Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 380

Chapter 380
Uninvited Guest

"Hullo, Ducks."  The photographer smiled as he carried his kit down the front steps of No. 65 Belgrave Square.  "I like a lass with fiery hair."

"Really?"  Ulrika Rittenhouse smiled as demurely as she could.

"You goin' to Sixty-Five?"  He asked.

"Perhaps."  Ulrika looked down, playing the coquette.

"Friend of the family, then?  Goin' to the affair?"

"In a manner of speaking.  I've known the bride and groom from the time they met, and I'm very familiar with the Duke of Fallbridge and his...companion."  Ulrika flirted.

"Ah."  The photographer nodded.

"However, I'm not a friend of the family."  Ulrika continued.  "I'm...I'm managing the staff that the Duke hired for the day."

"I see."  The photographer winked.  "I didn't think a pretty lass like you'd be caught up with the likes of the lot.  A queer sort, they are.  Aristocracy or not.  Havin' a weddin' breakfast for their governess and valet.  But, that's what happens with their kind.  And, cor!  An African bride marryin' an Englishman?"

"He's Australian, really."  Ulrika chortled.

"Still!"  The photographer exclaimed.  "But, it ain't my place to say a thing 'bout it.  Oh, they were nice enough and paid me triple me fee and all I could eat and drink.  Sure, they're very kind.  Queer, but kind."

"Yes, they are very kind."  Ulrika nodded with near-sincerity.

"Listen to me go on."  He said.  "I don't mean to keep ya from your work only I was so caught up in your beauty.  Not as if I see an unmarried woman very often--not one with as much elegance as you.   Anyone'd think you were a proper lady.  I suppose your work brings good fees?"

"Oh...oh, yes.  Amazing fees."  Ulrika smiled.  "Really."

"You are unmarried, yes?"

"Yes."  Ulrika nodded.  "But, not unknown to the company of gentlemen."

"Well, allow me, then."  The photographer set down his luggage.  "Least I can do is open the door for ya..."

"Thank you."

"IF..."  He winked.

"If?"  Ulrika cooed.

"If you give me your address and let me pay ya a call."

"Oh, I am flattered, really.  However, this is my last day here.  You see, I'm leaving England."

"Are ya, Ducks?"  He shook his head.  "Pity.  I'd like to have known ya.  You're American, then?"

"Yes, I'm returning home this evening.  I've only a little while before I must make my way to the ship."

"What a shame."  He teased.  "I coulda been a good friend to ya."

"Oh, you've already been a wonderful friend."

"I coulda showed ya a real good time."

"You still can."  Ulrika batted her eyes.  "I just have one little, tiny thing to do inside first."

Did you miss Chapters 1-379 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square?  If so, you can read them here.  Come back tomorrow for Chapter 381.  


Anonymous said...

Will someone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take a crowbar to this b---h!

Joseph Crisalli said...

I pushed Orpha and Marduk out of a window! But, no, Ulrika sticks around for a looooooong time...well into another non-Punch-related book, well into the late Nineteenth Century. Without the Ulrikas of the world, it'd be a story about a happy couple in a big house, eating lots of breakfast and playing with puppets. :)