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Continue The Story: It Was a Dark and Stormy night.

Posted on 02/22/2005 4:28:09 PM PST by utahguy

Continue The Story: It Was a Dark and Stormy night. Attention Writers, Wouldabee’s, Wannabee’s, Amateurs, Hacks, etc. etc.

Now is your chance to perceive, pen and publish your punishing purple prose planetwide.
Just take the last line from this, or any post/comment and add your prose. No need for this turkey to come out linearly.

Any genre, any style. And without concern if it’s bad, it’s SUPPOSE to be.

Comments and Groans are welcome.

It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled out of the north like a bereaved banshee, roaring over the moor, funnelling its fuming ferocity down the valley toward the opulent manor.

The gale twisted bits of flotsam, flora and fauna into the frigid air, creating a clammering cacaphony of wretched debris hurling headlong into the walls of the estate as if on some suicidal mission to find refuge.

Inside the manor Percilla pouted. Thurgood and Eason had undoubtedly cancelled their visit, since her butler had informed her earlier that the bridge had been washed out due to the storm.

The only other route was a narrow, twisted trail through the moors of which she was told no sane person would dare venture at night, much less in this weather.
And they could be such cowards at times, she thought, for she so looked forward to a rousing game of whisk.
Oh, bother. Nothing left to do but get tiddly.

She poured the sherry herself, as she had dismissed the servants early. Pressing her voluptuous lower lip to the edge of the glass, she took a long sip of the amber liquid while giving a blank stare toward the immense fireplace.

Percilla watched impassively as the flames flickered fluidly, like dozens of Dante’s dancing denizens, pirouetting upwards to a silent symphony.

She signed, placed the goblet on the table, which now was adorned with a baby's bottom of crimson on the lip of the leaded crystal.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door . . . . . . .


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: badwriting; fiction; potboiler; writers; writing; zaq
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1 posted on 02/22/2005 4:28:12 PM PST by utahguy
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To: utahguy

"Hillary was looking for the family bible to use when she took the oath of office tomorrow morning.."


2 posted on 02/22/2005 4:30:15 PM PST by ken5050 (The Dem party is as dead as the NHL..)
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To: utahguy

"Darn that Dominoes Pizza....They never deliver within 20 minutes...."


3 posted on 02/22/2005 4:30:28 PM PST by My2Cents ("Friends stab you from the front." -- Oscar Wilde)
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To: utahguy

I remember the all time worst piece of prose I've ever encountered, but the site rules forbid it's posting. :(


4 posted on 02/22/2005 4:36:11 PM PST by NonValueAdded ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" HRC 6/28/2004)
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To: utahguy

"President Kerry sat hunched over the 2000 page French proposal for joint control of the US military. He smiled to himself as he reached for his Montblanc, and with a flourish, inked is name to the document. He then reached for the phone and dialed Jacques while conferencing co-UN SecsGeneral William and Hillary Clinton. Its done, he said gleefully, the last bastion of US sovreignty has been demolished. Never again will her military offend the likes of Saddam, the Ayatollah, and Kim Jong-Il ruler of the Kerry brokered 'One Penisula government'...."


5 posted on 02/22/2005 4:39:32 PM PST by cardinal4 (George W Bush-Bringing a new democracy every term..)
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To: utahguy
Period.

They HAD made it. Maybe the bridge wasn't as bad as her butler had feared.

Across the room, Viking, the sleek, hungry cat, stretched his long black paws out along the cushions of the black leather couch. Some times, she thought, I can't even see him there.

Viking's ear's had perked up when he heard her speak of a writing thread on freerepublic. Lost in thought, Viking was startled by the knock....

6 posted on 02/22/2005 4:43:23 PM PST by fanfan (" The liberal party is not corrupt " Prime Minister Paul Martin)
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To: utahguy; All

Such prodigious prosers! Keep 'em coming!


7 posted on 02/22/2005 4:46:33 PM PST by utahguy (Ya gotta kill it before you grill it: Ted Nugent)
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To: utahguy
"Bill..?? Is that you??" A muffled "thwump" and the sound of hurried footsteps scurried away beyond the giant oaken door. She approached, oh so quietly, in fear of what lay beyond the stony wall. There, in the door, a tiny hole, the smell of blood. She grabs the the massive latch and heaves open the massive gate. There, upon the stones, She gasps...
8 posted on 02/22/2005 4:46:52 PM PST by xcamel (Deep Red, stuck in a "bleu" state.)
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To: utahguy
Well, Percilla thought, they made it after all! The evening's not a total waste! Setting the glass down, she fairly rushed to the door, half-expecting to wrench it open in a dramatic flair, swooping down upon them...

"Well, it's high time you showed..." But Percilla stopped in mid-tantrum, at the sight of the appartition - there was no other word for it - at the door.

Before her stood a man, of an age she could not guess. He was dressed in a long-length greatcoat, which might have been fine leather once, now travel-stained and worn, battering his gaunt frame in the breeze. Gaunt, though, only began to describe him. The face was drawn, with an angular point to the jawline, almost a wedge. The skin was not sallow, but gave the illusion of humanity, more of the pallor of the night workers or the mines. But it was the eyes that were the most arresting feature of this stranger: not sunken or starting, but vague and distant, as if not seeing anything near, but riveted on the opposite wall, or the horizon, or some distant phantasm that only they could see. The man had no baggage visible, no traps or satchels; only his coat, beating like bound bats' wings in the wuthering blow.

Percilla was startled, her voice catching in her throat as she tied to form even a simple question. But the man spoke first, breaking the silence with a high, nasal, patrician voice.

"Percilla? It is Percilla, is it not?"

Percilla's haughtiness returned at the familiarity. "And who, my man, might you be, at a doorstep on a night such as this?"

The man laughed, sqeaking through his nose. "Why, how so like you mother, as well! I was told to expect that. Now, Cilla, why don't you let me in, and greet your uncle properly?"

Percilla was shocked, for a moment, then composed, answered, "Uncle, is it! And how dare you take liberties, calling me that! You're who, just exactly?"

The nose-laugh again. "Ah, yes, your father's suspicion, in equal measure, I see that now. Yes, Cilla, your mother's brother, Edgar. Surely, your vaguest childhood stories recall that name?"

9 posted on 02/22/2005 4:48:05 PM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
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To: utahguy
Somewhere a Dog howled, but the cockadoodle doing of the fighting roosters did not answer. They were euthanized by the feeling people at the SPCA. Everybody know that cock fighting is illegal.
10 posted on 02/22/2005 4:49:46 PM PST by Temple Owl (19064)
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To: Old Sarge
Pure, purplish poetry. I marvel at your speed. Is this Egdar a man of Daring? Of Danger? Of Dandruff?
This deserves continuance.
11 posted on 02/22/2005 4:52:33 PM PST by utahguy (Ya gotta kill it before you grill it: Ted Nugent)
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To: utahguy
Edgar. Uncle Edgar? Could it be - him?!? Percilla's memories came flashing back to her, of the tales told to her by her terrified governess: the quality almost like a boogeyman, when naughty children would be told that "Uncle Edgar would get you." But Percilla never quite understood the fear behind the voices. She always asked to be told of the adventurer, the traveler, the man with no lasting home, those parts of the story that they all glossed over.

"Uncle Edgar? Why, of course I remember stories about him, but how do I know it's you? I mean, honestly, after all..."

Edgar laughed again. "Yes, Raymond's suspicion again. How would it be, if I told you I only met you once in your entire life? When you were eleven years of age? Your father, and your mother, Chelsea, oh, they tried and tried to prevent me, but I wanted to see you, and see you I did! And remember, now, dear grown-up niece of mine, how we talked in the gazebo behind this very house? How you hated your governess, Mrs. Keenewick, when she wouldn't tell you much about me? Do you remember?"

Percilla most certainly did. An afternoon over fifteen years past, long before the demise of both her parents, and her assumption of the manor and the estate. An uncle, a mystery and a phantom, who told her his story...

"The ships, and the castles, and the mountains," Percilla said, "and all the places you saw on adventure..."

"Ye-eess, Cilla, you DO remember," Edgar replied softly. "Not only a traveler, but a hunter, as well. Do you remember what it is, that I told you I hunted? Do you! Or should I refresh your memory?"

"No, that's not necessary..."

"Because you were afraid, weren't you, Cilla?" Edgar hissed. "And you called for old Keenewick, and your mother came, too, and forbade me to come back here again. Oh, your mother protected you, and your father, like a lioness she did. I knew better than to cross her in her own den, that day. And you listened at the drawing room door, didn't you, lilttle scamp that you are. What did you hear, eh?"

Percilla answered, her voice no longer patrician, but small, frightened. "Papa said your business didn't concern me, but you said it did - you said that 'if the blood ever awoke, you'd return, and take up the family order'. I never forgot that." She stared at Edgar, searching for answers of dread. "What did you mean? Mama and Papa forbade me to ask about the 'family order'. What did they mean? And about 'the blood awakening?'"

12 posted on 02/22/2005 5:12:44 PM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
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To: utahguy
Suddenly there was a knock at the door . . . . . . .

Percilla cautiously opened the massive door and asked for the name of the balding, mysterious man.

The handsome stranger inadvertantly let out a whistling laugh as he answered her question, "Knock....James Knock."

13 posted on 02/22/2005 5:15:53 PM PST by syriacus (Was Margaret Hassan kidnapped because she knew the Oil for Food program failed to aid Iraqis?)
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To: Old Sarge
Percilla was shocked, for a moment, then composed, answered, "Uncle, is it! And how dare you take liberties, calling me that! You're who, just exactly?"

The nose-laugh again. "Ah, yes, your father's suspicion, in equal measure, I see that now. Yes, Cilla, your mother's brother, Edgar. Surely, your vaguest childhood stories recall that name?"

Edgar? She flung her hand to her milky white neck, grasped the locket that her mother had, on her death bed, given her and swooned.

This austere man, who had the trials of life etched on his world weary face, straddling the doorway whilst the storm swirled around him.

