Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 53

Chapter 53
Rot There

"Such a sweet baby,"  Morgana smiled.  "You and Lord Robert must be so proud."

"We are,"  Punch nodded.  "And you needn't call 'im Lord Robert.  Just call 'im Robert.  He's your nephew, too, ya know.  Maybe not by blood.  But, he is."

"I am glad."  Morgana replied.  

"Even if he is a physician?"  Punch teased.

"I should not have l...let that..."  Morgana shook her head.  "I have...have had...have had bad...experiences with doctors."

"I'm sure that you have, Auntie."  Punch said sympathetically.  "I want you to tell me about them when you're ready, I do."  He glanced toward the door of the Vermillion Suite.

"In time."  Morgana replied.  "You must not worry so.  Your Robert will return soon."

"I know."  Punch smiled.  "Just seems to be takin' a long time.  I don't like when folk are scattered 'bout, I don't.  And, course, I'm still shattered from what I seen--what we found this mornin' and what happened in the nursery.  I shouldn't 'ave sent Ethel back with Colin and Dog Toby."

"Gamilla walked them back,"  Morgana said.  

"Only she should 'ave returned by now, too."  Punch sighed.  

"Perhaps she...she...had a difficult time finding that young man to stay with Ethel and the baby.  What was his name?"

"George.  Georgie Pepper.  He's our cook's boy.  He's one o' our footmen what we brought with us from London."  Punch explained.  "I just thought he could stay with Ethel and the baby until Gerard got back, what with Gamilla returnin' here to talk with us--doors openin' on their own and all.  I..."

"This is a strange place."  Morgana shook her head.  "You need not explain to me why want to take precautions with your child, Punch."

He nodded.

Morgana leaned in.  "Did she put up a fuss?"

"Who's that?"  Punch smiled.

"You know."  Morgana laughed.  "Miss Blessum. lock her in my old cell.  Didn't you?"

"Miss Blessum is not goin' to be in the way for awhile."  Punch continued to smile.

"You are a bit of a naughty monkey."  Morgana grinned.

"Only a bit."  Punch nodded.  "I won't leave her there long."

"She...she can rot there."  Morgana said with resolve.

Punch grinned.

A knock at the door interrupted their shared agreement.

"Finally someone's come back."  Punch stood.  "Come."

Gamilla entered.

"Did you find Georgie?"  Punch asked.

"I did, Your Grace."  Gamilla replied.  "He's in with Ethel and young Colin.  Dog Toby is guarding them both and the door is locked."

"Any sign of Lord Colinshire, Charles or Gerard, then?"

"Not yet, Your Grace."  Gamilla shook her head.

"I can't imagine why."  Punch exhaled.

"Maybe they done couldn't find a place to...put her."  Gamilla suggested.

"Possibly."  Punch frowned. 

"It's all strange."  Morgana clucked her tongue.

"No stranger than what they done to you, Auntie."  Punch muttered.  "That Jackson...I still wonder what would've become of you had you not managed to make yourself known to me, or had my sister not wished to learn about her ancestral home."

Gamilla suddenly wrapped her arms around herself and started mumbling.

"Mrs. Gurney?"  Morgana asked.

"I'm sorry, Miss Morgana."  Gamilla said softly.

"Are you well?"  Punch asked.

"I...I have a chill."

"Come by the fire."  Punch answered softly.

"That won't help, Your Grace."  Gamilla shook her head.

Behind them, a clicking noise could be heard, as if the door handle was being rattled from the passage.

"We must leave this room."  Gamilla said quickly.

"Auntie."  Punch offered his hand to Morgana.

"No, no."  Morgana shook her head, pulling her pincer away.  "I can get myself up."

They went to the door and Punch reached for the handle, however it wouldn't turn.

"Did you lock the door when you entered, Gamilla?"  Punch asked.

"No, Your Grace."  Gamilla shook her head.

"Only it's locked now."  Punch narrowed his eyes.

Did you miss Chapters 1-52 of A Recipe for Punch?  If so, you can read them here.  Come back tomorrow for Chapter 54.  

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