie was not interested. I desperately tried. God help us, if the wicked woman was not interested in such a wealthy man, will it take a bloody prince to get rid of her? —
abrahamnhughes: “To pay him a commission, as it were? What kind of percentage had you in mind?”
silashughesx: “5 percent.”
ligeiahughes: (Si) — Perhaps a Baron is tempting enough for her? —
abrahamnhughes: “Far too high. Two percent, Silas. There are too many others to be paid, particularly if his advice leads to expansion, as more workers will need wages paid.”
silashughesx: “I will work it out, Father. The business is running smooth as a result of my expertise and I am sure something will work out.”
ligeiahughes: Ligeia continued to spoon ices. Though she knew the ins and the outs of the family business as well as any man at the table, she was rarely heard above the din of their voices at times like these.
abrahamnhughes: “You will not work it out, Silas, not without keeping me informed. The business may be running smoothly, but you are not in charge of the company. I remain in control of my faculties, and I am the president.”
silashughesx: “True enough, Father.” :: raising the glass of wine to the air :: “Sister, have you seen Frederick yet?” :: changing subjects ::
ligeiahughes: The sound of the spoon against the ices dish was almost deafening, as she nearly lost her grip on it at the mention of that name. There was sherbert in her mouth, which she managed to swallow without choking. Appearing calm, though that name had caused a surge of adrenaline and a skipped heartbeat, her only logical reply was, “Pardon?”
silashughesx: :: sips at the wine, he glances to Father who must not have mentioned that Frederick had moved in, per his request ::
ligeiahughes: Watching Silas, her glance too shot to Abraham. And then back to Silas again.
abrahamnhughes: His eyes slid to his daughter. “You hadn't yet heard? Captain Selden is back in the city. I gather he's been inquiring for you. He's been moving into one of the spare rooms, as well, and will be assisting in the business.”
silashughesx: (Li ) — Father had Frederick move in last week, have you been in the attic too long to notice him? —
ligeiahughes: “I–” As calm as calm could be, she set her spoon down. And then she stood up, nearly toppling her chair in the process, and frightening the cat out from underneath it. “Captain Selden?” she asked, unable to keep the incredulity from creeping into her voice. “In this house?”
silashughesx: “Next door to my room. Though I believe he's out tonight. Something about meeting old military buddies so that they could help us get that exotic liqueur into the Port easier, Father.”
abrahamnhughes: “Yes. At Silas' suggestion.”
silashughesx: “With Selden's help, the ship should arrive Tuesday, father.”
ligeiahughes: “Are you mad?” she asked, wishing to direct the question to her father but pointing it at her brother, an easier target, instead.
abrahamnhughes: “Very good, Silas.”
silashughesx: “Thank you, Father. I thought you would be pleased. I am sure the Baron will enjoy it as well.” ::sips a spoon into the sherbert again:: “Sister, have you seen the Baron lately?” :: how easily he moves from topic to topic ::
ligeiahughes: There they went again, ignoring her. A hand was pressed palm flat to her abdomen. It was difficult to catch one's breath in a corset. “What good will meetings with the Baron do me once he discovers a former beau has been invited by my family to take shelter under this roof? Have you any idea what irreparable damage you are doing to my reputation?”
silashughesx: “Capt. Selden expressed interest in escorting Sophie. I see no trouble in that.”
ligeiahughes: At that, her eyes flashed cold at her brother. Her father would not see the look, but her brother would not miss it.
silashughesx: “Sister, you are simply… not his type anymore. He's moved on. He's a knight now. A war hero like great-great grandfather, no less. Sister, you are too good for him anyway.”
abrahamnhughes: “Silas, your sister has a point. Perhaps it would be best to find more appropriate lodgings for Frederick.”
ligeiahughes: A nod was all she managed, in silent and desperate agreement with her father's assessment of the situation.
silashughesx: “He's just recently moved his belongings in, Father. It would be rude to throw him out now — especially since he's helping us with the Baron. Couldn't we give him time to find his own place? That was the plan, anyway.”
silashughesx: “He leaves early in the morning, comes in late. It's just a bed and someplace to be safe. He's had a rather tragic experience losing a best friend in battle that he just wanted someplace safe to put his head down, is all.”
