Monday, September 16, 2013
Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 382
Fern yelped upon hearing Ulrika's voice, dropping her plate of cake and charging forward.
"Do you want me to push you out of the window, too?" Fern shouted as she ran toward the titian-haired American.
"Fern!" Punch commanded. "You've pushed enough people to their deaths today."
"Isn't she a delight?" Ulrika cooed. "She reminds me a bit of myself at that age."
"Perish the thought." Robert snapped. "Ulrika, this is more than I can bear. Truly, what more could you possibly want from us?"
"How'd you get in here?" Gerard stepped forward. He, Charles, Robert, Punch, Georgie and even Speaight formed a loose semi-circle around the woman.
"Your flirtatious photographer let me in. I told him I was the caterer, really." Ulrika answered.
"I'd choke on any food she touched." Mrs. Pepper whispered to Maudie.
Ethel held Colin tightly and whispered soothing things to him. She looked up at Ulrika who caught sight of the girl.
"I couldn't leave your little island without one last little visit." Ulrika grinned.
"Enough!" Gamilla shouted. She pushed past the arc of men and stood in front of Ulrika. "You ain't gonna ruin this day for me. You already done tried and failed. So, if you're lookin' for a battle, woman, you got it."
"Oh!" Ulrika squealed. "The African girl finally shows some fire."
"I'll strangle your thick neck." Gamilla snapped.
"And, I'll kick your liver out!" Violet yelled, coming forward as well.
"Uncle Punch!" Fern called out. "If they can do that, why can't I push her out the window?"
"Because, Fern." Punch said firmly. He clenched his fists and looked squarely at Ulrika. "Miss Rittenhouse, it's taking all that I have not to club you to death with a candlestick, it is. Only I don't wish for Gamilla's day to be marked with more blood. When we parted, we had an understanding..."
"I know all of that." Ulrika interrupted. "And, as delightful as all of this violent talk is, if you'd just let me speak, I think I can explain why I'm here."
"You got ten seconds before I get to ya!" Violet shouted.
"Oh, my!" Ulrika grinned.
Matthew leaned over and whispered to Lennie. "My dear, is it always like this around here?"
"Quite often." Lennie nodded. "One becomes accustomed to it."
"I say." Matthew replied.
"Please," Ulrika held up a hand. "All I ask is one moment to...to thank you." She wrinkled her nose. "Oh, those words are like bile on my tongue."
"Thank us?" Punch spat.
"Yes, were it not for your..." Ulrika frowned. "Oh, really, it's terrible difficult to say. But, if it were not for your kindness, I'd be waiting to hang right now and not about to board a ship which will return me to my homeland."
Punch and his friend stared at Ulrika.
"That's really what I wanted to say." Ulrika sighed.
"You could have written a letter." Robert growled.
"I always think it's better form to say such things in person. Don't you?"
"Get out!" Punch ordered. "Get out before I let each of these people do to you what they wanna do."
"Isn't it customary to say, 'You're welcome'?"
"Get out!" Punch shouted again.
"I'll see you to the door, Miss Rittenhouse." Robert said.
"I'll go with you, Your Lordship." Gerard nodded.
"I can find my way, really." Ulrika smiled.
"We'll take you." Robert took Ulrika by one arm while Gerard to her by the other.
"Such hospitality." Ulrika demurred.
Did you miss Chapters 1-381 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 383.