Thursday, March 31, 2016

Louis Armstrong - Savoy Blues (1927) Background To A Downton Abbey Scandal 3/31/16


It was one of those 'white' days. The sky was white and featureless. The grass was drab and colorless. Winter can be that way. Some days are moist and clear and blue, while others are like this. Lady Mary kept to herself. Henry and Tom went to see an automotive machinist operation across the Thames. They really do plan to press on with this motor car thing. Her father was ostensibly at 'the club,' but that was just a ruse. Lord Grantham was off with Lucas at some solicitor's office. Even Bates was in for the day. That's how important it was. If they could sincerely befriend Lucas... if they could forge some kind of a real link with that young man from South Africa, perhaps all 'the trouble' can be avoided?

How they got him away from his handlers was a master stroke in itself. God bless John Bates. God bless Anna too... home with the new baby and all. If this works, a few thousand outright will be transferred to a discrete little bank in York and a certain highly esteemed domestic couple will be very well fixed, indeed. Look, as far as Bates is concerned the 'domestic' aspect has been a ploy since day one. Even Cora suspected. Thank God she didn't know the rest of it.

So Mary sat there on a chaise lounge artfully placed in a little second story landing tableau, listening to a jazz recording and gazing through an old pair of mother-of-pearl opera glasses at what was going on across the square..... Notorious, tabloid, newspaper publisher, Sir Richard Carlisle oversaw the arrival of his 'things.'.... Probably bought them all in mass from some distressed noble, or gentry family... No, there's no 'probably.' That's how he did it. That's how he is.... And that man was trying to destroy them. Oh, there'd be 'fronts.' He knows everybody in that amoral, sensationalist cabal. None could pin it all on him, but his greasy fingerprints were all over it.

Mary loathed him... To think they'd almost married. God bless Carson. His disapproval was the thing. A butler... especially one as rarified as he, 'knows.'... Mary loved him.... What would he make of all this?

If the morning went well it might all be over... at least the scandal part. Lucas would be set up for life... not in South Africa. He'd never go back there. They'd place him somewhere in Canada, or America, or Australia, or the British Caribbean... There'd be no public acknowledgement, but rather a private arrangement beneficial to all. Would Cora find out?.... How would she take it? Infidelity is infidelity and sometimes she can be so 'American' about things.

Nothing is easy.... To think, a fortnight ago Edith went off with Bertie, Anna had her baby and all was right with the world.

Well, the world turns.....

So she sat there, watching through her grandmother's opera glasses, as a vindictive enemy climbed ever higher, beneath a bone-white sky...

<more next time>


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