4th June 1810, London
Yesterday, I went out of town. I wasn’t in the mood for any more chatter about explorations, excavations, or Egypt in general.
I had a late breakfast this morning. My man Bolton was serving. When there are no large parties in the house, I leave most of the staff at my country estate.
I was taking a sip of tea when I heard loud voices in the hall. I am not available to visitors until I have had breakfast, and my footman has been instructed accordingly. This racket at such a time was unprecedented.
Then I recognized Wilmcote’s voice. He was ordering my footman about. This was also a first. But Wilmcote was probably panicking by now and had come to withdraw from the Egypt plan. Well, I cannot back out, and I won’t let him either.
The door burst open and Wilmcote stormed into the room.
“What are you doing?” he shouted.
“There is not a minute to lose.”
“I think these eggs will stay warm just a little longer.”
“I am talking about the expedition. The others are leaving London in three days!”
“Three days? How did they manage to get the rest of the funding so quickly?”
Of course. He would contribute the balance. It is no issue for him.
“But will the group be willing to leave at such short notice?”
“Lord Doddlington told them to be ready by then – or go to hell.”
There is a man on a mission.
“And what’s she saying?”
“Mrs Starke phrased it more politely, but the message was the same.”
Bolton had closed the door and started laying the table for Wilmcote.
“Sit down and eat something,” I said. “And then we will get to work. Bolton, we will need you later for making travel arrangements.”
“Egypt. Departure this week. You are coming with us.”
“Very good, my lord.”