Lucky in Love
Copyright 2008 Cari Hislop
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Lucky in Love
July 17th 1814 Norfolk, England
The setting summer sun glinted off golden fields of harvested corn as the pure country air was polluted with tobacco smoke and masculine laughter. The small wooden hunting lodge, perched on the edge of a green rolling hill, looked down over a patchwork landscape like an oversized gothic scarecrow. The country folk leaving their fields rolled their eyes and sighed in irritation at the blight; as if they needed another reminder that all the land as far as the eye could see was owned by the Earl of Warenne. He was a decent landlord, but he was irritatingly thorough. When the young man decided to build a wall for one of his tenants, if he didn’t show up to watch it being built he was sure to arrive later to count the number of stones or bricks to make sure the builder had used a good number. With stones the Earl preferred odd numbers and with bricks he preferred even. He wasn’t a penny-pincher; he was thorough. It gave him supreme satisfaction to know that everything in his little Kingdom was exactly as it should be. If his mother had survived she’d have slapped him and told him to get drunk and leave the peasants to steal a few stones before they rioted, but she’d died before his twenty-first birthday. He was king of his proverbial castle and there was no one with any influence to interfere with his thoroughness or point out how irritating he could be. His friends called him Lucky. His enemies called him Pinhead. They all agreed the seventeenth Earl of Warenne lived a charmed existence. He’d inherited his fat mother’s handsome features and his ugly father’s straight brown hair and athletic build; life always worked out for Edmund de Warenne.