Dayna: Good morning all. I’m here at the LeDuc Farm in Lake Galloway, New Hampshire. It’s early May and the family has gathered for the twins – Moria and Adelle - birthday. The weather is a little dark and dreary but I’m told that’s often the case at this time of year. Winter is over, but summer hasn’t arrived yet. We’re in the family's parlor, where it’s nice and warm. A wonderfully comfortable chair, close to the roaring fire is so cozy. What's better, though is I have two very handsome young men as companions. Walter Pearson and Simon Hensley, thank you for taking the time to sit and chat with me, but where are your wives?
Walter: Good day to you, Miss Dayna. My wife, Adelle, and her companion, Deanna, are with Moria and Janelle at the opening of a new store in Galloway. Previous to this store opening, shopping meant a long trip to Concord or even further to Manchester. Portsmouth, in the opposite direction, is a long trip, too. But, now they have this little store that provides many of the basic necessities. The ladies are quite excited.
Simon: I’m pleased to meet you, too, Miss Dayna. You’re right. This area is certainly rural - nothing at all like London. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in London, you don’t want it or need it.
Dayna: Oh, I just love your accents! *sigh* We have some time while the ladies shop, eh? Which one of you would be the first to tell the readers about yourself?
Walter: I’ll start. What would you like to know?
Dayna: *smiles* Oh, paint a picture. Describe yourself. Think of all the pretty ladies who’ll be reading this …
Walter: *raises eyebrow* Oh my. Well, I’ll think of the pretty ladies, but I must remind you I’m a happily married man. *smiles* Let’s see. I’m almost 30-years old, about 6’ tall, weigh around 175 pounds, I have short, wavy brown hair, green eyes …
Simon: And a pedigree as long as your arm. He’s the Earl of Wynbridge and the future Duke of Buckston.
Walter: Yes, there is that. I try not to think about it.
Dayna: What’s this?
Walter: Well … You know what? Simon, why don’t you take a shot at describing yourself ... for the ladies, of course. *smiles*
Simon: Of course. Let’s see. I’m 5’9” tall, weigh 155 pounds, I have kinda longish, brown hair, and blue eyes.
Dayna: ‘Kinda longish’?
Simon: Right. That comes with not having the time to see a barber on a regular basis. *laughs* I usually look like I slept in my clothes because I often do. I’m a doctor.
Dayna: But no pedigree?
Simon: No pedigree. Like my brother before me, I scratched out a living while working long hours in a pub AND in a doctor’s office while going to medical school and still had barely had enough to live on. What saved me was I lived with my brother who had, by then, started his medical practice in Knightsbridge. When I graduated, I joined him in his practice and continued to live with him in a flat over our practice until I married Moria.
Walter: I had tutors most of my life, until I went to the university. I’m finding out now what ‘work’ is all about through Adelle. Her orphanage project is keeping us both quite busy.
Dayna: Simon, what did you do for fun when you were a boy?
Simon: *rolling eyes* Fun? Hmm. My brother and I played with the other boys in the village. We played catch, tag, hopscotch, or with marbles or hoops. Mostly, though, we played in the street. Sometimes, we hiked a bit to a forest owned by Lord Burke, the wealthiest man in the village. We knew if we got caught there, we’d get in trouble. But the danger involved, the maybe getting caught, was quite an attraction.
Dayna: It sounds like you kept yourself busy.
Simon: Actually, I didn’t always go with my brother. I liked to read, especially when I got older. The games my brother played didn’t hold my interest as well as books could.
Dayna: Ah. What books did you read? Do you remember any of the titles?
Simon: With little money, it was hard to find books, but there was an old man who lived down the road who had lots of books. Most of the boys were afraid of him, but his books entranced me. He saw my interest in them and let me read whatever I wanted in exchange my helping him a bit around the house. He was getting on in years and had a hard time of it sometimes. Titles? The ones that stick in my mind are, The Swiss Family Robinson, Ivanhoe, The Wizard and the Sword, and my favorite, Frankenstein. I think Frankenstein was, in a strange way, behind my wanting to be a doctor although everyone thinks it’s because of my brother.
Dayna: Those titles … classics, indeed. *pause* Walter? Same question. What did you do for fun when you were young?
Walter: Well, as an only child on a rural estate, my ‘fun’ options were surprisingly limited. Oh, I got into mischief as a child, usually when I eluded my governess and escaped the house to meet the other children on the estate. Those were the best times, although I paid dearly. Most of my time was with Miss Genevieve, and, later, with my tutors. As a future duke, I had to learn a great deal – both educational and practical. I had tutors, of course, and my parents made sure I became the model peer. I never gave it a thought then, only that it was expected of me. *shaking head* Oh, it wasn't as bad as I'm making it sound. Looking back, there were fun times – the hunts my parents hosted … I love horses, after all … and, later, the parties and balls. I loved the ladies, *smiles* and they loved me. Then, along came Adelle. She changed everything.Dayna: *lots of noise from the kitchen* Oh, I hear the ladies have returned. We’ll have to stop now and pick up the chat another time. I’ll see you then.