To See You Die
Finlay groaned as he opened his eyes. He tried to stand, but quickly realized that his hands and feet had been bound.
“Well, well…” Ethel chirped with vicious glee. “Look who’s back with us, then. So, Finlay, who’s the big, strong man now?”
“Release me.” Finlay moaned. “I’m hurt.”
“Pity that,” Mrs. Pepper snapped, walking toward the man who lay on the floor. “Are ya hurt, then?”
“My head,” Finlay complained. “It’s throbbing.”
“Are ya that hurt, then?” Mrs. Pepper asked. “That hurt? Hurt so ya can feel it in your feet. That hurt?”
“Mercy, please.” Finlay pleaded, looking around the room. He could feel the hatred radiating from the eyes of Mrs. Pepper, Ethel, Jenny, Gamilla and Georgie. His eyes brushed across the slumbering body of Gerard who lay, recovering, in the Duke’s bed, and, then, to Mr. Speaight who was slumped in a chair in the corner with his head in his hands.
“Did you show mercy when you held a knife to my son’s throat?” Mrs. Pepper asked.
“Or, when you poisoned me?” Speaight lifted his head, coughing.
“Or in stabbing our Gerard?” Gamilla growled.
“Or taking the life of Mrs. North?” Jenny snapped.
“I wasn’t alone in any of it. Ellen made me do it.” Finlay moaned.
“Did she, then?” Ethel scowled. “Well, she’s dead now, the witch. Does that mean you’re not gonna do no wrong no more?”
“No.” Finlay said quickly. “I’m free now. Free of her. Just let me go and I’ll help you.”
“Ah, Finlay,” Georgie shook his head. “We ain’t gonna let you go.”
“Nah.” Mrs. Pepper grinned.
“What will you do with me?” Finlay asked.
“Dunno.” Georgie shrugged. “What do ya think we should do with ‘im, Mum?”
“Well, then.” Mrs. Pepper smiled. Her eyes twinkled with devious glee. “There’s that fine, great cookin’ pot in the kitchens.”
“Oh, Mrs. Pepper.” Jenny shook her head. “He’d never fit in there.”
“He would so. If we chop ‘im up all nice and fine.” Mrs. Pepper grinned.
“Too much work.” Jenny wrinkled her nose.
“Cor, there’s that nice cauldron in the scullery.” Ethel suggested.
“Still too small.” Jenny shook her head.
“What of the laundry tub?” George Pepper suggested.
“That might work. I could season ‘im up all fine. Maybe a curry.”
“Oh, nice.” Ethel smiled. “Or a stew?”
“Oh, now, we’re makin’ the poor boy suffer more.” Mrs. Pepper sighed. “Ain’t right to tease ‘im so.” She knelt down. “We ain’t gonna cook ya.”
“No.” George clucked his tongue. “He’d be too tough to eat.”
“Maybe we’ll just drown ya.” Ethel winked.
“Or cut your throat like ya’d do to my boy.” Mrs. Pepper frowned.
“Here,” Ethel piped up. “Didn’t folk pull men apart with horses? Ya know…back when this castle were built. Weren’t that what they did to vermin like this one?”
“Yes, it is, girl.” Mrs. Pepper nodded. She laughed, delighted with their torture of the man. She knew—as did the others—that they’d not harm a soul. However, Finlay earned the teasing and each of them enjoyed watching the fear rise in his eyes.
Everyone, that is, except Gamilla. She didn’t smile once during their verbal assault of the footman. To her, the idea of drowning the man seemed sensible and just. He had—whether directly or not—harmed her Gerard. He’d also instilled in her the kind of fear that she’d thought long past her, the sort of terror which she’d felt as a slave and vowed to never feel again.
“Where I come from,” Gamilla growled, rising from Gerard’s bedside and walking forward. “We got a way of dealin’ with scum like this one.”
“Do tell,” Ethel smiled.
Gamilla knelt at Finlay’s side. “I don’t mean to scare ya, Finlay.”
“No.” Finlay whispered.
“No.” Gamilla shook her head. “I mean to see ya die.”
Did you miss Chapters 1-161 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 163.