Phillip Charles Phelps-Morton, Fourth Earl of Kensington, sprawled across a leather chair, one leg over an arm, reading The London Gazette. His valet walked into the bedchamber, face grave. Phillip glanced up. “My dear Bertram, is something the matter?”
“Nothing that can’t be solved.” Bertram opened the wardrobe. “Have you looked at the clock, my lord?”
“I’m sorry, but I haven’t had the time.”
“Very funny, sir, but unappreciated. Have you really no idea what time it is?”
Phillip leaned his head back. “What is time, really?”
“In this instance it's when you’re to get dressed if you're to be on time this evening.”
Phillip sat up straight. “But I don’t care if I’m on time. I’m not sure I even want to go out. These endless parties and routs are so predictable, the same people saying and doing the same things.”
Bertram backed out of the wardrobe. “I’m sorry, sir, what did you say?”
“Oh? What say we enliven things by putting on your waistcoat?” Bertram waved a garment at him.
Sighing, Phillip stood. “The black satin. Is it any wonder I’m bored?”
“Yes, very tiresome, but suited for the evening’s festivities.” Bertram pulled the garment over Phillip's shoulders and buttoned up the front. He held out a small velvet-lined box. “Sir?”
“Oh, those will do.” He pointed at a pair of gold cufflinks.
Phillip raised an eyebrow. “Ah, but you don’t think so.”
“Oh, no, sir, they’re an excellent choice,” Bertram murmured. “If one were dining at home with only a kitchen maid for company.”
“I did say I wanted to stay in.”
“And since you aren’t might I suggest these?” Bertram held up a ruby-studded link.