Friday, August 16, 2013
Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 368
"If that's Gerard, let me tell ya," Gamilla said through the door, in response to the gentle knocking, "I know we already done saw each other, but, we ain't gonna take no more chances today. I''ll see ya at the church!"
"It's not Gerry, Gamilla." Mr. Punch laughed. "It's just me and Lord Colinshire."
"Oh!" Gamilla hurried to open the door.
"Hope ya don't mind, I'm still in my dressing gown. Miss Lennie and Vi was doin' my hair."
"You two are going to have to be quick," Lennie joined Gamilla at the door of the new suite. "We have important things to do. Bride things. Don't we, Violet?"
"That we do." Violet smiled, coming up behind Gamilla and Lady Fallbridge.
Robert chuckled. "We won't keep you from your bride things."
"Oh, Vi was just teasin', Your Lordship." Gamilla said.
"We know, Gamilla." Mr. Punch grinned.
Gamilla paused, "Don't you two look handsome? Like men of wax, you two. I am so proud to have Your Grace escort me down the aisle, and you, Dr. Halifax, Your Lordship, you'll be more handsome than the groom, standin' at his side with Charles. Well," She blushed slightly, "almost as handsome."
"We thank you," Robert nodded.
"Tick tock, my dear brothers." Lennie teased.
"Right," Punch nodded. "We only came to give Gamilla this token of our affection. See, I remember when I...when we...was a little boy and a little...Punch...in Yorkshire and one o' the girls from downstairs was wed, the other ladies spoke a poem, they did. An old poem, maybe from Lancashire. It starts, "somethin' old, somethin' new,"
Gamilla tilted her head to one side.
"It's...see...it's 'bout what a bride should wear to see that she has a happy life. Somethin' old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in 'er shoe."
"How pretty." Gamilla smiled. "I already got somethin' new--that beautiful gown what you had made for me."
"That don't count." Punch shook his head seriously, "Can't be the dress."
"What about the silk that Marjani gave me?" Gamilla asked. "That's new. She made it special for me to wear on my marriage day. There's still some of it in the gown."
"Can't be the dress, Gamilla." Punch repeated.
"Oh," Gamilla smiled.
"So, here's something old." Punch reached into his pocket, offering a small red leather box to Gamilla.
"Your Grace..." Gamilla protested. "You already done so much."
"It's tradition!" Punch shook his head.
Gamilla grinned and opened the box to reveal a diamond ornament in the shape of a floral spray. It was hung with pear-shaped diamond pendants and baroque pearls which shimmered as she removed the ornament from the box.
"It's to wear in your hair." Punch said proudly. "We wanted to give it to ya before Vi finished with your coiffure so she could add it in. Quite old, it is. Made in the Eighteenth Century. It were once worn by our ancestors. Now, I want you to have it."
"Your Grace, I couldn't."
"You can and you will."
"It's all too much."
"Gamilla, I know I speak for His Grace and Her Ladyship when I say that we all feel that you're an important part of this family. I know His Grace was very excited to give this ornament to you."
"I am." Punch nodded, his eyes wide and happily wild.
"Thank you, Your Grace. I'm very humbled."
"Now," Robert spoke up, "Here's something new." He, too, reached into his pocket and removed a box of black leather.
"Oh..." Gamilla began to protest again.
"Now, now." Robert shook his head.
Gamilla giggled, and opened the box to find a gold locket in the shape of a heart, a small diamond was set in the center.
"This is from young Colin." Robert explained.
"Look at the reverse!" Punch chirped.
Gamilla turned over the locket and read: "To Gamilla on the day of her wedding, with affection, C.M. 2 August 1852."
"When the man with the photography...ummm...things and such...is here later, he can take pictures what we can put in there. Pictures of you and Gerard so you can wear 'em in the locket." Punch grinned.
"That's so sweet. I don't know how I deserve this." Gamilla said humbly.
"You deserve much." Lennie spoke up. "Now, gentlemen, we really must return to our tasks." She winked.
"Lennie, we've two more things." Robert winked back.
"Do you now?" Lennie teased her "brother."
"We'd planned this before..." Robert explained to Gamilla. "None of us had planned on the events of this morning."
"No, Sir." Gamilla exhaled.
"You go, you go." Punch tickled Robert's shoulder.
"Very well." Robert said. "This is to be your something borrowed." Robert took the stickpin from his own cravat. The pin was surmounted by a circle of turquoises around a small diamond, meant to represent a forget-me-not. "This pin was the first gift that Punch...His Grace...ever gave to me. "I thought you might wear it on the ribbon of your sash."
"I will take very good care of it, Your Lordship and make sure it is returned to you safely." Gamilla said gratefully. "And, look, it's also blue."
"No, no. That's cheatin'." Punch shook his head. "Gotta do it right; that's the way to do it." From his other pocket, he removed another red leather box. "Now, when Her Majesty was married, I...well, these hands made for Prince Albert a brooch which he gave to his Royal bride. I sent the very same design to my workshop and they worked very hard to make sure this were done for ya on time."
"It's my gift to you for all ya done for us. Please." Punch held up his hand.
Gamilla opened the box and gasped at the large blue sapphire, surrounded by brilliant-cut diamonds.
"It'll look fine on your gown." Punch smiled.
"Your Grace, Your Lordship, I'm so...grateful."
"And we are to you." Punch nodded.
"Very much so." Robert added.
"One more thing," Lennie held out her hand. "A silver sixpence to put in your shoe. My contribution to the tradition."
"Oh, thank you, Lady Fallbridge."
"Now--you men out!" Lennie demanded playfully.
"Can't we stay in the nursery with Colin?" Punch asked.
"No!" Lennie pushed the men into the day nursery where Ethel sat with Colin. "Ethel has everything in her control."
Gamilla followed Lennie and the men.
"Sirs? You might go and check on my Gerard for me."
"Charles has got him." Robert smiled. "But, we'll see how he is."
Just then, the door to the nursery opened and in walked Fern carrying a small spray of yellow rosebuds.
"I...I...think these were put in the wrong room." Fern said softly. "I can't imagine they're for me."
Did you miss Chapters 1-367 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back on Monday for Chapter 369.