Her auburn hair tucked into a severe chignon, dressed in a shabby brown bombazine, Merrie Trelawney was the picture of dowdy widowhood and sober respectability. No one would guess that those demurely lowered eyelids hid a sparkle of pure adventure. Or that the white hands so modestly folded in her lap could handle a sword as well as any man. Certainly, no one would ever suspect her of being the notorious leader of the smugglers' band who called themselves "The Gentlemen."
Lord Rutherford, who had just inherited some property in this godforsaken corner of Cornwall, looked upon the local gentry with distaste. The men were pompous and stuffy, and the women—that Merrie Trelawney, for example—were utterly insipid. How that auburn-haired church mouse had managed to best him in their verbal sparring, was completely beyond him. But if she thought that he was finished with her, she was sadly mistaken. Something about her struck a false note. And though he was not in the habit of seducing country widows, it might make an interesting change at that...