The hallway of the second floor was deep in shadow. The windows at either end admitted some flickering light from the street outside, but no candles had been lit here to alleviate the dark or the cold, because no one was expected to be up here this early.
Like most clubs of its kind, Graham's kept rooms that could be reserved by those who had no wish to bother traveling London's streets to get to their tables. Some gentlemen, in fact, lived almost exclusively at their clubs, either for the convenience of the location, or to avoid the entanglements of hearth and home. Mr.
Fullerton was one of these. Rosalind had bribed Graham's servants for information well before she ever set foot in the club. A glass of gin and a few coins had enabled her to discover that Mr. Fullerton occupied the corner suite on the second floor.
Rosalind kept her gait steady as she moved down the darkened and silent corridor. To look furtive would be the greatest folly. She must act as if she was under orders to be in this exact spot.
She reached the door that should lead to the corner apartment, and stopped in the puddle of orange light that flickered through the arched window.
This point had always been the weakness of the plan and the question for which there was no answer. Was the door locked? It might not be. Mr. Fullerton was in the club, after all, down in the gaming rooms, enjoying the rout and riot. But then, he was a blackmailer and therefore not a trusting soul. If he'd locked his door, then Rosalind would need to find where the housekeepers stored the keys. That would take her into the realm of the servants, which would be risky beyond measure. The masters might all be drunk and distracted
tonight, but their attendants most certainly were not.
But she glanced at the floor and saw a bright line of light gleaming at the level of the carpet. There was a fire in the room. That might mean the door was open, but it also might mean that there was someone in the rooms. Rosalind's heart thumped once, but she did not permit herself to hesitate. She knocked softly, as a servant alerting those within she was about to enter.
There was no answer.
Rosalind's heart thumped again. She closed her hand around the doorknob. It turned, and the door opened quietly. Rosalind resisted the urge to dart inside, and kept her movements sedate, at least until she closed the door behind herself, and drew the bolt.
He told me he keeps my cameo in the drawer of his bedside table, so that he has it near him always.
Mr. Fullerton would have had no fear of divulging this little detail to Mrs. Devery. A young lady of her class would never be admitted into a gentlemen's club, much less his private rooms. Except for one reason, of course, and Mrs. Devery had been painfully aware of this.
I think...I think he may eventually demand more from me than money.
Mr. Fullerton clearly reveled in his high living, and Rosalind felt certain he must have had these apartments privately furnished. Despite the display of gilt and excess downstairs, Rosalind could not believe that the club provided all its members with such a profusion of silks and velvet, marble tops and painted enamel
A beautiful little marquetry table waited beside a luxuriously curtained bed. Rosalind put her hand to the ornate drawer, and held her breath.
The drawer didn't budge. Mr. Fullerton, it seemed, was not entirely careless.
Rosalind bit her lip and quickly reached into her work bag to pull out the sandalwood letter opener she'd brought against this possibility. Rosalind had been gently reared, but some of that gentle upbringing had included a girls' boarding school, a place where one might gain experience with all manner of petty larcenies.
Rosalind's hands had not lost their touch, and Mr. Fullerton's drawer proved no more difficult than the headmistress's desk had. When she slid it open, she found half a dozen articles of jewelry in that drawer. Rosalind saw a garnet ring, a pearl collar, and a figured brooch. Mrs. Devery had clearly not been Fullerton's only victim.
There were also several packets of letters tied in silk ribbon.
Did you send him any letters? Rosalind had asked Mrs. Devery. Any at all, even a brief note?
No. I did not. Everything was communicated through my old nurse. She is still as sharp as she ever was, and...is sincerely attached to me.