In our eighth installment of Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series, we finally get to dig a little deeper into the life of the youngest Redmond sibling. Jonathan may act like the devil-may-care younger son, but this dude has plans. Tommy also has plans and while they did not initially include a Redmond, she’ll take him anyway. She’s spent her life doing things out of necessity, so she’s not about to stare a gift horse in the mouth. Together these two just ooze chemistry and as their goals align, these two may just be unstoppable. It Happened One Midnight is a diamond hidden amongst gems. **Spoilers & extra spoiler: it’s a perfect score!**
Pick up a copy of this week's book, It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long, here!
Want to listen to a certain segment? Here is our outline this week:
0:00 - 09:07: Intro/Author Facts/History Facts/Tropes
09:07 - 45:50: Synopsis
45:50 - 48:00: Parlour
48:00 - 1:14:00: General Discussion
We are now including our synopses as a semi-transcription of the episode in our blog posts. You can learn more about how we compose these by reading this article. As a reminder though, our synopses are FULL of spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk :)
It Happened One Midnight Synopsis:
Miss Thomasina de Ballesteros is outside the home of the Duke of Greyfolk. She’s trying to get a good look at the man when suddenly she hears the sound of a pistol being cocked.
Mr. Jonathan Redmond was out smoking a cheroot after having dinner at the Duke of Greyfolk’s house when he noticed Tommy in the shadows.
Thinking the figure in the shadows was up to no good Jonathan drew his pistol, which causes Tommy to turn.
He wasn’t precisely aiming the thing at her, but he held it with the same casual ease with which he held the cheroot. She had no doubt he knew how to use it. She’d heard about how he allegedly, nonchalantly shot the hearts out of targets at Manton’s with tedious predictability.
Luckily the two just happened to have met earlier that day. Tommy often acts as companion of the Countess of Mirabeau who hosts a weekly salon. Jonathan had accompanied his friend Argosy there, where he met Tommy.
Seeing her outside the Duke of Greyfolks home is intriguing to say the least. They exchange pleasantries and part ways.
But as we know… this is just our first meeting…And Jonathan muses over the woman as he heads out of London for Pennyroyal Green.
She’d looked just a bit too comfortable in the shadows. Even if he’d never seen her lurking outside of the Duke of Greyfolk’s house at midnight, even if she’d never said I carry a knife for protection if I’m out at night. I do know how to use it, he would have known Tommy de Ballesteros was trouble. It didn’t prevent him from liking her.
For Tommy’s part, she is equally intrigued by Mr. Redmond.
And later it was that she would remember about this particular midnight: the wicked flash of his grin in the dark, like a much more beautiful and dangerous twin of that moon. She ought to have been warned.
While Jonathan is in Pennyroyal he visits with Violet who is very pregnant at this point and is using her pregnancy to get whatever she wants. Per usual.
This is how Jonathan is roped into going to see Madam Heron, again. He’s been avoiding the Gypsy camp since Martha had given him his prediction about many many children.
However, before he ventures to the Gypsy encampment, his father apparently would like a word with him.
Jonathan is hoping it’s to tell him he’s been admitted to the Mercury Club but sadly it’s not that.
Isaiah Redmond instead issues Jonathan an ultimatum. Jonathan must be married within a year to a woman Isaiah approves of, otherwise he’ll be cut off. After that, maybe then Isaiah will take him seriously for membership to the mercury club.
Jonathan tries to tell him that he’s more than suitable to join but since all his money is currently tied up in an investment venture (gotta spend money to make money) Isaiah brushes him off.
My father really does believe I’m stupid, he thought, in some surprise. Or at best, he thinks I’m a feckless child. And for a moment he sat feeling strangely hollow, as if someone had just taken a spoon and scooped him out like a melon.
The meeting does conclude with Jonathan sharing some interesting news. He dined with the Duke of Greyfolk the previous evening and the duke is intent to buy the same Mill that Isaiah and the Mercury Club are after. Isaiah is interested in this information but it does not change his mind about Jonathan.
This meeting is a blow to Jonathan for three reasons. The first being that he had hoped that the Mercury Club would be interested in investing in a new color printing venture that Jonathan believed had a lot of promise.
