Quite at Ease
“What?” Mr. Punch growled at the Baron Lensdown.
Robert quickly put his arm around Punch’s shoulders as a means of reminding him to speak as Julian. Punch blushed considerably, partly from embarrassment and partly from the shock of what the baron had just said.
“Surely you must be mistaken.” Punch continued, using Julian’s speech and mannerisms.
“You needn’t continue with your charade, Your Grace.” The baron shrugged. “I’ve already heard and seen you in your natural state.”
“Why do you say that Miss Barrett is alive?” Robert asked.
“Because I’ve just engaged the woman in conversation.” The baron smirked.
“How?” Punch sputtered.
“That brute of a father of hers carried me off like a sack of grain. He brought me right to her.”
“Her father?” Robert narrowed his eyes. “So, you are aware of the woman’s claims?”
“Oh, yes, quite.” The baron nodded.
“What are ya doin’?” Finlay croaked from his spot on the floor.
“Well, look at you, Finlay.” The baron nodded at the bound footman. “However did you get there?”
“How do ya think?” Finlay spat.
“Well, you always did enjoy this sort of thing.” Lensdown smiled.
“You’re quite at ease with your involvement in all of this.” Robert frowned.
“I’ve nothing to hide. In fact, I truly do wish to see justice served.”
“You’ve colluded with that woman.” Punch growled.
“Certainly. And with her brother, Finlay. Putting one against the other, as it were. All for sport, mind you.”
“I don’t know which of ya is more foul.” Punch shook his head.
“Likely Ellen.” Lensdown replied.
“Obviously, you believe that the woman is Ellen Barrett.” Robert sighed.
“Of course.” Lensdown nodded.
“She ain’t.” Mr. Punch snapped.
“She’s as much Ellen Barrett as she is dead, it seems.” Punch continued.
“Oh, well…” Lensdown scowled. “It seems we’ve all be deceived.”
“Some more than others,” Robert inhaled.
“You’re sure she’s alive?” Punch squinted.
“And what did she tell you?” Robert asked.
“Sent me to get Finlay.” The baron answered.
“I’d like to see the lass.” Finlay snorted. “I’ll see to it that she stays dead.”
“No.” Lennie spoke up. “Not until I’ve spoken to her.”
Did you miss Chapters 1-169 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 171.