Did you know?

The Language of the Flowers was a popular method to express feelings where words might be improper, but did you know other means of doing so? Some ladies used their parasols, as well as their fans, gloves, and hankies to flirt with a gentleman (or alternatively, tell them to shove it!). — Bree

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Ester Montgomery for Thomas Montgomery. The one that got away (with the pornographer...)
This boy, then. He wasn't new. Wasn't one of the worst people in the common room, those rotten rich boys - like Mr. Jailkeeper - who could not fathom a world beyond their own farts. Was a good working class lad, so he'd heard. Had a bit of a weird looking face, and a bit of a weird thing for preaching. Still.

Aubrey Davis in The Under-Sofa

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Post at least once with the same character every day for a month.


Passing Through a Screen Door
March, 1882 - Johannesburg, South Africa
An escape artist's son
Sun-drenched pavement in my blood

Her suitcase was packed and she was going to leave him. All of her clothes folded into it, and a great deal of currency as well, the leftovers of her allowances and money she had found in various hiding-places around the house. It was easy enough to figure out the password to a safe when it belonged to someone you were sleeping with; she had known it for months, and quietly tested the lock every so often, especially once she had started sleeping with Kai. She was going to leave him, and she was as ready as she was ever going to be. But she could not leave him until the middle of the - she was going to steal away, leave a note - and Max couldn't find out before then. If he did, well - he would never let her leave when there was the possibility she was carrying his child. (Although he did not know it yet, Max was among other things, very clever. He could read a room.)

So she had to be normal. Not standoffish normal, as she so often was, but pleasant-wife-normal. Or - something. Nicky, a typically excellent actress, had no blueprints for this interaction. She had never left him before, although she had rehearsed it in her head, playing it out in countless ways while he talked about his diamond mines and she felt guilty by association. (Truth be told - if it was not for the baby, probably Kai's baby, she would stay.)

She slipped into Max's office and smirked at him, a classic Nicky De Vries expression, and settled in to sit on a corner of the desk. "Mrs. Theunissen told me they're having a dinner next week," Nicky said, in English, by means of starting a conversation, "So I think you were right - he's either interested in buying or selling one of his mines." Mrs. Theunissen was, among other things, a bitch, and liable to poke fun at Nicky's accent in Afrikaans when given the chance. Her husband was nearly as bad at business as Max's father. Hopefully distracting her husband with his diamonds would prevent him from looking too closely.

She was going to leave him, and soon. The thrill of it had her heart thumping in her chest.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Nicolina De Vries's post:
   Maximiliaan De Vries

Nicky has been out of the UK since 1881; you probably don't recognize her, but talk to me if you think your character might!
She is currently living in the Three Broomsticks, pretending to be a middle class Afrikaner from South Africa.
There was a sigh of casual irritation in his throat at the door to his office creaking open - whoever it was hadn't bothered knocking, would clearly grant him no peace, and if it was the maid again someone needed to beat her about the ears with her broom until she got her duties properly into her head - but he dealt with the annoyance, instead, by not looking up from the site manager's report he was reading.

He could tell it was Nicky though, by the lightness of her step and the way she perched, blasé and near, on his desk. He glanced up just in time to catch her smirk, and returned one of his own thoughtlessly enough: still, he would have looked down if it had not appeared she had something particular to say.    

Her remark sparked a gleam of intrigue in his eyes, already reaching across his desk for the closest map in a pile of area plans, to see if he couldn't pin down the likeliest suspect. His wife thought he was right, she said: of course he was right. He hadn't forged this life for them out of being wrong. "And did Mrs. Theunissen tell you who they've invited to this dinner of theirs?" He inquired smoothly, equally intrigued to see just how useful Nicky had bothered being on this matter. He was sure she and that devious smirk of hers could have coaxed it out of the woman, if only she cared to.

