Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 295

Chapter 295 
Quite a Punch 

It wasn’t until the baron hit the ground that he knew what had happened. Rubbing his jaw, he looked up at Lennie, stunned. “You struck me!”

“I’ll do more if you ever touch my friend again.” Lennie growled. She turned to Gamilla. “Run home and get Dr. Halifax to look at you arm.”

“I ain’t leavin’ ya here, Miss. Not with him.” Gamilla shook her head. “I’m jus’ fine.”

The baron began to rise from the banquet, but Lennie narrowed her eyes at him. “I suggest you stay where you are, Baron.”

“I’ll go for the constable.” The baron threatened though he remained on the ground.

“Please do.” Lennie shrugged as people gathered around the scene. “Tell them how you were felled by a woman half your size.”

A few gentlemen who had joined the group laughed.

“There’s much you can tell the constable.” Lennie continued, glad to have an audience. “Where shall we start? Do you remember Roger Barrett? Light ginger hair, a gentle smile…well, he had a gentle smile. Once. He was my favorite brother. Though, he’s not really my brother. Is he? I suppose you could call Roger my cousin now. Do you recall him? Do you know what he is now? You want to speak to me of madness? And why? What happened to Roger to make him that way. You know. You could tell that to the constable. What would we next tell him? Would we tell him about your sister, Baron? Would we tell him about your children? All of them?”

One of the gentlemen in the crowd stepped forward. “Miss, are you all right? Did this man harm you?”

“Yes.” Lennie nodded, slightly taken aback by the gentleness in the man’s voice. “He did. He attacked this woman.” She pointed to Gamilla.

“Shall I fetch the beadle?” the man asked.

“I’ll leave that up to the Baron Lensdown.” Lennie smiled. “If you’ll excuse me, Gamilla and I must go home. My brother is waiting.”

“Your brother?”

“The Duke of Fallbridge.” Lennie nodded at the stranger.

“Ah, yes, you’re the Duke’s sister who’s been away. Barbara. Oh, but I’d heard she was dead.”

“No, I’m the Duke’s other sister. I’m called ‘Lennie.’”

“I wasn’t aware His Grace had two sisters.”

“I’ve been in Scotland,” Lennie fibbed slightly.

“May I call on you later to see that you’re quite well?” The man asked.

Lennie blushed. “If you like, Sir.”

“Oh,” The man blushed slightly, too. “I should introduce yourself. Matthew, Earl of Cleaversworth.”

“Charmed.” Lennie nodded. She looked over her shoulder at the Baron Lensdown who remained on the ground in the middle of a circle of men ranging from footmen to Lords who laughed at him.

“I must say,” Matthew continued. “You’ve quite a punch.”

Lennie giggled. “In many ways. You could say that a good ‘punch’ is a family tradition.”

Matthew nodded, confused.

“May I escort you home, Lady Fallbridge?” Matthew asked. “You and this young woman.”

“If you like,” Lennie nodded. “Though I’m not known as Lady Fallbridge.”

“No?” Matthew asked.

“I prefer Miss Molliner,” Lennie said quickly.

“As you wish, Miss Molliner.” Matthew answered. He looked at Gamilla. “I heard Miss Molliner say that the baron attacked you. Are you harmed.”

“No, Sir.” Gamilla shook her head.

“This is Gamilla, my nephew’s nurse.”

“Oh, I saw His Grace with his young son in the garden just the other day. What a fine and handsome lad the boy is.”

“Thank you.” Lennie smiled. “We’re quite proud of him.” She looked over her shoulder again.

“Leave the baron to the ridicule he’s earned.” Matthew smiled. “There’s not a man in that group who hasn’t been wronged by him, one way or another. They’ve each earned the freedom to make him their fun.”

“I’ve no doubt of that.” Lennie nodded firmly.

They began to walk toward No. 65. Gamilla followed behind them. She rubbed her arm, but despite the horrible scene they’d just endured, she couldn’t help but smile a bit. She could tell that this man, this Earl of whatever he’d said, was taken by Miss Lennie, and, they idea pleased her. He wasn’t a bad-looking man, probably in his mid-forties with curly dark blond hair. He was trim, and looked as if he enjoyed being out in the sun. Gamilla recalled how she’d overheard Miss Lennie speaking to the Duke and the doctor once about how she’d resigned herself to spinsterhood long ago. Gamilla nodded to herself. Maybe hers would be the first of the weddings to come to the occupants of No. 65.

As they approached No. 65, they, of course had to pass Hamish House where Ulrika Rittenhouse and Giovanni still stood in front of the portico, Marduk still in Ulrika’s arms. They were so wrapped up in their own drama that they’d not even noticed the commotion at the front of the square.

Just as Matthew was about to nod a polite hello to the newcomers to the square, he caught site of the creature in Ulrika’s arms. His tanned face grew pale.

“Don’t look, Miss Molliner.” He whispered.

“It’s quite all right, Sir.” Lennie shook her head. She paused and turned to Ulrika and Marduk.

“But, it’s…” Matthew said in a hushed voice. “…it’s something of a monstrous…I don’t know.”

“I assure you, Sir. This is nothing I cannot handle.”

Did you miss Chapters 1-294 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them
here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 296.


Darcy said...

Hooray for Lennie! She and Gamilla got the best of Barron Lensdown.
Now she has the whole neighborhood laughing at him and he deserves it.
And she' s ready to do battle with Ulrika and maybe she has a boyfriend in her future.

Joseph Crisalli said...

It's about time something went Lennie's way. Thank you, Darcy!

Carolyn said...

I've loved her growing strength!!

Joseph Crisalli said...

Thank you, Carolyn!