Monday, September 23, 2013
Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 386
Like an Angel
"Ethel," Punch nodded as he and Robert entered the night nursery.
"Oh, Your Grace, Your Lordship." Ethel began to stand.
Punch waved his hand. "No, no, stay where you are. We just wanted to look in and see how Colin's doin'."
"Sleepin' like an angel." Ethel smiled. "I sung 'im a little song what me mum used to sing to me and he closed his little eyes."
Punch smiled. "He likes to be sung to."
"He's such a sweet baby."
"He is." Robert nodded.
"Thank you so much for lettin' me...lettin' me look after 'im." Ethel said emotionally.
"You were the best choice for the position, Ethel." Punch replied.
"You don't mind sleeping in here until Gamilla and Gerard return?" Robert asked.
"No, Sir." Ethel said. "It's a beautiful room and that lounge makes a fine bed for me."
"We could have a proper bed brought in for you and set it up in the new suite for you." Robert volunteered.
"Oh, no. That's for Gamilla and Gerard. They should be the first to sleep in it. I'd not want to spoil it for 'em."
"Still," Punch raised his eyebrows. "We want you to be comfortable."
"Your Grace, you don't know how comfortable it is for me just to be in a room like this." Ethel grinned.
"Hmmm..." Punch sighed. "I suppose I don't at that."
Robert nodded. "I think I understand, Ethel. However, you will let us know if you need anything?"
"I shan't need a thing, Your Lordship."
"Very well." Robert replied.
"Is the party over?" Ethel asked.
"Gamilla and Gerard have left for their trip." Robert answered. "The others are still chatting in the drawing room. Lord Cleaversworth has departed. His Grace and I have decided to retire for the evening."
"Leave the lot to their celebratin' and such." Punch smiled.
"Did Gamilla throw her bouquet?" Ethel asked.
"She did." Punch said. "Violet caught it."
Ethel grinned. "Cor! I'll bet Charles were sweatin'!"
The gentlemen chuckled.
"He didn't seem to mind." Robert replied. He reached into his pocket. "I almost forgot." He removed a small piece of cake wrapped in a handkerchief. "Gamilla wanted me to give this to you so you might put it under your pillow tonight."
"And dream of me own groom." Ethel blushed. "Ain't that sweet." She sighed. "I wish I could thank her."
"You can when they return." Robert answered.
"Now, we'll leave ya." Punch leaned over and kissed Colin on the forehead.
"I'll have 'im ready for ya by the time you've finished your breakfast, Your Grace." Ethel said. "Just as Gamilla does."
"We've no doubt." Punch responded.
"Good night, Ethel." Robert smiled.
"Good night, Your Lordship, Your Grace." Ethel replied.
Robert led Punch out of the nursery.
Alone with Colin, Ethel snuggled into her chair and looked up at the ceiling.
"Can you believe it, Jenny?" Ethel whispered. "Lots happened today. The woman what killed ya is gone now. She won't trouble ya no more as she's gone to another place than where you are. Our Gamilla got 'erself married and...look at me. I'm in the nursery. Cor! Wish you were 'ere to chat with. So much I'd like to tell ya. I got so many thoughts right now. I'd 'ave love to see what ya thought of the weddin'. Gamilla was so beautiful and Gerard so handsome. Aye. You'd 'ave loved it all. So much to see. I wish..." Inhaling, "If only ya knew how I miss ya, Jenny. If I could just now you was all right wherever ya gone. I feel a bit guilty, see. Bein' up here, all comfortable. I'd be glad to know you was comfortable, too."
She wiped her nose with her index finger and sighed again. She closed her eyes.
Ethel wasn't sure for how long she'd kept her eyes closed. When she opened them again, Colin was still asleep and the fire in the hearth had turned to embers.
"Oy." Ethel yawned. "Best lie down like a proper lady." As she was about to stand, she noticed, in her lap, a star cut from gold paper--the sort of cutting scrap which Jenny always made.
Carefully picking up the star between her fingers, Ethel smiled slightly. "Oh, I am glad."
Did you miss Chapters 1-385 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 387.