Lord Handkerchief enjoys a life of luxury belonging to his suitor, Lord Yang. When Lord Handkerchief falls from the suit of Lord Yang during a night of entertainment, he finds himself in the presence of Lance Sterling, a working man, who has only heard stories of Lord Handkerchief never being able to afford him. For three days he lives with the Sterling’s where he finds himself faced with a decision, should he return to a life of luxury or engage in one of the most scandalous acts of his life to stay with the Sterling’s and live.
Chapter 1: The Suitor and his Hanky
Chapter 2: Lord Chi Yang
Chapter 3: The Picking Up of Lord Handkerchief
Chapter 4: Unsuitable Conditions
Chapter 5: A Boy Makes a Child’s Mistake
Chapter 6: Lord Handkerchief
Chapter 7: Bobby Does Well
Chapter 8: Bobby Forgets
Chapter 9: The Wealth of Lance Sterling
Chapter 10: A Wife Remains Silent
Chapter 11: Morning Whispers
Chapter 12: A Decision of Scandalous Proportions
Chapter 1: The Suitor and his Hanky
Lord Handkerchief, an awfully handsome handkerchief I might add, belonged to Lord Yang of the house of Blacksmith located west of Hinsdale. He often accompanied Lord Yang during visits to Lodge Court of Hinsdale, home to Madame Lanette, to discuss the most important matters of finance. Lord Yang was Madame Lanette’s business partner and sole financier. He served in this role for many years and was used to working with the head strong head of court who had a low tolerance for budgets and a very large appetite for all things new.
Lord Handkerchief was a handsome cloth, which of course needs to be repeated to emphasize his handsomeness. He was made from the finest silk found only in Raniere Lords, the finest retail of men’s fashion located in the District of Bloom in Hinsdale. Having been imported from France, Lord Handkerchief suited Monsieur Yang perfectly; for both man and hanky possessed an air of sophistication and desired the finer things in life.
Lord Handkerchief was not for sneezing, coughing, or touching. His sole purpose in life was to sit in the suit of his lord to attract the eye of fellow financiers and those gathering in court for business. Lord Yang took pride in his handkerchief’s appearance sending him daily to be steam-dried and pressed, enjoying the good life and never ever hand washed.
On occasions and in the presence of less fortunate handkerchiefs who themselves were hand washed and dried and whose fabrics often revealed such brutality, Lord handkerchief found himself a bit flustered becoming well, a bit perturbed; for he believed that these “handkermiffs” or “cottonaire’s” belonged elsewhere and not in his presence and immediately made his feelings known to those who dared to stand within feet of him. For all cottonaire’s knew the sound of “um-hume,” the clearing of Lord Handkerchiefs throat, which was quickly followed by any and all cottonaire’s immediate removal from his presence and a return to a mental PH balance to Lord Handkerchief.
On the evening of May 30, Lord Handkerchief gathered at Lodge Court to dine with Madame Lanette, her husband Lord Wellington and guests. Lord Wellington was the fifth cousin removed from the Wells family, owners of several estates and of enormous wealth. Having been recently seated at the dinner table, Lord Handkerchief found himself in the presence of Lady Jasper, the most distinguished daughter of Lady Agnes Roberts and cousin to Madame Lanette.
Lady Jasper sat next to Lord Yang at the bequest of Madame who thought the seating arrangements were most appropriate for what better potential suitor than Lord Yang who most undoubtedly would take charge of Lady Jasper’s finances keeping her from claiming inheritance entitlements against the purse of Madame Lanette; thus, reducing her shopping sprees by one or two.
Madame Lanette and Lord Yang dined at table 1b which so happened to be M. Lanette’s favorite table for no other reason than M. Lanette needing something to favor. A total of eight circular tables sat exuberating light from the most beautifully sculptured candles. Each table’s ambiance revealed a most splendid white and gold theme. Orchards and Magnolias surrounded each table in a most elegant display of opulence. Silk table cloths draped down with center pieces of Bud Orange Roses, a contrast to the beautiful array of all white Almond Blossoms, Carnations, Hyacinth, and roses. Gold salad plates sat upon opulent white colored china service plates. White and gold laced napkins sat perfectly folded to the left of dinner plates. Bread plates sat directly above salad and dinner forks. Three glasses sat still, two in which were to ensure a most entertaining evening. Every detail was absolutely perfect. The orchestra of Seńorita Madeline Romano played in the background.
The night’s temperature sat comfortably at 80 degrees. Laughter filled the air as glasses rose. Not one cloud dared to peak down on this grand event. Lake Bell sat feet away from the estate to the right of Table 3b occasionally waving hello. The sweet smells of flowers, Chicken Corden Bleu and Meńot y Meńot were served by the most attentive attendants. All in attendance and who had all by the way frequented M. Lanette’s home many times concured that this evening’s dinner should undoubtedly be repeated.
