Montie and Edward Part II
Somewhere in Rural England - July 1928
Now that Colonel Pickering and Lady Entwhistle's overall plans for Witherspoon Hall's week long fete celebrating the 500th anniversary of the consecration of the estate's private chapel in 1428 had at last been agreed, luckily well before the stunning and momentous arrival of Priscilla the day before and even though it was barely 8am, preparations in anticipation of the several hundred important invited county guests due in three week's time, including the Lord Lieutenant of the county and his family, were already in full swing and getting very busy indeed.
Luckily the forecast for the rest of July had sounded fine, so several large marquees and smaller tents were already in the process of being unpacked and assembled on all the main front, side and back lawns as well as in several neighbouring fields. Estate workers and gardeners were hard at work in the numerous fruit orchards and kitchen gardens; many local ladies from the estate's village and outside charities were in the glasshouses preparing for the fruit and flower shows; Colonel Pickering was busy supervising all the cattle and sheep pens being erected for the agricultural shows and sheepdog trials; workmen were hard at work emptying out the swimming pool and cleaning the weathered old grey stone facades of Witherspoon Hall that had been in the family for well over 500 years; the local bishop and several senior members of the local clergy were carefully preparing the week long morning and evening services in the estate's private chapel, whilst Lady Entwhistle's two daughters were busy organising a small army of maids and valets to clean and freshen up the Hall's 6 main suites and 53 bedrooms.
However Lady Entwhistle, although still in bed and not as yet quite herself, was by now awake and fretting that she should already be in the kitchens going through the main menus for each day of the week with the three specially hired head chefs, two from a top Paris hotel and one from the world famous Savoy Hotel in London.
"I m...must say m'dear it was awfully decent of you to come so quickly yesterday" said Lord Montgomery Carruthers nervously sipping his tea whilst glancing as often as possible at all the bustling activity outside, anything to keep his eyes from straying too often towards Priscilla's assets and wondering just how much longer her French maid's lacy black halter could possibly take the strain.
"Not at all Sir" she replied brightly bending over quickly and placing several large slices of toast, butter and a tray of jam conserves in front of him causing her lovely perfume to sweep over him in dizzying waves "Is there anything else you require Sir?"
"......oh yes umm....there is one small thing if you could possibly help" said Montie suddenly wide awake and alert as the most amazing and splendid idea he was sure he'd ever thought of had just occurred to him.
"I was just thinking m'dear" said Montie happily accepting that he was rapidly falling in love and that there was nothing he could do or ever wanted to do about it, though always uncomfortably aware of Granny's sharp tongue and unpredictable temper if things ever were to go wrong, "that because Edward's had to stay overnight at Granny's as he still needs to hire quite a few more staff for the fete, I really must do my duty and go upstairs with a member of the household staff to see if Lady Entwhistle is awake and well enough to come down for a spot of breakfast. Could you possibly help?"
"I say Priscilla m'love" interrupted the Colonel having just recognised Montie's increasingly amorous reactions and winking slyly at him "Must confess I'd love another portion of your preserved strawberry jam up there, did you make it yourself eh what ....?"
"No I didn't, but thank you Sir. I understand it's always made by Granny herself as it comes under the Agency's special range of services" she replied walking over to an old Welsh china dresser, then standing on tiptoe reached up to the top shelf where there were several other jars of fruit conserves as well. Both men suddenly caught their breath as Priscilla's short black skirt slowly began riding higher and higher up her right thigh until the top of her fishnet stocking and the lowest part of her curvaceous backside came into view.
"I do apologise Sir," replied Priscilla her back still turned, "I was just about to enquire after Lady Entwhistle's health as well. Perhaps it would be advisable for you to take a first aid box along with you just in case she has need of anything."
"Oh...ah....ummm....yes of course how dashed silly of me to forget !" an increasingly nervous Montie replied. "An excellent idea of course. It's kept upstairs so if you'd like to come with me now I'll give it to you as I'm sure she must be wondering what's happening" he said immediately getting up as he was only too glad to get away from the Colonel's constant lecherous winks and grins.
