Congratulations, YOU HAVE FOUND A HIDDEN FILE. Go ahead and read if you like, but please keep in mind that I have hidden these for a reason. These are bad or controversial works that I am more ashamed of than my other work ... or in the words of Shakespeare
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended—
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.

Disclaimer 1: Most of this is fanfic. That means I do not own any of it. I just borrow it to play with for a little while and let people see the pathetic results if they really want to.

Disclaimer 2: I'm not making any money from it. It's just for fun.

Disclaimer 3: What isn't borrowed is all made up. None of this is real or most likely at all realistic. Please don't trust any of the information in here. Most likely you know more about whatever I'm writing about than I do.

Disclaimer 4: Attitudes, views and opinions expressed by the characters or in the story are not necessarily those of the author. Even when writing Science Fiction or Fantasy I do not tend to attempt to create perfect/better worlds in which everybody gets a happy end ... or whatever is best for them. Please accept that some characters will have a bad ending or be unhappy.

Disclaimer 5: I intend no insult to anyone. If I offend anyone I'm very sorry. Please understand that it was an accident as I tend to be very clumsy in these things.

Disclaimer 6: If my characters' conversations seem odd or they appear to be talking past each other the latter might occasionally be intentional, but most likely it is an accident and I'm not aware that they are. It's just my bad communication skills.


Disclaimer: Not mine, I just like to play with them for a little while.

Notes: The thing is, I couldn't get Lord Darracott's shock at the idea of his grandson and heir having been transported out of my mind and thus was born a plot hedgehog to get one of his grandsons transported for real ... not Hugo, though, and not the recently saved Richmond either. At first glance it seemed easy enough to have Vincent transported for debt, but wait, if nobody else Hugo surely would lend him the money before it came to that. Thus, well, it all became Prinny's fault.



Chapter 3: Claude Takes Charge?

It might require some nerve to visit Newgate and for a gentleman like Claude it might even be more humiliating than for a servant, but on the other hand Claude would never have to seek employment and the family name would be associated with Newgate either way now.

Besides Vincent was his brother and despite all the sibling rivalry there had been good times in the old Darracott nursery as well.

Claude felt a lot less hesitation to visit the prison than Crimplesham did in any case. He filled a purse with a considerable amount of money, hoping that his mother would see to it that he was compensated for the loss out of Vincent's allowance once she learned of the emergency and how bravely and competently her much maligned younger son had met it and set out.

Indeed it must be said that Claude for all his fear of brutes like the redoubtable Ned Ackleton and inability to see blood faced his first trip to and into Newgate quite bravely faltering only once when he passed the gallows outside the building.

The thought that but for the usually lavishly granted mercy of the King - or most likely actually whoever prepared the required documents for the Prince Regent to sign - his brother would be sure to shamefully end his life in that very spot ... Claude shuddered, fixed his eyes on the ground and went on.

The next shock met him when they unlocked the door to Vincent's cell for him and he could see what the place actually looked like. Sure after Crimplesham's talk of sleeping on straw Claude's expectations hadn't been high, but this?

Vincent, still in irons, so clearly the money he was bringing was much needed, lay face down on a stone slab covered with a frightfully thin layer of straw. There was a bucket in a corner and ... a tiny barred up window on the wall high above it and that was all.

What was even worse was that the pathetic figure on the slab didn't even move when the door opened and closed again with a bang of heavy metal on metal.

"Vincent?" Claude ventured a little hesitantly.

Nevertheless that much softer sound got a reaction. Vincent's face turned towards him, dirty, unshaven and looking like he hadn't slept a wink.

Well, Claude decided, that wasn't surprising. Who'd be able to sleep under such conditions?

"Claude?" His voice sounded strange as well, toneless and empty, nothing at all like Claude was used to. "Whatever are you doing here?"

The chains caught and clanked as he set up stiffly.

"Come to see whether you need anything?" Claude suggested still very hesitantly. He wasn't sure how to deal with Vincent in this state. "Crimplesham couldn't reach our parents. Father will get you out of here once he learns of it. You know how much influence he has."

"Father? Hardly. There's only one man who can help me now."

"Oh, who's that?" Claude asked stupidly.

"The Prince Regent, Slow-top"

That almost sounded like the old Vincent at least.