The second, now apparently he was supposed to get married to someone, a fate Jonathan has actively been avoiding since Martha Heron’s ominous prediction.
The third is the biggest blow. His family seems to have no idea who he is as a person and their opinion of his is frankly very low.
The next day, Jonathan accompanies Violet to the Gypsy encampment before heading to London. The meeting does not produce anything so ominous, but it does sound like Violet is going to have a girl that breaks hearts.
While there Violet and Martha tease Jonathan about the previous prediction about kids, causing Jonathan to leave in a huff.
“Jonathan . . . it’s just . . . why are you so distressed? One day you will need to care about something. Why not children?” He stared at her, genuinely struck dumb. He opened his mouth. A dry squeaking noise emerged. And when he was finally able to form words, they were all hoarse. “I need to . . . care? I need to care? Does anyone bloody know me? Do you really think I don’t care about things, as you say?”
Jonathan then proceeds to tell Violet about Isaiah’s ultimatum.
“You know, you’d think father would learn. He’s always forbidding things or making rulings, and everyone ends up doing precisely the opposite of his wishes, or at least not acquiescing to them.”
Sadly the man has not learned this lesson. And now we get to figure out just how Jonathan is going to beat him.
Back in London, Tommy is at the racetrack. Once again hovering around the Duke of Greyfolk. Jonathan is there to do the same since his father is not going to help him invest in color printing.
Before either one of them can catch the dukes eyes, they are distracted by a commotion.
A boy has been caught for stealing an apple by the owner of the cart. The man takes the apple but instead of just telling the boy to go, he starts shaking him, with intent to do more harm. Tommy is about to rush in, when suddenly someone gets there first.
“Why don’t you unhand him now?” Jonathan’s tone was pleasant, almost gentle, very, very controlled. Something about it made the tiny hairs stand up on the back of her neck. She wondered if the costermonger recognized the grave threat.
Jonathan is a threat. When the costermonger does not immediately unhand the boy, he steps in bodily. The boy gets away and Jonathan gets punched in the face but lands farmore of his own punches.
Once things dissipate, Tommy assists Jonathan get cleaned up. Watching him set in for a kid from the streets has cast him in a new light. A potentially useful one.
The following week, Jonathan is present at the Countesses weekly Salon. Tommy uses the time to learn a bit more about Jonathan’s newest venture and even promises to invest in it, since he’s made very compelling arguments as to it’s potential. While she cannot give him the money now, she’d be happy to give it to him if he meets her at the Half Moon Theater in Covent Garden at midnight.
Jonathan is not about to meet this woman at midnight. She’s trouble. He knew it from the moment they met.
Come midnight, Jonathan is in front of the Half Moon Theater. Apparently he cannot resist her brand of trouble.
Tommy arrives and leads him on a very circuitous route to a boarding house. There Tommy gives him an exquisite set of pearls. He is welcome to sell them and use the proceeds to invest in the printing venture. However, in return for her investment, she may need a favor from time to time. And the first favor will need to be done tonight.
Of course. Here it was. Trouble. He could hear it coming, like a herd of stampeding horses far, far off.
He reluctantly agrees and the two head out into the night.
The favor turns out to be a rescue mission. They liberate Sally, a scullery maid in a nice house. Turns out the Lord’s son has no issue with beating 7-year-old Sally for minor infractions.
“What happened to your head, Sally?” “Master William coshed me,” she said softly. She was young enough to lisp. “And when ’e did, I fell and broke me crown.” “Master Willi . . .” Master William was Lord Feckwith, the younger. Who was Jonathan’s age. And easily three times the size of Sally. Could this be true? Tommy’s eyes were on Jonathan. She seemed to be holding her breath. “Why?” he asked Sally finally. The word was a bit choked. Though he suspected the answer was “because he could.”
Jonathan is floored. Even more so when he is informed by Tommy that kids like Sally are sold from the workhouse. The kids, who do not know what they are doing, are promised the world in exchange for a shilling to sign a piece of paper. Instead of getting good opportunities they are promised, they are sold to people as cheap labor until they are 21. Most of the kids do not reach that age.
What is even crazier to Jonathan is that Sally, who has been traumatized by a man about his age and size, completely trusts him when Tommy names him Mr. Friend.
