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As Rob listed off his favorite entertainments, Felix considered again how little he had in common with this other man. 'The usual things' were all quite physical, and while Felix was not at all unfamiliar with or opposed games or sports-he'd played a bit of croquet in his childhood, and proved dreadful at both tennis and cricket . .. though he certainly didn't mind watching any of it. His father's influenced had left him with an appreciation of rowing and while he was nowhere near skilled at it, Felix did like boating . . .

Lost in his own thoughts, Felix did not immediately comprehend Rob's question, staring at him in a slightly perplexed manner. "What was that?" The understanding came a moment later, and Felix smiled apologetically. "Oh, sorry . . . well I enjoy music, of course. And reading. I was just thinking about boating, actually. I suppose if I'm to live here I should try some of the local entertainments. Would you mind taking me to play darts one day?" Not entirely sure why he was asking. Perhaps only because the man was a friend of Kel's.
As Felix replied, Rob rose from the settle, and then stooped to bend before the hearth. Like most in the castle, this one burned peat instead of wood, or coal, for the naturally occurring fuel was available in abundance throughout this part of the county. He plucked a paper spill from the utilitarian tin receptacle and placed it to a glowing piece of dried turf. It lit and he used this to light his cigarette – saving one more match to be used out of doors. Tossing the spill into the grate, he straightened and regarded Felix affably, standing now just a couple of feet away from the footman - not quite looming over him but certainly near enough that the mingled aromas of hard work and wet earth and damp woolen fabric, peat smoke and the great outdoors would have been discernible.

”Oh, aye, reckon that’d be some proper fun.” He puffed on the cigarette, one thumb hooked casually into his braces. He then offered it to Felix, between tobacco and work stained fingers, exhaling a thin stream of smoke from between his lips.

”Next time I’m off t’village I’ll look’ee up. Sure my mates would be chuffed to meet’ee.”

…in that they might be able to win some money off this ingénue, but Rob didn’t say that aloud.

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