Edgar? Her breasts heaved as she grasped for air. Was is that Edgar, the one her family talked about in dark rooms in whispered tones?

The one, her nubile mind sought to affirm, the one who was confined to the . . . . asylum?

“I come for the locket,” he said tersely.

“Or more precisely, the small key the locket contains”

14 posted on 02/22/2005 5:25:15 PM PST by utahguy (Ya gotta kill it before you grill it: Ted Nugent)
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To: Old Sarge
Percilla answered, her voice no longer patrician, but small, frightened. "Papa said your business didn't concern me, but you said it did - you said that 'if the blood ever awoke, you'd return, and take up the family order'. I never forgot that." She stared at Edgar, searching for answers of dread. "What did you mean? Mama and Papa forbade me to ask about the 'family order'. What did they mean? And about 'the blood awakening?'"

Edgar gave a sinister smile, his facial lines confirming his desire.

Though her spirit was weakened by the sudden rush of nefarious memories, she managed a meager whisper, “Locket? Order? I don’t know what you mean.”

“Yes you do,” Edgar hissed,” in a way that made her blue blood run cold. “Now please give me the locket.”

Oh, this was going much, much too fast. Her mind flashed to Thurgood and Eason, hoping beyond hope that they would suddenly appear, the duel Dandies as she had on countless times teasingly called them, with their perfumed continence, manner and speak, two who would pluck her from this nightmare and bring her back to her sheltered existence as she had known since her privileged birth.

Eason’s abrupt “ahem” broke her gossamer wishes.

“The locket,” he said, with impatience in his gravely voice. “Now.”

15 posted on 02/22/2005 5:46:13 PM PST by utahguy (Ya gotta kill it before you grill it: Ted Nugent)
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To: utahguy; PJ-Comix

It was a dark and stormy night. In fact, it was a Perfect Rovian Storm.


16 posted on 02/22/2005 5:50:18 PM PST by Charles Henrickson (DUmmie FUnnies allusion.)
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To: utahguy

Mary paused before accepting the fraudulent scrap of destiny. A bead of sweat formed on her sizable brow, slowly making its way to her widened eyes. She was racked with emotion...on one hand she was committing a crime, on the other hand she had an opportunity to take down the man she hated most.

But most of all, she had a chance to make Dan notice her. She pictured Dan, wearing his best blue suspenders and his freshly pressed white shirt. A small island of dark hair on a fine sea of gray reminding his viewers of his glory days. Dan would accept the forgery willingly. Excitedly. He may even smile. And he would say, "This is fine work Mary. Perhaps you and I could work together on your next assignment."

A girlish tingle ran down her spine. And she enjoyed it like a heroin addict taking his first hit after a long stint in prison. She couldn't help herself.

She took the paper. She turned away and ran...


17 posted on 02/22/2005 6:06:32 PM PST by kidd
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To: utahguy
Suddenly there was a knock on the door . . . . . . .

Percilla puts down her glass of sherry, and strolls across the living room, taking care not to walk on the priceless oriental rug that still had the blood stains and taped outline of the dead body of her husband. The corpse of which had been removed earlier in the day by the coroner and taken to the morgue.

A second series of knocks was made at the door. This time more insistently. She finally reached the door, but before opening it, took a deep breath, straightened out the wrinkles on her blouse and skirt, and steadied herself for whomever was on the other side of the door.

She opens the door and standing there is a strange man she has never seen before. He is holding an umbrella over his head, which seems to be partialy broken and, judging by the man's soaked condition, somewhat useless. The man is also wearing what seems to be a dirty, well worn raincoat or trenchcoat. Judging by his unkempt condition, the man is clearly a homeless bum looking for a handout. Percilla just wants to get rid of this man. She's had a tiring day as it is.

"Wait a minute", she says to the homeless man. "I'll get my purse and give you something."

The man asks, "Give me something?"

Percilla replies "Why, yes."

Percilla leaves the door opened while she goes to retrieve her purse which is laying on the table in the foyer. She digs into it, and brings out some crumpled dollar bills. Some are fives. But some others are tens and twenty dollar bills. Without even counting out what she has grabbed, she shoves the fistful of bills into the strange mans hands and says, "There, I hope that will be sufficient. Now if you will excuse me...", and then Percilla goes to close the door on the man, but his hands full with the cash, the man blocks the closing of the door with his body.

"Um, I don't think you understand, ma'am.", the strange man says.

"Understand what?" asked Percilla.

"I didn't come here looking for a handout, ma'am." replied the stranger, handing back the bills to Percilla.

"Oh? Then what did you come here for?" asked Percilla, taking the dollar bills back.

"Allow me to introduce myself, ma'am.", replied the stranger, pulling out a billfold and showing it to Percilla which reveals a badge and an identification card

"My name is Columbo. Lt. Columbo. I'm with the Los Angeles Police Department. I'd like to ask you a few questions, if you don't mind..."

18 posted on 02/22/2005 6:06:42 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: utahguy

Suddenly there was a knock on the door . . . . . . .

Percilla, startled, tentatively stood up from her chair. She plodded slowly towards the door and she started again when she heard another knock.

Surprised that anyone would be knocking on her door so late and in such weather, Percilla called out, "Thurgood? Eason? Is that you?"

The door knocker's male voice responded "No," followed by something mumbled Percilla couldn't make out.

Percilla sighed and slowly opened the door. A young man in orange, with the message "Dean in '04" on his shirt, collapsed onto her floor. Dripping wet from the rain, the tattooed and pierced caller looked up at Percilla and whispered "I'm from the Howard Dean campaign and I'm here to tell you this weather is all Bush's fault, it's all Bush's fault!" With that, the young man passed out.


19 posted on 02/22/2005 6:07:00 PM PST by fcalderon
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To: Charles Henrickson
In fact, it was a Perfect Rovian Storm.

The type of which hadnt been seen since the early years of the Reagan Administration. Percilla braced herself for the perfectly timed earthquake that was supposed to follow. A strong 8.6 earthquake that her fellow DUers had warned her about and accurately predicted.

20 posted on 02/22/2005 6:12:54 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: utahguy
It Was a Dark and Stormy night. The City of Stolid Springs had just promoted Chet to the position of night watchman over Pong Park. The area had become jam-packed with closet nudist that enjoyed walking the streets under the cover of darkness. It was Chet's job to use his night-vision goggles and paintball gun to expose them to the community.

"Why are you going out in this weather?" asked his mother.
"I gotta go hunt for perverts," Chet replied.
"You don't think the storm will keep them home tonight?"
"I don't think they'll suddenly find Jesus just because it's raining."
"If you say so.......I still don't understand how shooting at them with paintballs makes any sense." his mother sighed.
"Because the paintballs are filled with non removable ink." said Chet.

(someone else take it from here)
21 posted on 02/22/2005 6:32:14 PM PST by Jaysun (Nefarious deeds for hire.)
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To: utahguy
It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled out of the north like a bereaved banshee, roaring over the moor, funnelling its fuming ferocity down the valley toward the opulent manor...

Suddenly there was a knock on the door . . . the rap, rap, rapping resounded throughout the vacuous, great hall of the manor, echoing seemingly endlessly.

"If I fart now," Percilla thought to herself, "I'll never hear the end of it."

22 posted on 02/22/2005 10:25:42 PM PST by Rudder
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To: kidd

Pssst..whose Mary?


23 posted on 02/23/2005 1:57:37 AM PST by Recall
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To: Recall

Mary = Mary Mapes
Dan = Dan Rather


24 posted on 02/23/2005 5:32:54 AM PST by kidd
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To: utahguy
Percilla's fear and dread, reawakened after all these intervening years by Uncle Edgar's arrival, threatened to come busrting out of her throat in a scream of fright but, before the cry could emerge, it was dampened by something else. Curiosity. Yes, she did remember the stories and the tales, and the single talk that she and Edgar had all those years past. And in the back of her mind, she always wished for the answers. Now, here on a dark and stormy night, her questions could finally be answered, by the only relative left alive who could.

"Mother gave me the locket, Uncle Edgar," she said finally, her voice regaining strength as she spoke, "and it's the most precious thing I have of hers. Will you damage it?"

"Hardly, my dear", Edgar said, "but the locket itself is only sentimental - the true value is the key within. Now, will we see the key, and could we please do so, over by the fireside, and out of this weather?"

Percilla, slowly, allowed the gaunt man inside and over the threshold, and got the impression that by inviting him in, her life would change forever. Edgar crossed the room to the hearth, and basked for a minute in its inviting warmth. Percilla saw that his hair, the same color as her mother's, was wind-tossed and wiry; his skin was reddened from the wind; all having the effect of rough-hewn wood.

"Ah, so much better, thank you, Cilla", Edgar said. "Now then, the locket, and watch closely..."

Percilla produced the locket from around her neck, and handed it over reluctanly, coming closer to watch. Edgar held it to the light for a moment, as if examining it for something. Then, with a curious motion, he twisted the locket with a tiny click, and a hollow space was inside.

The locket lay in Edgar's hand, now in two pieces: the lid had an elaborate etching on the inside, a coat of arms, from first glance. But in the bottom half, lay not a key, but a single pewter peg, almost the size of a nail.

"That? That's a key?" Percilla asked. "It looks nothing like any key I've ever seen."

"Of course not, because you haven't seen many keys, have you?" Edgar snickered. "Not everything is obvious - this might not look like a normal key, but what is a key, but a device to open a lock, and it matches the lock itself, and not your preconcieved views. Your first lesson of many, darling niece!"

"But, it couldn't fit any door in the house, or anywhere!"

"Doors! Keys don't always open doors, either. They open locks, Cilla, and this key fits into a lock which, I daresay, hasn't turned since I left this manor. But tonight, it surely shall."

25 posted on 02/23/2005 5:18:11 PM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
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To: Old Sarge
“The locket lay in Edgar's hand, now in two pieces: the lid had an elaborate etching on the inside, a coat of arms, from first glance. But in the bottom half, lay not a key, but a single pewter peg, almost the size of a nail.