She wasn't an idiot by any stretch, but she was sullen sometimes, had her moods. (This was a quality Max merely put down to women, in general. It wasn't as though his wife could have any justified reason for dissatisfaction, after all: women were just irrational creatures, and men simply obligated to weather them.) Judging by the smirk, at least, she was in a good mood, today. Ought he to wonder what had possibly brought it on, Max considered with an internal roll of his eyes, or just count his lucky stars?

Max was interested, and inquiring, and that was good. Probably. Honestly Nicky wasn't sure it was good - she had no road map for this. But she knew how to handle his attention, was always better with it than disinterest, or indifference. And she understood his business, at least on the surface - Nicky had no patience for details, had never wanted to meddle in that. She just knew the money.

"The Minnaars," Nicky answered. She liked Mr. and Mrs. Minnaar a bit better - Mrs. Minnaar was originally from Amsterdam, not South Africa, and had been considerably more welcoming to Nicky than Mrs. Theunissen had been. "And that German fellow who's come down from Tanganyika. Mr. Schulte?" Real people for a real dinner, this tidbit she would have brought back to him even if she wasn't leaving.

Nicky has been out of the UK since 1881; you probably don't recognize her, but talk to me if you think your character might!
She is currently living in the Three Broomsticks, pretending to be a middle class Afrikaner from South Africa.
The Minnaars, Schulte. Hmm. “Ah, yes, Schulte,” Max mused, mostly to himself. He didn’t bother explaining the rest of his thought process aloud - smart as Nicky was, she would only slow him down, or be unwilling to appreciate the full genius of it - but merely stared down at the maps, eyeing up the Theunissens’ land, looking down at an underproducing stretch of his own. He could fob that off on the German, no trouble. And then Schulte would not be in the market - he could warn off the Minaars easily enough too, he suspected, or else get Nicky to feed the wife some cock-and-bull information - and then swoop in and steal the pile of diamonds Theunissen had been sitting on for years as though he were doing him a favour.

“Well, we had better invite Mr. Schulte for a drink, hadn’t we?” He declared finally, glancing at Nicky again with a self-satisfied look. She might have an inkling of his plans from that alone. “I’ll need your help giving him a proper welcome - and then I’ll speak to Andreas Minaar, maybe the next day.” As long as he got to them both before the Theunissens’ dinner, well - he could settle everything, see the chips all fall right into his lap. “What are you doing on Thursday?” Nothing too important, with any luck. Thursday was already looming.

Thursday. Thursday she was going to be - well, far away from here, with Kai, never to return. As far as Max was concerned she would be nothing but a note left to him, (a note she had not written yet.) And the thing was, Nicky had come in prepared to faff about distracting him, but she had paid no mind to fake plans - because this dinner was real, would have been the plan if she did not have other plans.

Only a beat had passed, but to Nicky it felt like a lifetime. Her eyes refocused on her husband. Her heart thumped erratically against the inside of her ribs. "I hadn't thought of it," she said.

Nicky has been out of the UK since 1881; you probably don't recognize her, but talk to me if you think your character might!
She is currently living in the Three Broomsticks, pretending to be a middle class Afrikaner from South Africa.
The question had been little more than a courtesy, to be honest. If she had had plans to begin with, they would scarcely have been important - nothing that could not be rearranged. Besides, any interest in where his wife went or who she was with when she was not with him had worn off exceptionally rapidly, once they had moved back. Johannesburg was not home to an unlimited circle of potential acquaintances - even less so of the right sort - so the answer was usually as tedious as the question, if Nicky hadn't merely been lazing about the house alone as he suspected had become more of a habit of hers here than expected. And she had seemed to have such a shine in Britain!

Her answer now was an entirely empty one, and he stared at her a second, awaiting some kind of follow-up, a yes, of course, darling, let's invite the German bastard over on Thursday, a I have no plans so, whatever you want, Max, but no. Just I hadn't thought of it, as though her days were so full that she hadn't time for it. "Well you had better start, I daresay," Max said, with a little scoff of laughter. "And be sure to wear something nice," he added carelessly, reaching over to her to grasp briefly at the dress she was wearing today as if to illustrate how unimpressed he was with it.

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