An Interview with Roger, Lord Bertram | The Good Adventurers

Lord Bertram selectLord Bertram has no special origin. He was born directly from necessity and poured into the father-figure mold, stamped with a vintage name, and given a period-correct mustache.

Yet, he plays a role both larger and more important than his son’s. You might say that while Peter is the main character, Lord Bertram is the protagonist.

Dream cast pick, though not entirely in character. (He lacks a mustache.)

As his footsteps faded Lady Bertram turned to Lord Bertram and said: 

   “Lord Hathaway said that?”

   “No, I did.” Lord Bertram shattered the ecru dome of his egg with the back of his spoon. “I said that I am not afraid of him. Peter will not be a banker. If father ever hears of it at all he will simply reconcile himself to it, as he did to my having Gilbreth as my partner. He is secretly swelling with pride over Peter.”  

   Lady Bertram’s smile was beautiful.

–From The Good Adventurers, by Lydia Carns

What do you do?

I am the president of Bertram’s of London, one of the largest independent banks in England.

Could you work for someone else?

I worked at one point for my father. I do think I could, though after so many years of management it would be a humbling experience to be underneath someone. It might actually be good for me.

What are three words that describe you?

Reserved. Determined. British.

What is your relationship with God?

My only hope for life and eternity is through Christ. For much of my life I believed that my heritage and my baptism as an infant assured me a home in heaven and I lived uprightly, for I found it beneficial. But virtue was an insufficient bolster to the trials I met with.

What would mentally destroy you?

I have nearly been mentally destroyed, and I’m not sure what could happen worse than that to ruin me. Having gone through that experience already, I think I am prepared to face it again, and better equipped too.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Any musical ability at all. There is much among my children; Peter’s violin and Anthea’s a beautiful voice. But they inherited every bit of that from their mother.

What about you most surprises people?

My progressive ideas about society. Catherine and I both believe that progress can and should be made, but that all theories of progress must be founded solely on principle. Most look at my choice of style, particularly, and think that I am an ancient Tory. I do cast a conservative ballot, but many of my personal family and business decisions promote change and the breaking down of social stigma, especially now, in the absence of my father. I like to think that I will continue to grow more progressive and shocking as I age and lose my fear of self. In this respect, I sometimes surprise even myself. (One very good example of this is my blessing on Anthea’s marriage.) I think of it as a form of philanthropy.

What is that choice of style?

Very traditional. Most days I will wear a frock coat and a top hat, as I have every day that I have worked in the last thirty years.

What is a peculiar habit you have?

I am always armed, with no exception.

What is your favorite sport?

The hunt.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone and why?

I let Peter down and refused to back his ambition when he had counted on me.

Lord Bertram’s expression turned to thunder. “Absolutely not! Don’t you think for a moment that I would jeopardize my own interests in this establishment on account of your fancies! His solicitor will still see that it is done, even if I don’t. And if I didn’t obey, I would be removed as well, and you would go with me all the same.”

–From The Good Adventurers, by Lydia Carns

What is your outlook for the future?

Something I knew I would do eventually is take a seat in Parliament. I’ve had my life long to develop ideas and political leanings and thus I feel well prepared. I look forward to making changes in Great Britain in more ways than philanthropy or economics.

I’ve just thought of something as another answer to your earlier question.

Fire away, your lordship.

This interview has focused primarily on me and I would like to recognize someone. In the event of great turmoil and hardship, the absence of my wife would destroy me entirely. It would be as if I had lost my right side, she is so very much a part of me. Were it not for Catherine I would have died in 1914, Peter would likely have never returned, and the family would have crumbled. She is a quintessential part of me, the one that is my companion, and it was she who first brought to light and still emphasizes my independent philosophies and my need for religion.

   They stood silently by Peter’s bed, contemplating the sleeper, who reposed in the peaceful rest of someone who has done well.

   At length, Lord Bertram said:

   “We’ll find a way to make him happy.”

   “We shall.” Lady Bertram laid her hand on Peter’s curls and kissed his forehead. “We must.”

–From The Good Adventurers, by Lydia Carns


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