"That? That's a key?" Percilla asked. "It looks nothing like any key I've ever seen."

"Of course not, because you haven't seen many keys, have you?" Edgar snickered. "Not everything is obvious - this might not look like a normal key, but what is a key, but a device to open a lock, and it matches the lock itself, and not your preconcieved views. Your first lesson of many, darling niece!"

"But, it couldn't fit any door in the house, or anywhere!"

"Doors! Keys don't always open doors, either. They open locks, Cilla, and this key fits into a lock which, I daresay, hasn't turned since I left this manor. But tonight, it surely shall."

And with that, Edgar wielded his arm skyward like a war hammer and smashed his fist on the edge of the fireplace mantel.

Percilla gave a squealed scream of fright as pieces of stone hurled to the ground, exposing a small recess.

Edgar thrust his now bloodied hand into the hole and pulled out a small wooden box.

“Ah-Hah,” he shouted maniacally, ejaculating spittle into the air, “the key to the evasive puzzle is finally within my grasp!”
Edgar whirled around like a top, confronting Percilla with his stare. “And if you,” he bellowed, his voice suddenly filled with the passion of madness, “utter even one word of this, I- I-,”
His eyes rolled like an doomed animal in the clutches of a vicious predator. Edgar dropped the box, and seizing his chest, collapsed on the polished floor.

Percilla stood transfixed in horror as Edgar twitched in spasmodic gestures like a being possessed.
Then, aghast, she transfixed on this abomination of an Uncle as he, with a compressed motion, pulled himself up.

“I am,” he croaked, “done. so - close”
Then within his death throes, he gasped, “Are you - Cilla - as adept - at solving - puzzles as - are you are - creating them?”

The sudden lifeless body of Edgar fell to the floor with a dull thud.

Pricilla did as one who had been borne of high privilege and station would naturally do in these sort of matters. She screamed. And she continued to scream until the frantic footsteps of servants from downstairs echoed throughout the manor.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

There, there,” Thurgood purred, as he nudged ever closer to Pricilla, gently patting her on her tender thigh.

It was the day after the morrow since Uncle Edgar had died in her presence.
The storm had subsided quickly, as had the news spread of this horrid occurrence.
Thurgood and Eason, as soon as they got the word from the manors frantic driver, rushed by coach to her side.

While Thurgood cooed and comforted Percilla, Eason, with peevish frustration, examined the blood stained hole in the mantel.
More to break his cousin’s advances than anything else, Eason inquired, “’Cilla my dear, you say your Uncle extracted an object from this opening?”
Thurgood glared at his cousin. “Can’t you see what a state she’s in? She’s - ”
“No, no,” Percilla sighed, “it’s all right. I can manage.” She fluttered her eyelashes, conveying, in Eason’s eye, an obvious false sense of grief. “As I recall,” she struggled, ”the doctor who examined the body placed it on, on the table next to the window.”
“There, there,” Thurgood repeated,” You musn’t let Eason bother you.”
She dabbed her long since dry eyes with a hanky. “You are so thoughtful, dear Thurgood.”

Eason huffed, strode to the table and picked up the rectangular wooden box, and noticing a small, slender pewter peg next to it also gathered it up.
The box had a bit of brass in the center middle with a hole that looked like - Eason thought it might fit - and he inserted the peg, twisted, and the box popped open.

“Well I’ll be,” he exclaimed in a rather loud voice. “Look here!” As Thurgood glowered, Percilla’s mood swiftly changed to one of curiosity. The box that Eason held in front of her contained a torn piece of brittle, aged parchment. She gently coaxed it out of the box and walked to the sunlit window, with the two cousins following. Together they read the faded inscription:

“Bayson’s Fog,
Rent Her Sock,
Find the Lee to fit the Cock.
Draight to Sawn, et the and,
Free threet hoe-tell,
Sidding Dand.”

“It’s gibberish,” Thurgood huffed, “pure gibberish.”
Eason, recalling an old memory, flashed a grin. “Reminds me of what we used to make up as children.”
“Rot,” Thurgood insisted, “Fog, birds, torn socks? Nonsensical words? it is the work of a madman.”
“It must be something,” Eason persisted, “For her Uncle to go to such lengths to retrieve it.”
“Harumph!,” Thurgood responded. “Do you not recall, dear cousin, that Percilla mentioned he was once incarcerated in an asylum? Escaped from it, in my opinion. It is pure nonsense, and all it, and you, are serving to do is upset her.”

There hung a moment of uneasy silence. Then, abruptly, Percilla said, “Wait.”

She sat herself down on the chair with a slow deliberate speed. “I, I recall something.”
She then, in a distant monotone voice devoid of emotion, related a long ago childhood memory.

It was late spring. Her, her nanny and Mother had picnicked by the small lake on the south end of their land.
While Mother and nanny were busy preparing the noontime repast, she had wandered off.
She recalled reciting a some made up sing-song rhyme, lost in a child’s fairy tale world, and had walked to the base of a small, rocky rise just east of the lake.
Her voice quickened as she recalled a strange sound, mimicking her tone. Then a voice from afar, its source hidden in the rocks.
“You have given me the answer,” chimed the voice, as this sinister figure reveled himself, “I shall always be grateful.”

She then, with tonal alarm rising, conveyed to the pair that this cretin flung his overcoat round in a flourish to cover the lower half of his wicked face, and with a sinister cackle, rushed off.

“What a horrid experience!” Thurgood said.
“And you know, now that I think about it,” Percilla said stoically, “It may have been . . . Uncle Edgar.”
“Oh you poor, poor dear,” Thurgood condescended.
Percilla gave a teasing bit of a smile. “You are so thoughtful, dear Thurgood, in my time of need.”

“Back to this mystery,” Eason said, “Percilla, what do you make of it?”
“Oh, cease man,” Thurgood interjected. “It is pure rubbish, for that we are certain. And I will not, will not I say, have you upset this dear Lady another instant!”

Percilla nudged closer to Thurgood and continued the act of feigning grief and discomfort, while enjoying, as she always had, the contention for her affection.
“Still, Eason started, “I would dread to discard this so quickly.”
An uneasy pause ensued. Finally Thurgood broke the silence.

“Dear cousin,” he said, in a mockingly condescending voice, “humor us then, by continuing this investigation of yours outside, and I shall attempt to lift dear Percilla’s spirits. And please, dear cousin, I beg you to inform us the instant, the instant I say, you have solved the puzzle.”

Eason sighed. Once again his cousin had bested him. Head down in defeat and frustration, he departed through the door to the balcony, accompanied by Thurgood’s contemptuous chirps and Percilla’s gleeful giggles.

Eason, seething, moved to the far corner of the balcony and looked out over the countryside. The sun had appeared, which gave a promise of warmth to the early summers day.
However Eason’s continence ran cold. Once again Thurgood had bested him. How he hated his cousin at times, and yes, Percilla too. If only she weren’t so beautiful, so alluring, and so . . . desirable.

The truth and he knew it was that he was lonely for a woman.
Lonely for a wife and family, and that amongst their peers, only him and his cousin remained unwed.
And poor Eason, as he had heard innumerable times from Thurgood, one whose hair was too dark, forehead too narrow and whose proboscis a bit too large.

“My dear cousin Eason, why you do not give in to your shortcomings, grant your father his wishes and court Lady Eberley?”

Those rapier words came back, as did others, at times like these. True, his Father had prodded him from time to time, especially of late to start a proper courtship with Miss Eberley. And true, she was the daughter of a Grand Duke. But she was a humorless woman, built like a turnip, with a voice that pierced you like a north wind and teeth that could gnaw through a large oak tree.

Eason shuddered at the thought. Yet what else did he have? Percilla? He ached for her in both body and spirit yet she treated him at times like a doorstop. Using him to play against Thurgood.
Did Percilla not see the vainglorious nature of his cousin?

Thurgood, a half head taller than he, with golden hair, healthy complexion and stunning blue eyes yet one who loves only himself? Thurgood, who fancies himself as an authority on politics, Royal History, women and wit, yet is in fact a dallying dandy, devoid of any devotion unless it is within himself.

”Ah, but she desires me so, old bean. Percilla, that is. I must specify, as so many other ladies do you know.”
Those past words hung on his mind, demanding to be recalled.

”And she does desire so for me to ask for her hand in marriage. And I will, as soon as she becomes of age to receive the bulk of her inheritance.”
“Hah! it is in truth only that you fear she will discover what a deceitful cad you are before she receives her rightful acquisition and disposes of you.”
“Dear, dear cousin. Why do you let envy consume you so? Is it not I, who has touched and tasted the pleasures of her body? Her smooth, alabaster neck, bosoms, -”
“Stop it! Stop this vile accord or I shall throw you myself into the bog to cool you off!”

But the words were true, for all Eason had acquired over the years were a precious few teasingly swift kisses. And he knew that Thurgood had received much more of her pleasures. If only he didn’t brag so! Eason spat in anger and disgust. He deserved to be thrown bodily into the bog!

The bog.
Thebog.

“By Jove!” he shouted, and slapped his hand on the top of the railing.

-----------------------------------------------------

Eason flung open the door to the sitting room, ignoring the advancing closeness Thurgood had made.
“I’ve got it!” he exclaimed.
“Your rudeness quite surpasses your intellect,” Thurgood glowered. Predictably, Percilla’s mode made a swift change. “You have what, pray tell?”
Eason stood in their presence for a moment, catching his breath. “That story you told, “ he directed at Percilla. “About the encounter with your Uncle. At the lake.”
“That rocky ridge to the east you mentioned. There is a bog further in that direction, is there not?”
“Why yes,” she answered, her interest rising. “Hyde bog it is called.” “Yes I know,” he said. “But before it was monikered with a different name.”
He turned to his cousin.” Thurgood, you have an excellent memory. Do you recall what it was called?”
Thurgood bit at the compliment and followed Percilla’s lead in interest. “Why yes, now that you mentioned it.” He furrowed his brow. “It was called - let me think - “
His thumb and middle finger came together with a resounding snap. “Fayson’s Bog!” he exclaimed.” Yes, that’s it. After some chap named Fayson, I suppose.”
Eason retrieved the scrap of parchment from the table. “Look you two. The first line. Bayson’s Fog. Simply transpose the first letters. Fayson’s Bog!”

