A Grotesque Souvenir
“We must get them back, Your Grace.” Lady Lensdown sobbed when she was shown the horrific missive and grotesque souvenir sent by Orpha Polk. “My poor, poor children…”
“We shall, Lady Lensdown,” Punch responded. “However, this…this is much more complicated now.”
“What of your plan to involve Mr. Donnan and Mr. Stover?” Lady Lensdown continued, wiping her eyes.
“We shall still proceed with that,” Robert explained. “Still, the Duke is correct, this letter does tend to shed added darkness onto the task.”
“I can’t understand how anyone could harm a child.” Gertrude shook her head. “She…she said that she’d be sending Fern’s ear next. Can you imagine how Constance will react when she sees this?”
“We’ll soon find out,” Robert sighed.
“Am I horrible?” Gertrude gulped.
“How so?” Lennie asked.
“I’m relieved. I’m relieved that I’m not looking at a piece of one of my old children.”
“It’s only natural that you would be.” Lennie shook her head.
They paused as Lady Constance came into the Drawing Room.
“What is it?” Constance frowned. “Everyone has such a queer look.”
“Constance,” Punch began, once again affecting his impersonation of Julian. “Do sit, we must discuss something with you.”
“What have you there?” She pointed to the package. “Charles said to come at once. I could tell that something was amiss.”
“We received word from Orpha.” Robert said plainly.
“Ah…” Constance nodded. “I knew she’d be annoyed by our slowness. Perhaps we should just deliver what she wants—she only wants the baron. Frankly, I don’t think Gertrude would much mind at this point.”
“She doesn’t just want the Baron Lensdown anymore.” Punch scowled.
“Oh, no?” Constance asked.
“She now also wants Lennie.”
“Lennie?” Constance squinted.
“My sister.” Mr. Punch barked.
“Her?” Constance scoffed. “Why? Why would anyone want her? She’s not even titled.”
“Your mother would be most proud of you, Constance.” Punch spat. “Here, look upon the words from your friend.”
“She’d not my friend.” Constance shook her head.
“I wonder.” Mr. Punch replied dryly.
“I made her promise she’d not involve you.” Constance said.
“And, yet, you let her send you into my home.” Punch growled. “Can’t you see that you’ve been fooled? That woman doesn’t only want revenge against her brother. She wants revenge against all whom she feels wronged her. Especially Lennie who revealed Orpha’s deception.”
“This is Orpha’s final spree and she intends to see all of us fall at her feet.” Robert added. “Including you…” With that, Robert picked up the long lock of hair.
“Is that?” Constance gasped.
“Yes, it’s your daughter’s braid.” Punch frowned.
“I…we must…” Constance stammered. She looked up frantically. “Can’t we give this woman to Orpha.” She pointed at Lennie.
“Certainly not!” Punch bellowed.
“But…” Constance began. “She’s not even…”
“You will stop speaking now.” Robert spat.
“And, then you will pack your things and leave my house.” Punch added.
“Leave?” Constance inhaled deeply.
“What of my daughter?”
“We shall see that your daughter is safe. However, you’ve brought danger into my home and you’ve insulted my family in the process. Perhaps you were an unwitting participant, but, you’ve done it nonetheless.” Punch said firmly. “You will leave now.”
“I don’t think I will.” Constance shook her head.
“Yes, you will.” Punch smiled. “Lest I refer to the Queen of what my valet informed me as he dressed me for dinner.”
“What did he tell you?” Constance asked.
“That your mother died at your own hand. That you brought more death to my father’s home.” Punch answered. “Now, gather your things and leave.”
Did you miss Chapters 1-235 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 237.