In June 1757, Lord John notices a concerning sore on the Honorable Joseph Trevelyan's private member. This is concerning as Trevelyan is engaged to Grey's own cousin Olivia Pearsall. While waiting for Harry Quarry Grey meets Malcolm Stubbs, learning about the death of fellow regiment member Timothy O'Connell. Stubbs casually mentions having met Olivia which turned the subject momentarily to Trevelyan. Stubbs speaking a great deal regarding Trevelyan's activities and social prominence. Grey finding a way to shift the conversation not wishing to speak of or think of Trevelyan at the moment. Grey offers to join the widow walk after he dines with Quarry. Grey confides in Quarry his worry about Trevelyan. Quarry offers a simple solution - find where Trevelyan goes whoring or just take him to a brothel and pay extra to learn the truth.
During the widow walk Stubbs discloses that during his meal he was told they would be sent to France. While Stubbs was disappointed, Grey is relieved that he'd not be taken too far from Helwater or more importantly Jamie Fraser. When they arrive at the home of Mrs. O'Connell they are instead greeted by Finbar Scanlon the owner of the apothecary shop and the landlord. Scanlon lies saying Mrs. O'Connell is out and, to Grey, is acting suspiciously. Mrs. O'Connell, however is home and looking rather roughed up. Scanlon informed them the bruises were the fault of her husband. The bulge of her pregnant belly however is far from the fault of her husband as they well know he'd only recently returned to London. She tells them that Tim had taken up with another woman over a year ago and it'd been just as long since she'd seen him till the night he showed up. She attempted to refuse the widow money they offered - an action that Grey and Stubbs both took to be of guilt of some kind - till Grey called it a pension as the widow of the sergeant.
Grey speaks with Quarry about the situation of O'Connell's wife and Scanlon. Quarry tells Grey that O'Connell had been suspected of possibly stealing documents. And that under Hal's direction a footman employed by Trevelyan was to watch O'Connell's every move but, Jack has been missing since around O'Connell's death. Due to a series of unfortunate events the task of investigating O'Connell's death and possible involvement with the missing documents falls on Grey's shoulders. Their conversation turns to his personal investigation into Trevelyan - who claims he promised his mother on her deathbed to have nothing to do with prostitutes. Quarry finds that rather impossible as he'd discreetly asked around and found that Trevelyan goes to a brothel in Meacham Street - one Quarry goes to sometimes too. Quarry offers the solution of just going straight to the brothel and questioning the whores since Trevelyan goes there at least twice a month. They determine to go to the brothel together.
With the arrival of Tom Byrd, younger brother of the missing Jack, Grey finds himself with a new valet and assistant in his investigation. Grey discovers a heel-print in O'Connell's forehead when inspecting the body. Grey finds himself in the middle of a cat fight as Mrs. O'Connell - now Mrs. Scanlon - and Iphigenia Stokes - O'Connell's mistress. Grey and Tom are able to conclude that Stokes family is Greek. Tom points out that the heel print had to be made by a rounded wooden heel. Grey meets with Quarry reviewing with him everything that he had thus found in his investigation. Quarry points out that wooden heel shoes are often worn by sailors. Which from memory Grey had thought some of Stokes' family were sailors. They determine it would be best to have the Stokes and Scanlons followed up on.
At his mother's home Grey realizes it's Wednesday and he'd not as intended missed her weekly party. Grey gets drawn into conversation with Lady Mumford, Hector's mother. The one benefit of this is he was excused from rescuing his mother from speaking to her very tall guest, a Hanoverian gentlemen dressed in uniform. Grey finds himself in the company of Trevelyan and the very loud Von Namtzen. Grey thanks Trevelyan for sending Tom to assist him. Trevelyan, however had not sent Tom and was outraged that Tom came and pressed himself upon John falsely. Grey, not wishing Tom to get in trouble, ensures Tom stays out of sight and tells Trevelyan that Tom had disappeared from the property. To avoid the subject of Tom, Grey instead turns the conversation to Trevelyan's pending marriage. He watched Trevelyan as he departed, pausing to say goodbye to Olivia, wondering if someone knowing himself afflicted with the French disease would discuss an upcoming wedding with such insouciance. But any thought of this was countered by Quarry's findings that Trevelyan frequents a brothel.