He knew a brief sudden sweep of vertigo, near terror, as if he were walking a wire strung between buildings. God, what a perilous thing it was to be a child. To go from screaming looby to unquestioning trusting innocent in the space of a single hackney ride. And this, he suspected, was perfectly typical child behavior.
After Jonathan is dropped off. Tommy heads back to her room to await the Doctor. He’s always been discrete about what she does and does good work. This time is different though. As he leaves he tells Tommy that his rate has gone up. Now money is not all he requires. She can pay him in sex instead. He’ll return tomorrow for “payment”.
While she is shocked by this turn of events. She’s not too worried. Her upstairs neighbor, Rutherford, is a big man and will protect her from unwanted advances.
She miscalculates though. She hears an extra large thump from Rutherford’s room and when she arrives, it turns out the Doctor has slipped him a sedative.
Sally is asleep in the other room so they can just do what they have too. Tommy tries to talk her way out of it but gets backed into a corner, literally. As the Doctor starts lifting her skirts suddenly he disappears.
Jonathan, not satisfied with all Tommy’s explanations from the night before, has found his way back to her boarding house and has arrived just in time.
He makes quick work of the Doctor, by demonstrating how he will kill him if he ever bothers Tommy again.
The painting crashed to the floor. The scissors remained embedded in the wall, vibrating. They’d severed the ribbon. Tommy slowly turned to stare at him in awe. “I’ll replace the frame,” Jonathan said absently. The Doctor was gaping. “It makes surreptitious murder so easy, as you can see, Doctor. When I throw it at you, the dart tip will be dipped in poison, and it will enter that vein throbbing right there in your slimy scrawny white neck. I never miss. Would you like another demonstration? Shall I give you a head start and then track you down with a dart?”
That takes care of that villain.
Now that he’s vanquished a foe, Jonathan gets more answers from Tommy. Turns out she’s been “liberating” children for awhile. Placing them in better situations after absconding with them into the night. And Jonathan is impressed.
He couldn’t speak through the enormity of this. His hands went up to push through his hair. “It’s madness, Tommy.” His voice was frayed. He was awed by just how mad and dangerous it truly was. Mad and dangerous and . . . . . . grand and noble and wildly unexpected. Never would he have dreamed it about her. The slimly elegant Tommy de Ballesteros, she of the gossamer clothing and effervescent charm. She was a Robin Hood, of sorts. A bloody lioness.
Tommy also points out that Jonathan is the same. He will step in to help anyone. He’s been sporting a bruise and a new scar from an altercation outside a gaming hell. He’d stepped in when he saw a group of guys jump an innocent man.
“Not everyone intervenes, Mr. Redmond. You simply have no choice. It’s your nature.” “I haven’t a choice,” he repeated faintly. With grim resignation.
He proves that even more when he finds a good home for Sally. He uses his family’s standing as donors to get Sally admitted to Miss Endicott’s Academy on scholarship.
As Tommy and Jonathan leave, he tells her he’ll get her a carriage back to London. He’s planning to stop in Pennyroyal to visit with his sister.
She smiled. “You’re fond of your sister.” “My sister is a trial. And she is currently immensely with child.” “In other words, you’re fond of your sister.” He laughed. Laughing with him was strangely a bit like drinking champagne. She wanted more of it, and the more she had of it, the giddier she felt.
However, before she catches her ride back to London, Tommy and Jonathan take a walk. As they’re chatting and laughing, suddenly Tommy undresses and makes a dive over the side of a footbridge into the Ouse river.
Jonathan panics until he sees Tommy emerge to the surface. He then dives in to assist her. What kind of crazy lady jumps into a river in full shift and petticoats?
When they reach the shore, Tommy is still upset. She had dropped something into the river. Jonathan spies a bit of red ribbon and heads back in to fish it out.
It turns out to be a medal with the Duke of Greyfolk’s name on the back.
Jonathan is furious. First he demands why she just jumped into the river without thought to the consequences.
