The Sterley's of Oakland Park

Chapter 2
The Ball and old friends

Chapter two

The sound of music filled the air and the hall was lit with the light of a thousand candles for tonight was the first of the assembles to be held in Notheringay. Sir Thomas found himself seated next to an old acquiesce  Mr. Charles Parker who had served under Sir George Rodney in the early days of there service to King and country “Charles do you remember how crisp the night was?” asked Sir Thomas “Indeed I do sir replied Mr. Parker taking a pull at his pipe. “Indeed I do,” he said releasing a vast cloud of smoke from his mouth much to the annoyance of Sir Thomas. It was not that Sir Thomas was against the habit of smoking he felt every one was free to live there lives as best suited them but what he did object to was the fact that the smoke had been expelled in his direction.

“Ah yes I remember well how we fought that battle under the moon light a singular even if I might say so Sir Thomas” said Mr. Parker “and our ship our faithful Montague is already and old war horse now. I would not be surprised that when next we hear of her she will have been broken up or a sheer hulk” said Sir Thomas “I fancy the lower deck crews would not look back at her with such an air of nostalgia,” said Mr. Parker. “Indeed I fancy Don de Lángara will also look back at that battle with an air of discontent,” replied Sir Thomas

I have an occasion to be in London next week on a matter of some small busyness I trust that you and your good lady will find an occasion to call on Lady Ann.  For I fancy there might be some what of a disruption while I am away in town,” said Sir Thomas. “I am sure my Emily would be delighted to spend an afternoon in the company of your good lady,” replied Mr. Parker.

“Pray tell how are those bright young sons of yours?” asked Sir Thomas who had it mind to arrange a marriage between the elder son and his daughter Lydia. “George has recently returned from Oxford and is taking the business of my rents in hand quite nicely it relieves me to have some time upon my hands to be at leisure,” replied Mr Parker. “Indeed a bright young man” said Sir Thomas as the object of there discourse weaved his way down the line of dancers his hand firmly on that of Lydia. “And what of Peter?” Asked Sir Thomas “Peter is bound for the service this coming fortnight Monday” replied Mr Parker; I have managed to buy him a commission in the 52 foot. “Indeed a strange choose replied Sir Thomas raising an eyebrow. It was I am afraid the best that can be got at present, he is no horseman unfortunately I would have liked to get him a commission in the guards but he refused to hear of it preferring to be among the men as he put it” continued Mr Parker.

Just then Lady Ann returned to her seat she had been dancing with your Lord Kilgrew “Dear husband remind me later to impart to you a certain knowledge that has of resent been rewarded me” she said “Indeed it must be of some importance that you would not speak before our dear and old friend Mr. Parker”. “No sir it is some what of a private nature and is fit only for the ear of a husband “she replied sharply. Just then Mrs. Parker joined there company having spent the last round on the arm of an officer of the rifles. “Hot work but most invigorating said” she

The music begun again and the two couples sat watching the young people of there respective houses dance a new dance which had recently been introduced to the country some thing called a waltz. I perceive that this new fad of a dance does not hold much in it “said Lady Ann with a frown on her broad face for she was watching with some manner of displeasure the figure of her daughter Lydia and young Peter Parker, who to her mind seemed a little to closely embraced in each others arms.

“Ann let them be we were once young don’t you recall? Said Sir Thomas

Later that night Sir Thomas before retiring for the night spent a few moment s writing in his great day journal, this had long been his practice for he was a fastidious man who would not allow a day to pass lest he make a few pre-functionary notes on the events of the day.

Of late, the mood of his eldest son had been somewhat of a concern to him as Tom was showing more and more signs of becoming more caught up in a world of his own with little sense of the realities of life. Sir Thomas considered buying him a commission in the Kings own regiment of guards for surely the life of a guards captain would be one which would fully occupy the full four and twenty hours of the day. Thus leaving little time for Tom to occupy himself with less fruitful pursuits. Further, more Thomas with the right training could rise in the world and the thought of this delighted Sir Thomas.

As sir, Thomas said his prayers and snuffed out the candle the thought of his son in a uniform of the guards made his lot content and he was at peace with the world.

In the distance an owl hooted but by the time the sound was recognized by the sleepy Sir Thomas he was beginning to slip into the arms of Morphus


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