“Excellent detection, Eason!” Percilla squealed. Excellent!
“Good show,” Thurgood deadpanned, “now you have solved one line of a mystery that Cilla’s uncle had known decades ago.”

“No,” Eason pressed, “Don’t you see? Though as a child Percilla gave him the verbal key to this riddle, he had obviously either forgotten the exact passages or, in his madness, had muddled it in his head. Why else would he risk his identity to come to the manor and retrieve it?”

Oh dear Eason,” Percilla said with excitement, “You have hit on it.” She rose swiftly. “And we have an adventure! What fun!
Thurgood followed her lead. “Yes, yes!” he exclaimed, “How jolly good. Of course it was by my recollections that we unlocked the secret.”

“Only the first line,” Eason reflected. “We have a ways-”
I shall go to the cook,” Percilla interrupted, “have her prepare a basket for picnic. Thurgood? Be a dear and fetch my driver and have bring the carriage ‘round to the front. Oh, this will be such fun! Our own adventure!”

“Bayson’s Fog,
Rent Her Sock,
Find the Lee to fit the Cock.
Draight to Sawn, et the and,
Free threet hoe-tell,
Sidding Dand.”

“Well?” Thurgood asked, with a bored detachment. The carriage ride to the bog had diminished the initial excitement, and Percilla, twirling her parasol gave a slight sigh acknowledging the situation as she watched the driver ferry the carriage toward a grove of trees to give them privacy.

Eason surveyed the scene. Fayson’s bog was small as bogs go, minuscule actually, and isolated. He judged to be no more than three of watery mired vegetation. there was tiny a ribbon of clearing leading from the shore to a small spit of sand, which was dominated by a rather large boulder. A short distance away, on higher ground, he noticed a weathered hand cart and a peasant cutting peat.

“Well?,” Thurgood repeated, “I can think of more suitable places to picnic, can’t you, old man? That is, unless you have more to say about this mystery you have dragged us into.”
Eason, desperate to retain the small victory over his cousin, gestured toward the peasant. “I will see if he has any local knowledge that could help.”
“A cretin?” Thurgood mocked, “to assist you in this folly? Old bean, I suspect that you are going daft.”
Percilla gave a small giggle. Eason, now in a too familiar mood, left the pair and ventured toward the peasant.

“Excuse me my good Man,” Eason said as he arrived on the higher ground, “I wish to ask you a few questions.”
The commoner brought his eyes up from his task at hand, saw the dress and manner of of the inquirer. “Yes Squire, yes sir,” he replied with nervousness as he lay down his peat knife and stood at attention.
“Are you from these parts?”
“Yes gov’ner, yes sir, I am.”
“And are you familiar with the local lore?”
“Ah, as I understand your Lordship’s question, yes sir, you could say that I am, yes sir.”
“So tell me-” Eason paused as he heard the mocking sounds from below. Clenching his jaw, he continued, “Tell me, my good man. We - that is, my friends and I - are let’s say, attempting to recall childhood memories. Names of places, landmarks, that sort of thing.”

He extracted a half crown from his pocket and held it for the peasant to see. “So perhaps you could help me.”
Oh yes sir,” the peasant replied, “that is if I can sir, if I can.”

Eason inquired, in a slow measured voice of authority reserved for conversing with one of such downward difference in station, if the peat cutter had any recollection of a landmark, landscape or feature in the immediate area that bears any of the names or anything close to the following:
The peat cutter listened with somewhat confused intent as he went through clothing, rented or torn, birds, along with draights, sidding, threets, dands and any other word play combinations he could muster.
But the peasant, outside of recollecting the original name of the bog, fell silent on information. “Sorry Squire, but nothing sounds like anything I’ve ever heard of, and that’s a fact.”

Eason gave a short snort of exasperation. “Well my good man,” he said, as his ears picked up a fresh amount of whispered barbarous tones from below. “Can you recall anything peculiar or different about this particular bog.”

“Oh yes sir,” the peat cutter responded, anxious to please. “Yes sir, there is and I do know this for a fact. For one thing, the bog stays the same she does. The wet part I mean. No matter if it be raining for a fortnight or dry as a bone, she stays the same.

And there be a path a body put down long ago, and it be smooth as a cobbled lane but with good footing and that’s a fact. Peculiar they be, not grass or moss will grow on ‘em and that’s a fact. And they be only a few inches below the water.”
The peasant pointed toward Thurgood and Percilla,“Right near where your friends are standing Squire. And you can see it sir, plain as day it be, going out to the from the shore.”

Eason, gazing at the bog, recalled the small clear channel with curiosity. The Peasant, anxious to earn the offered brass, added, “When I was a wee lad, me and my mates would walk it out to center rock there and play king of the mountain. Easy walk it was, with bare feet and all. Course we-”

Eason’s head suddenly snapped back toward the peat cutter. “What did you-” but his thoughts were interrupted by a rather loud chortle from below, obviously at his expense.
He quickly filed the information, and rankled at being mocked, said tersely, “Anything else you can add?”
“Uh, no Squire, begging your forgiveness, that be all I can remember. And that’s a fact.”
Eason held the coin out at arms length. “Tell me. Is there a pub close by?”
Startled by the inquiry, the peasant hesitated. “Uh, yes sir, there is, just down the road a bit.”
“Then there you will go immediately and leave us to our privacy.”

The peasant meekly held out a nervous hand. Eason dropped the coin. The commoner fumbled the exchange and the coin fell to the ground. Eason raised the toe of his boot and stepped on the half crown. “And you will keep silent on this, you hear me,” he said in a loud voice, “Or I shall find you and give you a right thrashing!”

He raised the toe of his boot. The peat cutter quickly snatched up the coin Like a mouse snatching a bit of cheese from a potentially lethal trap. “Thank you Squire,” he mumbled, head bowed, and shuffled off toward his handcart.

As Eason watched as the peat cutter quickly gathered up his tools, a sudden thought hit him: he knew what value that half crown held for this man, and what wounds his pride went to obtain it. Then for an instant he pictured himself in the peat cutter’s shoes.

On impulse she started toward the peasant, “Excuse me, my good man,” he said in a tone noticeably softer.
The commoner wheeled, clutched the precious coin to his tattered vest with a look as if he anticipating the lash at any instant.

“I wish to apologize to you,” Eason continued, “for my actions. I had no right to humiliate you as I did. It was extremely arrogant and callous on my part.”
The peasant gave him a queer look. “Sir?”
“You had earned that coin, and I had no right to do what I did. Please forgive me.”

The peat cutter stood erect, and with surprising calmness replied,” Oh, that’s all right, Guv’ner.” He turned to where Thurgood and Pricilla were standing. “I understand.”
The two men looked at each other for a moment in silent conversation and understanding. A thought conceived in the back of Eason’s mind, and he asked,” Tell me, my good man, are you married?”
“Yes sir, I am,” he answered without hesitation, “been so for nigh onto eighteen years.”
“Any children?”
The peasant flashed a smile” Oh yes Squire, that we have. Four fine Lads and one Lass.”
“You must be proud of them,” Eason said.
“Yes sir,” the peat cutter answered with a smile, “We are. Very proud.”

Eason procured a crown from his pocket and flipped it to the peat cutter. “For the Miss’es,” he said. “To soothe her feathers should you decide to return home with spirits on your breath.”
“Kind of you,” he replied, “Kind of you. And wise you are to the ways of a woman. That you be Sir, yes Sir.”
”Now be off with you,” Eason said in a soft voice,” and thank you again for your service.”
The peasant nodded, gathered his handcart and with a wave of his hand, started down the path.
Eason, deep in thought, smiled and waved back.

Somewhat confused at the myriad of emotions, he started toward the pair below. If they made a sound he did not hear, for he was thinking, processing what had transpired, including what the man had said that had assisted him in solving the mystery.

Well well,” Thurgood spouted, “The great detective has returned. Tell me, old boy, did your consultation with your assistant bear fruit?”
Eason, ignoring the jibe and subsequent chirp from Percilla, bent down to the edge of the bog and placed his hand in the clear area described by the peat cutter. “The man was correct,” he said, ”it is a path, only a few inches below the water, has good footing and without a trace of vegetation.”
“Whatever do you mean,” Percilla asked. Eason pointed to the middle of the bog. ”There. The locals call it center island rock or center rock.” He turned to the now befuddled pair. “Don’t you see? The second line of the message. Rent her sock. Cen-ter rock. Center rock.”
“Why Eason,” Percilla squealed. How positively brilliant!”
“And it will be an easy wade, I assure you.”
“Not me,” replied Thurgood. Though that muck?”
“Well I am game,” Percilla said,” Thurgood, remove my foot ware. And mind your eyes as you do.”
Eason thought deeply for a few moments, then inquired, “Does your driver equip your carriage with a spade or shovel or both?”
“Always,” she answered. “to dig the carriage out of the mud if need be. Why do you ask?”
“And as I recall, your Father additionally employs him as an estate hunter, does he not?”
“Why yes, but why-”
“Then he should have a compass on his person. Thurgood? be a good fellow and retrieve a spade and compass from the driver.”
Thurgood glared at Eason with furious indignation “I am NOT your errand boy!”
“Oh Thurgood,” Percilla intervened, “we must all pitch in and do our fair share, musn’t we? ”
Thurgood, unwilling to confront the fair Percilla, gave a caustic leer toward Eason then strode toward the carriage as the two gingerly made there way across the bog to center rock island.

_______________________________________

Percilla leaned against the large boulder of center rock island, and playfully twirled her parasol as Eason surveyed the area.
She was about to instruct him to amuse her with a story to pass the time when he glanced up from staring at the scrap of torn parchment and gave her a look of what seemed to be of a derisive nature, yet veneered with what she conceived to be as grim determination.