“I . . . I didn’t think to do that.” Her voice was frayed now. She was staring at him wonderingly. And then she straightened her spine and threw her shoulders back, realizing his temper was driving her like a nail into the ground. “I just . . . it’s just . . . all my life, if something needed to be done, Jonathan . . . well, then I have always simply done it. The medal was floating away and there was no time to discuss it, so it didn’t occur to me to chat about it. You see, I’m just not in the habit of . . . that is, there’s never been anyone who . . .” She stopped abruptly. Clamped her mouth shut.
Since Jonathan has always had a family, this is a surprising realization for him. It hurts to hear but he still has an opinion on the subject.
“From now on, you will take three seconds to assess whether whatever it is you’re about to do is dangerous. If the answer is ‘yes,’ I want you to tell me, and if it absolutely must be done, I will do it instead. You can trust me to do it. Do we have a bargain?” He expected mutiny. She studied him, her expression cool, assessing, now. “Very well,” she agreed softly, regally, as if giving him a gift. Strangely, the relief he felt made it seem as though he’d received one.
The next question. He asks her why she has the Duke’s medal. Turns out, she’s the Duke's illegitimate child by his Spanish mistress. He was award the medal and gave it to her, before leaving her once the fighting had stopped. Tommy’s mother gave it to her on her deathbed, saying she should bring it to her father if ever she needed help.
Jonathan asks where Tommy went after her mother died. To the workhouse.
Now he understood her motives. Why she cared for these children no one seemed to care about. He also understands why he was so mad when she went over the bridge.
And now he knew: There had been an instant when her head had disappeared beneath the surface of the river, when all the color and light and sound had seemed to go out of the world at once. It had been like his own death experienced. He didn’t like knowing that his righteous fury at her was really a sort of terror.
He asks her how she’s planning to continue with her crusade with all it’s inherent dangers. Is she planning to get help from the Duke? Does he even know she exists? He’s already had to save her once from the Doctor. What happens if she needs help and he’s not around?
Tommy, not used to being questioned replies as such.
“I’ll manage it the way I manage everything else,” she said complacently. “That’s what I’m afraid of. I don’t think you’re managing things, Tommy, so much as you’re dodging or lobbing events back as they come at you, a bit like lawn tennis.”
They continue to talk and Jonathan askes what Tommy wants most in life. Her reply boils down to something so simple.
She wants “A family”. The thing Jonathan has always had. People who were there for him, just as he was there for them.
All this conversation then culminates in a kiss. A soft, exploratory kiss that suddenly has potential to be so much more.
Jonathan breaks away and they part ways.
Now, while we were jumping from scene to scene Jonathan sets some plans in motion. With the influx of cash thanks to Tommy, Jonathan was able to get his partner in the color printing enterprise started on his first item for production. It actually started with an idea thanks to Tommy (although hers was dirtier). The press will make playing cards. Specifically they will make a deck featuring the current Diamonds of the First Water.
To help promote interest in the cards, Jonathan enlisted Argosy to place a bet in the White’s betting book saying Jonathan Redmond will marry the Queen of Spades. Curious, people asked what he meant. Argosy tells them that Jonathan Redmond plans to choose his bride from a deck of cards that is supposed to be printed. Thus people begin speculating and orders come pouring in for the playing cards. This allows debutantes to actually go sit for portraits at the printing press (by our favorite portraitist Wyndum from Chase’s book). All to see if they are chosen for the deck and the potential to be chosen by Jonathan as his bride.
This leads us to a ball sometime after the kiss. A kiss both Jonathan and Tommy cannot help but keep thinking about. Jonathan is currently dancing with Miss Grace Worthington, an approved choice of Isiah Redmond, who is frankly not all that interested in the plight of working children.
“Well, it’s not as though they’re like us, are they? They’re servant children.” “No, I suppose they aren’t like us. Apart from the two eyes, four limbs, same species, that sort of thing.” She nodded, looking relieved at what she interpreted as their accord. He stifled a sigh. It was official. He’d been ruined for purposeless conversations.
Suddenly Jonathan spies a flash of red hair go through the crowd.
Tommy happened to be at the ball with the Countess of Maribeau and has been watching Jonathan, trying not to relive the kiss.
She goes to escape (because watching Jonathan dance with the type of woman he’s meant to marry is too much), only to be caught by Jonathan.
