Sunday, 23 December 2012

237: The Noble Art

Camilla loved Christmas but she really loved Boxing Day.  It was her day, the one day of the year she was able to shine and show her family and friends what she could do.  Every other day it was “men only” for her and all Victorian young ladies, but on 26th December Camilla put on her outfit and joined in.

Father invited all the ladies from the area to Camilla’s Boxing Day event.  Few were as capable as she but most were happy to have a try.  The chance to do as the boys do was just too enticing.  From the looks on their faces, some of their mothers wished they could join in too.

Camilla had Rogers and his staff set up in the dining room.  There was plenty of room for rows of chair and yet still allow waiting staff to move freely amongst the guests offering refreshments.  Afterwards there would be space to mingle and chat with the most important families and the chairs could be rearranged so the ladies wouldn’t be forced to stand for too long.

Camilla spent many weeks deciding who should be paired with whom.  It was a delicate task, so hard to do correctly and so easy to ruin with a single incorrect pairing.  Plus of course, there was ability and position to be taken into account together.  Some of the young ladies couldn’t be relied upon to observe the rules of etiquette in the heat of the moment, so Camilla had to make sure there was no risk of anyone offending those they could not afford to offend.  And she would be held partly accountable too, meaning her season may be sparse if there were too many errors on Boxing Day.

Father hosted the evening and Camilla would always take part the in final event of the night.  Rounds would begin with the least affluent then progress to the most affluent young ladies in the area and Camilla was easily the wealthiest young lady in the county. 

And, unvanquished for six seasons, she was also easily the best boxer.

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