Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mastery of Design: The Lady Cory Peridot Necklace, c. 1820

Lady Cory's Peridot Necklace, 1810-1820
The Victoria & Albert Museum

From the impressive jewel collection of Lady Cory, we have this exceptional necklace (with matching earrings) of diamonds and peridots set in silver, backed with gold.

Made by an unknown jeweler around 1820, the necklace showcases the beautiful lime green of the peridots set against the icy shimmer of the diamonds. 

The three large central units of the necklace probably date from about 1810.  These may have originally formed part which was broken apart. The rest of the necklace, dates to about ten years later.  

The Home Beautiful: A William Morris Wall Hanging, 1877

Wall hanging
William Morris, 1877
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Here, we see one panel from a set of embroideries designed to hang around the walls of the drawing room at Smeaton Manor, Northallerton, in North Yorkshire. William Morris was commissioned to produce the design which was embroidered by the owner of the Manor.

Other examples of this same design are in the collections of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow, London. The design is comprised of repeating artichokes in blue, peach, lime, brown, hessian, cream and pink, and demonstrated Morris's preoccupation with Middle Eastern and early Italian silks and velvets.

History's Runway: The Lime Jacket and Dress, 1966

Dress and Jacket by Ungarro, 1966
The Victoria & Albert Museum

The famed designer Emmanuel Ungaro was born in Aix-en-Provence, France, in 1933 and is credited as having played an important role in the rejuvenation of Paris fashion.  After working with Balenciaga for six years, he joined Courrèges in 1964, going out on his own in 1965. His designs of the era always featured the angular shapes which were fashionable in the mid 1960s.

This day dress and jacket was designed by Ungaro for Mrs. Brenda Azario and was featured in French Vogue (March 1966 and March 1967).

The short jacket features his signature straight-cut design with long sleeves.  Double-breasted, the jacket is in horizontally striped wool gaberdine with turquoise and line green bands separated by narrow stripes of purple, red and orange.

Beneath the jacket, a dress of sleeveless, shift-shaped design is made of wool gabardine with a square neckline, a high waist and a bodice of horizontally striped wide bands of turquoise and lime green separated by narrow stripes of purple, red and orange. 

At the Music Hall: The Limehouse Blues, 1922

And those weird China blues
Never go away
Sad, mad blues
For all the while they seem to say

Oh, Limehouse kid
Oh, oh, Limehouse kid
Goin' the way
That the rest of them did
Poor broken blossom
And nobody's child
Haunting and taunting
You're just kind of wild

Oh, Limehouse blues
I've the real Limehouse blues
Can't seem to shake off
Those real China blues
Rings on your fingers
And tears for your crown
That is the story
Of old Chinatown

Rings on your fingers
And tears for your crown
That is the story
Of old Chinatown

For me, hearing “Limehouse Blues” brings to mind the brilliant and talented Gertrude Lawrence as well as the 1968 film about her life, "Star!" starring Julie Andrews.  “Limehouse Blues”  is a celebrated jazz standard written in 1922 by Douglas Furber (lyrics) and Philip Braham (music).  The song was made famous by Gertrude Lawrence, but it has been recorded thousands of times. 

This tune of betrayal and sadness was prominently featured in a 1934 film which borrowed its name (also known as “East End Chant”).  The film  was set in London's Chinese district and starred George Raft and Anna May Wong. The song was also performed in “Ziegfeld Follies” (by Fred Astaire and Lucille Bremer in Asian makeup).

Enjoy this compilation of Gertrude Lawrence performing the song:

Punch’s Cousin, Chapter 472

Mr. Punch held his breath as much as he could, and, when he did breathe it was only to inhale shallowly through the damp handkerchief that Marie Laveau had tied around his mouth and nose.  He turned to glance at Marie.  She still wore the wet rag that he had fastened around her face.  Nodding at him, she reached for his hand and squeezed it firmly to reassure him.

Neither of them could see very well—the smoke in the passage obscured their vision, and Punch relied on his hearing to guide him through the dense blackness.  Moving away from the piercing screams, he knew he was getting closer to the staircase which led to the upper deck’s more luxurious cabins, and, of course, to his newly adopted son and the people who looked after him.
Punch tried his best to remain calm.  First of all, he knew that fear would do him no good.  However,  most importantly, he did not want to alarm Julian who paced frantically deep inside their shared body. 