They stared at each other for a moment. And then a wondering smile started at one corner of his mouth and slowly spread to the other. All the tension went out of her, and her confidence exploded into full bloom, and doubt withered in the face of the fact that she now knew there was a world of difference between the smiles he gave the likes of Lady Grace and the ones he gave to her.
This leads to banter, which leads to tension, which leads to encounter number 1.
And then leads to a conversation about friendship...wah wah…
Friend. That sexless word. A bloody pity, that. A bloody relief, too, in its way. But he’d meant it: He was honored to be her friend. For in truth, he not only admired her. He half suspected he wasn’t entirely worthy of her.
So Jonathan goes back to ball, to dance with the women who his father wants him to marry.
A few days later, Tommy taps Jonathan for another mission. This time to liberate a child from the same mill that his father is looking to purchase.
The mission goes off relatively well and Mr. Charlemagne Wilkens is ecstatic to be away. While Jonathan and Charlie are heading towards Tommy and the waiting carriage, Jonathan notices some abrasions on Charlie’s wrists. They look very similar to some scars that Tommy has. Charlie tells him it’s due to the fact they chained him up at night. He was trouble and troublesome kids were chained to their beds when they weren’t performing the dangerous work on the factory floor.
After they reach the carriage, Charlie proves why he was considered trouble and Jonathan feels so much like his father. When Charlie finally falls asleep, Jonathan has a moment.
Jonathan shook his head to and fro. “They’re bloody exhausting. It’s always ‘don’t!’ and ‘stop that!’ and ‘be quiet!’ or ‘speak up!’ . . . they’re completely anarchic creatures. Animals make infinitely more sense.” “Children?” “What else!” Oh, how Violet would laugh and laugh at him. But then he looked at one of Charlie’s skinny raw legs poking out from beneath the shawl, and his gut clutched. Yes, he would steal him again.
When they get back to Tommy’s place, Jonathan asks about her scars. She tells him that she was similar to Charlie but was lucky enough to escape and make her way back to the house they are in now. She had lived there with her mother and the people there looked out for her. Eventually she met the Countess who also knew her mother and while the Countess did not have lots of money, she helped Tommy where she could.
This information is more of a blow and he asks if this was the reason she wanted to finally meet the duke.
“Jonathan . . . you and I can only help one child at a time. But someone like the duke . . . with his power and name and money . . . oh, Jonathan. Just imagine. What if . . . what if I told him about what became of my mother, and what became of me . . . surely he’d listen. It would be unconscionable not to see him. It’s time to stop being a coward.” She glanced down at her medal.
Jonathan can tell she’s scared but still possess the innocence of a child in some ways. She does not understand how hard men like the Duke and his father can be. However, she is determined to speak to him and Jonthan too wishes she has the success she desires.
The next day, Jonathan takes Charlie to the print shop to meet Klaus. He will be a sweeper and general errand boy until he’s older and can learn more of the business. The poor boy is shook when Jonathan tells him he’ll have good meals, tea and crumpets. Jonathan in turn is shook by the treatment Charlie has endured in his life.
the consciousness of what a perilous condition childhood truly is. And that willingness to trust . . . it was a gift. In a way, a child’s trust blessed anyone to whom it was given. What a heinous crime it was to exploit it.
Tommy did indeed finally have the courage to see the Duke. It was not a happy reunion. He proved to be uptight and blatantly insinuated she was a whore and told her she would never get a penny of his money. Luckily, Tommy is strong and can withstand this blow.
I find it ironic that the hero who faced down his enemies in war and won this”—and she dangled [his medal] before him—“is so very afraid of me.” And she curtsied before she turned her back on him and departed, because God help her, she didn’t want her father to think she was a peasant.
Jonathan races over to Tommy’s place the first chance he gets. While he had hoped the Duke would not treat her as expected, he needs to know. He finds her at her most vulnerable. He asks after the interview and Tommy breaks down crying.
While the tears alarm Jonathan, he does everything he can to comfort her. Offering her the shelter of his arms to express her vulnerability.
And that’s when Jonathan knew, with surprise and a certain distant fatal amusement, that he was sunk. So this is what it feels like, he wondered. It’s horrible and magnificent all at once. And it’s even a little funny, given that she doesn’t love you. This, he realized, didn’t matter.
