Tuesday, November 5, 2013
A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 7
Take it Down
"Your Grace," Charles knocked, "Pardon me, however, we thought you might like to change from your walking clothes for tea."
"Right," Mr. Punch nodded.
Gerard followed Charles into the suite of rooms which Punch and Robert shared.
"You've come for me, too, I see." Robert smiled.
"Yes, Your Lordship." Gerard nodded.
"Very well." Robert obliged.
"It were Mr. Jackson what told us we should come and do this." Gerard confessed. "I told 'im at home the masters dress for dinner, but wear whatever they're wearin' for tea, bit he said..."
"I know what he said, Gerry." Punch sighed.
"It does seem a little unnecessary to change for tea." Robert laughed. "I've become accustomed to our many changes of clothes throughout the day, but adding one more seems just a tad superfluous, especially in the country."
"We may be in the country, Chum," Punch shook his head as he loosened his cravat, "but, Fallbridge Hall is not the usual country house. Jackson is still operating under the guidelines of the Duchess of Fallbridge, he is."
"Only, it's your house, Your Grace." Gerard smiled.
Punch looked across the room at a portrait of the late Duchess. "Because I got breath in me lungs, it is. But, only then, just barely."
"We'll oblige Jackson this once just to show him we're not completely savage, but I don't see..." Robert paused, noticing a grimace pass across Gerard's face.
"What is it, Gerard?" Robert asked.
"It's nothin', Your Lordship."
"No, no." Punch stepped forward. "Somethin's troublin' you?"
"Go on, Gerry." Charles said.
"I don't know if I 'eard 'im right." Gerard replied. "If I could be sure, I'd 'ave wrung his neck."
"Gregory." Gerard answered.
"Who is that?" Robert shook his head.
"One of the footmen." Punch answered. "The bulky one what looks better suited to workin' at the docks."
"Ah." Robert nodded. "What did he say?"
"When we passed through the servants' hall earlier and Mr. Jackson 'suggested' that we come up here, Gregory seemed to make some wisecrack to that brittle, old lady's maid about Gerard and Gamilla." Charles answered.
"What did he say?"
"We didn't quite hear 'em, but if it's what it sounded like, I'd care not to repeat it." Gerard replied.
"This won't do at all." Robert said angrily.
"I'm tryin' to give 'em the benefit o' the doubt." Gerard answered. "Your Lordship, you know me--I got a quick temper, and it's taken me a long time to tame it. I can't afford to let me-self go back to them ways o' actin' rash."
"Quite right." Robert replied thoughtfully.
"It's best you told us." Punch nodded. "If you hear anything like it again, or anything you think might be like it, ya come to me or Lord Colinshire, please. Understand?"
"Yes, Your Grace." Gerard said.
Punch glanced up again at the portrait of the late Duchess. He snorted and pointed at it. "Charlie, can you reach that?"
"The painting, Your Grace?"
"I can." Charles nodded.
"Take it down, please."
Did you miss Chapters 1-6 of A Recipe for Punch? If so, you can read them here. Come back tomorrow for Chapter 8.