“Colin, Marjani, Gamillla, Columbia, Toby and me puppet.”  Punch repeated, over and over, silently to himself.  With their names in his mind and heart, he knew he would be guided to them and that, once found, together they would all continue to live happily.

The ship groaned again and, above them, Punch could hear the creaking of the ceiling.

“Please don’t give ‘way.”  Marie muttered.

Punch squeezed her hand as she had done for him.  She appreciated that gesture.

Never had she thought she’d be walking into a roaring blaze with the Duke of Fallbridge—or whatever he called himself.  If only, she thought to herself, she had not been blinded by her own anger.  Perhaps she could have seen that she should have been aiding the man all along.
Marie could feel the heat of the floor through her boots and she was sure that the Duke was feeling it all the more keenly through his much thinner slippers. 

Suddenly, the deck beneath her felt softer, and before she knew what had happened, Marie realized that she was falling.

Punch stumbled backward—still holding Marie’s hand—as her weight pulled him down.  He yelped as he realized that she had fallen through the burnt floor.  Clasping her hand tightly, Punch became aware that Marie was dangling above a pit of fire.

Trying to pull her up, he cried out, “Don’t let go of me hand!”

The floor beneath his feet moaned cruelly as he struggled to rescue Marie.

“Let me fall!”  Marie cried through the rag over her mouth.  “Save yourself!”

Did you miss Chapters 1-471?  If so, you can read them here.  Come back on Monday, February 27 for Chapter 473 of Punch’s Cousin.  

Sculpture of the Day: "Filch" from "The Beggar's Opera," 1920

Arnold Pilbeam as Filch from "The Beggar's Opera," 1920
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This Staffordshire figure by an unknown artist depicts early Twentieth Century actor Arnold Pilbeam as the character of “Filch” from Nigel Playfair's celebrated revival of John Gay's “The Beggar's Opera” which opened at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith in June of 1920.  The production was designed by Claud Lovat Fraser with music re-written and supplemented by Frederic Austin.  This ballad opera featuring traditional tunes and took London by storm.

The revival ran for over three years to much acclaim and its popularity spawned a surprising number of figurines in porcelain and wax representing moments from the show.  This figure is an excellent example of the type of souvenirs produced during the run of the show.  Here, the character stands in a lime green full-length coat much like the actual costume worn in the show.

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: A Japanned Cabinet on a Stand, 1690-1700

Japanned Cabinet on a Silvered Softwood Stand with applied Lime Decoration
This and all related images from:
The Victoria & Albert Museum

They way in which a person furnishes his home has always been a way to show friends and neighbors an individual’s personal taste and social status.  Around 1660, one of the most prestigious pieces of furniture that a household could possess was a highly decorative cabinet on a stand.   These cabinets, valuable in their own right, also served as a means of displaying rare and beautiful objects.   

Here, we see such a cabinet.  This example has been “japanned”  a technique which imitated the expensive lacquer made in East Asia. This cabinet belonged to Sir Richard Hill (1655-1727), who became Deputy Paymaster to William III's forces in Flanders.  It is made of softwood, with carved elements pieced out in lime.   It was made in England between 1690-1700, built on an oak carcass, with softwood dust-boards and oak drawer linings.  The stand and cresting of carved and silvered softwood mirrors the French style which was fashionable of the time.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mastery of Design: The Monica Casswell Jewel, 1860

Brooch of chased gold, topaz and garnets, c. 1860
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This gold brooch is set with cabochon cut garnets and topazes.  It dates to about 1860 and appears to have been made in England as it exhibits characteristics of English jewelry-making of the period.

But, beyond that, we don’t know much else about it except that it lives at the V&A. 

So, why did I select it as today’s sparkly thing?  Well, that’s easy.  Since Friday is always devoted to Mr. Punch, on Friday’s I try to pick a jewel that somehow looks Punch-ish to me.  I think that Punch would have purchased this brooch, or one like it, as a gift for Pretty Polly.  For Judy, he’d have brought home some fish for her to cook.

We do know that this jewel was once owned by one Monica Casswell who may or may not have sent a granddaughter to the Copacabana School of Dramatic Art.  If you can tell me to what I’m referring with that last line, I’ll publicly congratulate you.