Now the Duke that brought Tommy so low is a dinner guest at the Redmond house. Jonathan was told to be there so he is. But he’s mad and wants to get more of the Duke’s measure. When talk turns to the mill, Jonathan brings up the children who are employed there.
That they’re caned and shackled if they’re perceived to be misbehaving. They often lose their hair in the machinery. Or their lives. “Jonathan . . .” his mother warned again. Violet shushed her mother with an irritated wave of her hand. She was watching Jonathan in dropped-mouth avid glee.
The Duke, as all privileged men act, say it’s for their own good. The lower classes need to be reminded of their station and naughy children need to be punished. Besides this is a common practice, the factory makes the profit it does because of the cheap labor. The children are paid...not much...but still paid.
Jonathan pretended to mull this. “You’re right, of course. And it’s not just orphans who work for the mills. I understand that occasionally the unwanted illegitimate children of wealthy influential men end up in workhouses.” And suddenly the silence was charged with something threatening and dark. The duke had walked into a trap, and was only just realizing it.
Jonathan exerts more pressure on the duke...
Jonathan stared at him. Neither blinked. “Evil bastard,” Jonathan said thoughtfully. A gasp went up. Every head at the stable shot up and pivoted toward Jonathan. Then whipped toward the duke. Violet looked more cheerful than she had in weeks. Clearly she should have been requesting a little controversy when she’d been asking for marzipan.
Suddenly, Violent turns white and tells everyone something is wrong.
She’s gone into early labor. The baby is breech and the Vicar (one Adam Slyvaine) is called, which cannot be a good sign.
Would it take the death of one of his children for Isaiah to realize that love was the only important thing? And then Jonathan remembered what that horrible Gypsy girl had said. She will break hearts.
Dear listeners, please breath. Romance is all about Happily Ever Afters and Violet and her earl are not about to be cut short. Both mother and child survive the ordeal and Jonathan has a new view of life. Afterall, he vowed his father would not win
He wanted to be a man [Tommy] admired. The way he admired her. He wanted her to think of him as brave. He wanted to be better because of her, and for her. He was better because of her. She’d changed him irrevocably. And it occurred to him that the moments in which he had felt most worthy were because of her. Of comforting a little boy. Or holding her while she wept.
In London, Tommy is lost without Jonathan. Argosy, who has been trying valiantly to get her attention, notices that she’s searching for him.
Then Tommy is proposed to by a Viscount (The same Viscount who gave the pearls she used to finance Jonathan’s printing adventure). Not what she was expecting (she had turned him down as mistress saying that the price of her body was his name) but it does give her options. She begs time to make a decision.
That night Jonathan shows up at her place telling her all about Violet’s near miss.
I’ve never felt so useless in my entire life.” A faint whiff of bitterness there. “Never think that,” she said with low ferocity. “If only you knew . . . how important you are. How good you are. How necessary you are. To the people who love you.” To me. To me. To me.
And these words, with this new urgency lead us to Encounter number 2 where they finally sleep together.
“Right side up, upside down, sideways, sitting, standing. You on top. Then me on top.” “A brilliant plan.” His shirt fell from his shoulders. Oh, his shoulders. The vast glorious curve of them. She couldn’t wait to lick one. “Backward, forward. On the bed, on the table, on the settee.” He paused, and lifted her dress off over her head with all the ceremony of an unveiling. It fell to the floor. “And then?” she whispered. “And then we’ll do it all over again.”
This leads us to Encounter 3 and encounter 4.
As they two take a break from each other, Isaiah Redmond finds Tommy. He tells her to leave his son be. If she doesn’t he’ll cut Jonathan off for good. Not just financially but also from his family.
“Didn’t you threaten another son, Mr. Redmond, with something very similar? Tell me, will he be dining at your table this evening? Will you see him tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day? Or did he, in fact, disappear entirely?”
However, Tommy has a lot to think over. Afterall she loves Jonathan. Enough to know that is family is everything to him. As she’s thinking this over, Jonathan comes back for Encounter 5.
After this encounter, Tommy tries to distance herself from him. Jonathan knows his father has gotten to her. Fucking Isaiah Redmond.