Grey's outing with Quarry became delayed till Saturday. They were greeted welcomingly by Madam Mags. Quarry quickly left Grey to meet with a whore of his own. Leaving Grey pondering what all Quarry heard pass between him and George Everett at the Hellfire Club. Mags brings him to Nessie, one of her young whores. Once Mags has left Grey learns from Nessie, that Mags is really Magda and is German. At first Nessie refuses to have him learning he had been stationed at Ardsmuir. Grey makes it clear that he does not have intentions of sleeping with her. He keeps her talking with the story of how she ended up in London. He asks her about Trevelyan, but she has not been with him and instead she goes to check with the other whores that weren't with clients. John recalled Culloden and Hector as he drank alone in the room. He woke hung over in the dark, naked, and in bed with Nessie. He chose to not wake her or try to leave and laid back down with her. Her hair reminding him of the Woman, Fraser's wife's hair. He knew her name just didn't care to use it knowing Fraser would never stop loving her. Just as he would never stop loving Hector. Briefly, in wine-fueled thought, Grey considered having Nessie as she hardly had breasts and had a narrow ass like a boy. He however pushes the thought aside as she was neither of the persons he wants and drifts back to sleep.
The following morning Nessie tells all that she had learned of Trevelyan, after payment for the information is negotiated. He did not go with any of the whores, but instead would go into Mags' room and later a woman in Mags' clothes walks out with a big lace cap - but it's not Mag. The lady dresses in green then goes to a chair waiting out back and is taken away. Nessie tells him she's not sure where the lady goes just that she leaves past dark and is back just before dawn. She offers to get Rab, a chairman that asks for her when he's the coin, who's been a chairman for this lady in green to tell her more. Grey gives her some extra money to ensure that Rab has money to see her very soon. While they leave Grey updates Quarry on what he was able to find out. Quarry suggesting getting Constable Magruder to inquire about a woman in green velvet.
Grey and Olivia speak over breakfast about Tom, her future as the head of a house, and John's bachelorhood. Grey contemplated his investigation of O'Connell's death. The investigation into the Stokes showed them to be of Greek sailors. Olivia asks if John was ever in love. He tells her he was and after further prodding explained he could not wed his lover as they died - leaving out that his lover was a man. Grey receives a letter from Magruder about O'Connell's coat that had been found at a pawnbroker shop. In the description of the article included where the coat had been un-stitched on one side in the lining. Grey determined this was probably where O'Connell had been hiding the papers. Grey also receives a note from Quarry asking him to meet at St Martin-in-the-Fields wearing his old uniform. Upon Rab's arrival Grey sets aside his mail to learn what the chairman could offer. As Grey and Rab negotiated the cost of his information Rab offers half his price to Nessie and declares he intends to marry her - once she buys the freedom from her contact. Rab tells Grey that the lady in green goes to the Lavender House on Barbican Street. With how Rab spoke he didn't have any idea the lady in green wasn't a lady or the true nature of Lavender House, but Grey knew the house and that this investigation was going to take him to this place from his past.
Seeing no choice in the matter Grey dressed in disguise himself as he walked to Lavender House. While walking he heard a distance set of voices being raised - one being familiar. Grey stepped in rescuing Tom from one of the Mollies who was making very forward and unwanted advances on the young valet. Grey tries to tell Tom to leave, but Tom insists on seeing him to his destination. Grey tells Tom to leave once they get to Lavender House. Grey introduces himself to the doorman as George Everett and asks to speak to the proprietor. While waiting he is swarmed by a number of men. Goldie-Locks makes some forward flirtatious remarks where Percy Wainwright is polite introducing himself and kissing Grey's hand. He inquires of the group of a "lady in green velvet" but none knew of her. Before he could make more inquiries Richard Caswell, the proprietor, takes Grey to his office to speak.
Grey and Casewell have a verbal duel as Grey attempts to get information about Trevelyan. Recalling that Caswell likes to know everything about everyone and will sell that information they settle on a price - the truth of how Everett died. Caswell takes Grey up to a private room that Trevelyan keeps on a permanent basis and reveals that Trevelyan entertains a woman rather than a man in the room. He reveals the lady has dark hair, wears a very expensive perfume, and has a taste for the German wine he keeps in stock for Trevelyan. It becomes obvious that by the lengths they go to hide who she is in their arrivals and departures that she is a lady with a great deal to lose - leading Grey to believe she may be married. Caswell did confirm that in late April a servant came for Trevelyan and Trevelyan and his lady left together that day. As Caswell fulfilled his end of the bargain Grey revealed all the details of Everett's death and the events at the Hellfire Club. Before departing Grey gave into a young man and his own desires.