Antique Image of the Day: George Speaight in Performance, 1951

So, for many months now, we’ve looked at images from the George Speaight Punch & Judy Archive at the V&A.  But, who was this Mr. Speaight and why did he have so much Punch-related stuff?

George Victor Speaight (1914-2005) was a theatre historian and the foremost expert on toy theater and the history of puppetry in Britain, if not in the world.  In the 1930s, George (brother of the Shakespearean actor Robert Speaight) began performing his own puppet shows on Oxford Street. 

His first book, Juvenile Drama: The History of the English Toy Theatre came out in December of 1946. Following this, he became manager of Pollock's Toy Theatres.  He pursued theatrical endeavors throughout the following years.  In 1955, he released his next book, “History of the English Puppet Theatre” and, thus, began a long career in reference publishing.

For nearly sixty years he was married to Mary Mudd, an engraver of wood.  He died a year after she did.  They had one son and one daughter.  Upon his death, Speaight left his tremendous collection of puppet-related materials to the V&A.  Most of the collection relates to the history of Punch & Judy.  The V&A has spent years cataloging this massive and important collection, and, just now, we’re seeing these items for the first time since they were collected by Mr. Speaight.
From his collection, here, we see a photograph of George Speaight posing with a puppet surrounded by an audience.  The photo dates to about 1951. 

George Speaight (center), 1951
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Unusual Artifacts: "I Don't Want a Nose Warmer" Magic Lantern Slide

Glass Magic Lantern Slide
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Ah, here’s another of the set of twelve magic lantern slides depicting Mr. Punch which were made by Theobald & Co. in the late Nineteenth Century.  This hand colored glass slide depicts the Dog Toby with Mr. Punch.  It is number four of twelve.

Here, Toby is biting Mr. Punch's nose.  Why?  Well, because it’s a long-standing part of the show.  But, also because Mr. Punch has just suggested that his canine friend might want to wear a muzzle—an idea which is met with disapproval from Toby.

The following text accompanies the slide during a magic lantern show:

Punch: Oh Toby, Toby! you’ve got 'old of my nose. I don’t want a nose warmer. Oh leave me, you’re hurting me. Toby, Toby! good dog, I didn’t mean it, it was the nasty policeman told me you would like it.

This slide immediately follows Punch's first encounter with Toby, his neighbor Scaramouche's Dog, which is depicted in the third slide in the series.  In the traditional narrative, Mr. Punch and Toby develop a close friendship and Punch takes Toby to be his own canine companion.

The third slide.

Drawing of the Day: The Polish Mr. Punch, 1991

"Polish Version of Mr. Punch," 1991
The George Speaight Archive
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This drawing portrays the Polish version of Mr. Punch.  Poland’s Punch wears a different costume from the traditional red cap and ruffed coat that we associate with Punch or the black mask and white pajamas of Punch’s Italian ancestor, Pulcinella. 

Poland’s Punch wears a multi-colored robe with over-sized long sleeves which trail over his hands. 

This image was sent to famed theatre historian George Speaight from Adam Kilian in 1991. This Mr. Punch does demonstrate Punch’s traditional hunchback, but he wears Pulcinella’s mask.  It is marked:

'Polish vevrsion/ of Mr. Punch'
'Poppenkst v/d Dam-Amsterdam' Puppet show in Dam Square, Amsterdam.’

Punch’s Cousin, Chapter 471

Mr. Punch took a deep breath and clenched his fists.  He stepped cautiously onto Marie Laveau who had thrown her body—wrapped in a damp quilt—over the angry pile of burning debris which had fallen across the doorway.

“So sorry, magic chum.”  Punch whispered as he scampered over the mound of smoldering ship parts.

He reached out his hand and assisted Robert over the mound, and then, together, they helped Charles who was carrying Gerard.

Robert and Mr. Punch grabbed Marie’s feet and pulled her off of the hot rubbish.  Up until this point, she made no sound, and Punch feared she had died.  However, once she was one cooler ground she squealed and wriggled to be released from the charred quilt.

“Are you well?”  Punch asked nervously.

“I think,”  Marie croaked.

“Here, that’s fine.  I’d hate to think we’d lost ya just when we went and made friends.”  Punch smiled.

“We don’t got time for sentiment,”  Marie nodded.  “Though I thank ya.”  She took Punch’s hand, “We gotta get you off this ship.”