“My father won’t win, Tommy. I will.” He said it quietly, evenly. It thrummed with the conviction of a blood vow. “I’ll have everything I want. And so will you. You just have to decide whether you trust me. And whether you love me more than you fear the future.” They stared at each other in furious weighted silence.
The two part ways for the time being. Tommy is trying to decide if she trusts Jonathan or if she should marry the Viscount for security.
Jonathan on the other hand is moving his chess pieces around the board.
The playing cards have orders from all over the place. Tommy’s investment is going to pay off big time. And they’re getting orders in for color printings of all kinds of things. Included special additions of Miles Redmond’s book.
And in every waking moment, in every step he took, Jonathan quietly seethed with purpose. And when his investment in the recent silks cargo finally paid off—nearly triple the original investment—Jonathan Redmond realized he was, officially and quite apart from his family’s money, wealthy. Modestly, yes. Certainly not Isaiah Redmond wealthy. Yet. But it was all his.
So he takes his new wealth and the prospective profits from his share in the printing and approaches the solicitor of the mill that the Mercury Club and the Duke of Greyfolk have been trying to purchase. So far they have not been able to get the deal finalized.
Even to Jonathan the solicitor seems unwilling to sell. Granted Jonathan’s deal is not a full price offer. There is some payments that will need to be made and he tells his straight up that he plans to quickly phase out the practicee of child labor at the mill. However, there is an even bigger trump card.
The solicitor spills some water and Jonathan offers him his handkerchief to clean it up. The man recognized the initials. Turns out he was the man Jonathan saved outside the gaming hell!
“It’s the oddest thing, Mr. Redmond, but I’ve been inscrutable about my reluctance to sell the mill to certain parties, and it’s . . . for the very reasons you cited. That mill is a moral burden to me. I loathe the use of child labor. And the only way children will be treated more humanely, that things will change, is if passionate, influential individuals fight for stronger laws.
He even encourages Jonathan to run for Parliament on the platform of eliminating child labor. He’d for sure have his vote.
Jonathan finally meets with his father. Afterall, the day of his supposed selection of bride by the turn of the card is upon us.
He gives his father a special edition deck telling his father to turn over the first card. It’s the Queen of Hearts and features one Thomasina de Ballesteros.
He also tells his father he is the owner of the mill his father wanted so badly. Then he lays down his conditions.
You will love her. You will receive her in this house. And you will allow Cynthia Brightly into this house. And you will love her, too, because I love her, and Miles loves her, and Violet loves her. Because it is you, Father, who has caused the upheaval and division in your family. You who are causing your own unhappiness with your attempts to make yourself happy. Not your children. You. And the only thing that matters in life is that you have people to love. Surely, somewhere inside you, you know this.”
After that display, Jonathan leaves to actually have the conversion with Tommy.
Oh and the playing cards were a hit. Including the special edition deck featuring Jonathan Redmond’s chosen bride and only her.
He tells her that he drew his bride.
“Look at it, Tommy.” he ordered. When it appeared she never would. So she looked. And then she looked harder. It was the Queen of Hearts. She was wearing a green dress, and her eyes were a vivid green rimmed round in gray, and she had a little pointed chin and delicate slashes of eyebrows.
Tommy has a surprise of her own.
“When you deposited the money in my account, I used all of it to buy [the pearls] back from Exley & Morrow. I’ll have them returned to Prescott tomorrow.” And the dawning of realization on his face was glorious. “You believed in me,” he said slowly. “You trusted me.” “Of course I did. That, and I love you more than life itself.”
Then they get busy with all the children Jonathan is supposed to have.
Oh, but there is an epilogue.
Pennyroyal is all about the gossip. The banns have been read for Tommy and Jonathan but so far no one has seen Jonathan even speak to his father in public nor be welcome in his house.
However, on the day of Ruby’s christening (Violent and Ardmay’s daughter) it’s pouring rain after the ceremony.
As the Redmond clan is standing outside of the church. Isaiah turns to his sons and says why don’t the four ladies go home in the carriage. We’ll wait it out the rain at the pub.
And thus, Jonathan gets his way.
And briefly we see the Duke of Greyfolk receive a package.
This gave me courage when I needed it. I hope it will remind you of how brave you can be. He parted the layers of tissue and stopped when he caught a glimpse of red.