Grey investigates the German wine, thinking it is the one link he might be able to follow as the win was at Mags' and Lavender House and he learned that Trevelyan's lover favors it. His mother suggests checking Fraser et Cie for his wine. In their talk Grey asks if she thinks Olivia would be upset if she doesn't wed Trevelyan revealing he's at the least learned the man is having an affair. She suggests he keep any discoveries to himself. She tells him that at Olivia's age she doesn't know anything of the true nature of marriage and is currently only truly in love with her wedding dress. She sends him on his way, Grey completely forgetting he was holding her copy of "Fanny Hill" that has a rather personal dedication to Benedicta sighed just 'J'.
Grey meets with Quarry as Quarry requested, to meet with someone that Sir Richard Joffrey had directed Quarry to that knows all about the Calais business and might be helpful. Grey finds himself in the awkward situation of coming face to face with "Goldie-Locks", Neil Stapleton, in this meeting working as assistant to Hubert Bowles. Stapleton shows concern that Grey may let slip his true nature to his employer, Grey silently ensures that he has no intentions to do such a thing. Grey assumes the meeting is about O'Connell's death and potential espionage though Bowels leaves it open to interpretation. Bowles reveals that the investigation into the other suspects have been pointing to O'Connell as the culprit and that O'Connell was seen at Lavender House the day before his death. Having to save face - so to speak - Grey explains his own private inquiries of Trevelyan had led him to Lavender House rather than anything about O'Connell. Bowles dismisses the idea the Stokes were involved in O'Connell's death. They discuss that O'Connell went to Lavender House looking for someone named Meyer but before a servant could tell him if there was someone of that name O'Connell was gone. The group determine they need to discover who this Meyer is as he may be the spy master. Bowles provides Grey with a letter bearing the Royal Seal to empower him to make his inquiries about O'Connell's death without question. The meeting leaves Grey feeling unsettled.
Grey visits the wine-shop of Fraser et Cie where he spent perhaps more than intended on wines but found the mysterious German wine and a list of other customers that purchased it. Having still made minor progress in his investigation in Trevelyan, Grey knew one thing the engagement needed to be terminated. Grey determines Trevelyan would need to dissolve the engagement himself to save all face. While avoiding potential robbery Grey let his focus return to O'Connell. He is certain given how long the investigation was taking the death was more personal than business, bringing him back to Scanlon and the former Mrs. O'Connell. Tom locates Grey as he's walking - appalled at the state of Grey's suit - and tells him a woman in a green velvet dress was bond dead.
Ignoring inquiries about his clothes Grey sets to questioning about the deceased and looking over the body. Grey determined the dress is the same that is worn by the mysterious lady in green that leaves Mags' brothel and travels by chair to Lavender House. In his investigation he finds that the victim has suffered a gunshot and beyond that she is actually a he. Quarry offered the thought given how the man was in drag and shaven - all over - he could be a he-whore. Constable Magruder dismissed that saying the man is too old for that since most didn't live to more than twenty. Grey ponders the contradictions of the murder, someone obviously wanted to disguise the individual but bashing the face yet had them dressed in such a distinctive gown.
Grey receives notice early the following morning that that Scanlons had fled the area. And given how thoroughly the shop had been emptied they'd been tipped off that they would be arrested and left but not in a rush. Grey tried to figure out if their fleeing had something to do with the murder of the man in the green dress, which occurred the same day. Determined to find evidence Grey set out going first to Trevelyan's home and then to Trevelyan's business at the docks. There he is brought to Trevelyan's office and declares the engagement is at its end. Grey presents him with a scrap of the green velvet and reveals that a 'woman' was found murdered in that dress and the 'magistrate' was involved. All these things Trevelyan shows small tells of concern as they drink sherry. Trevelyan begins to react badly as Grey implies he has a connection to the dead 'woman', Mr. Scanlon, and to Lavender House.
Grey however is taken at disadvantage as Trevelyan pokes a hole into the name he'd casually dropped in regards to there being an official investigation noting the man in question is currently in Bath. To counter this Grey reveals that he is aware that Trevelyan is poxed and thus he forbids the marriage to take place. Trevelyan tries to turn it as Grey's mistake and misguided delusion. Trevelyan going so far as offering a coach to take Grey to a Doctor who has a history of treating nervous disorders. Grey makes it clear that he is not insane and the engagement must end. Trevelyan asking for three days to find an adequate reason to give for the engagement being terminated that would not harm his nor Olivia's reputations. Grey agrees giving him the time as he had wanted Trevelyan to find a way out of the engagement from the start.
