Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Punch’s Cousin, Chapter 395

Let me go!” Barbara screamed as Charles led her back to Julian’s borrowed mansion on Royal Street.

“No,” Charles shook his head. “Look at you. Cuts and bruises. You need tending to.”

“I need to make the people who’ve hurt me pay for their sins!” Barbara growled. “This should interest you, too, Charles.”

Charles smiled sweetly at Barbara.

“Why are you grinning at me?” Barbara hissed.

“You know me.” Charles sighed. “I thought that…”

“That you’d lost me. So you’ve said.” Barbara grumbled bitterly. “You don’t have to lose me, if you don’t want to. But, in order to keep me, you must do everything that I ask. It’s to your benefit, too.”

“How so?” Charles squinted.

“Ulrika—when she thought she’d strangled me, was going to take my son and give him to Edward Cage. I know that I’m no mother. I realize that he’d be better off without me. But, if he’s to be raised by anyone it should be by his own family, even if it is my lunatic brother.”

“Yes,” Charles nodded. “And, as you said, Adrienne has taken the boy, so he has been returned to the Duke.”

“But, what of Adrienne’s son?” Barbara snarled. “I don’t have an compassion for the woman, but her child doesn’t deserve to be in the hands of Ulrika and your brother.”

“My brother?”

“Yes, of course, Giovanni is the next man to be taken in by that red-headed witch. While we fought, she told me—quite proudly—that the two of them were taking Adrienne’s son.”


“My guess—back to Marionneaux.”

“I’m sorry about that. But, it has little do with us.”

“Is that so?” Barbara asked. “After the kindness that family has shown you?”

“I work for the Duke.” Charles shook his head. “Now that he has your boy, we can leave—we can go to England with them. You can return to your family home and forget all about this.”

“You know that I cannot.” Barbara spat.

“Why not?” Charles shouted. “It’s perfect.”

“I’ve too much to do here.” Barbara said softly. “And, you surely must be aware that my brother won’t leave without the doctor and his family. And, the Halifaxes won’t leave without the child, Fuller.”

“I’ll convince him to go—to leave the Halifaxes and take us in their place!” Charles said desperately.

“You know he will not.” Barbara smirked.

Charles threw up his hands, “True. I know.”

“So, we must find Ulrika and your brother.” Barbara smiled.

“And, then, we’ll return the child to Mr. and Mrs. Halifax and we can all depart for England.”

“You really are a simpleton.” Barbara snapped. “I’ll see that Fuller is returned to Mrs. Halifax. But, then, I’ve something far more important to do.”

“Which is?”

“Do to Ulrika what she’d planned to do to me.”

Did you miss Chapters 1-394? If so, you can read them here.

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