Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 254

Chapter 254 
To Pieces 

What do you want?” Orpha growled as she opened the door of Eudora Stover’s house to find Lady Contance on the other side.

“I want my daughter.”

“Well, you can’t have her.” Orpha shrugged. “You didn’t give me what I wanted, and, now, you can’t have your daughter.”

“I’ve come for my girl and I’m not leaving without her.” Constance replied levelly.

“Is that right?” Orpha chuckled. “I’ll return her to you in time…and, in pieces. You received her hair, didn’t you?”

“Fern!” Lady Constance screamed through the door. “Mummy’s here!”

“Oh, she can’t hear you.” Orpha smirked.

“What have you done to her?”

“Nothing she didn’t deserve.” Orpha sighed in exasperation.

“She’s innocent…”

“No child is innocent. No one is innocent!” Orpha snapped. “Now, go back to your little, mad friend, the ginger Duke who thinks he’s a puppet and get Victor Lensdown to meet me as we had planned. Convince his wife to cooperate. I know she’s there, too.”

“I can’t do that.” Constance answered.

“Why not?” Orpha hissed.

“The Duke…he ejected me from his home.” Constance responded.

“Did he?” Orpha smiled. “So, let me understand, Constance. You…you were too much of a bother for a man who is known to take in anyone, including former criminals. I suppose matricide is a rather ponderous sin. Too much even for the mad Duke. Don’t tell me that you are so insufferable that even the puppet man can’t endure you. Or…was it that he was afraid of you—given the sins to which you’re prone.”

“No worse than anything you’ve ever done.”

“I didn’t kill my mother.” Orpha winked. “She died before I could get to it. More’s the pity.”

“Orpha, please…” Constance began.

“I don’t have time for this. My child needs me.”

“Your…your child? I thought he was…”

“Hidden away?” Orpha interrupted. “He was. However, I thought it time for him to meet his father, and his uncle.—conveniently, the same man. And, then, he can watch me kill the filthy bastard. It’s so important for mothers to spend time with their children, don’t you agree?”

Constance opened her eyes in horror.

“Oh, but you couldn’t agree. The last time you spent with your mother, you eviscerated her. No more teatime games for you, Connie.”

Constance’s mouth opened slightly.

“Do stop gaping at me. You’re such a bore. Now, move along, I have things which require my attention and you’ve nothing to offer me.”

“I want my daughter.”

“I know.” Orpha’s eyes widened. “And, you shall have her, when I get what I want.”

“I have information for you.” Constance said quickly.

“Oh? Train schedules? Where to buy the best face powder to conceal spots? What could you possibly know which I don’t?”

“I can tell you what I learned of the Duke and how he intends to stop you.”

“You’d betray this man of whom you’re supposedly so fond?”

“I would do anything for my daughter.”

“Even kill you own mother.” Orpha grinned. “If the Duke tossed you out into the street, how could you possibly know anything to tell me?”

“I knew of a meeting he intended to keep.”

“Fascinating.” Orpha shrugged.

“A meeting with a man named Donnan and a man called Stover.”

“Donnan?” Orpha scowled.

“They spoke of you.”

“How would you know?” Orpha frowned.

“They met in the garden.” Constance replied. “I was passing through the mews and I overheard them.”

“Lurking, more like.” Orpha scoffed.

“The Duke and his companion asked Mr. Donnan to kill you.”

“Did they?” Orpha beamed. “How flattering.”

“I’m in earnest.”

“I’ve no doubt.” Orpha nodded. “Very well, Constance, come inside and tell me all about it.”

“Will you take me to my daughter?”

“No.” Orpha chuckled. “However, I long to introduce you to my son. He’ll just love you to pieces.”

Did you miss Chapters 1-253? If so, you can read them here. Chapter 255 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square will be posted on February 12. We’ll be taking Monday off.

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