Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Recipe for Punch, Chapter 107

Chapter 107
Bring Her Back

"Do something!"  Gerard demanded of Robert.

"I am trying, Gerard."  Robert replied, checking Gamilla's pulse again.  "However, I don't know what to do.  Medically, there's no reason why she shouldn't be responding.  At least we know that Lennie has been drugged or poisoned--that's why we can't make her awaken.  With Gamilla, however, there's...well, there's nothing to prevent her from opening her eyes.  Nothing scientific."

Gerard's hands balled-up into fists.

"Her body is strong, Gerard."  Robert continued.  "I simply do not have an idea what to do next."  He took Gerard by the shoulder.  "The room is quiet now that everyone else has left.  Perhaps you should try talking to her."

Gerard nodded, rubbing his eyes.

"Ask her to come back."  Robert nodded.  "Hearing your voice may be just the thing."

Tears began to stream down Gerard's face.  "I can't lose her, Sir."

"I know."  Robert answered.

"I...I apologize for...for the way I've been behavin'."

"We all understand.  You're frightened.  I am, too.  Yet, you must be feeling all manner of things which the rest of us aren't.  You are, after all, her husband.  If anything happened to Punch..."  Robert paused.  "You've all seen how I can behave when Punch or Colin are in danger.  Gerard, there's no need to apologize."

"Do you think His Grace will forgive me?  I spoke to 'im so terribly."

"I promise you, Gerard, he understands."  Robert replied.  "Now, speak with your wife.  Let her hear your voice.  I'm going to leave you alone for just a few minutes.  I will return shortly."

Gerard nodded, bending down and taking Gamilla's hand.  He began to whisper to her as Robert slipped out of the room.

In the passage, he found Punch talking with Georgie as Mrs. Pepper, Charles, Violet and the Earl of Cleaversworth looked on.

"Chum,"  Punch reached out for Robert.  "This poor lad...coo!  He's survived a terrible ordeal he has.  He's shown true bravery, our George has, and seen some awful things.  William is dead.  Matthew's man, Perkins, is still missing.  And..."  He shook his head.  "My auntie--she's in terrible trouble."

"To what end?"  Robert asked.  "Jackson, Blessum and the others--why have they done this?"

"They want to..."  George began.  He coughed a bit.  "They are trying to give new life to His Grace's mother."

"It's impossible!"  Robert spat.  "No one can reanimate the dead--especially someone who has been dead for over a year!"

"George says that the Reverend Quick believes he has a means o' doin' so."  Mrs. Pepper spoke up.

"Preposterous!"  Matthew roared.  He looked to Robert.  "How is Lennie?"

"There's no response from Lennie yet.  Neither her nor Gamilla."  Robert answered.  

"You must do something..."  Matthew continued.

"I know."  Robert answered, trying to keep his exasperation quiet.

"The whole household is at sixes and sevens."  Punch interrupted.  "George, do you think you can guide us back to where my aunt and Perkins are being kept?"

"Yes, Your Grace.  There's a passage beneath the Reverend Quick's house."  George replied.

"I will go with you."  Punch nodded.

"As will I, Sir."  Charles volunteered.

"Thank you, Charles."  Punch responded.  "Robert, I think, it best you stay here, I do.  So, you can take care o' Lennie and Gamilla."

"I should, but, I don't like the idea of the three of you going off alone."  Robert answered.

"I shall go."  Matthew intoned.  

"Really?"  Punch asked.

"Yes.  I'm doing no one any good here.  If I can help the family, I shall.  Furthermore, Perkins is my man, and my responsibility.  I should see to it that he's safe."  Matthew answered.

"Thank you,"  Robert nodded.

"I say,"  Matthew sighed.  "I may not be able to do anything to help Lennie, but, perhaps knowing that her aunt is safe will somehow help to bring her back to us."

Did you miss Chapters 1-106 of A Recipe for Punch?  If so, you can read them here.  Come back tomorrow for Chapter 108.

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