Good morning, all. Thank you for joining us on this nippy Monday morning. Today I am interviewing Andrew and Brooke Black, the Earl and Countess of Townson. Brooke is Liberty’s eldest sister and seemed to be her greatest confidant during the time in which Brooke was securing her own match. Would you agree with that statement, Brooke?
BB: Absolutely. Liberty came to me several times during my courtship with Andrew to complain about “him” as she’d taken to referring to Paul Grimes.
What kinds of things did she say to you about him?
BB: Oh, well, nothing you don’t know already. She hated the man–
AB: And, I think it’s just as important to add, he rather disliked her, too. However, his reasons seem to hold far more water than hers.
BB: He’s right. The poor man had far more reasons to dislike her than the other way around.
Now, Andrew, quit grinning like a simpleton. I know it must be rare your wife admits you’re right, but try to dim that handsome smile, it’s hurting my eyes. Instead, why don’t you tell me about some of these incidents?
AB: To be quite frank, the one event I was privy to hear about is not one I–or any man for that matter–would like to discus, much less think about again.
Brooke, I see you giggling. Care to answer for him?
BB: No, I quite agree with Andrew’s ascertainment. I can see why a man would be loath to remember such a thing. Nor do I wish to revisit that particular conversation. Instead, I’ll just tell you that it took me about fifteen seconds to surmise the two disliked each other when I first saw them seated next to each other at dinner. She confirmed it, however, the next day when she burst through my door like a madwoman and declared she absolutely hated him and rattled off the most awkward story I’d ever heard, up to then, that is.
Are you saying that the awkward story that goes along with the memory Andrew is so vigilantly trying to repress over there is currently the most awkward story you’ve ever heard?
BB: Yes. I’d say so. Her second tale was far worse than the first.
Well, considering she’d practically accused him of lacking ballocks during the first story, I can only imagine how much worse the second story was. For Andrew’s sake, I’ll stop this vein of my interview. How about we talk about Mr. Grimes. What do each of you think of him?
AB: I rather like the man. He’s a good man to have around when you’re in a tight spot.
BB: Oh, stop. Andrew only likes the man because he agreed to marry us on the spot without asking any questions or putting his palm out for money.
AB: No better way than that to endear oneself to an impoverished man.
That’s right. You had what was it, forty pounds to your name at the time?
AB: Sadly, yes.
BB: Let me answer this one! To quote Andrew, “I have enough, madam. Discussing money matter is considered vulgar in English households. But if you truly must know, I have enough for you to have this…” Then he usually whips something he’s bought for me out of his pocket.
You actually ask your husband about his finances?
BB: Only because I know it leads to him giving me something! The first time I did it, it was completely innocent. It was right after he installed his mines and I asked if they were producing. He scowled, told me money matters were a man’s affair, then gave me the wedding ring he couldn’t when we married. Now, I just ask him to see if he has something for me.
Smart girl. I wrote you well. It seems Andrew’s mines were just the ticket. Very good. I’m glad it all worked out. For both of you. Now, back to Paul, Brooke what are your feelings on the man?
BB: I truly don’t know him so well, I’m afraid. When we first met, I thought he was a bit off. Cold. But the few times I’ve been around him in the past few months, I’ve rather warmed to him. He’s actually not so cold and distant, nor boring and stodgy like Liberty seems to think.
AB: I agree. He’s actually rather nice when you get to know him.
Do either of you think Paul and Liberty should set aside their differences and make a match of it?
BB: You better not suggest such a thing to Liberty, steam will start spiraling out of her ears.
AB: I’d like to amend my former statement. I don’t think the two would willingly put aside their differences and try to make a match of it–nor would we all wish for them to. However, if something–such as a scandal–were to come up that would force them to marry, I think they could eventually push aside their dislike for the other enough to give off the appearance of a cordial marriage.
Cordial? Not love?
AB: Probably not.
Is love so important?
BB: I think so. I know we can’t all marry for love, but love does make the harder aspects of marriage easier. I don’t care who her husband ends up being just as long as somewhere in his heart he loves my sister and her insufferable ways. If he does, I”m nearly certain she’ll be hard pressed not fall in love with him, too.
AB: But in the meantime, he better guard his–
Oh dear, look at the time. I think it’s time for you two to back to living out the rest of 1812, while I go make breakfast and pack lunches. Join me next time when I talk to Madison, Liberty’s other sister, to see what she can tell us about Liberty, Paul and their rocky relationship last year at the house party.