For a long moment her mind reflected off her continual self absorption toward the mystery at hand as it, at present, was above all else.
For in truth her life thus far, as one who was born to such privilege and station as she, consisted primarily of a rather monotonous continual change and re change of attire, dependent on the meal or evenings interlude, only broken by a rather mundane hedonistic amusement of playing one cousin against the other. And after the years of said games, this was by far, wholly more engaging than that.

She watched with somewhat confused yet intriguing curiosity as Eason absorbed himself with the prose on the parchment.

And when he nodded his head slightly and clenched his free fist as if to acknowledge he had solved yet another piece of the puzzle, She, though quite unconsciously, ventured a small outward elation toward him.
This was not the Eason he knew. One who had been such an easy foil for her playful games had seemingly altered himself into a man of passionate self determination and purpose. She was both intrigued and befuddled.
The noisy splashing of Eason’s lifelong adversary broke her from her spell. She watched as Thurgood, panting for want of breath, thrust the spade and compass toward his cousin. “Here,” he said, with bile on his tongue, “are these damn things you requested.”

Eason ignored the digging tool thrust to his face and retrieved the compass from his obviously irate cousin’s grasp. He then glanced skyward for a moment, then concentrated on the device in his hand.

“You are daft man, completely daft,” Thurgood chimed, anxious to continue the role of the better and to of course convey this in Percilla’s eye.
“Hush!,” Eason replied, with a force that set Thurgood aback.
When Percilla, with an unaccustomed softness in her tone, inquired on Eason’s actions, he stated, “Because it is early afternoon, and I do not have a precise sense of direction.”
“Do tell us of your discovery, ” Percilla begged, “We are dying of curiosity.”
“Fayson’s Bog,” Eason started, “Center rock.” He paused for a moment before continuing. “Find the key to fit the lock.”
“But we already possess the key!” Chimed Thurgood.
“Hush!” Admonished Percilla. She turned to Eason. “Please go on” “Draight to Sawn, et the and,” he explained, “Is translated to Straight to Dawn, at the end. The sun rises in the east. Therefore due east at the end of this sand spit is where the instructions beckon us to be.

“And the next line?” Percilla inquired, with mounting excitement.
“’Free threet hoe-tell’, is Three feet to Hell. Straight down from the easternmost point of this isle. And the last is simply a transposition, ‘sidding dand’ to ‘Digging Sand’.”

Eason plunged the spade into the surprisingly malleable soil, and after a few spades full, observed the minor depression. Just as he thought, the soil at the bottom contained but a mere wisp of dampness. “A layer of hardpan,”Eason explained, “at the outer perimeter of this bog, hence the level consistency of the water. And, as I suspect, a plume of said clay has surrounded this tiny island.”

He removed a few more spades of loose sand, confirmed his hypotheses, then handed the implement to his cousin. “Dig,” He instructed.
“Me?” Thurgood dropped the spade like a hot poker and took a step backward, aghast at the suggestion. “As a common laborer? Surely you do not imply . . . “

Eason’s glare, combined with Percilla’s impassiveness in the matter caused him to pause for a moment and collect his thoughts.
“I do admit that I am curious on what we might find, but really, cousin. Really.”
Eason remained firm. “Curious, yes. But above all else you are greedy. And the thought of any wealth associated with this venture will spur you on to uncommon tasks. Such as this.”
He thrust the spade toward Thurgood. “Dig,” he said flatly.

Thurgood snatched the implement from his cousin’s grasp, and flashing a sneer smile, proceeded. As he awkwardly flung spade after spade of soil toward the side of the ever deepening hole, he rationalized that he had indeed put his cousin through a rather rough gauntlet of biting verbiage a short time ago, and perhaps he should, abet temporarily, take his lumps. Though it was not his fault: for Eason had invited it in degraded himself by conversing with that foul cretin.

He continued to dig until the spade sang out in a ringing tone as it struck an object.

Eason quickly reached down and gathered up a brick shaped piece of stone.
“Lovely,” Thurgood opined, “All this effort for a white brick.”
“No,” Eason answered, brushing sand from the object, “It is no mere brick of stone, but marble. And by the weight of it I can tell that it is hollow.“
“It is beautiful!” Percilla exclaimed, then anxiously crowded around the pair to get a closer look. Eason ran his finger in a vertical fashion a quarter way down from the top, which exposed a distinct line in the stone. “See?” He exclaimed, “The top portion is a lid of some sort. Thurgood, grasp the bottom.”
Thurgood obliged, and within a few coordinated seconds they had succeeded in removing the top.

Inside was another scrap of parchment. Eason gingerly extracted the piece, and placing it with the first, observed that not only was it a perfect fit, but resembled a cut side view of a key mated with a lock.

However, that was not what he, like the pair beside him, gave primary attention to. It was the writing on the second piece of parchment, which was decidedly different than the first.

Very different indeed.

26 posted on 03/02/2005 11:10:15 PM PST by utahguy (Ya gotta kill it before you grill it: Ted Nugent)
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To: cardinal4; fanfan; xcamel; Old Sarge; Temple Owl; syriacus; kidd; lowbridge; fcalderon; Jaysun

Yet another installment of "It was a Dark and Stormy Night" :)


27 posted on 03/02/2005 11:15:41 PM PST by utahguy (Ya gotta kill it before you grill it: Ted Nugent)
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To: utahguy

Great tale!


28 posted on 03/03/2005 6:05:28 AM PST by syriacus (Was Margaret Hassan kidnapped because she knew the Oil for Food program failed to aid Iraqis?)
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To: syriacus
Great tale!

Thanks! Please fell free to add to this story.

29 posted on 03/04/2005 11:07:10 AM PST by utahguy (Ya gotta kill it before you grill it: Ted Nugent)
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To: utahguy

After dinner at the manor that evening, the small party adjorned to the study, the same where Perciolla, as a child, had overheard her parents argue with her enigmatic Uncle Edgar, about the plaguing secret which had reared out of the mist of the past.

It was a strange meal, not quite what Percilla was used to, at all. Normally, her coquettish playing-off of Thurgood versus Eason would have entertained her nicely. But Eason had transformed; he was one moment introspective about the mystery they had uncovered, and the next animated and speculating about what the parchment might hold. Thurgood wasn't much changed. Spiteful and sarcastic, he was much the same.

None of them had examined the parchment or the box closely in the light of day, or out on the island where Eason had so swiftly divined the meaning of the clues. But now, fed and watered, and back in familiar surroundings, the three spoke in hushed tones as they unrolled the scroll in the study.

"It appears to be, well, old", Thurgood observed. "But none the worse for being buried out in the bog for God knows how long."

"The box had a good seal," Eason said, "and nothing spoiled the contents. Marble, as we know, lasts for ages. But the parchment looks as if it was already aged when it was buried. An antique, surely."

"But why go to such lengths to conceal it?" Percilla wondered. "Who did it, and why?"

"Your uncle seemed to have had knowledge of it, and waited until now to claim it," Eason said.

"Gambling debts, probably", Thurgood blurted out.

"Hardly", Eason said. "Think about it: if Edgar had mounting debt, why why appear now, when he could have used the secrets to redeem his fortune earlier?"

"But, who says it's treasure, or money? We don't even know what it is", Percilla said. "Look at it again!"

Closer examination revealed the paper was old, but fine mill, something expensive. The writing all over both sides was in old ink, which at one time might have been red. A strange design adorned the base of the reverse, lwhich to Percilla, looked...

"Wait one moment", she said, as she moved to the hearth to recover the locket which lay upon the mantle. "Yes! I did see this before! Look, there it is again!" And the device in the locket's lid, when set to one side, matched the mark to perfection.

"It's a coat of arms", Thurgood said, "But not one from England, surely! Look, here's the cross of St. George, but what is that?!?"

"It looks like a snake?" Percilla wondered.

"Not a snake, a worm - a dragon!" Eason saw.

"A dragon and St. George - like the old myth of St. George, evidently," said Percilla. "But there IS no Order of St. George in England, I don't understand."

"Well, if it's not an English order of knighthood," Thurgood thought, "then there must be some other country with such an order. I wonder if there's a reward..."


30 posted on 03/04/2005 8:10:46 PM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
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To: utahguy
Thoughts of ancient orders, castles and knights flew through their minds as the three bent closer to examine the parchment they had rescued from the bog. Percilla was reminded of Uncle Edgar's last words:

"Are you, Cilla, as adept at solving puzzles as you are at creating them?”

The writing, in faded red ink, wound across both sides of the paper like the coiled dragon figure on the coat of arms of the locket. The paper itself showed little effects of the burial in the bog, but the ink itself had been smeared.

"It isn't in English, or French, not even German. I recognize the others from school", Eason said.

"Not Spanish," said Thurgood, "nor Italian. What, Percilla, dear, do you make of this?"

Percilla, in fairness, didn't want to look at it. Because she DID recognize it. And the puzzle began forming in her mind, just as Edgar has said.

I know what it is, Percilla thought wildly, it's what Uncle Edgar told Mommy and Papa about, here, in this room, and what he wanted to tell me, too, oh why did Uncle Edgar have to die like that, before telling me the truth...

But, the two men had divined the look in Percilla's eyes. "Percilla, dearest, whatever's wrong?" Thurgood minced. "Why that face?"

"It's because she knows," Eason said, "am I not right? Percilla, do you recognize this language? Maybe even the crest? What can you tell us?"

"If I told you," came Percilla's choked voice, "you'd never speak to me again. Either of you, yes, even you, Thurgood," she said to Thurgood's fallen face, "because you especially would think me as fallen from station."

"Oh, nonsense, Percilla, dearest," Thurgood said emphatically, "nothing could ever convince me you were anything but the sweet noblesse you are!"

"How could you think we would hold you to that, Percilla!" Eason said. "Nothing you say will cause me to think less of you, of that, you must be certain. Now do, go, tell us what you know."