"Oh, I'm not sure I can get him, but I could try if you want me to. I think Father might stand a better chance to get an audience, though."

"No. No. But there is someone that does," Vincent said and Claude wasn't sure whether he was talking to him or to himself.

Almost without a conscious decision he gave up his place right next to the door and walked over to put his hand on Vincent's forehead. No, at least he wasn't burning hot. That was something at least, right?

"What?" Vincent demanded.

"Nothing," Claude replied sitting down on the slab beside him. "I just thought ... Well, it wouldn't be surprising if you'd caught a chill lying on that cold slab all night."

Vincent snorted. "If only!"


It didn't make sense for Vincent to want to have caught his death ... unless he hoped to avert the scandal by dying before the trial?

"You don't want to see where I spent the night. This is luxury."

Claude cast another look around at the grimy walls. They hadn't suddenly turned any prettier from the change of perspective.

"At least they tell me this is as luxurious as the place has to offer," Vincent elaborated.


"Claude ... Can I trust you?"

"Of course!"

Did Vincent really think Claude would let him hang if he could do anything to prevent it?

"Then listen, nobody must ever hear of this, not even Mother."

Claude nodded wide-eyed, hoping very much that it would be something simple that their mother would never think to ask about.

"I need you to go to the Daffy Club and ... no, you aren't a member and don't look the part. You'd draw too much attention there. Do you know where Desartes lives?"

"The Goblin-Prince?" Claude gasped.

Vincent nodded.

"The Desartes town-house. Grosvenor square? Somewhere thereabouts. I can find out."

"Do it discretely. I don't want you to be connected with him, but I need to get a message to him, so try to get there without being seen."

Of course. Desartes was friends with the Prince Regent and perhaps he owed Vincent a favour? Claude fondly hoped so.

"Right, get there unnoticed, ask for help, right?"

"No! Tell him ... Tell him I may not have gotten away, but I did succeed."

"Eh?" That didn't make any sense. Of course Vincent often said things that didn't to Claude, but surely this couldn't mean anything to Desartes either?

"Never mind what it means, he'll know. But before you do that, tell Crimplesham to bring me ..."

"Crimplesham won't set foot in here. He has quite the horror of the place. Says he'll never get a job again if it gets around that he's been here and I suppose he does have a point since he will have to find other employment if you should be ..."

"Damn him." But there was no heart in it much to Claude's distress.

"I'll bring it," Claude promised. "What do you want?"

"Clean clothes, a razor, blankets ... and in two or three days money, but you'll have to take that request to Father of course."

Claude sheepishly pulled out the prepared purse and dropped it into Vincent's lap.

"Money's the one thing I did bring. Crimplesham didn't know how much you had on you."

"At the rate they're asking for it so far enough to keep my luxury apartment for two more days, but thank you. I really don't want to be thrown back where I spent the night."

Claude nodded. "Don't you want the chains off as well? Crimplesham said you can buy that, too."

Vincent shook his head.

"That's the Fleet," he explained. "Here they tell their prisoners from the visitors by the chains. You can buy them off for the trial, but not outside of that."

"God." Claude said once again.

He'd never realised how much he loved his brother before. Funny that.

Matthew Darracott was not in the least pleased to be informed that his first-born's valet desired a private interview with him. It seemed improper and not quite befitting the dignity his office required.

"What about?" he demanded of his butler.

"I do not know," Sour replied with dignity. "He was most positive that you would not think it proper of him to inform anyone but yourself or the Mistress and I felt that under those circumstances it would be best to leave it to your discretion."

It left Matthew rather out of his depth and wishing he could consult his wife on the matter, but he supposed that asking to see her before he made a decision would make him appear weak in front of his servants so he agreed to see Crimplesham and found himself plunged even deeper into indecision.

What in the world was a member of the government to do if his son was arrested? And not for debt! That at least had ample precedent and while not the best for a man's reputation could be lived down. But a felony?

"Master Claude has been to see him and brought him some items he requested so there is no pressing need to do anything today," Crimplesham offered helpfully.

"I ... Well, I am too shocked to think and I have an engagement tonight. I cannot attend to this until tomorrow," he declared and sent the valet off before he remembered that with Vincent in prison the man had nothing to do.

