He just wants to be a nobody from "Nowhere in Particular". He lives with his uncle, Lord Lionel. Lord Lionel and his team of servants baby the Duke and treat him like a child, when in reality he is almost twenty-five years old. The Duke does not want to be forced into marriage or be told what to do. He sets out on a wild adventure to find out who he really is. The Duke is encouraged by his cousin Gideon to set out on the adventure and to avoid his posse of servants.
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The Foundling by Georgette Heyer Mr Liversedge was absent for some ten minutes, but presently the Duke heard his ponderous tread, and turned round to face the door.
Come and tell Mr Ware how deeply he has wounded your tender heart! His hand slid once more into the pocket of his coat, to grasp the butt of his pistol, and he braced himself to face the inevitable disclosure.
Into the room stepped a vision of loveliness. The Duke caught his breath, and stood staring. He closed his own eyes involuntarily, and opened them again to make sure that they had not deceived him. They had not. He beheld a veritable beauty. A face of rose-leaf complexion was framed in a cascade of guinea-gold curls, artlessly bound with a ribbon of scarcely a deeper blue than those glorious eyes; the brows were delicately arched; the little nose classically straight; the wistful mouth, with its short upper-lip, as kissable as it was perfect in proportion.
The Duke swallowed once, and waited. That melting gaze widened a little as it rested on him, but the lady said nothing. He could think of nothing to say. He wondered, for an unreasoning instant, if those tender eyes could be sightless, since he resembled his cousin hardly at all.
But when he stared into them he saw a sort of speculation in their gaze, and knew that they were not. Mr Liversedge spoke in a voice of studied patience. Was it not a crushing blow to you when he declared off, and left you forsaken? And now you shall have none of them! I would not have brought you face to face with Mr Ware, who has so grossly deceived you, but that he doubted the depth of the wound he had dealt you. I will not compel you to remain another instant in the same room with him, for I know it to be painful to you.
Go, my love, and trust your uncle to care for your interests! Mr Liversedge shut the door upon her, and turned to find the Duke standing still rooted to the spot, and lost in astonishment. He said: "Ah, Mr Ware, I perceive that you are confounded! Alas, sir, when the pockets are to let, one has little choice of domicile! But I feel it! I assure you that I feel it profoundly!
Your solicitude does you honour, Mr Ware, and I trust it will be unnecessary for me to say more in prosecution of --" "Mr Liversedge," interrupted the Duke, "you ask me to believe that you hold some two or three letters I was mad enough to write to your niece, and for these you are demanding the preposterous sum of five thousand pounds!
I may deplore your choice of domicile, but this cannot affect the point of issue between us! I daresay your memory may not be quite perfect. And so prettily expressed as your billets are! I will refresh your memory, if you will permit me! Pray be seated, sir!
I should not wish you to feel that there was the least deception : five letters, and you recalled but three!
Now, if I were not a man of honour, Mr Ware, I might have allowed that to pass! You would have bought them from me, and thought yourself rid of the whole business!
And I might then have driven a bargain with you for the remaining two! I know of those who would have done so. Yes, indeed, sir, I assure you there are many such shabby tricksters in the world. But Swithin Liversedge is not to be counted amongst them! Do but take your seat, and you shall see the letters with your own eyes!
You may have them for a paltry sum. I will engage myself to give them up to you on receipt of bills for five thousand pounds. It caught Mr Liversedge unawares, and full in the midriff. He uttered a sound between a grunt and a shout, tried to save himself, and failed. His chair tipped backwards, and he fell, snatching fruitlessly at the red table-cloth. In the same instant, the Duke, releasing the table, whipped the pistol from his pocket, and thumbed back the hammer.
I am held to be a very fair shot! As he looked down at the portly frame at his feet, he saw that Mr Liversedge was incapable of moving. His head had struck against the iron fender, and not only was a sluggish trickle of blood oozing from his scalp, but he was insensible. He pressed the trigger, as Captain Belper had taught him to do, and gently released the hammer, easing it down. Still holding the pistol in his hand, he dropped on his knee beside Liversedge, and slipped his left hand into the breast of his coat.
A slim package had been already half drawn from an inner pocket. It was beating rather faintly, but there was no doubt that its owner still lived.
The Duke hauled his inanimate body, not without difficulty, clear of the grate, and rose to his feet. As he did so, the door opened, and he turned swiftly, his pistol at the ready, his thumb on the hammer.
But he did not pull it back a second time. He crossed the floor to her side, and shut the door. What made you hold your peace just now? You know I am not Matthew Ware! He is much bigger than you, and more handsome too.
I like Mr Ware. He said he would give me --" "Why did you not inform your uncle of his mistake? What made you accept me as you did?
The Foundling by Georgette Heyer Mr Liversedge was absent for some ten minutes, but presently the Duke heard his ponderous tread, and turned round to face the door. Come and tell Mr Ware how deeply he has wounded your tender heart! His hand slid once more into the pocket of his coat, to grasp the butt of his pistol, and he braced himself to face the inevitable disclosure. Into the room stepped a vision of loveliness. The Duke caught his breath, and stood staring. He closed his own eyes involuntarily, and opened them again to make sure that they had not deceived him. They had not.
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