Monday, 9 December 2013

Ferdie's Christmas Ball/Linda Sole

Ferdie's Christmas Ball
by Linda Sole

Now available at Kindle

‘Will there be anything more, my lord?’ Linton, his lordship’s manservant of fifteen years, offered a sealed letter on a silver salver.
‘Nothing for the moment. I will ring if there is a reply.’
Lord Ferdinand Roddick, better known to his friends as Ferdie, was feeling down in the dumps as he took the scented missive and slit the seal before scanning the spidery writing he knew so well.
‘Oh, lord,’ he groaned, his spirits taking a further dive. What was he to do now? It looked to him that he was well and truly trapped, at least for the next week or two. He sighed deeply. ‘There’s no help for it…’
Most of his friends seemed to have married or be on the verge of becoming engaged. Havers had his delightful Maria, while Ash was wed to his Miranda – a lady that sent shivers down Ferdie’s spine. He could not for the life of him see why Ash had fallen in love with her, for she seemed to him rather disagreeable, though he had to admit that she smiled more often now than before her wedding. Of his most intimate friends, only Sy Hadley remained as free as he was himself – and he had gone down to the country to be with his family for Christmas. It was what Ferdie ought to do himself, of course.
What his mama’s letter was demanding.
Shaking his head, he put the letter down on the wine table beside him. His mama had written to ask him to visit her for Christmas this year and he knew that she hoped that he would host a ball for her friends, Mrs Sedgewick and her daughter Lydia. Ferdie had never met either of the ladies, but most of his mother’s friends were very prim and proper women, who had brought their daughters up to be perfect young ladies – and were tedious in the extreme. Ferdie guessed what his mother had not written, and that was her intention to parade the girl under his nose and persuade him to marry at last.
Lady Mary Roddick’s one wish in life was to see Ferdie married to a suitable girl. Every year she begged him to spend Christmas at the manor, and every year he had excused himself by saying he was to stay with his friends – usually George Havers. No doubt George would have obliged him with an invitation this Christmas, but he had gone to stay with an uncle of Maria’s and Ferdie did not feel he ought to intrude on their family celebrations.
Everyone he knew – and liked - had plans that did not include him.
It seemed to Ferdie that he was fairly caught. If he wished not to be alone this year, he must go home and give that wretched ball. Ferdie was not ungenerous and his mama was dear to him, if only she would not try to foist her latest protégé on him. However, in his present mood, a ball was better than spending the festive season in his bachelor apartments in London.
‘May heaven protect me,’ he murmured in a resigned voice.
Sighing, he reached for his pen and wrote a few lines, telling his mama to expect him at the beginning of the week, and adding that he would be happy to host her ball, but she must not ask him to send invitations or arrange anything. Not that Mama would expect anything of the sort. He had no doubt that arrangements were well in hand for the ball his mother would plan, ostensibly for his pleasure and that of her friends – but


Lindsay Townsend said...

Congratulations, Linda! I've tweeted it. Sounds a winner!

Chelle Cordero said...

Tweeted as well - best wishes for success.