Monday, March 18, 2013

Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 283

Chapter 283 

Miss Rittenhouse,” Robert began.

“Really, you should know by now that you can call me ‘Ulrika,” the woman cooed. “After all, we’re old friends.”

Robert scowled. “I’m terribly sorry, Ulrika, however that invitation didn’t come from us. Someone has made us their fun, I’m afraid.”

“Well, really, now that we’re here…” Ulrika smiled. “We might as well just come in for a little friendly visit. After all, we are neighbors now. It reminds me of old times in Louisiana when your brother’s land was so close to my father’s that we could see each other’s houses. When I’m in Marionneaux visiting father and mother, I do like to peer out of my bedroom window and see if I can catch a glimpse of your Mr. Halifax or his little whore wife, Adrienne.”

“I’ll thank you to not speak of my family.” Robert snapped. “And, I’ll thank you to leave my home.”

“Your home?” Ulrika laughed throatily. She looked at Giovanni. “Darling, the doctor thinks this is his home.”

Giovanni laughed.

“Really, I’d never—as good as Giovanni is to me—consider anything of mine to be his.” Ulrika continued. “You must be…”

“Silence.” Mr. Punch finally spoke up.

“I wondered when you might speak, Julian.” Ulrika grinned. “You’re called Julian, still? Or do you have another name? Was it Punch? Or, are you someone else now?”

“You will address the Duke as ‘Your Grace.’” Robert narrowed his eyes.

“Of course.” Ulrika tittered.

“I’m going to ask you again…” Robert growled. “Leave our property.”

“But, you invited us.” Ulrika shrugged.

“This is true.” Giovanni nodded.

“I have nor will I ever invite you into my home.” Punch spat. “Now, leave.”

“That’s not very neighborly of you.” Ulrika smiled. “And, here, I thought we were friends.”

“Your friends await you at home.” Punch said dryly. “Three heads on two bodies.”

“It gives me chills just to hear you say it.” Ulrika moaned. “He’s really delightful…Your Grace.” She said Punch’s title with such overemphasis as to make it sound as ridiculous as possible. “You really should come and see him. They’re quite stunning. I think he’d like you.”

“Neither His Grace nor I have any desire to see the poor, wretched, sad children. You do realize, don’t you, that they are not some magical being? They are twins. Two children, deformed together. There are others like them. Their birth was not divine, it was the opposite. It was nature at its cruelest. They don’t need to be worshipped, they need medical attention.”

Ulrika’s face twisted into a grimace. “I will suggest you do not speak of things which you do not know.”

“I’m a physician!” Robert snarled.

“And not a theologian.” Ulrika snapped. “I shan’t listen to another word. Really, Doctor, you’ve been quite unfortunate in your choice of words.”

“All the more reason for you to leave.” Punch added.

“Gladly.” Ulrika said, turning swiftly. She took Giovanni by the arm. “Come, darling.” With that, she and her lover stormed out of the house.

Punch and Robert slammed the door behind them.

“Coo!” Punch shook his head. “Ain’t that the first time I ever seen anyone get the better o’ ‘er? Well done, Chum.”

“I’d rather not have done it at all.” He put his arms on Punch’s shoulders. “You know as well as I do that either Charles or Gerard sent that invitation.”

“I’m ‘fraid so.” Punch nodded. “Likely to get ‘em outta the house.”

“I’m terrible afraid, dear Punch.” Robert replied. “Our Charles was in a terrible state after being in that house. There’s no telling what he’d do. And, of course, Gerard will do anything which Charles wants, he’s that devoted.”

Punch nodded. “I know. I just hope they done whatever they’re gonna do, and are on their way back. Only, there ain’t a thing we can do to ‘elp ‘em now.”

Robert shook his head, “And, we have to find Fern.”

“Yes, Chum. We do.” Punch sighed. “We do.”

Meanwhile, Ulrika stood outside of No. 65 and fumed. “I cannot believe that that man would have the gall to say such things about Marduk.”

“He is a fool.” Giovanni scowled.

“He shall soon see how powerful Marduk is.” Ulrika sniffed. “Darling, I want to go home.”

“In a moment.”

“Now!” Ulrika barked.

“First, look…” Giovanni pointed to the wrought iron railing which separated the area stairs from the walkway.

Ulrika peered through the curling ironwork and grinned. “Well, if it isn’t the future bride of our savior? Good afternoon, Fern.”

Fern, who had been hiding in the area, just out of view of the entrance to the servants’ hall, looked up the stairs at Ulrika.

“I knew you were here in this house. I just knew it.” Ulrika whispered to the girl. “You don’t like it here. Do you?”

Fern shook her head.

“Come up the stairs, dear.” Ulrika smiled. “Come with me. I’ll see to it that you’re happy forever and ever.”

Did you miss Chapters 1-282 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 284.

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