Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 371
"Girls," Mrs. Pepper smiled as she knocked on the open door of the nursery suite.
"Oh, come in, Mrs. Pepper," Gamilla chimed happily.
"Gamilla..." Mrs. Pepper gasped. "Ya look...oh, my dear, ya just look so stunning. Like an angel." She dabbed at her eyes with a lace handkerchief.
"Thank you, Mrs. Pepper." Gamilla looked down modestly.
"She does look beautiful." Lennie declared proudly. "I hope I'm just a fraction as beautiful on my wedding day."
"Oh, you'll be more so, Your Ladyship." Gamilla beamed.
"No, dear Gamilla. No matter what, your pretty face will always made you all the more beautiful."
"Miss Lennie." Gamilla blushed.
Ethel came up behind Mrs. Pepper and peeked into the doorway. "May I look?"
"Of course," Lennie waved the girl in.
"Cor!' Ethel exclaimed. "Like a princess, you are! Just like a royal princess straight out of a paintin' in a museum."
"You're all too kind." Gamilla shook her head.
"Gerard won't be able to keep his mouth closed," Violet nodded. "He's going to stand at the altar, staring at you with his mouth open."
Gamilla giggled. "I hope so!"
"Your Ladyship, if you don't mind, girls, I'd like to have a moment with Gamilla. In private." Mrs. Pepper said shyly.
"Not at all." Lennie smiled. "Violet can help me finish dressing, and, Ethel you're nowhere near ready."
"Oh, blimey!" Ethel exclaimed.
"Not to worry, Ethel. Maudie's got your things all laid out and she'll help you dress. I saw His Grace on my way up and he asked if you'd being Master Colin to the drawing room so he and His Lordship can watch him while you dress." Mrs. Pepper said.
"Ain't that fine?" Ethel said humbly. "The masters thinkin' 'bout me like that."
"My brother and His Lordship think of everyone and everything." Lennie smiled proudly. "Come, now, let's leave Mrs. Pepper with the bride."
The others filed out, Lennie shutting the door behind them, as Gamilla gestured for Mrs. Pepper to sit in the chair next to her dressing table.
"I remember the day I married my late Mr. Pepper." The cook spoke up. "Oh, I was nervous. I didn't even have any ordeal like you just had, dearie. The one thing what kept me from laughin' and cryin' all at once was havin' me mum with me. Now, Gamilla, I know your mum is up in heaven where mine is now, so I thought maybe, for today, I could act as your mum. If you'd let me."
"I'd be most honored, Mrs. Pepper." Gamilla grinned. "I just been missin' my ma. All my family really."
Mrs. Pepper nodded.
"As happy as I am," Gamilla continued, "I can't help but miss 'em a little. My ma, my daddy, my sister. But, I know they're watchin' over me. And, here I got you to hold my hand, and Miss Lennie to be like my sister and His Grace to escort me to the altar in my daddy's place."
"Are ya nervous, dearie?"
"No." Gamilla answered. "Not 'specially. I feel like maybe I should be, but I ain't."
"That's good." Mrs. Pepper nodded. "In my life, I seen three times o' gettin' married. The first was like me--a child, really, gettin' married to a man she hardly knew. That's excitin', but sometimes it don't work out. I was lucky. The second is a woman who cries the whole time she's gettin' ready, knowin' she's marryin' the wrong man and tryin' to make the world think her tears are from happiness. The third, is like you. It's a woman who's marryin' her dearest friend. Those are the happiest of marriages."
"Oh, he is my dearest friend. I may say that the girls and Miss Lennie are my dearest friends, and, he may say Charles is his, but in our hearts, it's really each other."
"It's because you're one mind. You just needed to find each other to be whole." Mrs. Pepper smiled. "And, here, I came in thinkin' I was gonna give ya some big motherly talk about marriage. You don't need me."
"Yes, I do!" Gamilla said. "I do...very much. I need ya to sit with me, Mrs. Pepper. I need to talk. I need to talk of all my glad plans and happy dreams."
"And, I need to hear them, dearie. I really do...very much." Mrs. Pepper dabbed her eyes again.
Did you miss Chapters 1-370 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 372.