Title: Emerson Ball: "Caledonian Laddie"
Description: 4/14 - pm; Mark F and CG
Mark Fotherington (Shar) - October 25, 2009 01:04 AM (GMT)
Having been abandoned by the group of men who claimed to be utterly incapable of speaking with women, Mark began to wander through the hall as the first squeaks and squawks of instrumentation became audible. Perhaps he would find someone to dance with. If not, he would simply have to watch until the second.
(OOC: Ashley, I was going to have him see her, but realized she hasn't been placed in the hall yet! I'll let you put her there before he notices her?)
Caroline Gardiner (Ashley) - October 25, 2009 07:05 AM (GMT)
Caroline was standing off to one side of the ballroom where her darling aunt had left her in the care of an equally suitable chaperon who was chatting to another happily married woman. She had watched her aunt go to dance with her brother with some dismay as she had yet to find a partner; a dismay which had only increased as she watched couple after couple promenade toward the dance floor. Now that the music was started she had internally worked herself into such a state that she had to work to keep herself from gazing around the hall like a frightened rabbit. As of yet she had not seen a gentleman so much as glance her way and the first dance was nearly about to start! Oh well, it was only the first dance. There would be others... but still to not open the evening... to not even be glanced at. Surely there were other girls who had not been asked to dance... Oh, how she dearly wished her brother had asked her for the first dance and not the second! No, that was being silly, it was only proper he should open the dance with her aunt.
She nervously touched the Queen Anne's Lace in her hair nervously, the inspiration for her fairly understated outfit. She had seen some head-shaking and clucking of tongues from the matrons over her choice but they were easy to acquire and her favorite flower. Though perhaps for her first big society event she should not have chosen such a common flower? She was being silly of course... Surely a gentleman would not mind such things... She was starting to feel, however, very country girl in the middle of the big, elegant London party...
((OOC: Works for me... Sorry, I think you just became a victim of the awkward first post as a character post...))
Mark Fotherington (Shar) - October 25, 2009 02:45 PM (GMT)
A young woman stood alone, apparently watched over by the matron who was engaged in conversation. She did not look familiar, and she did look nervous. He hoped it wasn't because she was a terrible dancer, as he rather wanted a partner and she seemed a pretty, pleasant sort.
The other lady conversing with her chaperone was more familiar to him, and he approached them, hoping to be noticed in time to be introduced to and sent off for a dance with the young lady before the music began in earnest.
When they came to a stopping point, and he was noticed, he bowed politely. "Mrs. Danbury," he greeted her.
There was an instant of hesitation. "Why, Mr. Fotherington! I hope you are well?"
The question was too genuine for his liking, but he conquered his irritation and bowed again. "Thank you, very much so. And I hope you and your family are equally so?"
"Oh, yes. Caroline--my Caroline, that is--presented us with our first grandchild in February, we are quite delighted."
Mark essayed his congratulations; he had danced with her daughter on a few occasions, though nothing more had come of it.
"And may I introduce you to Lady Sutton and Miss Gardiner? Mr. Mark Fotherington, whose poor dear Mama was an excellent friend of mine. Mr. Fotherington, Lady Sutton and Miss Caroline Gardiner"
Two references to his mother in a single evening? Mark made his bow and a murmer of greeting.
Caroline Gardiner (Ashley) - October 26, 2009 02:39 AM (GMT)
Caroline had almost missed the man who had made his way toward him and very nearly started when he began addressing her chaperon's companion. Though shortly after her attention had been brought to his presence she wondered how she could have missed him in the first place for his curly hair and stature, if not so far off the norm, were certainly striking. Fortunately not so striking that she forgot that she was a young lady and must behave properly, though had she not been thinking about it she should have caught herself staring.
Mrs. Danbury, of course, went through the necessary niceties and crowing which all proud mamas were wont to do. Then she went on with the introductions. Caroline could not help but notice the reference to his "poor dear mother". The poor man. It must be hard to have her memory brought up in such a way... and it must happen frequently in the course of one evening. Though how it could be avoided she did not know...
She dropped a very pretty curtsy and said softly, "A pleasure, Mr. Fortherington." As she heard the strains of the music drifting toward them she could not help lifting her eyes to his and very nearly pleading, Please ask me to dance... Oh please... Oh please... Oh please...
Mark Fotherington (Shar) - October 27, 2009 12:00 AM (GMT)
Mark tried to restrain his amusement at the mute appeal from the young lady, but some of it must have leaked through in his expression, as Mrs. Danbury was giving him an encouraging look. Not that he'd been trying to avoid finding a partner--quite far from it, in fact.
"Miss Gardiner," he said gravely. "Do you enjoy dancing? I have the misfortune of having no partner for the first set, and would be most obliged if you'd join me." He gave her an encouraging nod, however--no need to frighten her with excessive gravity!
