Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mayfair, London .. LUCAS Meets The Solicitors .. A DOWNTON ABBEY Episode.. 4/3/16




The meeting didn't take place anywhere near Grantham House. There are special firms that handle things like this and none of them are close to Mayfair or Belgravia. 'Scandal Houses' they're called... discrete suites of offices tucked away on respectable, though nondescript thoroughfares. Robert arrived first, then Bates and finally Lucas. That's how the drivers arranged it. Weakest party enters last, confronted by, shall we say, his 'betters.' Bates could have come over with Lord Robert, but best to keep all parties separate.... Attract as little attention as possible.

They waited in a small conference room. A young woman served coffee. There was a tray filled with savory, open-faced breakfast sandwiches. The ubiquitous 'tall clock' ticked in a corner.... An older gentlemen, Sir Beryl, spoke first. He said - The important thing is to stress the cordiality and sincerity of all concerned. Actual agreements will be kept to a minimum.... And the amount in question? - asked Robert. Is it 'normal' in these circumstances? What kind of life will it afford him?.... Quite a nice life, actually - said the solicitor. If he opts for The States and I think he will, he'll live very well. New York would have never worked. You have in-laws there, your wife's family and there's no way she, or any of her people can ever learn of this...... My daughter and Mrs. Bates are very close. They share everything. How should we handle that? - asked Robert..... The gentleman gestured toward Bates and responded - Well, Mr. Bates will have to sign a nondisclosure agreement.... Bates cleared his throat, nodded and whispered - Of course..... Robert mouthed - Thank you.....

Now, knowing the ways of that household, it's quite possible, a few years down the line, everybody involved will know everything anyway. But it will happen in a natural and subtle manner. Given the loyalty they all have for each other the secret will be safe... just another episode locked in the collective conscience of Downton Abbey...

Then Lucas was brought in. He was scared. He was quiet. He was torn. Robert was his only surviving parent. He wanted to salvage whatever could be salvaged. The other ones, the people who found him first, had other aims. They sought humiliation and ruin. In his heart, Lucas did not want that. In fact, it's the last thing he wanted.

Robert offered his hand. It was accepted.... Sir Beryl said - I believe all preliminary agreements have been signed. You, my boy (indicating Lucas) will be established in Los Angeles. No longer half English and half Zulu, but a wealthy Colombian, raised in European schools. There will be a property somewhere in the new, glossy, western part of town, a car and eventually a 'couple' to keep house. Sufficient funds are already on hand with Bank of America. We've used them before, a highly reliable organization. Who knows? Perhaps someday, hopefully not too far in the future, quiet 'family' visits might take place. I've seen it happen before. The important thing is to keep you away from Sir Richard Carlisle and his cabal. They'd chew you up and throw you out in a minute. Don't doubt that..... Believe me, sir, I don't - said Lucas.... Good - said Sir Beryl. Now, as far as that group is concerned, you'll disappear. You'll cease to exist. I'm told they have photographs?..... They might - whispered Lucas..... Fabrications. Photographers' tricks. Nothing more - said the solicitor. It's almost impossible to prove the genuineness of a photograph in a court of law.....

Then they made small talk. The young woman came back in, transferred the breakfast sandwiches into a warming tray, brought fresh coffee and left...

When they were done, Lord Robert slipped out through one door... After a time, Mr. Bates left by another... and a few hours later, as dusk began to fall, a well dressed, newly minted 'Colombian' gentleman, exited a third.

London keeps its secrets...

Lady Mary knew the details... but no one else did, least of all her mother, Cora.

That night they all had a fine dinner. Lady Rosamund brought friends from the literary world and a professional harpist provided Celtic airs...

If you haven't already watched the video up above, take a look at it now. Mayfair was like that in the twenties too...

A very special place to be...

<more next time>

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