To Sir Phillip, With Love (Bridgertons 5) - Page 7

“I, too, was thwarted,” he said. “I was told I’d escape my cousins.”

I let out a snort of laughter at that. Inappropriate, yes, but unavoidable.

“They attacked just as I was departing,” he told me grimly.

“They are a fierce lot,” I said, utterly deadpan.

“I was outnumbered.”

“I thought they didn’t like you,?

?? I said.

“So did I.” He planted his hands on his hips. “It was the only reason I consented to the visit.”

“What exactly did you do to them when you were children?” I asked.

“The better question would be—what did they do to me?”

I knew better than to claim that he held the upper hand because of his gender. Four girls could easily trounce one boy. I had gone up against Oliver countless times as a child, and although he would never admit it, I bested him more often than not.

“Frogs?” I asked, thinking of my own childhood pranks.

“That was me,” he admitted sheepishly.

“Dead fish?”

He didn’t speak, but his expression was clearly one of guilt.

“Which one?” I asked, trying to imagine Dulcie’s horror.

“All of them.”

I sucked in my breath. “At the same time?”

He nodded.

I was impressed. I suppose most ladies would not find such things attractive, but I have always had an unusual sense of humor. “Have you ever done a flour ghosting?” I asked.

His eyebrows rose, and he actually leaned forward. “Tell me more.”

And so I told him about my mother, and how Oliver and I had tried to scare her off before she’d married my father. We’d been utter beasts. Truly. Not just mischievous children, but utter and complete blights on the face of humanity. It’s a wonder my father hadn’t shipped us off to a workhouse. The most memorable of our stunts was when we’d rigged a bucket of flour above her door so that it would dust her when she stepped out into the hall.

Except that we’d filled the bucket quite high, so it was more of a coating than a dusting, and in fact more of a deluge than anything else.

We also hadn’t counted on the bucket hitting her on the head.

When I said that my current mother’s entry into our lives had saved us all, I meant it quite literally. Oliver and I were so desperate for attention, and our father, as lovely as he is now, had no idea how to manage us.

I told all this to Mr. Farraday. It was the strangest thing. I have no idea why I spoke so long and said so much. I thought it must be that he was an extraordinary listener, except that he later told me that he is not, that in fact he is a dreadful listener and usually interrupts too often.

But he didn’t with me. He listened, and I spoke, then I listened, and he spoke, and he told me of his brother Ian, with his angelic good looks and courtly manners. How everyone fawned over him, even though Charles was the elder. How Charles never could manage to hate him, though, because when all was said and done, Ian was a rather fine fellow.

“Do you still want to go for a ride?” I asked, when I noticed that the sun had already begun to dip in the sky. I could not imagine how long we had been standing there, talking and listening, listening and talking.

To my great surprise Charles said no, let’s walk instead.

And we did.

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