Mallinson: How did you meet the lovely Miss Fairmont?
Lord Albert: At a garden party I almost didn’t attend. I don’t like to think what might have happened if we hadn’t met. If it weren’t for her, my leg would have been amputated.
Mallinson: Very fortunate! Was it love at first sight?
Lord Albert: Speaking for myself, yes.
Mallinson: What about Miss Fairmont?
Lord Albert: I can only speak for myself.
Mallinson: But I heard that she was briefly engaged to Lord Featherstone. His aunt leaked the information even though the banns were never read. Was there any contention between you and Lord Featherstone over that broken engagement?
Lord Albert: None to speak of. They were really more like business partners, working on homeopathic remedies and such.
Mallinson: Plus you were convalescing from your broken leg when she ended the engagement. He couldn’t exactly challenge you to a duel under those circumstances, could he? … I apologize ahead of time for the silliness, but my niece has stipulated that, if I ever managed to interview you, I must ask you certain questions that she and her friends are dying to know. May I?
Lord Albert: It depends on the questions.
Mallinson: Of course, and I can assure you there is nothing objectionable. Only silliness. For instance, what is your favorite color?
Lord Albert: If I had to pick one, green.
Mallinson: Your favorite scent?
Lord Albert: I’m not sure … the thing of it is: Miss Fairmont makes her own oils, and I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite. She has the remarkable ability to perfectly match the right one to each day’s temperature and humidity changes.
Mallinson: She makes her own oils?
Lord Albert: Plants and herbal tinctures are definite hobbies. She has a healer’s instinct as well.
Mallinson: Fascinating! Do you have any favorite hobbies?
Lord Albert: I rather enjoy writing poems, I’ve discovered. At least, I do if the subject is inspiring. But I usually enjoy whatever the day brings me, particularly if it involves Miss Fairmont’s company.
Mallinson: You certainly are in love! Who would have thought it? Less than a year ago you were involved with Daphne Tarkington. Do you think that the fiasco of that relationship made you realize you were ready to settle down?
Lord Albert: No. I fell in love with Miss Fairmont because of Miss Fairmont. It had nothing at all to do with my previous relationships.
Mallinson: What drew you to Daphne Tarkington in the first place? You obviously regretted it, since you ended the relationship faster than any of your previous ones.
Lord Albert: I’m not answering that, Mallinson. Now, if you’ll excuse me—
Mallinson: But it’s true—is it not?—that you broke with her because of her nastiness? And some gossip corners say that your broken leg and her need for revenge are somehow related.
Lord Albert: This is exactly the reason why I usually don’t grant interviews. Goodbye, Mallinson.
Mallinson: But if it’s not true, why not simply deny it?
Lord Albert: My denial will not stop the gossips. They will say what they wish, whenever they wish. Whatever sells the most papers will make the headline, even if it’s rubbish.
Mallinson: So you’re saying it’s rubbish? That she didn’t hire someone to break your leg?
Lord Albert: I’m saying that you could be sued for slander if you publish that theory without proper proof. Good day, Mallinson.
Mallinson: Look! Here comes Miss Fairmont! Thank you for your time, Lord Albert. May I ask your fiancée a few questions as well?
Lord Albert: She can speak for herself, but I believe we’re already late for our appointment at the glove-makers.
Mallinson: Miss Fairmont, do you have a minute to answer a few questions?
Miss Fairmont: A few questions in only one minute? They must require a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
Mallinson: Did you fall in love with Lord Albert at first sight?
Miss Fairmont: ‘Love at first sight’ is not a gold standard, Mr. Mallinson. I fell in love with Beau as each facet of his personality was revealed to me, and as I realized that he has far greater depths than the papers would make everyone believe.
Mallinson: Was Lord Featherstone’s heart broken when you ended that engagement?
Miss Fairmont: Not at all. (Turning to her fiancé) How long did it take him to become engaged again? Two months?
Mallinson: I don’t wish to delay you any further, but what oil are you wearing today, Miss Fairmont? It smells wonderful and I’m sure that my niece would like to know.
Miss Fairmont: A mixture of bergamot and rosemary.
Mallinson: Thank you for your time, both of you, and best wishes for a wonderful wedding. I hear it will be spectacular.