As the evening carried on with a spectacular night of entertainment, Lord Handkerchief found himself in the most peculiar situation; as Lady Jasper set about to remove herself from the table to powder her nose, she slipped grabbing the arm of Lord Yang and as he held her in his arms momentarily frozen by her beauty, he did not hear the cries of Lord Handkerchief falling. And it was the falling of Lord Handkerchief that would change his life forever and a day.
Chapter 2: Lord Chi Yang
Lord Yang’s impeccable appearance is quite the contrast to his humble beginnings. Born Chi Yang, Lord Yang was raised by his maternal grandmother Sue-Li (Gren-gren) and grandfather Fen-Young (Pa-pa) in Pindao, a village in rural China. His parents, viewed more as siblings and poor migrated for work leaving Chi with his grandparents for his care and schooling.
At the age of seven his beloved grandmother died. Chi was absolutely devastated and needed to be carried away from her side. For he loved Gren-gren who’d spent countless hours helping him develop his character strokes and telling him the tales of Xi-Pang, the Emperor who guarded little boys and girls from Xyhing-Tan, the bad spirit who lived amongst the clouds causing them to break traditions and disobey their parents.
In the beginning when Lord Yang longed for his parents more than his grandmother, she’d make his favorite meal, a soup of seasons, radish, and chicken; he’d feel better instantly. As the years passed by, Chi grew to accept his living arrangements and became quite proud of it; for no one in the village could make radish and chicken soup quite like Gren-gren and he began looking forward to the warmth of his favorite meal during the winters and Mung bean soup during the summers.
During the summer, his beloved grandmother would bring him to Xen Hill just outside their village. There she would hymn the sky song, while Chi took in the beauty of China and her captivating mountains. Lying on her lap, he would pretend he were a Black Baza rising high above the hills, landing occasionally to drink from Lake Qinghai and then off again to peek down on the birch forest in Heilongjiang. He would then travel over the valley of the nine valleys and the snow-capped mountains of Shangri-la and into the lingering clouds of the Yellow Mountains before visiting Badaling. Gren-gren gave Lord Yang a sense of escapism from the wooden damp structure called home whose walls gave him no reason to stay other than duty and instilled in him a contradiction of sorts; during your flight away from China take her with you.
Two years after Gren-gren’s death, sorrow would once again visit. The great river valley of Huanghe provided Chi’s parents with steady income sent home for his care . The Monsoon had brought excessively heavy rains causing the destruction of homes and crops. Chi’s parents were swept away when the dikes surrounding their village gave way to the large amount of rain fall. Pa-pa did his best to comfort Chi who now understood why elders across China referred to the river as “China’s Sorrow,” and the two of them began to rely on each other for care for Pa-pa too longed for Gren-gren and his children.
Daily life with Pa-pa begin with breakfast at 7:00 a.m. with Chi leaving at 7:30 a.m. for school. Classes started at 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. Chi would arrive home each day for lunch about 12:30 p.m. somedays later, depending upon how fast his young legs could walk. He would walk the distance with his best friend Ming, an only child who never ceased to talk and found excitement in almost anything including rocks. Ming, the complete opposite of the tall, shy, thin Chi preferred to listen than speak. Classes resumed at 2:00 pm until 5:00 p.m.
Over the years, life eased for them when the government re-distributed land. Pa-Pa became an instant land owner and was permitted to start his own farming business. They were finally able to acquire a small dining table and new pots from town, one of Gren-gren‘s wishes for quite some time.
Chi was in charge of keeping their home orderly, a position that he was quite proud of for it once belonged to his grandmother. Some days Pa-pa would come in rambling about his day dropping his belongings every which way and the ever so patient Chi would simply pick them up and place them in the laundry basket. Chi’s temperament mimicked Gren-gren’s who worried about nothing and believed that order and meditation were essential for a clear mind vital in seeking solutions to all problems.
One day while glancing over his financial transactions, Chi’s grandfather sat perplexed as to the error he could not find but was sure existed in this month’s record. He begin to meditate and when he opened his eyes having a mind free of all frustrations, he begin to search again when Chi, very aware of his grandfather’s moods asked if he could be of assistance. Chi excelled in all subjects but particularly in mathematics and immediately found the error and several others. His proud grandfather appointed his 12 year old grandson the family’s accountant overseeing all transactions and payroll for ten employees.
When Chi was not accounting or finding time to spend with Ming, he studied to place in Qui, the esteemed high school of mathematics. There were days; however, when he simply needed a break from studying missing his parents and grandmother. On these days he would visit Xen Hill and find solace hearing the sounds of the wind and seeing his flying friends as he was sure one of them was Gren-gren watching over him. Over time; however, the loss of his loved ones seemed to cause about a change within Chi who did not notice a change was taking place. He began spending more and more time studying and less with Ming and Pa-pa. Studying became his reason for living. Even the new pots, once prided had become nothing more than acquisitions. For his young heart who loved him more than anything had now become a shield, a protector against sorrow sure to visit once again with the passing of his cherished grandfather, next in line.