Percilla was silent, turning her back to both of the men as she nervously paced the floor. After a minute of quiet, she turned slowly.

"I know the language on that paper. Mommy used it often, because it was home to her. But you won't like it.

"The language? It's Romany. The tongue of the Gypsies. And I am not high-born English - I am half-Romany!"

31 posted on 03/04/2005 9:03:00 PM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: Old Sarge

bttt - marking my spot


33 posted on 03/04/2005 9:21:06 PM PST by StarCMC (It's God's job to forgive Bin Laden; it's our job to arrange the meeting.)
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To: utahguy
Eason, and even Thurgood, were stunned to silence at Percilla's revelation of her heritage. The Gypsies were despised over most of civilized Europe as a people of thieves and vagabonds, knowing no borders, no home, and no code, so it seemed. But Percilla knew a different version...

Eason was first to find voice. "Romany! Romany, you?!? But your mother, Chelsea Westerfield, of the Hempstead Westerfields -"

"- was taken in by the Westerfields, as a heathen orphan, by Lord Westerfield, and raised in an English manor," Percilla finished. "And her name wasn't Chelsea at birth, it was Francesca, Francesca Tzibiu. Haven't you divined now, where my features come from?"

"Um, well, you were always so, well..." Thurgood tried to interject, but trailed off at Eason's glare.

"Different? Yes, Thurgood, not the milquetoast English creamy complexion, at all," Percilla said with rising anger, "but a mixed breed of proper England and the Romany, and I know both cultures equally."

"Then, Percilla," Thurgood blurted, "you can read the writing?"

"Yes, of COURSE! The scroll!" Eason almost shouted, his excitment returning. "Thurgood, clever man, has reminded us. Percilla, please, solve this mystery for us!"

Percilla felt as a cornered cat must feel, being trapped into revealing the knowledge contained therein. But also, like the proverbial cat, her curiosity rose once more. Uncle Edgar was dead. Both her parents were dead. All those who might know the tale of her past, and the meaning of the rumors, were gone. But here, in her grasp, was a key. And what was it, that Edgar told her?

"Not everything is obvious... what is a key, but a device to open a lock, and it matches the lock itself, and not your preconcieved views. Your first lesson of many, darling niece!"

Slowly, Percilla crossed back to the table, turned the document over, and stared at it in silence, trying to recall scraps of learning from years gone by, conversations with her mother, or the occasional visitor in the night, who left before the dawn, and whom Mother always allowed to lodge in the house.

"It's hard to read," Percilla said finally, "I don't recall clearly all of the Rom language. Mommy taught me to speak it, better than read it - most Romany lore is oral tradition anyway, passed down through the generations. To set it down on paper, is the mark of something momentous that must be recorded, like a contract, or a treaty."

"But, Percilla, don't keep us in such suspense!" Thurgood said. "what does the bloody thing say??"

34 posted on 03/05/2005 8:53:15 PM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
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To: Darksheare

Looks like your kind of story starter, Darks.


35 posted on 03/05/2005 8:59:42 PM PST by sweetliberty ("To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.")
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To: utahguy; StarCMC; bentfeather
And here is what Percilla, in a tremulous voice that trembled at first, then grew in strength, read from the document out of the bog:

"I am Dmitri, son of Stefan of the Nagesti. I am telling these words to my good friend and grandfather of our clan, Zsigismund Nagy, who has taught me to write, but he being the master still, shall put these, my words, to paper, so that those who follow us shall remember, though we are gone from God's beautiful world.

"In the year of the Church of Rome, it is called eighteen hundred and eighty-three. Queen Victoria the German sits upon the throne of England, long these many years. The Hapsburgs still rule in Hungary, as do the Romanovs in Mother Russia. But in our home, the faraway land beyond the forest, the old noble lines fade into the mountains. But the clans remember.

"The clans remember the oaths of old days, taken by our ancestors, binding all of our line to their fulfillment, such is the nature of the spoken word. Our fathers before our fathers told us this, and we know it is true. The story of The Order of The Dragon must not be forgotten, and shall not by the Romany, their people..."

"The Order of the Dragon! That explains the crest at last!" Thurgood exclaimed. "But, I've not heard of such an order until now, and I thought in university, I knew them all..."

"Quiet, Thurgood, let her continue," Eason said, hanging on Percilla's every word with widening eyes. And Percilla went on:

"It is in this year, that the passing of the last true-lined member of The Order of the Dragon has come at last. The great lord, Mircea Szilagy, Baron of Sibiu', lies with his fathers. But not with him does the blood end. For among the Romany, we remember, that the good Baron, a man of honor, had one mistress only in his life, and that faithful woman bore him a daughter, the fair Elizabet'a, who has been raised among us, and shall be taught her true bloodline when the time comes.

"This document shall serve as the key, to unlock the true blood of Elizabet'a Szilagy, when it is time for the blood to awaken once again, and the Order be restored to its rightful place in the land beyond the forest."

36 posted on 03/05/2005 9:20:29 PM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
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To: Old Sarge

Bttt


37 posted on 03/05/2005 9:47:49 PM PST by StarCMC (It's God's job to forgive Bin Laden; it's our job to arrange the meeting.)
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To: sweetliberty

Looking it over now.


38 posted on 03/06/2005 7:06:19 AM PST by Darksheare (If you were in my heart I'd surely not break you. If you were beside me and my love would take you.)
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To: Darksheare
It was a dark and stormy night when the boy wonder finalized his plans for the takeover of power.The incessant beating of the torrid rain on the thatched roof of Rove's small cabin. The architect continued to scrawl his Machiavellian strategy in the dingy room, lit only by the ceaseless flashing of lightning.

He grinned that sinister boyish grin as he perfected his evil craft. How could he not be pleased at the prearranged betrothal of the ultra-liberal northern senator with the newly departed Republican senator's widow? Who could foresee that perfect of all patient chess moves?

As the vicious storm continued into the night, was it the wind or the boy wonder who howled in defiance? The perfect Rovian Storm was born of such...
39 posted on 03/06/2005 7:22:16 AM PST by Centaur (Never practice moderation to excess.)
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To: Centaur

I was just trying my hand at divining the intent of a troll poster.
The results of this feat are seen here:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1356938/posts?page=170#170


40 posted on 03/06/2005 7:29:41 AM PST by Darksheare (If you were in my heart I'd surely not break you. If you were beside me and my love would take you.)
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To: Old Sarge

Percilla

bump to the top!!!


41 posted on 03/06/2005 11:01:06 AM PST by Soaring Feather
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To: utahguy; bentfeather; Darksheare; StarCMC
"Can you imagine it?" Eason mused, after Percilla laid the antique document back on the table. "A hidden heir to a European barony, secreted among the Gypsies! And all this time! The year was 1883 - that was over fifty years ago!"

"But, what about this 'Order of the Dragon', eh?" Thurgood said. "In all my university study, I've not heard of such a thing. Percilla, if you really are part Romanian, did not your parents tell you much? I mean, you speak and read it well enough, we see, but what of any stories at all?"

Percilla, her arms crossed over her brest, hugging her arms as if chilled, was pacing up and down the room, framed against the light of the hearth. Her face was a mask of expressionless plaster, no emotion showing through. It was easy, now that her heritage was revealed, to see the dusky heat in her eyes, and where the jet-black mane of hair came from. But the mind behind those eyes betrayed nothing.

"Percilla," Eason asked, almost pleading, "Can you not give us any more, any clue that might help resolve this mystery - "

"Mystery! What mystery, and what clues, Eason?" Percilla suddenly rounded on him, her voice rising in venom. "My raving uncle falls dead on my floor - we find a key in my mother's locket - we dig up a box with a note in it - and what, pray, do you expect to happen? Nothing! I am Percilla St. Cyr, heiress to this manor, and I am NOT some wandering Gypsy-witch!!!" And she punctuated her words with the smash of a chair to the floor.

"Percilla, please, calm yourself!" Thurgood said, moving to her side, and touching her arm; Percilla wrenched away from his grip.

"No, Thurgood! Don't you see! Everything I've been told, and been taught, and everything you know about me, is a lie! That's what this parchment is telling you!"

"Percilla that's quite some leap of logic," Eason came in defending Thurgood. "This means you're not telling us something more, now please, be open and honest with your two closest friends, for if not us, then who?"

Percilla, still puffing hard in her anger, slowly mastered herself and, with effort, began.

"Both of you know the St. Cyr's, an old family dating back several generations in this community? Well, they're everything you've heard - upstanding, charitable, and generous. Until Mommy came into the family, so they told me. Chelsea Westerfield - whose real name was Francesca - was a foundling, adopted by Lord Westerfield, my grandfather.

"Edgar was Grandpapa's son - Mommy and he were half-brother and sister. I know that he knew something about this and how they argued about the "blood awakening" and "the return of the Order" -

"'The blood awakening'. Just like in the scroll?" Eason said.

"Yes, that must be what they were talking about that night," Percilla said.

"Well, there's your answer, isn't it?" Thurgood exclaimed. Edgar knew of your mother's heritage, obviously, and with them dead, it would fall to YOU to claim the inheritance. So he came here to wring the secrets out of you, so he could claim it falsely!"

"He did say, that he wanted to be here at the awakening," Percilla said.

"So," Eason reasoned, "with Edgar's pursuit of you, he thought the time to claim it had arrived. But what is involved in the claim?

"I couldn't begin to tell you, Eason," Percilla said, "because this was all a forbidden subject. I haven't thought much about it. Mommy and Papa both died years ago, during the influenza outbreak. Papa was weaker, you know - The war weakened his constitution."

"Did they keep no diaries, no journals, Percilla?" Thurgood thought. "After all, a person's thoughts are properly set down in writing..."