“Robert,”  Punch said quickly.  “Would you lead Gerry, Marie and Charlie to safety?”

“I will.”  Robert said.

“I think the path is clear ahead—just try not to drown in the smoke.”  Punch continued.

“What about you?”  Robert asked.

“My boy is up there!”  Punch pointed.  “Along with Marjani and Gamilla, and me pup and puppet!”

“As are my brother, his wife and their child.”  Robert shouted.  “But, you don’t see me trying to fight my way through a blaze.  I’m sure Marjani and Gamilla have gotten the child to safety by now!”

Marie shook her head. 

“I gotta go, Chum.  I know you understand.”

“I see in my mind a picture of Mr. Halifax, his wife and your nephew, Doctor.”  Marie nodded.  “They’re safe on the deck—waiting for you.”

Robert’s hands began to shake. 

“Go to them!”  Marie said.  “And, take these two men with you.”

“And, you go with them, too.”  Punch ordered.

“No, Sir.”  Marie shook her head.  “I’m going with you.”

“Marie, you take the men.  I’ll accompany His Grace.”

“No.”  Marie replied firmly.  “If something happens, the others need your leadership.  I will go with this man.”

Robert’s eyes welled with tears.

“I’ll be back, Chum.”  Punch smiled. 

“But, I…”  Robert argued.

The ship began to groan again—just as it had before the ceiling in the passage had given way.

“I know you do, Chum.  Me, too.”  Punch nodded.  And, with that, he and Marie disappeared into the smoke.

Robert shuddered and, then, placed his hand on Charles’ back.  Charles, who was still holding Gerard, allowed Robert to guide him through the smoke.

When they reached the deck above, they coughed and sputtered, gasping for clean air.  Immediately, Robert spotted Cecil, Adrienne and Fuller.

“Thank God!”  Cecil whooped.  Then, he paused.  “Where’s Punch?”

“Gone for Marjani, Gamilla and the child.”

“Oh, dear.”  Adrienne sniffed.  “The captain is insisting we all disembark immediately.”

“You go on.”  Robert nodded.  “I will wait here for Punch and the others.”

“He went alone?”  Cecil asked.

“No.”  Robert shook his head.  “He went with Marie Laveau.”

“What?”  Adrienne gasped.

“She’s proven to be not as entirely wicked as we thought.”  Robert sighed.

“Crisis brings out the best and worst in people.”  Cecil nodded.

“Please,”  Robert said quickly.  “I’ll feel better if you go to safety.”

Cecil looked at his wife who nodded reluctantly. 

“You should know,”  Adrienne added, “that Marjani’s friend, Pete, has also gone to look for the others.”

“I’m glad.”  Robert said.  “Now, please, hurry.”

Without another word, Cecil and Adrienne took their child to safety.

Robert clasped his hands together and watched the flames which licked at every opening of the ship.

“Please, please come back to me.”  Robert whispered.  “I will be lost if you don’t.”

Did you miss Chapters 1-470?  If so, you can read them here.  

Unusual Artifacts: Sheet Music for The Punch & Judy Man

Sheet Music for "The Punch & Judy Man"
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Rooty Tooty, Rooty Tooty, blame me if you can.

I'm a broken-hearted, Rooty Tooty, Punch and Judy Man.

Here, we see the illustrated sheet music cover for the song, “The Punch & Judy Man” as sung by George Leybourne and written and composed by R. Coote.  This music was published in London by H. D'Alcorn & Co. in the late Nineteenth Century. 

Mr. Punch, by this time, had long been a part of the British art world and had already lent his name to several popular songs. 

The cover illustration by Alfred Concanen (1835 - 1886) depicts a fracas at a Punch & Judy show wherein the “Professor” seems to have bested another man who, I assume, started the imbroglio.  Judy lies on the ground next to the Dog Toby who barks at the fisticuffs.  Mr. Punch and Joey the Clown have been tossed into the air during the melee, but neither seems to mind. 

The caption on the image references the traditional sound made by Mr. Punch, "rooty tooty"--a noise developed in the Seventeenth Century by Punch and Judy Professors who used a device called a "swazzle" (still in use today, and, I can attest, a difficult instrument to learn).  The sound was meant to be instantly recognizable and serve to attract audiences.

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: "Who said we looked unhappy?"

