Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 311

Chapter 311 
To the Devil

She got away, Sir.” Charles panted as he came into the servants’ hall.

“She couldn’t have gotten far.’ Mr. Speaight shook his head.

“No, she didn’t.” Charles coughed. “She’s at Hamish House.”

“You left her there?” Speaight’s eyes widened.

“What was I to do?” Charles asked, gruffly. “You know how treacherous those two women are. I thought it best to be advised by the Duke and the doctor.”

“I suppose so.” Speaight nodded.

“How’s Violet?”

“I don’t know.” Speaight replied. “Mrs. Pepper hasn’t come back with Dr. Halifax yet.”

“I’d best go upstairs, then.”

“I’m sure they’re still in the girl’s room.” Speaight answered. “Please tell the doctor to ring if I’m needed.

Charles nodded, smoothed his hair and climbed the stairs.

When he reached the nursery floor, he saw, through the door of Fern’s room, Dr. Halifax kneeling over Violet who lay on the floor. Mrs. Pepper stood nearby, looking nervous.

Charles rushed in. “Is Vi all right?”

“She’s got burns on her arms.” Mrs. Pepper answered.

“Oh?” Charles’ eyes widened. He looked around the room and noticed that the bed linens and bed curtains were charred.

Dr. Halifax looked up. “The little witch set fire to her bed with the lamp. Violet put it out before it spread anywhere else, but she was burned. Not too badly, but I’m sure it hurts quite awfully.”

“It does, Sir.” Violet cried. “But I shouldn’t have taken my eyes off of the girl. I’m so sorry she got out.”

“It’s not your fault.” Robert shook his head. “You saved us all. Had you not put out that fire when you did, it could have caught the house ablaze. And, just here next to the nursery. When I think what could have happened to Colin…” He paused. “When I see that girl, it’s going to be all I can do to not wring her neck. Where is she now?”

“We had her. About to lock her in the scullery, but she bit me and shoved Speaight. She managed to get out the area door.” Charles explained, embarrassed.

“She’s out on the streets?” Robert straightened up.

“No, Sir.” Charles shook his head.

“So you caught her?”

“No.” Charles replied. “Miss Rittenhouse took her in to Hamish House.”

“Cor!” Mrs. Pepper exclaimed.

“Good!” Robert spat. “Leave them all to the Devil!”

“Shouldn’t I try to get her back, Sir?” Charles asked.

“As far as I’m concerned, that’s where she belongs.” Robert shook his head.

“But, what will we tell His Grace?” Charles asked. “He might think it dangerous for the girl to be with those two women.”

“Dangerous for her or for them?” Robert asked.

“Dangerous for all of us. We know that they had plans for the girl and that, poor, deformed baby.” Charles answered.

“Nothing will come of it. The child won’t live much longer by the looks of him.”

“Still, His Grace may…”

“You leave that to me.” Robert stood up. “My…His Grace is a gentle, wonderful soul. He wanted to give the girl another chance. We did. And, our reward was nearly seeing our child and…all of us burned to a crisp. She’s harmed Violet. She’s harmed all of us in some way. The Duke said that if the girl failed this test, he would send her away. I will talk with him. Would you and Mrs. Pepper see Violet to her room?”

“Yes, of course.” Charles nodded.

“Sure, we will.” Mrs. Pepper said.

“Violet, I’m terribly sorry about this.” Robert said gently.

“Ain’t your fault, Sir.” Violet shook her head as Charles helped her to her feet.

“I shall come and check on you shortly.” Robert added.

“Sir, that girl won’t be back here?”

“No.” Robert said firmly. “She will not.”

Did you miss Chapters 1-310 If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 312 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square.

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