"Thoughts in writing... well DONE, Thurgood, once again!" Eason exclaimed. "We need thoughts in writing - information! What do we have? We know there is an knightly Order of the Dragon, and it's based in a region of Europe, the continent, obviously - and there are no more direct heirs to the title, but we have an illegitimate connexion - no, Percilla, I will not apologize for the proper term - with a legal claim, which is obviously what this document was meant to establish! This isn't so much a contract - it's a title, a deed, even a will! Percilla, you might just have claim to be The Baroness Sibiu'! Can't you just imagine!"

42 posted on 03/07/2005 7:06:04 PM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
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To: Old Sarge

bttt


This is getting good!!


43 posted on 03/07/2005 7:16:53 PM PST by StarCMC (It's God's job to forgive Bin Laden; it's our job to arrange the meeting.)
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To: Old Sarge

~Order of the Dragon~
Percilla, a hidden heir to a European barony, secreted among the Gypsies! And all this time! The year was 1883 - that was over fifty years ago!"


44 posted on 03/07/2005 7:20:47 PM PST by Soaring Feather
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To: Old Sarge; utahguy; bentfeather; Darksheare; StarCMC
Thoughts in writing... well DONE, Thurgood, once again!" Eason exclaimed. "We need thoughts in writing - information! What do we have? We know there is an knightly Order of the Dragon, and it's based in a region of Europe, the continent, obviously - and there are no more direct heirs to the title, but we have an illegitimate connexion - no, Percilla, I will not apologize for the proper term - with a legal claim, which is obviously what this document was meant to establish! This isn't so much a contract - it's a title, a deed, even a will! Percilla, you might just have claim to be The Baroness Sibiu'! Can't you just imagine!"

“I, - I-” Percilla visibly shuddered. “Cannot. Not - “
“Try, my sweet, TRY,” Thurgood insisted. “It is thoughts in writing-information we need! journals, diaries, even memories-”
“Stop it!” she shouted, her voice rising in a fatigued anger. “Stop it all!”

The slow seconds of silence that followed unmasked a palpable tension within the room, mixed with a seemingly visible up welling of conflicting emotions.

“It has,” Eason said finally, breaking the stiffening mood, “been a very - long day.”

“Yes,” Percilla said, almost as a sob, “it has.”
A feeling of fatigued relief swept over the trio. Eason, with effort, took a deep breath and said slowly, “May I suggest - that we retire for the night.”
Percilla looked as though a weight had been lifted from her soul. “Yes,” she gasped, “yes.”
“Thurgood nodded in a slow motion, then interjected, “Perhaps we should meet the day after the morrow. That will give us all time - to collect our thoughts - to regroup.”
“Excellent idea cousin,” Eason replied in a voice wearied by the days events.
“Yes,” Percilla repeated, in almost a whisper.

The cousins bade Percilla a good evening and rest, and after Thurgood stole a quick brush of Percilla’s cheek with his lips and whispered something to which she ignored, they both ventured outside toward the waiting carriage.

They sat in silence, each clocked in their private thoughts as the driver snapped the reins to motioned the horses to task.

Thurgood’s thoughts were first that it had, indeed, been a very long day. However there were encouraging prospects for an enormous profitable one.
Though he had rather deep ingrained emotions and prejudice toward the lower classes, so long as the dear Percilla maintained secrecy, what was it to matter?
For he well knew, as did his cousin, that though they were both of moderate wealth, Percilla’s estate was vastly superior in terms of overall assets, of which she shall receive in it’s entirety in a few short years. And adding to his rising elation was this latest episode. of the seemingly distinct possibility of her being this Baroness of whatever. And of course with it would be even more affluence. And one, as he so often stated, can never be too rich.

Thurgood, basking in this potential windfall, yet succumbing to an attrition in strength, closed his eyes and listened to the rhythmic clip-clop of hoofs upon cobbles. Yes, it had been a very long day.

Eason too had thoughts of his own but of a different nature: that of the personal commitment he had made to see this thing through, more for his own state of mind than for the others, and what his path would take after said task is completed. Then fleetingly to Percilla, to whom he furtively hoped would be even a gossamer glimmer of change, of connection to what he aspired to be her true nature. And that, he reflected with much regret, has been once again been dashed.

As Thurgood melded into the seat, head slowly bobbing in a state of stupor, Eason gave a long, slow yawn.

For it had been a very, very long day.

After bading the pair a good night, Percilla quickly retired to her bedroom. Undressing herself, she foregoed her night clothing and with movements reminiscent of one much older than she, climbed into bed.

The coolness of the sheets against her base flesh, normally a refreshing sensuality, did nothing to diminish her mood. As she attempted to grasp the starting of slumber, words, emotions and memories came flooding back.

I am NOT some wandering Gypsy-witch!
I am NOT!

I am not . . ..

As the fatigue of her body overcame her senses, she drifted off with those words cling to her mind like vines upon an ancient wall.

Soon she was asleep.
For her, it had been a very, very long day.

However the trident of partners were not unique in this.
There was another who shared their primary thought.

One who, though a vast world apart from these three of high station, the day was as just as long. And whose pursuant actions of this period was to bring to those who discovered the parchment an element of depth, danger and discovery to which they could have never imagined.

Who had started out this day, as he had on all days, up before first light, then after a beggarly meal, off to his sustenance producing labor.
As a small child, he, along with others of his kind to whom certain specific abnormalities in appearance occurred, were placed within this foreign community, given names that would accommodate the deception, along with essential language, manner and custom training.
And taught in great detail and depth of the prophecy.
Which, along with specific instructions, were long since buried in his memory under years of mundane toil and hardship.

So it was that when approached in the late morning by a well dressed Gentleman who requested his services, these were the last things on his simple mind.
At first, when the Gentleman recited his request, the impact did not register due to the abstract way in which he addressed these classified words.
However as he witnessed the reaction of the Gentleman to his answers, long hibernating remembrances came flooding back.
First of which was on how silly these words were. Then, as the Squire offered payment for his information, the impact and ramifications of such hit him full force.

It was the prophecy. The Prophecy!

And when the Gentlemen’s demeanor took an abrupt change toward his person, it not only stirred additional theophanic memories, but gave him a further confirmation as to the validity of the teachings.
He then departing from the Squire, hid his handcart and made his way to a ridge to observe the activities below. As he watched and listened to snatches of conversations, including names, that emanated from the rather improbable group, Mircea recalled two proverbs, one in English, the other in his native tongue:

The Lord works in mysterious ways

Devlesa araklam tume

And so it was that when the cousins arrived at their adjacent estates, a small group of dark featured men, perched on a bluff, observed their movements with intent eyes. After the pair had departed into their homes, one of the men mounted a horse and with a fast gallop took off toward the north.

45 posted on 03/09/2005 1:12:11 PM PST by utahguy (Ya gotta kill it before you grill it: Ted Nugent)
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To: Old Sarge; bentfeather; Darksheare; StarCMC

bttt marking my spot.
This is chunk one of three from yours truely.
Then Old Sarge takes over and spins his magic. However, please feel free, all, to add to this story.
Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of, "It was a Dark and Stormy night"


46 posted on 03/09/2005 1:16:11 PM PST by utahguy (Ya gotta kill it before you grill it: Ted Nugent)
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To: utahguy; Old Sarge

Eagerly awaiting the next chapter! :o)


47 posted on 03/09/2005 2:13:37 PM PST by StarCMC (It's God's job to forgive Bin Laden; it's our job to arrange the meeting.)
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To: utahguy; Old Sarge; bentfeather; Darksheare; StarCMC; syriacus
And so it was that when the cousins arrived at their adjacent estates, a small group of dark featured men, perched on a bluff, observed their movements with intent eyes.

After the pair had departed into their homes, one of the men mounted a horse and with a fast gallop took off toward the north.

* * * *

Eason awoke slowly, stretching like a cat caught in a sunbeam. The time between closing his eyes the and the tangled ring of the wind up alarm came quickly, attesting to the depth of his slumber.

Yesterday’s respite from the mystery at hand was sorely needed: he spent much of that time sequestered in his room, his mind in a tumultuous cycle of thoughts, past and present. The serendipitous nature of their progress in this quest, Percilla’s admission of her mixed heritage and his own revelations of who he truly was and what he, at last, wanted in life.

In addition were a myriad of thoughts relating to the continent.

The great war, which consumed so many millions and the following influenza epidemic which, tragically, killed even more.
The postwar misery of Germany, hit hardest by the global depression and endured unbelievable inflation and political turmoil and the subsequent rise of Fascism and militarism.

The somewhat baffling postwar reaction of the French and their misguided, in his opinion, dependence on the defensive fortifications they called the Maginot line.
And in the east, the massacre of the Romanov family and collapse of the monarchy and the rise of communism, pogroms and purges.

But primarily in his mind was the muddled turmoil and the the rather mystical qualities of the recently unearthed document. This Order of the Dragon, restoring Elizabet’a Szilagy’s rightful place, the blood awakening , land beyond the forest - it was all so confusing, so delusive, so incredible.

However! This was another day, and since night’s slumber had cleared his mind and greatly enhanced his mood, he looked forward to a day that held promise of sunshine, warmth and adventure.

After a hearty breakfast he set out to gather his cousin for the trip to Percilla’s estate.

Though this was not to be, at least not as he had exactly envisioned, for on arriving the butler informed him that Thurgood had left the evening before last and had not returned until a few hours ago, with specific instructions not to be disturbed.

“No doubt doing his best to reduce the quantity of spirits in the county,” Eason thought dryly. But no matter. Keeping his promise, he would venture to Percilla’s alone.

He decided to take the trip on horseback rather than use the motorcar: the more leisurely pace would give him time to enjoy the ride, take in the the sights of the country and take in the fresh air.

And he mounted up and directed his steed toward her estate, one of the men on the rise who was on watch snapped open a spyglass. Confirming the description of the rider, he barked an order, to which another walked a few steps down the slope, away from the road and raising his hands, signaled to another on a distant hill.

* * * *

After a time Eason arrived at, then crossed, the newly repaired bridge which led to his destination. Meandering along the path which cut through the dense forest, his mind adrift, it was the horse that first spotted, then reacted with a sudden halt to a white haired man sitting in the middle of the lane.