Caroline Gardiner (Ashley) - October 29, 2009 08:09 PM (GMT)
Caroline smiled, amused at the antics of herself, the gentleman, and her chaperon's acquaintance. Perhaps she had been a little obvious and desperate but she did not care, she had gotten what she wanted. "I greatly enjoy dancing," she replied demurely but with the smile still firmly on her face, "And I would be honored to join you, Mr. Fotherington. After all, it would be a great shame to leave you without a partner..."
The minute the words were out of her mouth she began second guessing them. Had she ought to have said that? Was it too flirtatious? Deary me, what was it about London society that made her second guess her every move and breath? She had been raised as a lady, after all. Determined to not dwell on it like a country bumpkin, she pushed it behind her and hoped her momentary unease had not shown on her face.
Mark Fotherington (Shar) - October 30, 2009 12:36 AM (GMT)
Mark had already offered his arm to lead her to the floor when her last comment made him pause for a moment and look at her in faint surprise. Ready to carry on the joke, was she? He resumed the motion and selected a nearby set. "You are very kind to a poor, helpless gentleman," he said with a grin. "Your charity is astounding."
The music began, as did the dance, and Mark sought some conversation to make with the lady that might sustain them throughout the piece. "I do not believe you've been in town before, Miss Gardiner? I feel certain I'd have remembered." Let her take that as an obsquious compliment or simple statement, as she would.
Caroline Gardiner (Ashley) - October 30, 2009 04:52 PM (GMT)
Caroline followed him to the floor faintly beaming. She laughed lightly, "Is that not what English women are known for? Their charity... but you mistake me sir. I never meant to imply you were poor or helpless at all..."
The dance began and they moved fluidly through the first movements. "You are correct sir, this is the first season I have had the pleasures of town. Though if you had remembered me it would have been a credit to your memory sir, for I surely do not know why you would have marked me otherwise..." She smiled softly and watched him, "However, I must surmise you have been to town before. How do you find London and the ton this year sir?"
Mark Fotherington (Shar) - November 12, 2009 11:30 PM (GMT)
Mark safely restrained himself from noting that he found it by opening his front door. One had to have some standards with a new acquaintance, even if she seemed a bit of a tease herself.
"Oh, yes, a number of times. It's much the same as always," he had to admit. "More people have come in than average, perhaps--a good number of them for the first time. The Season is an excellent time for making new acquaintances." This struck him as rather vapid, considering that was more or less the purpose of the Season to everyone but members of Parliament, and he reached for something slightly more original. "One can't tell which world is the real one--the country or the city."
Caroline Gardiner (Ashley) - November 13, 2009 06:58 AM (GMT)
"Both and neither, I suspect, " she said with a soft smile and a sparkle in her eye. She tripped lightly through the next steps as she took in the room and the people in it; though most particularly her partner. "I suppose, " she commented upon further consideration of the reply 'same as always', "One would hope the newcomers might relieve some of the familiarity. Though inevitably it would be a similar dance year after year..." They continued through a few steps before she asked curiously, "Do you find much difference between country folk and city folk"
Mark Fotherington (Shar) - November 20, 2009 02:01 AM (GMT)
An interesting question. "Well, the whole sense is different. Out in the country, there are not nearly so many people to associate with, and certainly none at these levels of society. I'm sure most of London's filled with people like that as well, but one rarely sees them, what with all the ton gathered about. If that is what you meant by the question?" She could simply have been asking about high society during the year as opposed to during the Season, but there were few chances to observe high society outside of the Season.
(OOC: Sorry, am exhausted by eventful week but really felt I should reply... baby had croup, I didn't /quite/ break my toe, toddler had a mosquito bite on his forehead which swelled up to the point that it was affecting both eyes and the bridge of his nose, and their grandmother ont he other side is here, and... oy. I know other people have a lot going on too, but wanted to apologize for any lack of sense in the post...)
Caroline Gardiner (Ashley) - November 27, 2009 02:24 AM (GMT)
Caroline was not sure she wanted to explain why she had asked the question. Instead she settled for a complacent smile,"It will suffice." She cast about for a less personal more interesting topic. Unable to find one she settled for a compliment instead. "Where did you learn to dance, Mr. Fortherington? You do it quite adeptly..." She said it as a mere observation and resisted fluttering her eyes at him. It would not do to flirt with the gentlemen too much until she knew him better and until she learned the nuances of city life it would be better to err on the side of too little than to much. Still, she could not resist looking at him shyly from under her eyelashes during their next pass...
Mark Fotherington (Shar) - December 20, 2009 06:56 PM (GMT)
"You are very kind," Mark said, rarely having had a compliment about his dancing before, at least not from someone of his own generation. "It is not nearly as graceful as your own, but I am pleased it suffices. My sister was quite careful to drill us both in our dancing. For our own good, but I suspect we were merely accessories for her own practicing. She dances as well as you do, Miss Gardiner."
The thought did cross his mind that he was perhaps being pursued, but he let it be, not prepared either to encourage or discourage pursuit at this point. She seemed a likeable woman.
(OOC Forgive me! Do you want to go ahead to the other scene we were tagged for, or should we try to continue this conversation in somewhat better time?)