"Prepare the household for a move to London."
I was stunned. London? London was a dirty place, full of vagrants and theives. Why did His Grace want to move to London?
"The season is nearly upon us, and I have a desire to show my pretty wife about the ton," he replied sharply, in a tone that left no room for disagreements.
I had no desire to view the ton. I may have become one of them, but I did not wish to actually become of a part of them. I had become accustomed to a quiet life and the thought of being put on display for the masses to view and criticize, like a mare at auction. But I had no choice, so with a sinking feeliung in my innards, I climbed the staircase in search of the housekeeper and head maid, so that she may start with the packing.
The journey to London, while not a comfortable, afforded me views like I had never seen. Rolling hills, mists, and lots of cows. I took great delight in watching the scenery pass by as my husband dozed on the opposite seat. The motion of the carriage wasn't smooth by any means, but thankfully I felt no nausea and after the first two hours I had settled into a comfortable swaying that kept the worst of the bumps from unseating me.
As the night descended, we pulled into a posting inn. A boy came to take my travelling case, and Holcroft's valet handed me out of the carriage first, and then turned back to assist His grace, while I stared around me in bemused wonder. Far from the luxurious hotel I was expecting, it consisted of a large square building, a taproom with a few patrons drinking quietly, and a large and dusty yard.
"I sent word ahead," Holcroft stated as he stood beside me, "they should have our rooms ready for us, and a light supper waiting."