#TBT: Another Look Below Stairs

January 15, 2015

Staying with our theme on #TBT this month now that Downton Abbey has returned to our American television sets, we’re going to look at a scene from the exclusive Spy Series short story that dropped into the inboxes of loyal newsletter subscribers last month.  (Subscribe here so you don’t miss the next one!)

Email 3 booksTo Be a Spy: A Spy Series Short Story

“Have you always thought to be a companion?” he asked.
Penelope set down her cup, frowning at him.
“I beg your pardon?”
“When considering an occupation.  Have you always thought to be a companion?”
Penelope continued to frown at him.
“I didn’t know the sons of gentlemen thought about such things.”
Samuel shook his head, feeling slightly shameful for not explaining earlier.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “I should have elaborated on the unusual family part.”
Penelope cocked her head at him, looking more adorable than one of Lady Pemberly’s puppies.
“My mother was a housekeeper before she met my father, and she and I lived below stairs.  So I am quite familiar with one grappling with the decision of future employment.”

The History

You might recall when we met Samuel in Son of a Duke, he told Nathan he wanted to be a lamplighter, and what Samuel says here when taking coffee with Miss Penelope Paiget is true.  As the son of a housekeeper, he would have had to decide what occupation he would enter to survive.  If Nathan had not shot the wrong man at the ball that night, Samuel would not have ended up in the somewhat awkward, but by far better, position of being the adopted son of the bastard offspring of the Duke of Lofton.  While not ideal, his position had taken a great leap upward in the social hierarchy with that move.

But as you’ll see, the gentleman’s life is not really suited for our friend, Samuel.

Read On

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