Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 83

Chapter 83
Under the Earth

"Any luck?"  Gamilla asked as her husband came into the nursery.

"No."  Gerard shook his head sadly.  He embraced his wife and held on for a long time.  Finally he released her, but remained close at her side.  "Charlie's gone to speak to His Grace.  We're gonna go to the vicarage in a few minutes.  I just wanted to pop in an' see ya."

"I was hopin' you would."  Gamilla smiled.

"How are ya feelin', Love?"  Gerard asked.  "I didn't get to spend any time with ya this mornin'.  How's your stomach?  Were ya sick this mornin' like you were the past few days?"

"No."  Gamilla shook her head.  "I think that's gettin' past us."

"Good."  Gerard replied with obvious relief.  "I never understood why women have to suffer so to bring a child.  Don't seem fair.  Oughta be the opposite."

"Honey, didn't ya know?  A long time ago a naked lady took some fruit that wasn't hers, and made it rough for the rest o' us."  Gamilla joked.  "At least that's what I was told when them men came and took me back to America with them."

Gerard chuckled, but, then shook his head, repeating, "Don't seem fair."

"Well, Honey, life ain't fair."  Gamilla smiled, rubbing her husband's arm.  "I don't mind any of it.  Ain't nothin' I wouldn't do so as we could have a healthy, happy baby."

Gerard nodded and peered into the crib at Colin.  "You think they'll be friends?  Our child and young Colin."

"I'm sure they will.  Master Colin will be able to share the wisdom of his extra months o' life to guide our child.  Ya know, Gerry, he's walkin' pretty well these last few days."  She turned away so that Gerard wouldn't see that she'd started to feel a dull headache.

"Is he?"  Gerard grinned.  "His Grace said that he was proud o' how well Colin's taken to talking, but he didn't say that he was walkin' a lot."  He sighed.

"What is it, Gerry?"

"Oh, I was just thinkin' that it's one more bit o' sadness.  All these distractions keep the masters from their time with Colin.  I know it bothers both of them."

Gamilla nodded.  "I know."  She tried to think of something comforting to say, but could think of nothing that didn't sound silly.  Quickly rubbing her temples as the ache grew, she simply said.  "Soon enough, we'll be back to usual.  I know it.  I hate to see you so sad with worry, my sweet man."

"Cor,"  Gerard inhaled.  "I'd best get me-self together, then.  Hadn't I?  Ain't like me to be so sullen."

"You're tired, Honey.  And worried.  I know how fond you are of Georgie.  We all are, but you and he have got a good friendship.  I think he looks on ya like an older brother or uncle.  I seen how he comes to ya for advice and such."

Gerard was silent for a few seconds.  "Yeah, he's a good lad."  He turned away from the baby and looked at Gamilla.  "Promise me somethin'."


"Promise me nothin's gonna happen to ya."  Gerard said, taking her by the shoulders.

"Honey, I can only promise that I'll do all I can to make sure nothin' does."  She answering, trying to ignore the sensation in her head which had turned into a throbbing pain.

"Right," Gerard answered.  "You oughn't be in here alone.  Where's Ethel?"

"I sent her downstairs to be with Maudie for a spell."  Gamilla responded.  She squinted a bit, feeling a trifle dizzy.

"Well, then, lock the door 'til she comes back up."

"I will." Gamilla replied.

"I best go an'..."  Gerard began.  He paused and looked at his wife.  "Gamilla?"


"Somethin's not right.  I can see it in your eyes.  You're sick.'re sensin' somethin'.  Ain't ya?"

"Oh, can't hide a thing from you."

"No.  And, you shouldn't."  Gerard leaned in.  "Do ya see somethin'?"

"I don't."  Gamilla shook her aching head.  "But, I...I smell something.  Earth.  Damp earth and somethin' sharp like medicine."

"Damp earth?  Like after a rain?"

"No."  Gamilla answered.  " when you're diggin' a hole and..."  She staggered backward a little bit.

"I'm goin' to get His Lordship."  Gerard said quickly, leading Gamilla to a chair.  

"I ain't sick, Gerry.  Just tired.  We're all tired."  Gamilla said softly.  "Don't bother Lord Colinshire with havin' to come up here and doctor me.  He and the Duke got enough..."  She inhaled as if to settle her stomach.  "Ya know, sometimes I get these...senses and...well, it ain't nothin' to worry the masters more with."

She was breathing very slowly and Gerard began to panic.

"Tell me, Gamilla...what are you feelin'?"

"They're deep in the earth."  Gamilla said slowly.  "So deep that the fog can't hide 'em.  Miss Morgana, Georgie and William..."

"You don't mean?"

"No.  They're still alive."  Gamilla answered quickly.  "But, they're hurt...they're...they're travelin'.  Slowly."

"Under the earth?"

Gamilla nodded.  "I...I think.  I don't know what it means."

"I'm gonna get Lord Colinshire and His Grace."  Gerard said.  "I know you said not to, but you gotta tell them this.  No...wait.  Come with me, I don't want to leave you..."

"I can't leave the baby."  Gamilla shook her head.

"Bring him, then.  I'll carry him."

"Honey..."  Gamilla started to rise, but she felt too weak.  Her eyelids began to flutter.

"Love?"  Gerard took her hand.  "What is it?"

"Gerry...I..."  She began, but the words caught in her throat.

Gerard watched in horror as Gamilla slumped in the chair. 

He took her face in his hands.  "'Milla?  Love, talk to me!"

Did you miss Chapters 1-82 of A Recipe for Punch?  If so, you can read them here.  Come back tomorrow for Chapter 84.

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