Reminiscences and Negotiations (RP)

Some days ago I had retired to my country estate to receive Miss Puddlegum. We were to commence negotiations vis-a-vis my proposal of marriage. Gordon had quite diligently cleaned the house and on the night in question I had a few moments of peace to compose myself before my guest arrived.

I sat in a comfortable chair in the parlour. Gordon spun slowly in her display case. I had dressed her in a lovely pink summer ensemble with knee-length ruffled skirt and wide-brimmed bonnet that beautifully set off her blond curls and the newly painted color in her cheeks.

Zebrati was making a circuit of the grounds and Dame Sans Merci was absorbed in her own preparatory meditations elsewhere in the house. The only sounds were the cheerful twittering of the songbirds in the garden and the soft muffled ticking of Gordon’s clockworks, the beating of her heart as it were.

I watched Gordon spin on her stand, a serene passive expression on her face, and found myself reminiscing about how she had come into my service. A little more than a twelvemonth ago an eager young clerk came to my offices at Thistle Hill in hopes of securing financial backing. He had heard through various sources about how I had generously assisted a few other poor souls in like manner.

He explained as how he worked for a minor shipping house and had come across an opportunity to buy into a shipment of spices that he was sure would turn a tidy profit on the market.  He even let on that he hoped to be able to win a certain lady’s hand with the moneys thus acquired.  He was so earnest I found it hard not to like the young man.  I say he was young, but that is only in relation to myself.  He was in his 23rd year, although his appearance might cause one to question that.  His features were more like those of a younger lad.  In fact his face was so delicately featured as to be nearly effeminate, an impression that was reinforced by his habit of wearing his hair rather long.  

Perhaps it was his disarming earnestness or the evident gentleness of his spirit that moved me to positively consider his request.  Before I could comfortably invest such a sum as he sought, however, I needed to look into the matter a bit further. I therefore sent Gordon on his way with the assurance that I would give his proposal serious consideration.  I dispatched my aide, Zebrati, to investigate this supposed shipment, the young clerk and this heiress of whom he had spoken.  As you may have already guessed, gentle reader, her reports all came back favorably and I agreed to front Gordon the capital he had requested.

Unfortunately, there was no way to account for a sudden storm at sea and the entire shipment was lost, and with it a substantial portion of my personal resources.   A few days later Gordon came to me with hat in hand.  I still held the note of course.  I knew there was very little chance of recouping the loss if Gordon went to gaol and it so happened I had need of a domestic.  I offered Gordon an indenture and the rest, as they say, is history. 

I chuckled to myself recalling the early months of Gordon’s service.  He was entirely unskilled, of course, and had to be trained an instructed in every task, with the sole exception of making tea.  Gordon has always made excellent tea.

At this point my guests arrived.  Miss Puddlegum was accompanied by Captain Wytchwood this time which boded well for the civility of the proceedings.  After welcoming them in and seeing them seated comfortably I took Gordon off the display stand and awoke her so she might serve the tea.  Dame Sans Merci and Zebrati joined us and the evening passed rather amicably, for a change.   After some idle pleasantries we got down to the matter of Miss Puddlegum’s conditions.  The only one that gave me any pause was the adoption of her ward. 

The precocious young lady displayed some rather surprising qualities on our last meeting.  I don’t like surprises much.   Therefore, I deferred on this point until Zebrati had a chance to investigate Miss Mary and if possible to determine the true nature of her emerging feline qualities.  If they prove to be a simple case of neko or therian emergence, or even lycanthropy, then all is well.  There are other causes of such transformations, however, which would be a reason for concern. 

Miss Puddlegum objected to my request to have Dame Sans Merci officiate the ceremony.  I assured her that the Lady was well-respected and highly placed in the Fae Court and therefore had sufficient authority and bearing to legitimize the event, but still Miss Puddlegum refused.  Thus, at an  impasse on those two points we concluded our otherwise congenial and fruitful negotiations.  We parted with an agreement to continue at a later date.

