Friday, November 15, 2013
A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 14
With Robert finally napping, Punch sat up and quietly lowered himself from the bed. He slipped on the soft leather shoes that he typically wore around the house, and secured his velvet dressing gown over his shirt and breeches.
As silently as he could, Punch crept out of the Turquoise Suite and into the labyrinthian passage which, like the rest of the great house, was lined with portraits of Fallbridges past. He tried not to look at them as he made his way to an all-too-familiar door.
Pausing for a moment, Mr. Punch wondered if he was making the right decision. What could possibly lie beyond that tall archway which he'd not seen before? After all, hadn't he already observed--either from Julian's point of view or his own--each corner of those rooms?
Yet, he knew he had to see them again--if only one last time. They were, as Punch recalled, the only spot in all of Fallbridge Hall, in which he ever, well, in which Julian ever, felt even remotely safe. Remotely--if at all.
Inhaling deeply, Punch grasped the tremendous door handle and with a determined push, opened the door whose hinges emitted a pained moan.
Grabbing a candle from one of the torcheres which lined the passage, Punch tensed his shoulders and entered the suite which once had been his home.
Directly in front of him, the monumental fireplace with its pedimented mantel welcomed him. To its right sat the well-worn aubergine velvet chair in which Julian had lost many unhappy hours. Just beyond that, in the massive bay of pointed arches was nestled the gilt-wood cabinet.
Ah, the cabinet.
The reliquary which once housed the puppet.
The puppet, Mr. Punch. From that puppet had grown the Mr. Punch which now lived life for Julian, in Julian's body.
The room had been untouched since the day Julian had packed and hurried to The Hyperion to sail for America in search of his sister, Lady Barbara. The day that his mother, the Duchess sat in the aubergine chair and mocked him for being weak and mad.
What would she say to him now?
What would she say to Lennie?
How would she react to Colin?
Shaking his head, Punch set the candle down and sat in the chair, scanning the room with his eyes.
It was time, he thought, to bury the past.
Did you miss Chapters 1-13 of A Recipe for Punch? If so, you can read them here. Come back on Monday for Chapter 15.