After leaving the warehouse Grey called upon von Namtzen to learn about the German wine and the list of buyers he'd gotten. Von Namtzen points out that the names are Austrian directing Grey to Reinhardt Mayrhofer the heir of a Baron that lives in London. Grey suffers from mercury poisoning, leaving Grey to believe Trevelyan poisoned him either intentionally or accidentally at the warehouse. Luckily he has not lost too much time with the poisoning it just being the next day. So he sets out to find the truth of what has really been going on and how all the pieces fit together. With Tom and von Namtzen's assistance Grey uncovers that Mayrhofer is the murdered man in green, and that Maria Mayrhofer along with Scanlon, Jack, and Trevelyan were about to escape by sea using Trevelyan's connections to do so.
Grey sends Tom to pack a bag so they can pursue as necessary and requests von Namtzen to stay and look over the papers on Mayrhofer's desk. Leaving Grey with three choices; go to the East india Company offices, Trevelyan's chief business man Royce, or Neil the Cunt. he chose the latter of the options waking Stapleton from his sleep to get the information for the names and dates of ships sailing for East India company to leave this month. With a threat of revealing his true nature to his employer Stapleton was willing to assist and stop the flirtatious game. Stapleton was able to get the names of two ships. The Antioch, sailing in three weeks, and the Nampara, sailing the day after tomorrow. With the information he needed in hand Grey returned Stapleton to his home and went to his mother's to gather Tom.
Grey and Tom chase after Trevelyan - finding themselves shanghaied on the Nampara bound for India. On board they finally learn the truth about O'Connell and Mayrhofer's deaths. Trevelyan turns over the stolen documents to Grey explaining that he'd obtained them while trying to set Mayrhofer up as the spymaster to O'Connell. Grey meets Maria Mayrhofer, suffering from malaria. Grey learns in the course of things that Trevelyan married her after her husband was murdered. Maria confesses to murdering her husband after learning he murdered their newborn son and he threatened to expose her affair. Trevelyan explains that he and jack are the ones that bashed the man's face in and dumped the body. Scanlon confessed that he and several of his friends and family beat O'Connell to death both for what he did to Francine and for being a traitor. Scanlon offers to use his agreement with Trevelyan to get passage back to London so that the proper authorities will know the truth, at least about where the documents were.
Eight days pass and Maria's condition had not improved. Trevelyan scarcely leaving her side. Scanlon putting on a good face saying she will recover. And Jack worried - though not for Maria but for Trevelyan. A ship is spotted and Grey hopes it might be a way back to England. Scanlon goes below to check with Trevelyan about possibly stopping to board the ship and sail back. As Grey hurries to get his letter to send back he slips hitting his head, waking to Jack watching over him. Grey becomes more aware that Jack harbors feelings for Trevelyan though Grey is uncertain if they are returned. From his own personal knowledge he tells Jack that no matter what Trevelyan will never forget or stop loving Maria - especially if she dies. Grey offers Jack a position at his mother's home if he wished to return to London with he and Tom. The Scorpion, a troopship, has come alongside them and Tom rushes in to announce news from The Scorpion that they'd won Bengal.
On August 18,1757 Lord John Grey has returned to London and is attending a party at his mother's home for the victory in Bengal. Jack had chosen to return with Grey and Tom, though at first was quit to the point of taciturnity. The festivities however, seeming to have a cheering effect as Grey noticed Jack smiling at a young maid. The public hysteria over the victory had eclipsed the other news and gossip. So no word had been spread about Mayrhofer, Trevelyan, or about his jilted fiancee Olivia. For this Grey is thankful. He reflects on the last time he saw Trevelyan, at the bedside of Maria. Trevelyan saying that word would eventually be sent he'd died at sea. Which if Maria dies would be true and he would carry her over the edge and and die with her. However, if she lived they would live out their life in India. Returning to the party Malcolm Stubbs approaches Grey asking to marry Olivia before the regiment leaves. Grey gives his consent though politely refuses to make it a double wedding by marrying Stubbs' twin sister. Harry catches Grey for a moment telling him that word has come of their next assignment, however von Namtzen has requested Grey be assigned as liaison to his regiment.