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A Regrettable Proposal

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  • Chapter One March 1812

  • Narrator

    Stratford Tunstall, former major of the 94th Regiment of Foot and newly appointed Fifth Earl of Worthing, trudged down Oxford Street in a uniform stiff with dirt.

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  • One glance down New Bond revealed a street already thinned of the bustling crowds.

  • All the better.

  • It would not do to appear in such attire in fashionable London, but he had no choice if he was going to reach the counting house before it closed.

  • Picking up his pace, he headed toward the stone building housing the bank, its spring flowers poking through the wrought iron gate.

  • Narrator

    He passed three women at a storefront, inspecting a purchase of embroidered silk, when one broke away from the group with a startled cry.

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  • To his dismay, it was Miss Broadmore, the woman who had jilted him before he left for Spain and the last person he wished to see upon his return.

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    Miss Broadmore

    “Stratford!

  • You’ve come home.

  • When did you arrive in England?”

  • Narrator

    She seemed to check herself upon observing his appearance more closely, but in the end she extended a slender hand encased in calfskin.

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  • Her touch was infinitesimal as he bowed over it.

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    Stratford

    “Only just.”

  • Narrator

    Stratford’s voice was gruff, and he cleared it.

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    Stratford

    “I’ve left my effects at the King’s Arms and set out immediately.

  • I must transact some business before the counting house is closed.”

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    Miss Broadmore

    “The King’s Arms?”

  • Narrator

    Miss Broadmore’s brow wrinkled in confusion.

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  • Profile Picture of Miss Broadmore in A Regrettable Proposal

    Miss Broadmore

    “I don’t know it.