Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 352

Chapter 352
The Bride

"Oh, Miss Lennie!"  Gamilla smiled as Lennie entered the day nursery.  "What a fine treat.  Master Colin just finished his breakfast."

"Good morning, Collin."  Lennie cooed as she walked over to pet her nephew.  "And, how are you this morning, Gamilla?"

"I'm jus' fine."  Gamilla grinned.

"You look positively aglow."  Lennie nodded.

"You know, Miss...Your Ladyship, I feel like I got a glow 'bout me today."

"As every bride to be should,"  Lennie replied.

"Won't be long before you're glowin', too, My Lady."  Gamilla giggled.

"As I just told the groom-to-be, I can't think about that just yet."  Lennie laughed.

"You seen Gerard?"  Gamilla asked eagerly.

"I have.  Just a moment ago in the hall."  Lennie answered  happily.  "He seems a bit preoccupied."

"Is that good?"  Gamilla asked.

"Let's just say, it's normal.  I will tell you that I've never seen a man so happy to be married."

"Oh, I'm glad."  Gamilla beamed.  "Heaven knows I couldn't be happier."  She reached over to pick up Colin.

"What's next on my nephew's schedule?"

"Well, My Lady, usually this time of the day we play."

"At what do you play?"

"He likes his wooden blocks quite a lot these days."  Gamilla said proudly.  "He stacks 'em up awful high.  Seems he has more fun knockin' 'em down than he does stackin' 'em up."

"Men."  Lennie shook her  head playfully.  "Might I play at building with him for awhile?"

"Of course, My Lady.  Usually His Grace or Lord Colinshire join him in the mornin', but they're both busy what with plannin' the little surprise for Gerard for tonight."

"You know about that?"  Lennie chuckled.

"Oh, yes."  Gamilla smiled.  "His Grace asked me what men folk usually do at such things."  She laughed loudly.  "I tol' him I had no more idea than he done."

Lennie giggled.  "My dear brother, in so many ways, he's entirely an innocent."

"That's why we love him, Your Ladyship."

"It certainly is."  Lennie nodded.  "Well, then, I shall play with Colin.  Why don't you go get some rest?"

"My Lady?"

"Or, I'm sure you've much you need to do before tomorrow."

"But...I'm workin'."

"I know.  Still, I think you should take some time for yourself."

"But, Miss Lennie, I'm gonna be gone for our wedding trip.  I'd hate for Colin to be without me for an extra day.  Besides, His Grace didn't tell me that..."

"Now, now."  Lennie interrupted.  "I spoke with His Grace this morning and he agreed that you should take the morning for yourself to either rest or pack or prepare your last-moment things."

"I couldn't."

"Dear Gamilla, I'm perfectly able to look after Colin for awhile, and if I need anything, I'll ring for Ruthy."

"But, it ain't right."

"It most certainly is."  Lennie objected.  "If I were you, I'd lie down for awhile.  When do you rise in the morning?"


"Then, by all means, go rest.  You'll need your energy."

"Ain't like I'm goin' to the men's party or nothin', I got all evenin' to rest up."

"Perhaps you don't."  Lennie replied teasingly.

"Oh, Your Ladyship."

"Colin and I will be just fine.  I promise."

"Well, maybe for a little bit.  I do got some things I'd like for to get ready."

"I thought as much."

"You're so kind, My Lady."

"If I am, it's because I'm surrounded by kindness.  And, you, Gamilla, are at the heart of it all."

"Miss Lennie."  Gamilla shook her head.

"Now, go.  We have serious building to do, my nephew and I."

"All right, My Lady."  Gamilla grinned broadly.  "Only, I'm jus' gonna be in the next room if you..."

"I know."  Lennie laughed.

She watched happily as Gamilla hurried out of the room.  Her smile would have faded if she knew what was transpiring two floors below her.

Gerard glanced out of the french doors in the morning room and frowned when he saw Johnny Donnan peaking over the gate.

Storming out into the garden, Gerard hissed.  "Oy!  You know you ain't to be seen here.  You got somethin' to say to His Grace, you know where to leave it.  Now, get!"

"Did ya give me note to Her Ladyship?"  Johnny asked.

"Never you mind, Mr. Donnan."  Gerard answered curtly.  "Now, His Grace and Dr. Halifax have been most kind to ya.  But, I don't gotta be."

"Take this."  Johnny whispered, poking another crumpled, filthy piece of paper through the wrought iron gate.

Gerard sighed.

"It's important.  Take it, Lad!"  Johnny whispered loudly.

"Fine."  Gerard grabbed the paper.  

"You'll know what to do."  Johnny mumbled before turning away.

"Old idiot."  Gerard grunted.  As he walked back to the house, he recalled what Lennie had told him to do should he receive another note from Johnny.  Preoccupied with thoughts of his coming marriage, Gerard crumpled the note in his fist without even glancing at it.

Had he paused to examine it, he would have seen that it was addressed to him and not to Lennie.

Had he known what the two scribbled sentences said, he'd not have tossed it into the fire on his way out of the Morning Room.

As Gerard closed the Morning Room door behind him, the following words turned to smoke.

"American woman and Orpha plan to take your bride.  Keep her safe or she'll die."

Did you miss Chapters 1-351 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square?  If so,  you can read them here.  Come back tomorrow for Chapter 353.  

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