Britain, c. 1890-1910
The Victoria & Albert Museum
George Speaight Punch and Judy Archive

This postcard from the George Speaight Punch & Judy Archive illustrates a scene of Mr. Punch and Judy and dates to the late Nineteenth Century to early Twentieth Century.  This is one of a series portraying Mr. Punch in various scenes from the traditional puppet play.

Each of the postcards in the series features the image of Mr. Punch as a cut-out which can be manipulated by moving a paper handle. In this scene, he is playing a lute for his wife.  The card is captioned, “Who said we looked unhappy?” in reference to their famous spats which usually end with the death of Mrs. Punch.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gratuitous Bertie Dog Picture: The Dog Dream

"I see you've got some major Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood moodiness going on here, lady, and kudos on that, really, but I'd like to point out that some people enjoy a picnic in nice, leafy areas like this.  So, you might like to try that.  You look a little pale, and I know eating always helps me feel better.  Hint, hint...  Ummm… you can let go of my paw anytime.  Okay?"

Image:  The Day Dream, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1880, The Victoria and Albert Museum.

Don't forget, you can have your own Gratuitous Bertie Dog Picture every day.  Just visit our online store.

Mastery of Design: The Ashbee Peacock Pendant and Chain, 1902

Chain and Pendant
Enamel, Gold and Persian Turquoise
Charles Robert Ashbee, 1902
Altered from its original design to include a different chain.
The Victoria & Albert Museum

I think this jewel by the celebrated C.R. Ashbee is quite smashing and lovely.  But, then, I typically like the work of Ashbee.  Charles Robert Ashbee was a multi-talented gent, known for his immense energy.  He served as a defining figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement.

In 1888, Ashbee founded the Guild of Handicraft in the East End of London.  His goal was to resurrect traditional craft skills and offer employment to residents of a deprived area of the city. While Ashbee was trained originally as an architect, he is better known also for his highly innovative furniture, metalwork, silver and jewelry designs.

Like many of this period, one of Ashbee's favorite motifs was the peacock and he is known to have designed about a dozen peacock jewels in the years around 1900. Here, we see one such example of these jewels.  In this instance, the bird is decorated with colorful enamels, and surmounts an uncut turquoise.  The use of unusual, uncut stones was a hallmark of the Arts and Crafts movement.  Three matching Persian turquoises are set in the chain.


The Art of Play: Peacock's Improved Double Dissection, 1860

Double Dissection, 1860
William Peacock & Co.
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Dissected puzzles, as they were accurately called, were the forerunners of jigsaw puzzles. These games were very simply made by placing a picture on a piece of wood and cutting it into shapes.

While some pieces might interlock, unlike a jigsaw puzzle, most of the puzzle was just pushed into place. Since the pieces didn’t lock, the completed pictures were difficult to keep in one piece.  To solve this problem, the outer edges of some puzzles, like this example, had long interlocking pieces that would serve as a frame to hold the puzzle together.

Most of these dissected puzzles had images on both sides, making them more difficult to complete a puzzle.  These examples were called “Double Dissections.”  The reverse of this puzzle has a map of England and Wales.

Here, we see an example from 1860 by William Peacock & Co., which is comprised of hand-colored engravings mounted on wood and cut into non-interlocking pieces.  This puzzle was cut into sixty-nine pieces of which three are now missing.  

Sculpture of the Day: Laura Lyttleton Memorial Tablet by Edward Burne-Jones, 1886

Memorial Tablet
Edward Burne-Jones, 1886
One of two.  This one, polychrome; the other, white.
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Since antiquity, memorial tablets have been produced to mark the passing of a loved one.  These tablets aren’t meant to be tombstones, but are used in private venues away from the burial place to serve of reminders of the deceased.

These colored plaster memorial tablet was designed by Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) in memory of his close friend Laura Lyttleton (née Tennant).  Lyttleton died in childbirth in 1886 within the first year of her marriage.

This is one of two that Burne-Jones created for Lyttleton.  The original—of plain white plaster--was installed in the church of St Andrew in Mells, Somerset. The colored version which we see here was made for Burne-Jones's own house, The Grange, in Fulham.

Burne-Jones, like many artists in his Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood--favored the symbolism of the peacock.   He had been studying Byzantine art and discovered that the peacock was a symbol of the Resurrection in Greek culture of the Christian era.

