Losing the love of your life is devastating, but you can still find your soul mate.
God, what a hellish night. Clairedon Phillips III rolled over only to find he wasn’t alone in the bed. The redheaded harlot’s hair spilled over the pillow and partially obscured her face. He pushed her hair away only to reveal that he should have left it alone. Definitely not one of his better choices in the drunken stupor’s that seemed to be happening more and more often of late. Bloody hell, if he continued like this he’d end up with the pox or worse. The pox could be cured or so he’d heard, but the chance was not worth taking.
Claire, as most people called him, has not been a happy man as of late. His wife, Asia, of 4 years was killed in a riding accident 6 months ago and he was determined to make himself pay for the fact he had been there, even though there was no way he could have changed the way things happened. They had both been excellent riders and it was a pastime they both enjoyed to get away from their two children and be together when they could. They had traveled the same track as always until she had challenged him to a race across the neighbors' field. They often raced each other but usually it was in their own fields. Claire’s fields were well tended, but evidently the neighbor wasn’t as careful getting rid of groundhogs and other pests. Asia’s horse tripped, throwing her several feet. She was killed instantly thank God. She knew how to tuck and roll when thrown, but when she landed he could hear a snap. He thought it was the horses’ leg, but when he reached her and saw her head lying at an odd angle from the rest of her body he knew she was gone. He remembered lifting her onto his horse, leaving her horse to suffer or not he didn’t know. He remembered the head groom helping to lift her down, and after that he didn't remember anything except his mother telling him he needed to get away to London, leave his estate and two children in the hands of her and the overseer and try to forget.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work. Claire was a wealthy man and when his wife died, he was left an even wealthier widower. Women he didn’t know came to his townhouse to show their “condolences”. Their prying questions and lying ways proved they had other motives for their concern. So, instead of helping to forget his wife, all they did was prove to him that he would never forget how wonderful a person she had been.
Then started the nightly trips to the taverns and clubs that he belonged. His male friends that lived in London encouraged this, for he was an excellent excuse to their wives as to why they had to go themselves. So, many nights and an unknown number of harlots later, here he was. Now, he was just as miserable as six months ago, with the harlots richer for his misery.
He better start getting down to the business that his mother had written to him about in her last letter. Evidently his children, both as adventurous as their mother and father ever were, were getting more than his mother wanted or could deal with at even her less than advanced age. She had given several examples as to why Christine and Alexander, ages three and four, needed a governess sooner than most children. Alexander must be giving her fits, and driving his sister to try and keep up with him. His mother was a patient and humorous lady and she loved children, but she had already raised a brood of 3 boys and 2 girls, which was more than enough for any woman.
So how did one go about employing a governess and how did one know if she was the right person for his children?
He had checked in the local gazette but none struck his fancy, either being to old or their ads did not make them seem to enjoy children. He wanted his children to grow up the same way he had, free to learn what life had to offer, with lots of love and care.
There were several employment agencies in London that boasted of the excellent help they had to offer. But the idea of going in to an agency and sitting there, as governess after governess paraded in front of you was not appealing either. (stay tuned for the next part to come)