I am not a fan of social gatherings, even if it is the Fhiads. If only I could avoid them, but of coursed I am a Nelson, and that means I must fulfill all my social “responiblities” including attending those dreadful balls. The Fhiads and our family have been firm friends for many years, mainly due to father and Muhammad attending University together. But recently since father and aunt Asbella wrestled it out of debt the Fhiads have been visiting more and more frequently, and my parents and aunt have even visited them on Hava Marrakech. Father has always looked for more ways to expand his trading in New London, and it seems that the Fhiads have also finally become eager to align with us in that course. I am in no way inclined for such nonsense jibber jabber. If I wanted to talk, wouldn’t you think that I would. I would much prefer it if I could just be told to stay out of the way, and read a book or something. But that is not the way it works.
As I thought, the rest of my family are engaging the Fhiads in conversation. Ophelia is getting all the attention from Mrs Fhiad. Father and aunt Asbella are talking to Muhammad, whilst Elmira and Edmund stand by the piano watching on. The twins rush in just after me, presenting a handy distraction for me to escape to the window seat.
As I pull out my well worn tome Hargreaves the butler enters the sitting room.
“My Lord. Dinner is served.”
“Excellent. Shall we.” Father says as he motions for the ladies to exit before him.As they file out nattering about what our chef may have cooked up this time I briefly entertain the idea of staying put, but father shoots it out of the air with a stern look, and i relucantly get up. As I trudge past he cuffs me round the ear and says quietly ” You shall mess up nothing tonight, and do as you are told. Do you understand Harold? You better. Or no more going down to the docks.” I start at that. How did he know I wonder as he nods to Harrgreaves and enters the lavish dining hall a step ahead of me.