“I say there,” Eason shouted. “Do you require assistance?”

The man looked at Eason with his dark eyes but remained silent.

Eason dismounted and approached. “May I assist you, sir?”

“Please,” the man said,in a remarkably strong voice, as he rose.

Then, with his voice lowered, he continued, “With a silent answer.”

The man’s stare took Eason aback. It seemed as if this elderly leather faced man was visioning straight into his soul.

“The Order of the Dragon,” he whispered with intent. “Elizabet'a Szilagy. The blood awakening.”

Eason froze.

It was as if this man had sudden command of his body, mind and soul. He could do nothing but stand at mute attention.

Finally, after a few seconds but what seemed like an eternity, the elderly man nodded slightly and turned away, breaking the spell.

Eason, with relief, took a deep breath.

“Tell me,” the man said, with a more pedestrian tone in his voice, “the one who revealed to you the coded words that enabled you to find the document. Is he alive?”

It took a moment to register. Percilla’s Uncle Edgar.

“Ah,” Eason replied with hesitance, “No. I am afraid he succumbed shortly after.”

It was the man’s turn to register relief. “As it is written,” he said, in a voice slightly higher than a whisper.

He then extracted something from his pocket and held it out to be received. Eason obliged, and the man dropped a coin in his open palm.

It was slightly larger than a half crown and tarnished with age.

It had MDXXXLXXXIII inscribed in raised letters which conformed to the curvature of the coin, and below, in smaller type, Devlesa araklam tume

Eason held it at arm’s length as if it were alive. The man reached out and turned the coin over to reveal a rather intricate etching of . . . a Dragon.

Exactly the same as the one on the box.

“Keep it with you always,” the man said. “It will confirm those you can trust.”

The man reached out and with a calloused hand closed Eason’s fingers around the coin.

“Go with her. Protect her. She needs you.”

And with that, the man strode quickly into the the forest.

Eason pocketed this strange coin and with mechanical motions and his mind whirling like a dervish, mounted his horse and galloped to his destination.

* * * *

The butler instructed that Percilla was in the waiting room. Eason entered and found her setting next to the fireplace, document in hand.

“Percilla!” he exclaimed as he approached her, “The strangest thing has just occurred.”

She looked up from the parchment.

“This man - well, it was so frightfully strange. I don’t know quite how to explain it to you - “

He thrust his hand in his coat pocket and produced the coin.. “He gave me this.”

“Yes,” she said softly, “I know.”

“You know?” But how?”

She looked at him in a way that he had hitherto never seen before. His mind, already grappling with the mornings events, screamed for a momentary respite.

“I need,” he stated with a tremble, “A sherry. A very large one I think.”

He went to the spirit carriage and filled a large bandy snifter to the brim. Downing more than half of it’s contents in a single gulp, he refilled the glass and cradled it in his hand.

Percilla went to his side. As he went to speak, she placed her forefinger against his lips, like a mother gently silencing a child.

“Perhaps,” she said, motioning him to the settee, “If I conveyed to you what happened earlier it would clarify things.”

With the feeling of her soft touch still lingering on his lips, Eason sat as instructed as Percilla began to relate this morning’s events.

She was in the midst of her morning stroll in the garden when she heard a haunting yet familiar melody emanating from behind the bushes.

The euphony struck a distant and pleasant chord within her memory, and as it increased in volume, far from frightening her, it served not only to both relax but fire her anticipation as to its origin.

Then an elderly lady appeared, hunched from age, humming the tune.

“Dear Child,” she addressed Percilla, “Do you recognize it?”

Why yes,” she answered calmly, “Yes I do. My Mother used to hum it to me when I was - a child.”

The Lady gave a soft smile, then looked deep into Percilla’s eyes. “and do you remember, my Dear, these words?
“The Order of the Dragon
Elizabet'a Szilagy
The blood awakening?”

“Why - yes, “Percilla said, suddenly mesmerized, “I - I do. I remember now. I heard them as a- a child. My Mother . . . And on this document - we discovered . . .”

“Then she gave me this.” Percilla said, and pushed back her sleeve.

She exposed a leather lace around her wrist, which was affixed with a small ring to a circular band of silver. The silver band held a coin.

An exact duplicate of the one Eason now possessed.

Percilla then continued. “She told me other things. Things I recall from long ago.”

She paused for a moment, deep in thought, then continued in a slow voice.
“When I was little, my Mother used to sit with me at night and tell me stories to put me to sleep. Fairy tales, King Arthur and the knights of the round table, and many more such wonderful works.
I used to dream that she would continue to talk to me long after I had fallen asleep. Different things, mysterious things, secret things that only we shared. And Eason,” Percilla effected another pause. “I now know that she in fact did.”

Eason sat in silence, not wanting to break the mood. For despite all than had transpired, his only thought at that particular moment was this new and unique aura about her. And with it, that she looked lovelier and more desirable than he had ever seen.

“Though I cannot,” she continued,”tell you exactly what she told me, nor can I at this time tell you why, I can say for certain my Mother knew this would happen.”

“She - did?” he managed to get out.

“Yes. These is - was this bond between us that I did not understand. Now, somehow, I do.”

She reached out and grasped Eason’s hand. “And I accept - and I am comfortable with - the fact that I have Romany blood within me.”

“In other words, Gypsy,” he stated.

“Yes,” she answered. “And you, Dear Eason. How do you feel about me being a Gypsy?”

“I does not matter,” he said clearing his throat, “what I, or anyone else thinks. But in truth, It matters to me not what is in your blood, but what is in your soul.”

She squeezed his hand and smiled in such a way that he had, like her aura, never seen before.

He stood up and went to the carriage for a refill.

”It matters to me not what is in your blood, but what is in your soul.”

As he filled his glass, he thought, “That is not how I speak. Those are not my words.”

And he reflected, with embarrassment, that her admittance of being half Gypsy would have indeed upset him, though not nearly as it would Thurgood.
Except for the additional inheritance that is. For money was, is, and will always be foremost in his cousin’s mind.

But it would have had an unsettling effect. Would have, in past terms, before that day - yes it was that day, that day at the Fayson’s bog, before he had conversed with that - that peat cutter?

Yes, that was it. But why? Why the change? Not that he regretted it, for he felt that in some unknown way it had opened a much sought after door to maturity and even - possibly - wisdom. But why? How?

A now too familiar confusion settled in. In an attempt to shake it off, he turned to Percilla and said,“So. What do we do next?”

She looked at him in that new way that he was rapidly becoming accustomed to. “There is a train leaving late afternoon. We can ticket a sleeper car and arrive in London by mid morning.”

“However, Dear Eason, I wish you to think about this. I do not want in any way to attempt to convince or cajole you into coming. It is up to you.”

“I made a commitment,” he said, verbalizing for the first time this decision, “that I would see this through. And I shall.”

“Are you sure,” she asked, “that you do not want to think about it?”

“I have,” he replied, “And at this time may I assure you that I am not in this for monetary gain. It is for many reasons. Personal reasons.”

I know,” she said, and gave a slight nod.

“Oh,” he had almost forgotten, “What about Thurgood? He is in on this.”

“I spoke to him,” she answered. “Yesterday.”

“Yesterday? But we were to have used that day apart to-”

“I know. He came over. I shall tell you later when we have more time.”

“Right,” he said, not quite knowing why. “We have things to do before the train departs.” He thought for a moment. “We should pack lightly. Only essentials.”

She nodded, then said, “And a sturdy pair of walking shoes should be included.” She came beside him, reached out and grasped his hand. “I know they told me you would,” she said, “But thank you, Eason. Thank you.”

Her hand lingered for a long moment on his. Then with a smile he bade her farewell. For now.

* * * *

Eason set the horse to a quick gallop as his mind inventoried what needed to be done: packing, instructions to the household help and a short, non revealing, note to his father

. Upon arriving he did the latter first, writing to his Father, who was in India, about him taking a spur of the moment vacation. Then after a few quick orders and advance wages to the servants, he went upstairs to pack.

This took longer that he had thought. So many things, so little room. He finally decided on somewhat drab yet utilitarian outdoor attire.

After finally fastening the bulging bag and securing money belts around his waist and ankle, he stepped back for a final check.

In pausing, the weight of the journey and all of its ramifications came to him.

He went to his dresser, opened the bottom drawer and extracted a revolver.

* * * *

He accelerated the motorcar, spraying gravel and dirt, onto the cobbled road.

Once he reached speed, the drone of the engine and the wind blowing through the open top brought him to a more relaxed state.

He tried not to think about was he had gotten himself into: all that had happened in a few short days, things he would never have imagined in his wildest dreams.

And though he resisted, his mind went to Percilla. How she had changed!

“I know they told me you would,”

“Yes,” she said softly, “I know.”

She knew? How? and They? THEY?

And what will happen after they reach London?

keep your wits about you boy, he said aloud.

In a few minutes he turned and drove the motorcar over the bridge toward the estate.
”It matters to me not what is in your blood, but what is in your soul.”

He reach the area where he saw the man sitting in the middle of the lane. Suddenly, on impulse, he stopped the vehicle.

Then he did something he had never done in his life.

He looked toward the sky and prayed.

48 posted on 03/10/2005 8:08:21 PM PST by utahguy (Ya gotta kill it before you grill it: Ted Nugent)
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To: utahguy; Old Sarge; bentfeather; Darksheare; StarCMC; syriacus

Chunk two of three here. Should have chunk three in a few, then Old Sarge will take over to delight and amuse you.

Again,please feel free to add your prose to this story.


49 posted on 03/10/2005 8:11:44 PM PST by utahguy (Ya gotta kill it before you grill it: Ted Nugent)
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To: utahguy

Woohoo - BTTT!!


And btw - I love your tagline!


Thanks for my bedtime story! *grin*


50 posted on 03/10/2005 8:31:48 PM PST by StarCMC (It's God's job to forgive Bin Laden; it's our job to arrange the meeting.)
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