Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 37

Chapter 37

"Mr. Jackson,"  Mr. Quick snorted as he opened the door to the parsonage.  "Have you any idea of the hour?"

"I do."  Jackson spat.

"Decent, God-fearing men should be snug in their beds, Wilmer."  Mr. Quick clucked his tongue.  

"Silas,"  Jackson frowned.  "When have you ever known me to be a decent, God-fearing man?"

"Has the arrival of the margery Duke got you so upset that you can't sleep?"  Mr. Quick ushered the man in.

"In a manner of speaking."  Jackson replied.  "I've been sacked."

"Sacked?"  The parson raised his eyebrows.  "When?"

"Just now."

"You've given your whole life to that family!"

"Don't you think I know it, Silas?"  Mr. Jackson replied.  "And, don't you look so comfortable in your quilted dressing gown.  No doubt you, Hargrave, Causer, Blessum and the whole lot will be next."

"Whatever did you do to get yourself dismissed?  The Duke only just arrived today."  Mr. Quick asked.

"Morgana got herself free."  Jackson smirked.  "Worried the illegitimate sister.  Drawn to her own kind, I suppose.  Then, carried off one of the London maids."

"Merciful heavens."  Mr. Quick sat down. "Were they killed?"

"Not to my knowledge.  Must have been by now."  Jackson sighed.  "I left as Gregory and Blessum went up to try to find the maid."

"You just left with Morgana wandering the hall?"

"What was I to do?  The margery and his maryann dismissed me."  Jackson snarled.

"But, we made a...we swore.  We have an oath!  Wilmer!  Did you...Did you leave her?"  Mr. Quick asked.

"I did."  Jackson inhaled.  "What was I to do?  How could I have gotten her out with the servants' hall crawlin' with people as it was and her in the cupboard in my pantry?"

"You can't just leave her in there!  She'll be found!  What if Morgana was to find her?  Worse still what if His Grace or Her Ladyship was to... They're bound to!"

"Only I have the key to that cupboard."  Jackson shook his head.

"It's His Grace's house.  In taking on a new butler, he's bound to open every cupboard to take inventory.  Wilmer, when he does, what's he going to see starin' in back in the face?"  Mr. Quick said.

"Well, Silas, I can't very well go back and get her now."  Mr. Jackson sniffed.

"You must.  She's your responsibility."

"Our responsibility.  We brought her here together, Silas."  Mr. Jackson laughed.

"And, you're just going to leave with her in a cupboard, after all we've tried to do?"

"Who says I'm leaving?"  Mr. Jackson roared.  "I may have been sacked, I may not be welcome in that house, but I'm not leaving.  I'll never leave not as long as M'Lady is here."

Did you miss Chapters 1-36 of A Recipe for Punch?  If so, you can read them here.  Come back tomorrow for Chapter 37.

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