The Art of Deception
or Pride and Extreme Prejudice
Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. This week I continue another book, that will eventually come out via booktrope. It’s a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar Last week, Roderick Lord Fiztpatrick’s story continued. He proposed to demonstrate some practical abolition. This week describes the immediate consequences of his actions.
The British Minister was summoned to the President’s House the next morning; Captain Lewis met him, and he was not pleased.
“Where is Lord Fitzpatrick?”
“Lord Fitzpatrick, may I enquire why you wish to see him?”
“Someone burned down the slave pens at the Yellow House; thousands of dollars of property has gone missing, vanished into the night.”
“It has … What possibly could this have to do with him?”
“One of the chattel who disappeared was the wife of his servant; Mr Jefferson wanted her out of the President’s House; we also found the remains of a phosphorus jar … it was used to start the fire.”
“Indeed, I still fail to see how that is relevant,” Mr Merry was a master of obtuseness. It stood him in good stead, especially in times like these.
“Isn’t it obvious?”
Mr Merry stared at him, and completely missed his point; again he said deliberately, as he was being annoyingly obtuse and enjoying it, “That reminds me, we’re looking for a housekeeper … you wouldn’t know of one who is available?”
Both Robey’s Tavern and the ‘Yellow House’ were notorious examples of slave pens. They were roughly located where the FAA offices and/or the Air and Space Museum are today and were in plain sight of both the White House and the Capitol building. While the white Southerner’s claimed that slavery was natural and good, a real benefit to mankind, it is interesting to note that the documentation about its practice is sketchy at best. Even the ‘fire breathers’ weren’t proud of it in the end.
On a non-literary note, one of my students, Brendan Benshoof, just defended his Ph.D. Tuesday. It’s been a flurry of activity (to be honest, a blizzard of activity) getting the last little bits of papers and dissertation complete before he takes off for a job at Google.
Frankenkitty is available.
> What happens when teenagers get to play with Dr Frankenstien’s lab notebooks, a few odd chemicals and a great big whopping coil? Mayhem, and possibly an invitation to the Transylvanian Neuroscience Summer School.
Get Free Stuff and try out my landing page. There are three free complete short stories (including an ARC for Frankenkitty) available after you’ve gone through the hoops.