Still Matthew didn't know what to do about that so he decided it was all for the best and went to get the advice of his wife. Lady Aurelia Darracott went very stiff and pale at the news, but didn't falter.

"I see why you are finding it difficult to decide our next move. It is of course entirely out of the question that either of us could go to see him in such a place. It would be most detrimental to your career."

"But it will become public knowledge anyway!" Matthew exclaimed. "There is no preventing that!"

"Indeed and it will damage your career even if you cast Vincent off entirely, though that would mitigate the damage to you. On the other hand it will deprive Vincent of all the support we could give him and your position might be the only thing that might lend sufficient weight to save him if he is found guilty. Besides someone will have to provide legal counsel and you cannot pay for that if you cast him off."

"Surely my father's request should have enough weight with His Majesty," Matthew ventured.

Casting Vincent off was certainly easy enough to do and the boy had given him nothing but cause for worry for years, but still it seemed a rather heartless thing to do over a mere stupidity. If he could be sure that Vincent would get out of this fix without his help, however ...

"It might be for the best to let Hugh take the matter in hand," Lady Aurelia declared. "He is most skilled at handling crises of a delicate nature and can afford to pay for the counsel. Besides he may have connections he can call on that we know nothing of."

"Then it is decided. I will disown Vincent and you will write to our nephew and inform him of the situation."

"Sir, a Mr. Darracott wants to see you. Shall I let him in?"

George Desartes looked up from the letter he was writing to his sister with a touch of surprise. They'd agreed on the Daffy Club as their meeting place after all and he'd spent a lot more time than he'd wanted to there yesterday. Then again what did it matter where if that horrid little affair was only finally settled.

He honestly liked Vincent Darracott and that wasn't something Georgie, as his so-called intimate friends called him, could say of a lot of people. Darracott could meet his eyes without flinching. Georgie liked that in a man and Olivia would hardly feel neglected if he finished his description of Melville's little grey mare in an hour or two. She was only of passing interest anyway, a nice little horse, but hardly the type Georgie would care to own. He wouldn't drive a grey of course and she wouldn't fit his breeding efforts either.

"Of course, send him straight in."

"In here, Sir? Don't you mean into the blue saloon or ..."

"In here, Simmons." He did not intend to be ceremonious,but came to regret that decision the moment he saw his guest.

Of course, how could he ever have guessed his butler meant Claude Darracott? He'd been vaguely aware of the existence of Vincent's fashion doll brother, of course, but had never so much as exchanged two words with him. How the hell it might have come that he suddenly found himself the recipient of a personal visit from the man was an inexplicable mystery.

"Well, this is unexpected," he commented accordingly. "To what do I owe the ... honour of your visit?"

If Claude noticed the implied insult he gave no sign of it.

"Awfully sorry to disturb you at this hour," he babbled rather nervously, but Georgie was used to that. People tended to get nervous when he fixed his eyes on them, especially when they weren't used to it. "I know it isn't at all the done thing. Only I promised to do this without being seen, you see."

"Did you now?" Georgie purred. "Whom did you promise such an extraordinary thing?"

"M ... my brother ... Well, he said to visit you at home without being seen and give you a message. I really don't know what it's all about I'm afraid. Didn't even know he knew you at all."

"Well, he does," Georgie stated. "Well enough that I wouldn't have minded him showing up here at this hour, at least, - seen or unseen."

"Oh, I suppose he probably would have if he could. Except now that I think about it I think that he probably wouldn't because he was going to send me to the Daffy Club only then he thought better of it on account of me not being a member, you see."

"Indeed," Georgie decided to try his head-tilt on Claude to see whether it had the same effect on him as on his brother.

It failed, but then Vincent would stroll off-topic deliberately to tease you. Claude he was beginning to suspect was simply babbling out every thought that passed through his head without any intent or direction at all.

"Well, what would I do there? Boxing's not at all my thing, you know. Never has been. I'm just not built for it the way Vincent is and I don't like the sight of blood. Never did and ..."

"Darracott!" Georgie snapped. He'd have to discuss this with Vincent. He simply couldn't call both of them Darracott if he was going to carry on an acquaintance with both brothers. "Get to the point!"

"Point? What point? Is there a point to this?"

"Obviously not," Georgie started dryly. "But I believe that you did say that there was a message?"

