In Which a Solution Is Proposed (RP)

I have received a most interesting letter from Miss Puddlegum. (The text from her journal.)  In it she seems agreeable, at least in principle, to a solution to our mutual business which I had thought might require more persuasion.  I had rather despaired of reaching so amicable an arrangement after our last conversation.  I was sure that unreasonable lout of an uncle of hers had spoiled the whole affair.  He apparently believes I pose a serious threat to her.  Quite the contrary, I have nothing but the greatest concern for her health and well being at heart.  Perhaps I should briefly recount the events of the past few weeks so that you, gentle reader, may judge for yourself.

In the weeks following the incident previously relayed I had cause to become increasingly concerned for Miss Puddlegum’s well being.  She continued to display an alarming disregard for her own health or reputation.   I discovered that she had even gone so far as to join a burlesque troupe.  This is hardly the sort of behavior one would expect from a respectable lady, much less one who presumes to instruct others in proper decorum. 

She had continued her use of intoxicating substances to the point that my dear Gordon’s mind was being effected through the psychik link.  Therefore, I decided to take steps to preserve her delicate mind, as well as her delightful physical appearance.  I contracted with Miss Wendyslippers Charisma to have Gordon made over into a porcelain doll type clockwork construct.  I must say, the procedure went very well and Gordon seems much more at ease now.  She does tend to talk rather freely still, however.   So much so, in fact that she happened to share some sensitive information with Miss Puddlegum regarding her life prior to coming into my service.

I had to remind Gordon of the importance of discretion in these matters.   There are some who instruct their domestics by means of the lash or cane.  These are rather blunt methods which, if done improperly or overdone, can have a negative impact on the demeanor of the servant in question.  Furthermore, with Gordon’s newly hardened skin, it is likely such tactics would be less effective anyway.  In any case, I prefer the more impactful use of object lessons.  Accordingly, since Gordon’s mouth was the cause of the infraction, I deprived her of the use thereof for a brief period of time.  Likewise, since she derives great satisfaction from the performance of her duties, I bound her arms behind her to provide an additional emphasis.

Soon thereafter, I learned that Miss Puddlegum had actually sold the store property in Victoria City.  This clearly violated the consultation provision of our agreement.  Furthermore, as my sources informed me she nad no intention of reopening the store elsewhere, her actions have also ignored the future earnings provisions.  I, therefore, called upon her at home once again to voice my displeasure.   The exchange did not go well.  I tried to present my concerns in a calm logical manner, but Miss Puddlegum immediately flew into a fit of wild hysterics.   Miss Puddlegum’s comotion woke her ward, Mary Elizabeth.  The child picked up on the tenor of the room and quite remarkably exhibited unexpected feral qualitiies of her own.

Tensions rose.  I may have lost some of my composure.  I even had to restrain my somewhat exciteable secretary, Miss Merricks.  My good maid Gordon thankfully broke in at that moment with a loud declaration that unless we calmed down she would not bake cookies for a month.   I do so enjoy Gordon’s cookies.  The incongruity of the comment served to break the tension.  The moment passed and we were about to resume our discussion when two things happened in quick succession.  First, Captain Wytchwood arrived as is his wont from a back way.  Then Miss Puddlegum seemed overcome with the the stress of the evening and fainted away.  Captain Wytchwood ensured me he would tend to her and so  I bade him good night.

(Miss Puddlegum’s account of that evening : Thursday, 8 July 18*9)

Miss Puddlegum was clearly unable to set aside her unreasonable fears regarding myself, or to conduct our buisness in a calm manner. Perhaps it was the lingering effect of the poisons she had been ingesting, or perhaps some other influence.  I dare say it is rather odd that Captain Wytchwood has been present during both instances.  What of this Mr. MacBeth with whom I have heard she is known to spend some time.  I shall not conjecture further on that set of circmstances.   Perhaps it was my admittedly less than gentlemanly breech in ettiquete in calling on her unannounced. 

For whatever reason, I determined that it might be better to work through intermediaries rather than directly with Miss Puddlegum herself.  I therefore paid a visit to the offices of her solicitors, that fine and well respected firm of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe.  Since it was they who wrote up the contract in the first place, and since they were the executors of her late father’s will, it seemed to me that they would be in the best position  to work toward an amicable resolution.  It was very much as I had hoped.  We soon reached an accord.  The solution proved both elegant and immanently practicable. 

I left them to draw up the approprate papers and dispatched a courier with  a note to Miss Puddlegum asking her to meet with me at my offices on the Hill.   Now, it occured to me that this arrangement might meet with some resistance on her part.  I therefore called upon a certain fae acquaintance of mine whom I knew would be able to assist me in quieting her fears.

I received Miss Puddlegum at the requested time.  She was accompanied by her uncle, Mr Robonaught.  An unexpected though not unwelcome develompent.  I ushered them to seats I had prepared and had Gordon serve tea.  Dame Sans Merci, the fae I had mentioned earlier, assured me she would be able to prevent further hysterics on Miss Puddlegum’s part.  I once again attempted to explain the situation, but this time Mr Robonaught objected most vehemently and in full ignorance of either the law or the requirements of decorum insisted his “contacts in the Queen’s court” would rectify the matter. 

Mr R and Mr P confront one another

There came about some confusion over the contents of the tea gordon had served.  Gordon’s tea is always excellent and above reproach.  I take mine with a drop of honey usually.  Mr  Robonaught had the audacity to accuse me of drugging them.  He grew incensed and revealed himself to be something of a Sorcerer. 

He transformed before my eyes into an anthromorphic lion.  I would have considered it quite dashing under other circumstances,  but at the time thoght it only the height of impropriety and rose myself.  I fear my temper got the better of me and I may have said things I will regret.  Seeing this man, now,  as a threat to my person I called upon Dame Merci’s aid.  She and Mr Robonaught engaged in an eldritch contest of wills until at last he actually drew a sword.  The utter gall of the man.  Drawing a weapon in my house!  He added insult to injury by  forcibly carrying Miss Puddlegum out of the place.  But not before I let slip the crux of the bargain I had brokered with her attorneys. 

(Miss Puddlegum’s account of the evening: Saturday, Aug 2, 18*9)

It seems some of my intentions made it through the fog of confusion of that evening.  It now remains to me to answer Miss Puddlegum’s letter.  In it she seems to indicate she will actually consider the proposal under certain conditions.  None of them seem all that arduous.  I shall consider my answer carefully.

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Published in: on 17 August, 2010 at 3:19 PM  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ah, wedding bells! True, one always dreams of marrying for love, but one must at some point be a realist.

  2. Ahhhh, a skilfully told tale of a series of simple misunderstandings it seems…

  3. How fabulous to find amidst the Chaos that the finer sensibility of the modern woman can rise above emotions.

    And Gordon, I think, should get most of the credit.


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