abrahamnhughes: “A few days at most, Silas. Sending your sister's name into scandal does none of us any good, particularly not Ligeia. If you must, take some time to help him in his search.”
silashughesx: “Of course, Father. I didn't want to bring the family any scandal. You and I both thought it would be a good idea to bring the man back into the fold, especially because he could help us with the Baron.” :: as if explaining this for his sister more for father ::
abrahamnhughes: “I thought it would be a good idea to give him a hand and bring him into the business, Silas. You were the one who thought his living here would be a good idea.”
ligeiahughes: Ligeia slowly lowered herself into her chair once more. Her appetite for the ices had vanished. With hands folded in her lap, her thoughts were markedly elsewhere.
silashughesx: “With your permission, Father.” :: reminding him ::
abrahamnhughes: “Yes, and now I've changed my mind, Silas. It was a poor decision, and poor advice on your part.”
silashughesx: :: nods and raises the wine glass :: “Final decision was yours, Father. Do remember that you could have said no at anytime.” :: sips at the wine glass ::
ligeiahughes: Perturbed by her earlier outburst, Malachite sat glowering at the dining room entrance. He wished to return to the attic room, but it seemed a lost cause for this evening.
abrahamnhughes: “I'm saying no now, Silas.”
silashughesx: ” And I?m agreeing with you, Father.”
abrahamnhughes: “Good. Then it's settled. He'll be out of your hair soon enough, Ligeia.”
ligeiahughes: “Now that that's settled,” she remarked quietly, drawing an end to their circuitous conversation.
silashughesx: “He will at that. Sherbert good, sister?” :: dips a spoon into his own ::
ligeiahughes: It wasn't enough that they did not allow her to marry a man they would eventually welcome into their home with open arms. A man she had once loved. A war hero like great-great-grandfather, indeed. “Delightful,” she replied, as though such an exchange of pleasantries was scripted every evening.
silashughesx: “I rather think so, as well. Mary does a fantastic job. Father, any thoughts on the boxing ring?” :: sips at the wine some more. a sudden change of topic, he glances at Li :: “Father and I had discussed a potential boxing club to help diversify the business.”
abrahamnhughes: “Submit a full plan to me, Silas, and I will ponder it further.” He pushed away his sherbert. “Ligeia, I would like to have a word with you later.”
ligeiahughes: She made a face, her mouth turned down, her nose turned up. “Pugilism is such a barbaric sport.”
silashughesx: “Of course, father.”
ligeiahughes: A glance, hiding surprise, to her father. “Of course, father.”
silashughesx: “Father, I do believe I'm done. May I be excused?”
abrahamnhughes: “Of course, Silas.”
silashughesx: “Thank you, Father.” :: standing, he moves about to his sister, hovering above her a moment, he squeezes her left shoulder:: “Much love, sister. You and I should talk some more another time.”
ligeiahughes: “Good night, brother,” she replied. “Pleasant dreams.”
silashughesx: “Not sleep quite yet.” :: nods again to Father, he snags a vial of vin mariani out of his pocket and downs some of it, heading out of the dining room and toward the stairs to his room ::
ligeiahughes: Having heard the family stirring, the ever-ready Mary was immediately on hand to clear the dessert dishes. She came silently into the room and left, unobtrusive and obedient.
abrahamnhughes: He watched Silas go, and shook his head slightly, sighing. He reached for the wine, and poured himself another glass. “Thank you, Mary,” he murmured as she cleared the dishes.
ligeiahughes: The maid dipped a quick curtsey before disappearing from the dining room. “You wanted a word with me, Father?” she asked, as the silence began to settle.
abrahamnhughes: “Indeed, Ligeia, indeed, I did.” A pause, as he swirled his glass and took a slow sip, eyes moving to her over the rim. “I am not a fool, Ligeia. You sit here night after night, and listen to Silas and I discuss business. You'rea bright enough girl that you can't have gone all these years without picking some things up. And so, I'd like to hear what you have to say about things.”
ligeiahughes: She still sat rather demurely in her chair, hands folded in her lap. Her gaze turned upon her father and her head tilted slightly. Since she had not left the house today, much of her dark tresses had been left to flow freely. “Which recent developments would you like my opinion on, Father? Mr. Balfour? The boxing ring? Or Silas' determination to gain control of everything whilst you're still in possession of your faculties?” At such times, Abraham would know, his daughter was not one to mince words. Life had been too cold for her to make room for such frivolities of language under the circumstances.
