Friday, January 31, 2014
A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 51
"Fascinating," Punch declared in his finest "Julian" voice as he and Miss Blessum arrived at the terrible cell where Morgana had been kept for nearly a year. "Here I thought there wasn't a corner of Fallbridge Hall that I hadn't seen, and, yet, within the past day, I've seen so much that I never expected."
He faced Miss Blessum so that she so that she could not escape his gaze. "Tell me, however did you find this particular room? Tucked away here...as it is."
"I did not, Your Grace. Mr. Jackson knew of it." Ivy answered.
"Open the door for me, please."
"Yes, Your Grace." Ivy nodded nervously.
"I wonder what purpose it served." Punch smiled. "Oh, after you..." He waved the woman in before he entered. "Tell me, were the chains on the walls here or did you and Mr. Jackson have then installed?"
"Go on." Mr. Punch grinned.
"We had Gregory install them." Ivy gulped.
"Ah," Punch nodded. "Hmmm...the manacles look as though they'd have been a bit snug on my aunt. She does not technically have wrists, you know. Just wee indentations where her...claws...pincers meet her arms. I can't imagine that she would have been terrible comfortable. And, well, those leg irons. Those must have cut and chafed her terribly--her one leg as...swollen as it is. Open them."
"The shackled and leg irons." Punch smiled. "Use your keys and open them. Then, hand your keys to me."
"I...I do not think that..."
"Do it!" Punch shouted.
Ivy did as instructed.
"Now, the keys." Punch held out his hand. Ivy reluctantly deposited the keys in his palm.
"Miss Blessum, I should like to see how the manacles fit a person with wrists so that I might imagine how they might have fitted my Aunt Morgana. Please place your wrists in the shackles."
Punch narrowed his eyes. "You will do it while conscious or..."
"Surely, Your Grace, you couldn't be so..."
"Cruel?" Punch interrupted. "Cruel as to keep another human being chained to a wall, in a cell, in an attic?" He laughed. "Why not? It's quite the thing in Yorkshire, I'm told." His smile faded. "Now, place your bony wrists in the shackles."
She did has instructed and Punch snapped them shut. "Do you see how loose they are? Not loose enough that you could escape, mind. But, still, loose enough that they're not cutting into your flesh--not that you have much flesh. Now, think. My aunt's...arms...are much thicker than yours. How might that feel? Think of that. Do...really think of it. I shall ask you for your observations when I return."
"You're going to leave me here, Your Grace?"
"For how long?"
"For how long was Miss Morgana locked here?" Punch smiled as he closed and locked the door behind him.
Come back on Monday for Chapter 52 of A Recipe for Punch. If you've missed any chapters, you can catch up in the Chapter Archive.