Miss Puddlegum’s account of the evening: Thursday, Sept 2, 18*9

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Published in: on 9 September, 2010 at 1:01 PM  Leave a Comment  
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A Response to Miss Puddlegum (RP)

My dear Miss Puddlegum,

I pray that you are recovered from your bout of illness the other night.  I reget that this happened under my roof and hope you will not let the memory thereof disuade you from future visits either to Thistle Hill or The Empress.  Do not concern yourself for the state of my carpets or of my shoes.  Gordon was able to remove the stains quite effectively.  I further regret that your sudden illness cut short our discussion.  Had I been permitted to state the matter properly you would have perhaps better understood my intentions.

Unfortunately, your uncle decided bluster would be more effective than reason.  He evidently opposes any possible accomodation between us.  He even went so far as to impugn my hospitality, suggesting that Gordon’s tea had been adulterated.  Furthermore, adding insult to injury, he actually drew a weapon in my home.  Such tactics may have served him well in Her Majesty’s Service; however, such brutish behavior is not how gentlemen conduct their affairs. 

It is fortunate I took the precaution of having Dame Sans Merci attend.  It was my hope that having a lady of such distinction present might allay your fears.  Dame Merci is quite adept at calming ones mind.  In fact, she can be quite enchanting.  She also has at her disposal the means of countering diverse assaults.  Being a scholar and a businessman rather than a military man I am tempermentally ill suited to such confrontations.

In the midst of such excitement I may have overstated myself.  I apologize for my undue haste.  By now you should have received the details of the arrangement Messrs. Dewey, Cheatham and Howe have brokered on your behalf.  If it please you, consider it but an initial offering, a starting point in our negotiations, as it were. 

May I invite you to my home in the country where we might conduct further negotiations in an amicable environment?   At a time of your choosing I can have a carriage sent to conduct you thither.  Until then I remain:

Your devoted suitor,

Onyx Plutonian

Published in: on 20 August, 2010 at 7:04 PM  Comments (1)  
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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. (more…)

Published in: on 17 August, 2010 at 3:19 PM  Comments (3)  
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In Which I Call Upon Miss Puddlegum At Her Home (RP)

A few days after establishing psychik communications with Miss Puddlegum through Gordon the necessity of my measures became evident.  Gordon informed me that Miss Puddlegum’s thoughts were becoming increasingly cloudy,  so much so that they were effecting my dear maid’s clarity as well.   I determined that the symptoms were indicative of strong drink, or perhaps an indulgence in certain opiates.   This vexed me on many levels, as you can well imagine.  For one, I was concerned for the good lady’s health.  For another, I feared for her reputation.  How could she hope to be successful in her commercial enterprise if it became known that she was so often intoxicated?   I also admit to a bit of selfishness in this regard.  My close association with Miss Puddlegum puts my own reputation at risk as well, not to mention my investment in her business.

I resolved to confront the lady concerning her behavior upon our next meeting.  She is still young, and thus may not consider the wider implications of her actions.  With her parents gone and no governess to provide guidance I feel it is only my duty as a gentleman to offer what advice I may. (more…)

Published in: on 12 July, 2010 at 9:43 AM  Comments (3)  
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In Which I Grant Miss Puddlegum An Extension(RP)

(First, dear reader, I beg your indulgence.  The events herein relayed took  place some two months ago.) 

About a month after first entering into fiduciary relations with Miss Puddlegum I found I had reason to become concerned regarding the prospects of her little store.  The date for her planned Grand Opening had come and gone without so much as a mention in the papers.  Gordon informed me that there had been some little commerce going on there, but that the lady herself had not often been present.  I learned through other means that she had in fact been quite active in the social scene of Caledon, Steelhead and New Babbage.  While I recognize the necessity of presenting ones face to the public as a means of promoting ones business interests, it became clear to me that she was in fact becoming quite distracted from her mercantile pursuits.  I therefore sent word that I should like to speak with her.   

Time Lock

The Time Lock in Caledon Kintyre

 We met in a relatively neutral environment, a public house in Kintyre in which I am most comfortable and which would still afford us some measure of privacy for our discussion.  The place  I chose to meet her is a cozy pub off the town square in Caledon Kintyre named The Time Lock.  I have something of a fondness for timepieces, so the motif suits me.  Gordon was on hand, of course, and served tea while we waited for Miss Puddlegum’s arrival.  (more…)

Published in: on 8 July, 2010 at 11:35 AM  Leave a Comment  
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