abrahamnhughes: He noticed, and was grateful for it. Whereas her twin would speak around his point to tedium and beyond, she got straight to the heart of the matter. “Ah, but they're all rather one and the same, are they not?”
ligeiahughes: “Indeed. All roads lead to the same selfish mindset of the same selfish mind. But why ask my opinion on the matter?”
abrahamnhughes: “Why not, Ligeia? Surely you don't think I've spent all these years speaking of business matters in front of you in the hopes you'd just let it all fly past you.”
ligeiahughes: “And surely you don't think that I'm unaware of the fact that every time you look at me, you're afraid you see my mother.” Her voice had turned dark, to match the shadows in her blue eyes. Yes, she feared the madness as much as he.
abrahamnhughes: “Perhaps I do, Ligeia, but I worry of it for your own sake. You know that.” He sighed, taking another long draught of wine.
ligeiahughes: “So I know everything there is to know about the business of our family. I am the unwed daughter of a madwoman. And, if Silas has his way, a madman.”
abrahamnhughes: “All the more reason, then, to help me make sure Silas doesn't have his way.” He, too, could get straight to the point.
ligeiahughes: “Perhaps it is I who should be asking your opinion on the matter, then?”
abrahamnhughes: “Only I asked first.” A wry smile was given to her. “I've already had my will changed so that he will not inherit sole possession of the company, no matter what.”
ligeiahughes: “And into how many pieces will the company be broken?”
abrahamnhughes: “That part, I'd like to keep to myself for now. I'm certain you understand. But we're getting off of the point, Ligeia. What do you think should be done?”
ligeiahughes: “You've diluted the extent of power he can wield once you are gone. You must dilute the power he wields while you are here.”
abrahamnhughes: He nodded. “Yes, I'm just not sure how to have that happen without him finding a way to have me declared incompetent or tearing apart the company from within. It's become a precarious situation, as you're well aware.”
ligeiahughes: “Well, his dealings with Mr. Balfour need to be closely examined. To so easily trust such a handsome face on such a short acquaintance, makes me wonder as to the intentions of both men.”
abrahamnhughes: “That much goes without saying. I don't trust his dealings with Mr. Balfour at all. While it is distinctly possible that Mr. Balfour is a good man, given the circumstances, he will have to work hard to prove it if it is, indeed, the case.”
ligeiahughes: “And a boxing ring?” she questioned with a skeptically raised brow. “Honestly, Father. What respectability can that bring the company or the family name? It is simply Silas wishing to gratify his own urges.”
abrahamnhughes: “Of course it is, Ligeia. But if he's busy creating plans about constructing one, he's less of a threat in other areas, is he not? Give your poor old father some credit.”
ligeiahughes: “Surely there is something more useful that can be used as such a distraction? Something that the company won't have to shed once the ruse has run its course.”
abrahamnhughes: “I'm open to suggestions.”
ligeiahughes: “Finding Captain Selden alternative lodgings, for one,” she replied, rather pointedly.
abrahamnhughes: “As soon as reasonably possible, Ligeia.”
ligeiahughes: “Can he not make himself rather useful to the Baron in some fashion?”
abrahamnhughes: “It's worth a try, I suppose. The problem is he already believes he is.”
ligeiahughes: “Perhaps you could persuade the Baron of his dire need for the services that only Silas can provide, whatever they may be.”
abrahamnhughes: He nodded. “I will try that, Ligeia. And in the meantime, perhaps you could attempt to discover how he and Mr. Balfour intend to pull off whatever it is they are plotting?”
ligeiahughes: “I shall try, Father. Have you anything else for me?”
abrahamnhughes: “No, Ligeia, that is all, unless there are any other matters you would like to speak of. I would just ask that you continue to keep an ear on things, and to give me advice when you have specific opinions on things.”
ligeiahughes: “Very good, Father,” she replied, rising from her chair. She crossed to where he said and bent to dust a kiss upon his cheek. “Good night.”
abrahamnhughes: “Good night, Ligeia.” He sat at the table for a time longer, finishing the glass of wine.
ligeiahughes: With the mere whisper of silk underthings, Ligeia strode from the room. Malachite, the shadow at her heels.
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