The Cavendishes were there. Lord Mansfield was standing, as was his son Lord Ogle. Frances, his daughter was seated behind, looking every inch the proper young lady. Mansfield was waiting to see the King in private; but so were many. In this season of royal wedding, many lords took it upon themselves to petition the King for a favor, in the spirit of his wedding. Some said that a man about to marry could deny no request. That was clearly a myth, but people liked to believe it was true. Yet, the King loved playing matchmaker and Mansfield had made it no secret that he wanted to secure the Percy heiress for his son. The girl was too young to wed, but Mansfield hoped a betrothal could be secured with the King. The King had been stalling Mansfield, knowing that the Percy heiress was own of his most valuable assets. He was in no hurry to give her away, even to the Cavendish scion.
Mansfield was annoyed. He was annoyed at the delay. He was annoyed that Peregrine Osborne was sitting across the room signaling for his son to come join him. Everyone knew that Peregrine was Danby's black sheep. He wanted his son to have little to do with that troublemaker. Worse, Mansfield was annoyed that Edith Habersham was standing in front of him, yammering away like he had nothing better to do. Yet, Mansfield was a perfect gentleman and pretended to be interested, even as his eyes searched an saw Heather walking about gaily. He had no problem with Heather, but his daughter Elizabeth disliked her intensely ... and, truth be told, he wanted his daughter Frances to have nothing to do with her. Heather was a bad example, just as Peregrine was a bad example to young Henry.
"... I cannot imagine that the King would abide knowing that the invitation had been misplaced. Really, my late husband would be rolling in his grave to know that they have no apartment for us here. Really. I've written a dozen letters if I have written one. I don't think you can trust anyone to deliver the mail these days Lord Mansfield," she complained. "The King is not well-served I tell you. Your daughter knows this. Men claiming to misplace things indeed. If you want to have anything done in this kingdom you have to complain all the way to the top. I've no time for Stewards and assistant stewards, and chamberlains and assistant Chamberlain's. Did you know a chamberlain to good King Charles the First stole the royal seal once? They cut his hand off and sent him on his way. Well, it wasn't the Chamberlain but it was one of the assistant chamberlains as I recall. Never trust anyone with the title assistant Lord Mansfield. All that means is that they don't have the ability for the job themselves ... " she rambled.
"Do you really think you need trouble the King over your housing situation?" Mansfield asked politely, hoping she would realize the capriciousness of her request.
"I've been here all day and he's sure to see me when he knows the wrong that has been done to me," she insisted. Others had assured her that would be the case ... or at least had not disputed that view.
"Believe me, there exists no such dilemma as that in which a gentleman is placed when he is forced to reply to a blackguard." Edgar Allen Poe