MrsM and her best buds HelenandCaroline are having a Christmas outing and as a concession to the Spirit of the Season have invited their Spouses. It is an exceedingly jolly occasion and while the Spouses are reviewing the cheese trolley Caroline explains that she has booked the Gardener's Cottage at Hougoumont for a short holiday. MrM is very envious and launches into an analysis of the strategic implications of the Gardener's Cottage in the Battle of Waterloo with MrCaroline who is an enthusiastic military historian. MrsM nonchalantly mentions that she has just walked past the East India Club in St James's Square where Major Henry Percy, aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington, presented the Prince Regent with four captured French eagles and Wellington’s victory despatch. Helen is quite impressed and gasps "Alice! How do you know these things?" MrsM blushes and is forced to admit that she read all about it in "A Civil Contract", a Regency Romance by Georgette Heyer.