The Art of Deception
or Pride and Extreme Prejudice
Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. (My apologies, I have no idea why there are two links to this post on the site.) This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week Lucy and Alice are being debriefed, to use a modern phrase, in their carriage on the way back to their rooms. Her instructors decided that Roderick, while not certainly a French spy, was dashed suspicious. Alice, accompanying her mistress, Lucy, and Lucy’s “Aunt Heather” is at church prior to delivering the bait to Roderick and his companion.
Alice smiled to herself at the prayer to save the nation from the French; she was doing her bit by laying a trap for a perfidious French agent; after service, she planned to take a stroll to the Swan and deliver the bait. Seated next to her charge, Miss Haytor and sandwiched by Miss Haytor’s ‘Aunt’, Miss Aldershot – now called Miss Heather, she let her attention wander.
It snapped back; there, seated almost within reach, in the next row, was that spy; how could she have missed him? He turned, tilted his head, and smiled at her; was he following her; This wasn’t the local church for the Swan? He had not been there when they first sat in their pew; she nudged Miss Aldershot; once she had her attention, she discreetly pointed to the man and whispered, “That’s him.”
The only response this brought was a brief raising of her eyebrows, and a whisper in return, “You’ll have to introduce us after the service.”
As the final stanza’s of the last hymn finished and everyone closed their book of common prayer, the man turned to her and said, “Miss Green?”
“Miss Mapleton.” She curtsied, at least as much as she could in the confines of the pew. “Miss Green is my rich cousin, or don’t you remember?”
My apologies for creative punctuation.
During Sunday prayers, at every church in Bristol, if not in Britain, the priest added a prayer for the nation. “Preserve us from the invading French hordes.” Across the channel, in Boulogne, l’Armee d’Angleterre waited, rumoured to be a million men, all veteran French soldiers, all thirsty for English blood – and English maidens. An exhortation to join the militia, and a reminder that drill practice was after the service usually followed the prayer. