Miss Dorothea Horatia Wythe stared at the elaborate invitation in stunned surprise. No matter how many times she read it, the sentiment was still the same:
An invitation to tea.
With the Duchess of Haverford.
The Duchess of Haverford.
Not a relation.
Not a friend of a distant cousin.
Not a person she’d bumped into in the park on accident whilst trying to hide from Lord St. Vincent.
Not a friend of a friend, unless one counted Aunt Harriett who knew simply everyone. Or they her.
No…a duchess. A stranger.
Royalty who wanted to take tea with plain ole Dorothea Wythe—a bluestocking too opinionated to take in society.
Dory didn’t know whether to jump up and down in her stockings or dive beneath the covers and hide for a few years. The entire idea of tea with the Duchess of Haverford was impossible with a view to the absurd.
Did Aunt Harriett have a hand in this? Or worse, Lord St. Vincent?
Dory glanced over at her desk which was littered with page after page of notes from the writing she was translating: coded messages written in the margins of a small bible—one she’d borrowed from Lord St. Vincent. She was nearly finished, which was fortunate for she needed to return the bible before its absence was noted.
The fact that she’d stolen into Lord St. Vincent’s room to borrow it in the first place was telling of her character was it not?
Dory raced to the desk, dipped her quill in ink, and penned her acceptance to tea.
She was far too curious for her own good.
The Umbrella Chronicles is a story in the Never Too Late collection. Every Monday for the next little while, one of my fellow Bluestocking Belles will bring their hero or their heroine along to meet the Duchess of Haverford. I hope you’ll join us to learn more about them and their stories.
Never Too Late has its own page on the Bluestocking Belles website, where you can learn more about each story and find preorder links while they are being added. (It’s 99c while in preorder, so buy now.)