Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott 3: A ruse is a ruse is a ruse

In which Momsie will not take no for an answer.

Previously Momsie told Daughterkins she is to marry an English Lord come hell or highwater.

“But Daddykins said,” Mary-Mary Smith said to her mother, “I could be with whoever I wanted. I want Dills.”

“Whom, dear,” Momsie returned.

“Huh?” the daughter retorted.

“That’s whomever,” Moms answered. “not whoever, dear.


“Whomever,” Moms corrected her daughter. “As in Daddykins said I could be with whomever I wanted.”

“Oh, whatever,”

It was obvious that Mary-Mary Smith was not taken with the idea of entering into wedded blissfulness with some shriveled antique of an English lord with one foot in the grave and another right beside it in the cemetery. Rather she was more than eager to spend her life dilly-dallying with Dilly, which was not to be. Moms had put a nix on that. She had other plans for her nubile young daughter. Her daughter had reached her nubility only recently and Moms was not about to waste it.

What Margaret Smith desired, Margaret Smith desired very badly. What she desired very badly, she obtained come hell or high water. And what she wanted now was an English title in the family. She’d show her snobbish cousin, Thelmalina Pierpont, a thing or two. After ‘Lina had wed her daughter to a minor French nobleman, there had been no living with her. Now it was Margaret’s turn to show off her plumage and get her revenge. She, and her daughter Mary-Mary would be the Talk of New York Society, the family would have bragging rights up the bustle, and she would be put on the pedestal she felt she so richly deserved.

Unlike her good friend,. Mrs. Potiphar P. Josephs of the Banking Josephs. Alessandra’s daughter, Betsey, had run off with some buffoon of an archaeology professor. What an embarrassment that had been. How could Alessandra show her face in Society after that fiasco with her eldest?  Betsey might as well have joined P. T. Barnum and his circus of freaks.

“This is the only way that you will be acceptable in New York Society,” her Moms maintained. “Don’t you want that?”

“But, Moms …” our little Miss Brooklyn Heights whimpered her best whimper.

“Lord Dunnville Percival Wimpleseed-Prissypott of Haggismarshe has all sorts of titles and,” Moms voice rose with excitement, “he comes from one of the best of the best families around. You ought to be proud to be her ladyship. Think. A title and all that money your daddykins will give you for being such a very good daughter. Won’t that be grand?”

So Mary-Mary, little Miss Contrary, after quite a bit more persuading and cajoling and threatening and even more pleading, made her deal with the devil. Not that she had much choice. It was either that or disinheritance, and she had gotten way too used to satin undergarments and eating with a silver spoon in her mouth. She agreed to become the next Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott. She’d figure out a way to dally with her Dilly on the side


Before the nuptials could be nuptialized, Mother di Fussye-Pants and her Commission had to do their work. They had to create the Ruse. They had to make the prospective Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott, our little sweetheart from the Colonies, into nobility or there would be no noblesse oblige-ing for Miss Smith.

First on the agenda was to buy Mary-Mary a lineage. Now it didn’t matter what aristocracy they bought. It only mattered that they bought her lineage and a coat of arms for her linen. It was the way of things in the Merry Olde England of the 1800s. All the lords, and ladies, did it. They would find some imaginary country, fiefdom or principality that didn’t exist, preferably some place in Central Europe. Then they created a nobility for the place and made the chosen victim the cousin of this king or that tsar. Voilà, they were fit to marry.

So it came to pass that Miss Mary-Mary Smith of Brooklyn Heights became the Viscountess dat Renalla-Macedoni, Marye Caterina Olgastoya. She was but the latest from a long line of Olgastoyas and society could accept it or wonder the stoya why not.

Mary-Mary had a title and a first name that was difficult to pronounce until she met a Canadian who said, “So you’re Mary, eh?” All that was left was for her to acquire some British Society manners. For that, Mother di Fussye-Pants was on a ship and off for America. Within six weeks, Mother had Mary-Mary ship shape and up to snuff and ready for even the Queen. She would be the toast of London Society or Mother di Fussye-Pants wasn’t Mother di Fussye-Pants.

Shortly thereafter Sir Myles di Fussye-Pants stood in the House of Lords and announced the engagement and the  marriage of his dear friend and comrade-in-arms, Lord Dunnville Percival Wimpleseed-Prissypott of Haggismarshe. The packed House stood and applauded as if they were one lord.

“Finally,” Lord Tucksmyer said to his friend Baron Duffield.

After making the announcement, Sir Myles limped out of the Lords’ Chamber. He was stopped by Baron Duffield.

“I say, Myles,” Duffy exclaimed, “you have a limp. Have you been to the Front lately?”

“Groin wound, you know,” he answered. “Two-Ems.”

“Lucky bastard,” Duffy mumbled. “And to think I have Lady Duffield. She just won’t die. I’ll be in the cemetery before she is at this rate.”

Then Sir Myles was off to plan a bachelor celebration for his good friend.

Next Week: The Society Wedding To Beat All Society Weddings


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