The Art of Deception 17 #wewriwar #amwriting

Bristol Harbour 2013

The Art of Deception

or Pride and Extreme Prejudice

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Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week Alice and Roderick finally met, or at least were in the same city at the same time. Alice is on her practical, learning the ropes as it were, when he spots her. This week, they exchange words. Roderick gives her a French recognition signal, which she accidentally – or perhaps on purpose, answers. (I hope footnotes don’t count for sentences. I like leaving the original French in.)


The girl gathered up the sheets she had been exposing to the sun, and put them in her basket; Roderick noticed her writing something on a piece of paper and then tucking it away; after that she started walking back into town. Lord Roderick told his friend, “See you in a few minutes Edward, some business to attend to.”

“Roddy, Drop it!”

Lord Roderick raced through the streets; Edward shook his head in disbelief and then followed; the express would have to wait; Roderick paused to catch his breath, smoothed his garments, and sauntered, deliberately casual, over to her;  he said, “Mademoiselle, bonne journée, est-il pas? Les petits oiseaux volent à travers le ciel nuageux[1].”

Without missing a beat, the young lady replied, “Mais il est clair; ou allez-vous Monsieur?” in an excellent Parisian accent although one that had a trace of Norman in it.

“The Swan, I think that’s where I’m booked.”

“And then London, on the stage, I’d think, or are you staying in Bristol?”

“It depends.”

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The Featured image shows Bristol Harbour from the tidal lock looking out. Roderick’s ship, the Asp, would have been anchored in the distance. Alice would have been among many servants who bleached sheets on the hill off to the left (not in the picture). The lock allows the harbour to stay full of water even during low tide so that ships weren’t set aground twice a day. The tides on the Severn are large, not quite in the Bay of Fundy class, but close. It was under construction at the time of this saga. A couple of years later, and Roderick would have docked inside the harbour.

I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere Miss_devere_1 This is a fun read.

Frankenkitty is available.
Frankenkitty 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.

[1] Good day Miss, isn’t it? The little birds are flying in a cloudy sky. She replied, “But it’s clear. Where are you going Sir?”

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.

Author: rharrisonauthor

International man of mystery. Well not really, although I can mangle several languages and even read the occasional hieroglyphic. A computer scientist, an author and one of the very few people who has both an NIH grant and a book contract. A rising author of sweet romantic historical fiction. A booktrope author.

8 thoughts on “The Art of Deception 17 #wewriwar #amwriting”

    1. While we think of ‘stage coaches’ and the wild west, the Bristol-London route had them first. I’ll have to be clearer,
      I could always talk about the ‘flying machine’ – which was a term for a fast stage coach and not an ancestor of the Wright flyer.
      Thank you

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