Monday, February 10, 2014

A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 56

Chapter 56
The First Exit

Robert and Charles each grabbed one of Gerard's arms to prevent him from ramming his shoulder into the grating of the crypt again.

"It's no use, Gerry."  Charles whispered.

"All you'll accomplish is injuring yourself."  Robert added.  "Remember, it hasn't been very long since you've recovered from your stabbing."

Gerard panted.  "We can't stay in here."

"And, we shan't."  Robert replied calmly.  "Someone is bound to come along soon enough and release us."

"Oh?"  Gerard panted again.  "I mean on disrespect, Your Lordship, only, how often does anyone come back here?"

"Surely, Mr. Quick will pay a visit to the chapel at some point.  Even if he doesn't, the vicarage is just nearby.  If we keep shouting, we'll be heard."

"How do we know that it wasn't this Mr. Quick who locked us in here?"  Charles asked.

"Surely it was Jackson or Hargrave."  Robert squinted.  He sighed.  "Though why I give the parson any more credit just because he's a man of the cloth, I don't know...he was just as thick with the Duchess as the other two from what I've been made to understand."

"Now you see why I been willin' to risk my shoulder."  Gerard nodded.  He rubbed his eyes.  "I can't stand it a moment more, Sir.  Our families must be frantic.  What must Gamilla be thinkin'?  A woman in her...condition, Sir.  It can't be good for 'er.  And what of His Grace?  With the shock he just had, and you not back by now?"

"I know..."  Robert nodded.

"And, all this death 'round us."  Gerard continued.

"Steady on,."  Charles shook his head.

"I can't 'elp it, mate."  Gerard inhaled.

Robert looked around the crypt.  "I cannot accept that this is the only exit."

"I was just thinking the same, Sir."  Charles replied.  "In building such a burial chamber, some sort of trap must have been considered for displaced soil when adding additional vaults.  It wouldn't be carried out through the chapel."

"I wouldn't expect so."  Robert shook his head.  "I did not, however, get a good enough look at the facade of the structure to see where in the foundation there might be a hatch."

"Perhaps..."  Charles began...

He didn't have time to finish his thought.

The sound of the crypt gate opening interrupted him.  It swung open with a creak, as quickly as it had closed and locked.

The three men exchanged confused glances.

"Let's don't waste a minute."  Gerard said quickly, rushing out of the crypt.

Robert and Charles followed him.

Climbing the stairs to the surface of the chapel, they looked down upon the chapel gate which closed behind them.

Did you miss Chapters 1-55 of A Recipe for Punch?  If so, you can read them here.  Come back tomorrow for Chapter 57.

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