Prudence set her tea cup down. “I have a feeling I know what it is.”
After a brief perusal of the room and the assurance that no one would be privy to their conversation, Audrey leaned closer to her best friend. “We must be insane to even consider what we’re about to do!” She whispered.
“I know! Isn’t it thrilling?”
“Indeed, but pulling off a plan such as this with all our servants in tow—”
A mischievous glint shown in Prudence’s eyes that nearly unnerved Audrey. “We won’t take them.”
“What?” Audrey inquired much louder than she had intended. She glanced around once again, assuring herself that she hadn’t attracted the attention of anyone. “Travel without the proper escort?”
“Think about it. Miss Kelley didn’t have one.”
Audrey sat back in her chair with a thud and dabbed the corners of her lips with the provided linen napkin.
“You’re quite speechless, my dear. If I know you at all, which I do, this means you’re carefully considering my proposal.”
“And you’re quite mad to suggest such a thing. I fear the older you get, the less meaning your name holds.”
Prudence giggled at Audrey’s quip then sobered. “We’ve come so far already, all we’d have to do is turn one of the carriages around and head for Liverpool.”
“And what about an itinerary? What shall we see first?”
“We don’t need a specific Itinerary. I’m certain once we arrive, there will be at least a dozen establishments where the denizens therein can point us in a concise direction.”
Audrey placed her napkin across her plate. “You realize what this might mean, don’t you?”
“Now, now, Audrey, if Miss Kelley came away from such a journey unscathed, so shall we.”
“Upon our return, our mothers are going to build a special gallows at the Tower of London and have us hanged.”
“Don’t be silly. Once we set precedence of Miss Kelley’s United States adventure, the worst that can happen is that our mothers will restrict us to the grounds for a time.”
“But can you be certain that’s all they’ll do?”
“Tell you what. You can lay the blame entirely on me.” Prudence smirked. “They are, after all, my carriages.”
“This is entirely scandalous. We should be locked in Bedlam for what we are about to do.”
“Trust me. You will get used to the idea and even forget your woes the moment we have our tickets.”
“I do hope you’re right.” Audrey stood. “We can’t possibly haul our own trunks without assistance.”
Prudence stood as well. “You’re right. We’ll have to equip our largest travel valises with the required items from amongst our belongings. I’ll put my funds at the very bottom so that I’m not tempted to spend it all on shiny baubles.”
“Good God, Prudie, how much did you bring?”
“All of it, of course. One never knows when a shopping excursion might arise. Didn’t you bring your allowance?”
Audrey’s face heated. “Of course. The lion’s share is tucked away in my trunk. My father taught me long ago to always have money with me in case of an emergency.” She fished around in her reticule and placed the appropriate amount of coins upon the table. She then announced, “Our maids are going to protest something awful.”
“Just leave them to me.” Prudence grinned.
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