Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 326

Chapter 326 
Too Much 

Mrs. Pepper daubed her eyes.

“Is it the onions?” Maudie asked.

“No, no, dearie.” Mrs. Pepper shook her head. “I’m just proud, is all. Imagine. We work for a Duke, a Duke what is a friend of the Queen ‘erself. And, now, our own Dr. Halifax is a baron and Miss Lennie is a Lady.”

“It’s pretty thrillin’.” Maudie nodded.

“They deserve it,” Ethel smiled, comin’ out of the scullery.

“I can’t think o’ anyone who deserves it more.” Mrs. Pepper wiped her eyes again. “A Duke, a Baron and a Lady. And, we get to serve them.”

“Dr. Halifax…” Ethel began.

“His Lordship.” Mrs. Pepper corrected the girl.

“Right.” Ethel nodded. “His Lordship seemed kinda shy about the whole thing. Miss Lennie, too.”

“They’re modest.” Mrs. Pepper smiled. “It’s what makes ‘em both so fine.”

Violet stuck her head through the pass-through. “Mrs. P., now, remind me what I’m supposed to call ‘em now.”

“You’re to call Dr. Halifax, “Your Lordship’ and refer to ‘im as “His Lordship or Lord Colinshire.”

“But, he’s a Baron, not a Lord.” Violet tilted her head to one side.

“Right, but all Barons are Lords.” Mrs. Pepper answered.

“Are all Lords Barons?”

“No.” Mrs. Pepper shook her head.

“It’s all so confusin’.” Violet muttered. “So, can I call ‘im Baron Colinshire?”

“When speakin’ of ‘im, yes.” Mrs. Pepper nodded. “Either Baron Colinshire or Lord Colinshire. But, you need be more concerned with Miss Lennie since you’re her maid.”

“I’m to call her, ‘My Lady’ or “Your Ladyship.’ And when I speak of ‘er, I’m to say, ‘Her Ladyship or Lady Fallbridge.’” Violet said slowly.

“That’s right, girl.” Mrs. Pepper replied with pride.

“Mrs. Pepper,” Maudie interrupted. “If a Baron is a Lord, is a Duke a Lord?”

“Yes.” Mrs. Pepper nodded.

“So, why don’t we call His Grace, ‘Your Lordship’?” Maude asked.

“Well, because a Duke is more important than a Lord. That’s why we call him, ‘Your Grace.’”

“Is a Duke more important than a Baron?” Ethel asked.

“Yes. A Duke and a Prince are pretty much the same.” Mrs. Pepper said.

“Why don’t we call ‘im Prince Julian, then.” Ethel asked.

“Because he ain’t a prince and he ain’t Julian. He’s Mr. Punch.”

“But, he’s also Julian Molliner.” Ethel said.

“Yeah, why is it that these folk don’t use their surnames like the rest of us?” Violet asked.

“I dunno, girl.” Mrs. Pepper shrugged. “Just do as Mr. Speaight says, and, we’ll all be fine.” She turned to Maudie. “Now, quite workin’ your mouth and ‘elp me get these savories for tea finished. The Earl of Cleaversworth will be here soon.”

“What of an Earl?” Ethel asked. “How’s that compare to a Duke or a Baron? Is he a Lord, too?”

“He is, and Earl is below Baron and Duke.”

“Oh.” Ethel nodded.

“Now, go on, girl, those pots ain’t gonna wash themselves.”

“Yes, Mrs. Pepper.” Ethel smiled.

“Maudie, go to the larder and fetch me some o’ that nice cold beef.” Mrs. Pepper nodded.

“Right.” Maude scurried off.

“It is a fine thing, ain’t it, Mrs. P.?” Violet grinned. “Ours is a right important house.”

“Sure is.” Mrs. Pepper replied.

“And, all the better now that that Fern girl is outta it.” Violet continued.

“Poor thing looked so sad when that man came to take her to the ‘ouse where Mr. Barrett is kept.”

“Poor thing?” Violet grumbled. “In a week, she’ll be in a fine school. Just hope she don’t burn down the place.”

Mrs. Pepper shook her head. “Let’s pray she don’t.”

“Say, do you think Miss Lennie…I mean, Lady Fallbridge, is gonna marry this Earl?”

“After one of my special teas, it’s likely.” Mrs. Pepper winked.

“Maybe I oughta have you prepare one for me.” Violet sighed.

“You wanna be married?” Mrs. Pepper smiled.

“Don’t everyone?”

“Most, I s’pose.” Mrs. Pepper nodded.

“Just need a husband.” Violet chuckled.

“What of Charles?” Mrs. Pepper asked.

“Charles? Oh, he don’t want me.”

“Don’t he? When you was laid up with your burns, didn’t he come many times a day to check on ya?”

“He’s bein’ friendly.”

“That’s not what Mr. Gurney says.” Mrs. Pepper teased.

“Oh, come now. Gerry and Gamilla are all awash in their own love. They see Cupid shootin’ arrows in every corner.” Violet shook her head.

“Maybe you oughta start lookin’ for Cupid, too.” Mrs. Pepper winked. “Never know what you’ll find.”

“I’d be ‘appy if I could just find Miss Len…I mean, Her Ladyship’s new lace collar.” Violet laughed.

“Why don’t you ask Charles? He took all them packages to the pantry to sort through ‘em.”

“You are too much, Mrs. P.” Violet shook her head.

“Ain’t I, though?” Mrs. Pepper laughed.

Did you miss Chapters 1-325 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them
here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 327.

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