Last one! Thank you very much to everyone who has reviewed. I hope you enjoy this one...
"By what name do you present this child?"
Young John Turner watched his mother hold out the new baby, soon to be called William, to the priest. He fidgeted in his seat. Estrella, their housekeeper, frowned at him. He sighed. He didn't want to be sitting on this uncomfortable pew in this draughty church surrounded by all these people: his little sisters, and Estrella, and the nursemaid, and everyone who was anyone in Port Royal, from his father's old master Mr Brown, to Grandfather Swann who was standing godfather. And Uncle Jack was sitting a few rows back, looking very strange dressed like a dandy with his beard shaved off and his hair hidden under a periwig. He had arrived just that morning with a hearty slap on the back for Papa, a bolt of blue satin for Mamma and the girls, and a silver rattle for the baby. For John he had brought a mouse, which had been handed over with a wink and was now secreted, squirming, in John's pocket. He longed to drop it down his sister Eleanor's neck, but Estrella was glaring at him again, and it seemed that the service was over anyway.
The congregation repaired to the governor's mansion for the reception. While the grown-ups drank sherry, John looked at the suit of armour in the hall and wondered if it had ever belonged to a real knight.
"Dull as sailing over a puddle, isn't it?"
It took him a moment to recognise Jack in that garb. "Yes, it is," he confided. "They're all cooing over the baby! No one has anything to say to me."
Jack nodded sympathetically. Whatever he might have said next was forestalled by the approach of Grandfather Swann.
"Well, John! How did you enjoy the service?"
"Very much, sir," John mumbled, because it was the right thing to say.
"And you, Mr – er? I don't think I've had the honour …" He broke off, furrowing his brow in puzzlement as he tried to think where he'd seen this man before.
John stared up at them, panic-stricken. Mamma and Papa were always impressing on him the importance of not telling anyone when Uncle Jack was visiting, and now here was Grandfather about to recognise him! Quickly he pulled out the mouse and released it. It scurried across the floor, causing several ladies to squeal most satisfyingly; but that was nothing compared to the delightful way in which Grandfather Swann shrieked and leaped a foot in the air.
By the time the commotion died down and it was ascertained that his lordship was all right, Jack had been whisked away by the Turners, and both he and John were being admonished.
"Whatever possessed you to bring him that?"
Jack shrugged. "It's something I would have wanted at his age – a way to make girls squeal, before he discovers the other way," he said, and deftly avoided Elizabeth's slap.