"Ah yes, my brother gave me a message for you. I haven't got the faintest idea why or what it means, but ..."

"Then what is the message?"

Claude screwed up his face, clearly thinking hard.

"He said to tell you ... tell you ... he may not have gotten away, but he did succeed. Does that mean anything to you? Because I in his place would have sent you a very different message if I knew you, but of course I don't and I'm not in his place. Really wouldn't want to be."

"Oi! Darracott junior! Do you always babble on like that?"


"What exactly happened to your brother?"


"He says he didn't get away, you said he couldn't come here himself, nor apparently could he come to the Daffy Club. Why?"

"Why, I have no idea what he means by getting away, or rather not having done so, but he can't come here because ... Maybe I oughtn't to tell you. I doubt we should let anyone outside the family know."

"Darracott, how do you expect me to help you if you don't tell me what's going on?"

"I don't," Claude pointed out. "That is Vincent didn't ask you for help. That is the very thing I don't understand about the message. I must say if I were the one that got himself arrested I certainly would. I thought that's what he wanted when he told me to go to you, but then he gave me that message instead. And I swear he didn't have a fever. At least he didn't feel at all hot to me. Wasn't drunk either."

"And it never occurred to you that he might expect you to tell me both?" Georgie asked mildly. Indeed this was a rare fool. It was hard to believe that he and Vincent Darracott were really brothers. He'd have to take a closer look at their father some day and make sure they both resembled him. "So he's been arrested, you say. Maybe if you tell me what for I might be able to do something about it."

"Well," Claude admitted looking rather bleak. "I'm not sure anyone can do anything about it right now. You see, technically he is guilty and well, you know if it does come to that and he is found guilty ..."

"Guilty of what exactly, Darracott junior? What did he do?"

"Going about with his face blackened," Claude admitted with a wince. "But he was just going to a masquerade. Only I really don't understand why he didn't use a stocking instead. That's what Polyfant suggested when my Cousin Richmond had blackened his face and I must say I was most put out when they ruined my stocking, but really I'd gladly sacrifice all my stockings not to have to spend a single night in Newgate. I ... have you ever seen the place? I don't know how Vincent can stand it!"

Going about with his face blackened? And excusing it with a masquerade? Georgie only hoped that there really had been a masquerade that Vincent had been expected to attend that evening or he'd be in serious trouble.

'I should have gone with him,' he thought. But of course Prinny would not have liked that.

"Well, if that is all, hopefully it will amuse the jury enough to let him go. Where was that masquerade?"

"Where ... oh, I have no idea. You'd have to ask Vincent or Crimplesham, I expect. He's the one that told me of it in any case. I wonder ..."

"Hold on. Do you mean that you haven't actually seen your brother yourself?"

"Oh no, of course I've seen him. That's when he gave me the message and I saw Newgate and the gallows and ... and ..."

"That's alright. We won't let him hang. If the jury won't let him off, Prinny is sure to. I'll see to that."

"Oh, but the place is not fit for rats to live in!" Claude exclaimed. "It's filthy and dark and they only gave him a cold stone slab and some straw to sleep on and he is sure to catch his death and they won't take off the chains and ..."

"I'll try to see Prinny as soon as possible, but I don't think even he can do anything until after he has been sentenced. When are the next sessions anyway?"

"Sessions? What sessions? Of parliament you mean? You really ought to ask my father that. He ..."

"Of the Old Bailey! You know, jail delivery? When your brother's case will be heard?"

"Oh, I never thought of that!"

"Have you thought to notify your family's lawyer?"

Claude started at him.

"Well," Georgie declared. "You are one capital moon-calf. I suppose I will have to take this matter in hand, but even you have to see that I cannot appear in this matter personally or it will make even more of a stir. So sit down and tell me everything you have and haven't done. You are going to be my agent."

"A...agent? But I'm not fit for any kind of work! I wouldn't know where to start!"

"I'll tell you all that. It'll be just like bringing me you brother's message. Except this time the messages will be from me and you will pretend that they are your own - or your brother's. Whichever people are more likely to believe."

It was a very long morning, but Darracott junior, shortened to Junior sometime during the process, finally left the house after lunch and Georgie felt halfway confident that he would remember the task he had been set. Now for the Prince Regent.

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