Lady Georgiana Burne-Jones described this tablet in her biography of her husband.  She wrote:

Laura, the daughter of Sir Charles Tennant: in our house she so fascinated us all that we called her ‘The Siren’ [Her memorial] is eight feet high and an effigy of a peacock which is the symbol of the Resurrection standing upon a laurel tree - and the laurel grows out of the tomb and burst through the side of the tomb with a determination to go on living and refusing to be dead and below was a Latin inscription made by Dean Church one of the many who loved her.

Punch’s Cousin, Chapter 470

From the hidden “room” deep inside the body he shared with Mr. Punch, the real Duke of Fallbridge began to panic as he became aware of what was happening outside their mortal shell.  The rich aroma of fire flooded the imaginary room, and with it, the cacophony of screams stabbed inward.

Julian’s eyes narrowed as he squinted as if doing so would allow him to better understand what was happening.

“Punch?” Julian shouted.  “Punch?  What’s happening?”

“Ain’t nothin’ to worry about, Master.”  Punch replied.

“What’s that?”  Marie Laveau asked.  Still holding Mr. Punch’s hand, she looked at him as he spoke—unaware that he was responding to an unheard question from a voice that only he could hear.

“Nothin’.”  Punch spoke again.

“You’re talkin’ to him, ain’t ya?”  Marie whispered.

“You know about me master?”  Punch asked.

“Sure.”  Marie nodded.  “We all know.  You’re two men.  The Great Man of the Rocks.”

“Coo!”  Punch gasped.  “You sound like…”

“Naasir?”  Marie smiled.

“Yep.”  Punch nodded.  “Did you know him?”

“No.”  Marie shook her head.  “Not the man himself—only of him.  We all know of him, and you.”

Robert interrupted.  “So, you’re aware of the legend of which Naasir often spoke?”

“I was told the stories when I was a girl—the tales of the Great Man of the Rocks who was destined to fight the beast.”

“Did you know you was part of that beast?”  Punch asked.

“I did.”

“So, that’s why you been fightin’ us all this time?”  Punch asked, tightening his grip on Marie’s hand.

“Yes.”  Marie nodded.  “But, I realize now that I’m the one…”

“What one?”

“The story is written.”  Marie replied softly.  “In the legend, the colorful head of the monster—bright with orange, green, purple and red—is said to turn to flowers and fall upon the land and from those petals, good will arise.  I am the head of the beast, Your Grace.  I didn’t know it until now.”

Robert began to speak, but Punch shook his head.

“I believe you, scary Chum.”  Punch nodded.

“If you know the legend,”  Robert interrupted, “you know that Naasir said that the Great Man of the Rocks would meet his end in fire.”

“I know.”  Marie said.

From within, Punch heard Julian’s panicked voice.  “Don’t trust her!”

“I must, Master.”  Punch said aloud, hoping Julian would hear him.  “It’s like Naasir said.”

“Comfort him, Sir.”  Marie nodded.

“I’m tryin’.”

From behind them, Charles began to shout.  “Are we going to stand here talking while we burn to death?”

“No, impatient one,”  Marie shook her head.

“Well, what are we going to do?”  Charles shrieked.

“Get a hold of yourself, man!”  Robert scolded.  Charles bit his own lips to keep from talking.

“I know what I must do.”  Marie smiled.  “All this time I’ve wasted…”

“What do you mean?”  Robert asked.

“All this time, I thought that Iolanthe was…”  She shook her head.  “It doesn’t matter now.  I know now that I am the head and I must blanket the way for the Man of the Rocks.  This changes everything.  But, it is written.”

Marie released Mr. Punch’s hand.  She spun around and ripped the quilt off of Charles’ bed, wrapping herself in it.

“Take the pitcher from the washstand, Doctor.”  She said.

Robert lifted the pitcher. 

“Now, douse the quilt with the water.”  Marie commanded.

Robert did as instructed.  As he did, the colored fabric of the quilt deepened—red, orange, purple, green in rich, dark hues.

“Walk on me.”  Marie smiled proudly.

“Huh?”  Punch grunted.

With that, Marie threw herself over the smoldering pile of rubble which blocked the doorway.  As she did, the quilt in which she was wrapped began to steam and spit.

“Hurry!”  She moaned.

Did you miss Chapters 1-469?  If so, you can read them here.