Do No Harm
"Cor," Ethel grinned. "Maybe I oughta get me-self married."
"What for?" Maudie asked.
"Well, look at this fine suite of rooms." Ethel smiled.
"The workmen did a fine job, Your Grace." Speaight interrupted the girls.
"Sure," Punch nodded. "I know I'm pleased with it, but what matters most, it does, is whether or not the bride to be and her groom like 'em. After all, it's them what's gotta live here."
Maudie giggled to hear the Duke of Fallbridge speak in his normal voice.
Ethel pinched her friend.
"It's all right, Maudie." Punch giggled, too. "I know this ain't the way a Duke should talk only it's how I talk."
"I like it." Maudie replied.
"Your Grace." Maude added.
"So," Robert piped up. "What do you think, Gamilla?"
With tears in her eyes, Gamilla took Gerard by the arm and stepped forward. "They're beautiful rooms, Your Lordship. We can't thank you and Your Grace and Lady Fallbridge enough for all ya done for us."
"It's our pleasure." Robert smiled.
"It sure is." Mr. Punch agreed.
Ethel chortled and spoke up. "So, if any of us gets married, Your Grace, will we all get a fine suite like this?"
"Who'll marry you?" George Pepper whispered.
"That'll be quite enough." Speaight snapped. "There's quite a lot of difference between what's provided the nanny and the valet of the Lord of Colinshire than what would be offered a scullery maid."
"Oh, now." Lennie smiled. "Everyone in this house will always have the best possible accommodations at every phase of their life."
"Today's a happy day," Punch continued. "So, let's be joyful."
"It most surely is, Your Grace." Mrs. Pepper chirped. "To think, in two days, our Gamilla will be Mrs. Gurney."
"Not only am I gettin' the best husband, but I'm gettin' finally gettin' a surname." Gamilla teased.
"Surname, maybe," Charles joked. "But, I don't know about the best husband."
"I can't think of one better." Gamilla laughed.
"What about me?" Charles grinned.
"Here, now." Gerard jokingly scowled.
"Oh, you are bad, Charlie." Mrs. Pepper shook her head playfully.
"As much as I'd like to stay here all day," Gamilla inhaled. "I'd best get back to the day nursery and to Master Colin. Ruthy still ain't too steady with his bath."
"And, I'd best get Her Ladyship's dinner gown ready." Violet nodded. "Just came from the dressmaker. Oh, it's a fine one. Lord Cleaversworth will nor be able to take his eyes off of you tonight., My lady."
"Violet, please." Speaight hissed.
Punch laughed, pleased to see the playfulness of the extended make-shift family.
"Here, what's that?" Mrs. Pepper cocked her head to one side.
"Someone poundin' on the front door, I think." Violet whispered.
"I'll go." Charles said.
"The rest of you, thank His Grace, Lord Colinshire and Lady Fallbridge for inviting you upstairs."
"Thank you." The others said in unison.
"Now, downstairs with the lot of you." Speaight ordered.
"You're in a mood today, Mr. Speaight." Mrs. Pepper whispered.
"Never you mind, Mrs. Pepper." Speaight shook his head.
Robert and Punch chuckled as the group filed from the newly finished suite of rooms just off of the nursery.
"They are beautiful." Gamilla said. "We don't know what to say."
"We don't, truly." Gerard added.
"Say you'll be happy here." Punch nodded.
"We will, Your Grace." Gerard answered. "We will."
"That's all we ask." Lennie smiled.
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd best get into the day nursery." Gamilla said. She glanced at Gerard who winked at her. Gamilla hurried out.
"And, I'll be settin' out your duds for tonight, Doctor...I mean, Your Lordship."
Robert nodded. "I'll be in shortly."
As Gerard was exiting, Charles rushed into the room.
Punch felt his stomach sink.
"Your Lordship, there's..." Charles panted. "Miss Rittenhouse is here."
"Whatever for?" Robert growled.
"She needs a doctor."
"I didn't think that woman was human enough to be ill." Lennie muttered.
"It's not her, Lady Fallbridge. It's the child."
"Fern?" Punch raised his eyebrows.
"No." Charles shook his head. "The other one. Marduk."
Did you miss Chapters 1-338? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 340 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square.