After two very long years of study, Chi placed second in his class and was immediately accepted into Qui where he graduated third in class. Chi and other scholars who placed in their classes, were summonsed to meet General Shan Meng Lou, the leader of the New Revolutionary party. General Lou acknowledged the young men for their accomplishments. He was a true believer of education and open to a limited number of students leaving the country to study.
Lord Yang had been aware of the Universite’ de Esprit, the premier Institute of Mathematics in France. Of course China offered the equivalent if not better study of mathematics, but he longed to see the world. He had read books about other cultures and Gren-gren told him stories of others from around the world and he believed that as long as he followed her advice, he could continue to bring honor to his parents and grandparents. With Pa-pa’s approval, Chi took their entry exam and was accepted immediately; infact, he’d performed so well that the Institute not only traveled to his home to meet him but provided funding for his travels and a handsome stipend which allowed him to pay the year’s salary for their employees.
Pa-pa became very sick during Chi’s third year at the institute; for he lived a long long time. Chi knew that his grandfather would be passing soon and requested a leave of absence to return home to care for him. On the third day and after he had spoken of his last wish for the land, he passed away. He was buried next to Gren-gren. Ming blessed Pa-pa’s passing. Chi left the land temporarily to him having no kin and returned to the institute. Ming wished him a thousand blessings.
Upon his return and after some time, three events would mold Chi into the Lord Yang we know today. First, for the first time in his life and with persons whose upbringings yielded no need of escapism as his, he began frequenting the homes of France’s elite learning to appreciate the finer things in life. Second, he would befriend Lord Fredrico Manuel Mendez, heir to London’s premier restaurant empire, who knew of a friend, who knew of a friend, who knew of a friend who knew Madame Lanette and who thought that Lord Yang’s calm personality would simply be suitable for the carefree Madame who had caused about six resignations in one year! There would be no interview however. One does not “interview” a man from Esprit. Fees were also not discussed. Lord Yang would be considered a partner of business. He would assist in keeping her as wealthy as she needed to be and he would be compensated with whatever was needed to ensure it. Finally, Chi’s entrance into the institute would change his social status; for he would no longer be referred to as Chi but rather Lord Yang as all the other monsieur’s in attendance and later Lord Yang of Blacksmith, the estate he would purchase with his first fee from Madame Lanette.
After graduation, Lord Yang moved onto Madame’s estate, a temporary course of action and set about managing her finances. Almost immediately the ever so patient Lord found himself relying on his beloved grandmother’s mediation to combat the infamous “scruple loss,” a disease of mind experienced by former business associates who could not believe or control the purchases of Madame Lanette whose only care in the world was personal hygiene and a sense of pleasure in the form of purchases-many many purchases, for on a good day she could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on things. In fact, Madame Lanette’s purchase endeavors were so many and so grand that Lord Yang found himself too busy to form partnerships with other financially sound families, and the longer he stayed with Madame Lanette, the more he was sought after; for, anyone who could last more than four months with Madame must be sent from heaven, a financial God of sorts. Offers began pouring in promising twice more than whatever Madame Lanette contracted. This always caused about a great laugh for Lord Yang because what he required would evitable guarantee those promising such compensation, financial demise.
After the first quarter and an extensive search, Lord Yang purchased Blacksmith, an outstanding estate which happened to be not too far from Madame but far enough where acres of land could exist comfortably between them. Two Great Danes respectfully named Lord Philips and Lord Max roamed Blacksmith day and night being fierce good boys and compensated handsomely with the finest bones.
The main house, surrounded by manicured shrubs, a large marble swimming pool, fresh cut grass and beautiful rose gardens was more extravagant than the grandest hall. Tall trees watched over acres of land with thousands of flowers blooming fresh scents. Abutilons, Cosmos, Oleanders, Oxeye Daisy’s and Yarrows graced the grounds.
There were three guest houses. Each house contained pottery and relics from his beloved China along with large French doors, bay windows and solid oak bookshelves with readings from authors around the world. Large statues from Mexico, Africa, and Rome sat at the entry way of each home. Every detail was attended to.
Lord Yang’s impeccable taste and attention to detail were also displayed in his style of dress. Sir Pennings, owner of Raniere Lords and tailor to all persons who could afford his services developed suits, an unimaginable dream to the majority of country-men. These outstanding suits were impeccably made from the finest cloth and fitted his physique perfectly. Looks were finalized by either the company of Lord Handkerchief, Lord Handkerchief’s cousin Lord Olverton, or Lord Handkerchief’s much younger rival Sir Bebe. La Jacques provided his foot wear.