The youngest gentleman in the group who, up until now hadn’t spoken, leaned toward Charles. “And what, exactly does he do at this Dubois place?”
Charles enjoyed another draw on his cigar, then blew out the smoke. “I wouldn’t know that, Tommy, for I’m never in the same room with him when we attend.”
Tommy colored visibly, but nodded his concession nonetheless.
“Perhaps you should try Madam Dubois one of these nights, Tommy.” One of them offered. “If anything, you’ll receive a grand education Cambridge could never offer you.”
“Thank you, but no. I’m about to get engaged to a virtuous, lovely girl from Bath. I wouldn’t want to be caught in a scandalous situation that might jeopardize my standing with her family.”
All at once, the men at the table protested and tried to talk Tommy out of his plans. Everyone save Charles, who, like an avenging angel, swooped in and saved the poor boy from ridicule.
“There, there, men. We must allow Tommy the same opportunities to stumble and fall as we had.”
“Thank you, lord Kendrick.” Tommy offered.
“You’ll learn soon enough.” Charles said to the boy with a wink.
One of the occupants at the table sighed. “Is there any way to teach a wife to be a lover, do you suppose?”
Another added, “Short of tossing coins at her every time you want a tumble, I doubt it.”
The men chuckled.
“Now, lord Carmichael. They are humans with just as much if not more capacity to learn as any of God’s creatures.” Charles admonished playfully. “The trick is to find a way that would intrigue them— to find the path to their hearts, so to speak”
“It’s not the heart I’m after.” Lord Carmichael murmured.
“All this talk is folly.” The eldest man grumbled. “Who’s up for cards?”
“Indeed.” Charles stood. “I hope you’ve all brought fat bill folds tonight. I’m feeling the beginnings of a lucky streak.”
“We’ll see about that.” Lord Carmichael clapped Charles on the back as they exited the dining room.
Until next time —