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   Chapter 3 Welcome to the Manor

The Gentleman's Code By D Fox Characters: 7687

Updated: 2020-12-12 03:04


Oliver was standing in the middle of the small, shabby room in East London. This had been his home for the past few months and he had to admit he might actually miss the place. It was the attic of an old house, governed by Lady Eleanore. The owner had initially refused to accept bachelors, such as he was at an age, perfect for a young man to start thinking of getting into a more serious contract with a lady. But when he'd offered a handsome sum of money, Lady Eleanore had agreed to have him. The morning sun rays made the dust dance in the small room, but Oliver knew rain was coming. The weather changed so fast in London at that time of the year. He didn't have much, except for a few books and a few pairs of suits which he gathered in an old leather suitcase. Oliver wasn't sure if he'd need any of them, though, as he was going to have a uniform for his new job. He was going to be a valet in one of the richest families not only in entire London and England but as things with the family's trade were going- they were soon to be among the wealthiest royals in the world. Also - the Fernsby's were one of the most influential families in Europe. Oliver had to be punctual and meet His Lordship at exactly 10 am and he never allowed himself to be late. Besides, he couldn't afford it considering who the man he was meeting was. Oliver left the keys in the lounge, and as he didn't know almost anyone in the big house- he headed out in the cold September morning. Oliver had one more thing to do before going to the big mansion in the richest part of the city- say goodbye to his sister. Emma lived in a boarding house as well, like many unmarried women. The woman who owned the place, however, accepted even women who'd lost their husbands and had no one to provide for them. Oliver had met them only once years ago, but they all seemed to be a peculiar group of inhabitants. He was soon knocking on the small house's door. The maid who welcomed Oliver in instructed him to wait for his sister in the parlor. Emma showed up shortly. "Oliver!" She hugged him tightly and he bent down, so she could give him a kiss on the cheek. "I'm so glad to see you. Why didn't you tell me you were coming?""I didn't really get the chance to send a note." "I can count the times I've seen you for the past five years on the fingers of my left hand." The smile on her face stilled when another thought passed her mind "Has something happened? ""No, nothing's happened. ""You look tired, have you been eating well?"Oliver knew he was still twice bigger than most men, but had to admit that not sleeping was probably showing on his face. "Everything's all right. I just came to say goodbye.""Goodbye? But you just came back to London." Emma complained. "I can't say I even know where you were.""Just working with another lord." He smiled, trying to sound reassuring. "Are you really going there? I received your letter last month, but I couldn't believe it.""I am, yes. I am Lord Tennyson's new valet. "Emma clasped her hands. She had always been one of the most beautiful women among her peers. Oliver was sure had she been born in a noble family, she'd be the queen of many hearts and numerous men would want to have her as a wife. If only. He shook the thought away when his sister said. "I want to know how everything is. Please, write more often from now on." "I will. "He noticed her dress wasn't much newer than his old coat was and said "I will send you a new dress with the money from my first salary.""No, Oliver. You've been supporting us enough so far. ""I don't see why I shouldn't continue doing so. ""No, you have your life now. Don't look back on us and this life that you're leaving behind.""I'm not leaving behind anything, just..." he began, but his sister said quickly. "My dear brother. " Emma said

, "I'm no lady of noble origin and this is why I allow myself to interrupt you to say- embrace your new life there.""I am not going to forget about you, you know that very well.""No, listen to me. You went through enough.""Don't start with this Emma. Things are different now, you know that.""I do. Yet, you're the only one I have after our parents' death and I want you to be happy. ""Everything's been going well, I assure you. "She looked at him, still not trusting him, and said"Take more care of yourself, it's all I ask of you. I have the household now and the lady I'm tending to has been very caring. I'm only saying it's time for you to start your life. Promise me."He exhaled and reminded himself any arguing with Emma was futile. "All right. I promise you.""Promised. ""But you can't stop me from doing what I can from you. " "You never relent, do you?""Never." She laughed and shook his head "Come here. "They embraced each other one last time. "I will miss you, " she said and he wrapped his big hands around his sister's slim figure tighter. He was again reminded of how much weight she'd lost. "And I will miss you, Emma. "Oliver knew her life wasn't as easy as she tried to persuade him to think it was, but she'd always been that way. They said their goodbyes, Oliver's heart tight with the knowledge he didn't know when the next time he could meet her would be. Oliver went out on the street and headed for the market. It was getting late and the streets were already buzzing with the sound of men and women, selling their goods and numerous animals, walking between people. Horses and old, moldy carriages were moving around and he waved for one. Oliver shared the address with the coachman and the man laughed. "Don't screw with me, boy. What would you do there? ""I need to get to the manor as soon as possible. "The coachman shook his head. "I ain't getting in trouble for you, boy. ""I will pay you. ""Aye, but I'm telling ya, I can't take you there. They'll hang me for just being near the property. "Oliver dug his pockets and took out a handful of coins. He knew no one from the poorer parts would risk it unless offered a very good sum of money. Oliver's last coins, for that matter, but nothing could be done. The man picked one with his dirty hand and bit at it. He had a few teeth missing and Oliver wondered what the man was checking for, anyway. After his close evaluation, the man said. "Right. Hop on. But I can't drive much up. I'll leave you near and you walk from there."Oliver smiled and got on. ***** He checked his pocket watch - 30 minutes to ten. Perfect. He crossed the long walk from where the man left him and he was now crossing the front gate of Lord Tennyson's mansion. The big Victorian gardens were bright green, with beautiful flowers blooming, even though they weren't supposed to be at that time of the year. Oliver didn't know anything about gardening, but he could recognize many of the plants didn't belong to the European continent at all. He didn't even want to count how many people were necessary to maintain the garden, let alone the rest of the house. The gardeners were nowhere to be seen, of course- as it was probably the time for visits in His Lordship's study and guests should never see any of the personnel. He was starting to get anxious he may, in fact, not make it on time, as only the front garden would take minutes to cross. The place was enormous. The manor was like five houses put together into one. Oliver counted three stories and more than twenty French windows and balconies. He couldn't imagine what the back yard would be like. He took a deep breath, did his best to straighten his suit, and said almost aloud. "In the name of the Queen, don't mess this up, Oliver. "

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