Interview: A Colonial American in Gregorian England

Gentle Reader,

Whilst cleaning out my antique mahogany desk one day I found a crumpled sheet of paper at the back of one drawer. This document turned out to be an early interview I had conducted with the hero of To Taste Temptation, Mr. Samuel Hartley. I reprint it here for your entertainment.

Yours Most Sincerely, Elizabeth

Mr. Samuel Hartley is a tall gentleman with heavy lidded coffee-colored eyes and dark brown hair pulled back into a tight queue. He leans casually against the wall, his arms crossed, and looks patiently at me, waiting for my questions. His gaze is somewhat disconcerting in its very stillness.

Q: Mr. Hartley, your attire is eccentric. What are you wearing upon your legs?
Sam: (extends a leg and glances down at it) These are deerskin leggings.

Q: The black, red, and white garters just below the knee are rather pretty, but what about your odd shoes?
Sam: They’re beaded moccasins, made by the women of the Mohican Indian tribe. 

Q: And why would you be wearing such strange apparel in London?
Sam: (shrugs and looks amused) Why not?

Q: Hmm. I understand that you have come to London on business. Can you tell me what that business is?
Sam: I’m an importer and exporter of goods in Boston.

Q: A very successful one, I hear. They say you’re as rich as Croesus.
Sam: (smiles faintly.)

Q: Yes, well, and your business in England?
Sam: I intend to meet with Mr. Josiah Wedgwood, the potter. There are rumors that Mr. Wedgwood has invented a particularly fine cream ware, and I hope to obtain the sole right to import it.

Q: And is that your only business in London?
Sam: No. I’m also hunting the man who betrayed the 28th Regiment of Foot at Spinner’s Falls. I need to find out why so many had to die.

Q: I see. And to do this you will use Lady Emeline?
Sam: (frowns) I don’t like the word use.

Q: (innocently) Then she knows all about your quest?
Sam: (frowning harder) No, she does not.

Q: Well, I suppose it doesn’t matter—she’s only a means to an end, isn’t she? And besides, she doesn’t much care for your odd attire or blunt colonial ways, does she?
Sam: Lady Emeline is a fierce little handful.

Q: Then she is of no consequence.
Sam: What?

Q: Lady Emeline. She must be of no consequence to you.
Sam: (smiling slowly) I never said that.