Friday, April 11, 2014
A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 91
"The only way out o' this cavern, Miss," George shook his head, "is the way the brung us in, and that's closed up tight." He squinted further down the tunnel. "Unless we wanna walk further into the darkness--to 'Miss Charlotte's.'" He paused. "Beggin' your pardon, Miss, but, you're sure that's what you heard 'em say?"
"Yes." Morgana replied. "The bailiff--Causer--he spoke of 'Lottie's' place and many a 'merry night sneakin' past the whole prim lot under their sleepin' noses.' W...whatever that could mean." She sighed. "I take it that...that this is a tunnel which will lead us to the establishment of this Charlotte or Lottie or whatever she's called."
"She's a dollymop, Miss Morgana." William interrupted. He blushed. "Excuse me, please, for my coarseness."
"Oh, William, I heard worse in the traveling show." Morgana answered.
Georgie tightened the blanket around his nude body. "Miss, do you feel well enough to walk?"
"I n...never feel well enough to walk." Morgana answered. "However, I will walk."
"What's to say that this toffer is going to let us in when we go bangin' on the trapdoor to her bawdy house?" William exclaimed, letting his blanket slip a little.
Morgana snapped her pincers at him again, and he blushed, covering himself.
"Well, we can't likely stay here and wait to be flayed alive, can we, William?" Georgie barked.
"What's the difference?" William replied. "The three-penny-upright at the other end of the tunnel is a bosom friend of Causer and Hargrave, and it seems the vicar and Jackson, so why would she give us sanctuary? By now, she likely knows we're in here and to not let us out."
"Georgie," Morgana interjected calmly. "You were there, yes?"
"Yes, Miss." George answered shyly. "With Fred and Gregory last night."
"What other inhabitants has the...pl...place?"
"Women, best I recall. I don't really know. I was...I was drunk. I didn't do nothin', Miss. They'd gotten me drunk. I passed out."
"I'm not judging you, George." Morgana smiled. "I only wish to know our chances. If...if...it would be this Lottie who would greet us or some more...sympathetic soul."
"I couldn't say." Georgie shrugged.
"We're doomed." William wailed.
"Hush," George said quickly.
"But, we are, mate." William continued. "Look at us...we're all greased..."
"No, I mean, I hear something..." George whispered. "I think someone's comin'."
"Quickly boys, act...act as if you're still groggy." Morgana leaned against one of the dirty walls.
"It's too late for that, Morgana." Ivy Blessum hissed as the filthy trapdoor grated open and she descended into the cavern on the rickety make-shift ladder. "There's nothing down here to cushion the sound of these young voices."
"Ivy..." Morgana let out a sigh. "Let...Let these young men go. Th...this...this doesn't concern them. I c...c...can discern why you and your comrades want me, but..."
"Shut your gob, monster." Ivy growled. "Now's not the time to be noble. Don't you know? It doesn't suit you?"
"You can't speak to Miss Morgana that way!" George stepped forward.
"Miss Morgana?" Ivy laughed. "Two days in a fine bed and she's a lady? For all her life she was a curiosity, for a time after--my pet. Now, she's Miss Morgana? You'd do well to be quiet, lad. You know nothing of what you say."
"You will not silence me." George walked toward Ivy.
"I will." Ivy smiled, withdrawing a long knife from the pocket of her apron.
"I...I...Ivy!" Morgana screamed. "Stop!"
From Ivy's right side, William leapt forward in an attempt to grab the knife from her hand.
He toppled frail woman to the ground.
"You fool!" Ivy screamed.
"Run!" William shouted.
Ivy, however, was not keen on being defeated. Feeble and brittle though she was, she reached out with a bony hand and wrapped her fingers around Williams ankle, causing him to fall. She used his strength to pull herself up, and, towering over him, thrust the knife into his exposed chest.
Morgana and George stood, frozen in terror as William's blood mixed with the earth.
Did you miss Chapters 1-90 of A Recipe for Punch? If so, you can read them here. Come back on Monday for Chapter 92.