Interview With Sir Anthony Roxwell from Lizzie’s Rake by Hazel Statham
Hazel: Good afternoon, your lordship. I’m so pleased you could find the time to visit us.
Sir Anthony: Good afternoon, my dear. It’s a pleasure to be here. Please call me Tony. Everyone else does. Can’t stand ceremony.
Hazel: Then Tony it will be! Tell me then, Tony, when did you first become acquainted with the earl?
Tony: We grew up together. My father’s estates march right alongside St. Ives’ and we played together as soon as we were out of leading-strings. Of course, his father was the earl then but I rarely saw him. We were left very much to our own devices and were rarely checked unless news of our escapades came to the old earl’s ears, and then we were brought most forcibly to heel.
Hazel: And you have remained friends ever since?
Tony: Of course! Max is the best friend a chap could have. Always to be relied on and never complains when things go wrong. I must tell you he’s a great brother to Peter, too. A more tolerant older brother would be difficult to find. He’s forever rescuing the young scapegrace from one scrape or another.
Hazel: And what of his feelings for Elizabeth Granger? Do you think there’s a genuine attraction there or is he just setting her up as his latest flirt?
Tony: Really difficult to say. At first, I thought he’d taken against her, but I had it all wrong. He does so much to help the family, and does not count the cost. The children adore him, but it’s plain for all to see that Miss Granger has her reservations.
Hazel: She is uncivil?
Tony: Not outright. Though you can tell she does not agree with all he does. Although it was explained to her that he is not the cause of their current situation and is not responsible for her brother fleeing these shores, she sees not the difference and resents his presence. However, she confounded us all by willingly turning Badger over to him. She has a great fondness for the horse and I never thought to see her relinquish him into anyone’s care, let alone give him to Max, but one can never understand a female’s way of thinking.
Hazel: Then there are no signs of a match?
Tony: Well, you have me there. When I come to think of it, in unguarded moments when each believes themselves unobserved, I have oft noted they watch each other. I vow they would never admit it, but I have seen them! However, I must confess, I’ve never known a woman yet that can resist Maxim’s charm. He has a reputation with the ladies, don’t y’know.
Hazel: I have heard. Does that mean he’s not to be trusted?
Tony: So far he has not fallen in love so I can’t predict his actions when he finally takes Cupid’s arrow. He’s been courted and feted ever since he came on the town at the tender age of twenty so is it any wonder that he takes what is so freely offered?
Hazel: You think him not such a hardened rake as one would suppose?
Tony: He is my friend and I suppose I view him with an influenced eye, but to me, he is more the product of circumstance than a hardened rake. A more genuine fellow you would be hard pressed to find and to suggest he is a breaker of hearts is quite untrue. If he were to state his cause to be genuine, then I for one would believe him.
Hazel: You give your friend a glowing character.
Tony: Despite his reputation, he is a man to admire. I hope, in time, Miss Granger will view him in a more favorable light.
Hazel: I hope so too for theirs is an unpredictable relationship at best and I would wish to see them happy.
Tony: Although he would be reluctant to admit himself ready for the parson’s mousetrap, I do believe he would make an excellent husband if he found the right spouse.
Hazel: Although I cannot confess to any prior knowledge, it is to be hoped that he has already done so.
Tony: It is a prediction I am reluctant to make, though I hold out hopes. Now, if you will excuse me, I have books to catalogue. It is a task I pledged to do whilst Maxim and Peter are at the mill in Harrogate. I must confess that for once the sport holds no draw for me compared to the lure of the fine and rare tomes found in Briarfield’s library
Hazel: Then all remains is for me to thank you, your lordship, for agreeing to spend some time with me. I confess I shall watch our couple quite closely over the coming months for theirs is a story yet to be told.
Tony: Then goodbye, dear lady. The library awaits.