As they entered the main hall Montie whilst now in a sudden buoyant and extremely cheerful mood, realising he must quickly learn to hide his increasingly strong feelings in public towards Priscilla especially with so many important guests due, began to describe the history of the house to her but to his dismay she barely responded, so that by the time they were halfway up the very old mahogany spiral staircase on the way to Lady Entwhistle's suite all conversation had dried up completely. He was sure this must be because of that mysterious woman's intuition thing he'd occasionally heard of that must have made her only too aware of both men's recent inexcusable behaviour in the breakfast room, and was probably thinking at that very moment of writing a damning report about him back to Granny just as soon as she had a free moment.
Unfortunately it was when they reached the landing just before turning down a long wooden corridor to Lady Entwhistle's suite at the far end, there being a small narrow wooden staircase to the right leading upstairs into the household staff's quarters and Priscilla's room, that Montie suddenly remembered that all the old first aid boxes in the main house had just been thrown away to be replaced with new ones but which had still not arrived yet. Stopping in his tracks he wretchedly exclaimed "Oh dash it all m'dear I really must apologise yet again, but all the old first aid boxes have just been thrown away to be replaced with new ones but unfortunately I've no idea if there are any more left anywhere !"
""Shhhh please be quiet Sir" Priscilla whispered painfully aware of a couple of young maids in the Hall below giggling up at them "but could I point out that I simply cannot enter Lady Entwhistle's room dressed as I am after what happened yesterday anyway. Could I please have a moment to quickly pop upstairs and change into something a little more appropriate first?"
"Oh my goodness yes of course please forgive me !!" whispered Montie, quickly turning round his face going bright red in embarrassment when he saw the maids below were still giggling helplessly "I simply can't think what came over me ! I do apologise yet again m'dear what on earth must you think of me now" he sighed abjectedly his shoulders starting to droop. "Nothing personal of course m'dear but afraid it's in frightful situations like this that I really do miss Edward awfully."
Suddenly Lady Entwhistle's door opened at the far end of the wooden corridor....
"Oh my God no !! gasped Montie....
"Quick Sir into here...." whispered Priscilla and quickly opening a small door pushed Montie in closing the door behind her just in time, only to immediately bump into him.
"I say very well done indeed Priscilla, good thinking but afraid I can't move as my back's against a wall ! Where on earth are we?" whispered Montie in total darkness unable to believe that Priscilla's large assets were now pressing hard into his chest, her long hair tickling his face frightfully as well.
"Shhh Sir please keep still ! We're in a broom cupboard" whispered Priscilla her sweet voice just inches from him, when they suddenly heard heavy footsteps approaching.
"Ummm m'dear" whispered Montie his senses now so overwhelmed by her nearness that he was hardly able to breathe "I do most frightfully apologise at putting you in yet another difficult and compromising position. I really don't know what to say or do other than to offer my sincere apologies", wishing desperately that he could take her into his arms and kiss her deeply instead. Because he now knew that this was the woman, even after such a short time, that he already loved more than anyone he had ever met and that without doubt the one he fervently hoped he would be able to marry one day.
On the other hand he thought frantically, if they were caught what on earth would it look like to all the important guests due to arrive, what would it look like to the world, worst of all to the Press if he was discovered furtively hiding in a broom cupboard. Perhaps by no less than Lady Enthwhistle herself, together with the latest female member of his household staff who hadn't even been on the premises for more than 24 hours. Especially with Priscilla still most scandalously dressed in her original French maid's outfit.
Suddenly there was a loud click....
"My God what was that !" whispered Montie horrified.
"I locked the door Sir just in case", whispered Priscilla her body suddenly tensing against Montie's as the approaching footsteps suddenly stopped outside the door, the wooden floor boards creaking loudly as someone's weight shifted around.
Both held their breath….