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12 Voucher For Historic Almack’s

    Lord Waverly visited the following afternoon with the promised voucher, and also tickets for both women for the following Wednesday. Kateri considered his countenance with an intensity that surprised the Marques during his visit.

    He did not linger long, but assured them that he would see them again at Almack's. Lady Norwen approved.

    After he'd left, Kateri considered his pretty manners and striking looks, and though she enjoyed the warmth of his touch when he bowed over her hand, came to the depressing conclusion that she really had no wish that he might kiss her. She tried to console herself with the thought that perhaps it was just that, as charming as he could be, she usually felt like he was laughing at her.

    Kateri, her uncle Andrew, Sam, and Robbie went riding together in the Park several times before the appointed visit to Almack's, once Andrew had recovered again. Andrew did not have a voucher, and though he might have asked Lady Norwen to sponsor him, he didn't see the need as Almack's was a venue that the ladies could safely and without censure attend alone. Sam had a voucher from her father, but told Kateri that Robbie did not have one yet, nor any interest in attending. Robbie confirmed this cheerfully. She also said that her family generally only bought tickets once a month. She would ask if an extra one might be purchased for her, if Lady Norwen didn't mind chaperoning them both.

    Lady Norwen did not mind, when the question was put to her, for she found Miss Amberley to be a very prettily behaved and even tempered young woman. Lady Norwen was thankful for her friendship with Kateri, who was inclined to be impulsive like her son had been, and if she were honest, like she had been in her youth.

    Sam's ticket was also purchased without incident, and Kateri practiced with the strict dancing master each morning during the last few days without complaint. The dancing master departed cheerfully on Tuesday, satisfied that his small pupil would be a credit to his training, and of course a future referrer of pupils.

    Kateri had sent a note to Sir Blackwell the morning after Lord Waverly's visit, saying they planned to attend the following Wednesday, and had received a note back a day later saying that he had successfully obtained a ticket for the night and would see her there.

    --

    Almack's was not as impressive as Kateri had imagined. The building's exterior was ordinary. The dancing gallery was done up fine enough, with its large windows and mirrors, and enormous chandeliers, but the refreshments were very plain, though quite edible. She was disappointed to discover that the notorious Almack and his wife were part of the club's history, rather than it's present mien.

    Amelia had never been to Almack's but had avidly absorbed all the details she could pry out of her grandmother when she'd been younger. She'd passed this information on to Kateri with a fine disregard for what was current, and what was from the club's wilder days as a gambling hall. The musicians were excellent though, and Sam's amusement at her reactions led her to moderate her disappointment more than she might have otherwise.

    Lord Waverly, when he joined them, was again surprised by Miss Norwen's reception of him, but this time because she seemed to take very little notice of him at all. He didn't think she was doing it on purpose as some women of his acquaintance might have though, and finally decided that she was simply distracted by the extensive and very likely surprisingly varied company. For despite Almack's exclusivity, people of notoriety were as likely to be present as those of unimpeachable propriety, and he noted a few figures present that he wouldn't care to introduce the young ladies to. If he'd thought about it, he might have realized that most people would have included him on that notorious list of people unsuitable to introduce young ladies to.

    Kateri was indeed much struck by the varied company, though not in the same way as the Marques. To her everyone appeared to be very grand, as the strict guidelines the club maintained lent the company a uniformly well dressed air. She was pleased to catch sight of Sir Blackwell approaching after a while, but was taken aback when she realized that he wasn't alone.

    Shortly after Sir Blackwell's arrival the Contessa DiPasquale had waylaid him, and commented upon his unusual attendance. She attended nearly every Wednesday, and knew that despite holding a voucher for years, he rarely purchased tickets to the weekly dances. When he revealed that he'd come because Miss Norwen was making her first appearance tonight, the Contessa had thumped him with her fan and declared that if Miss Norwen could move him to such efforts, she must meet the girl.
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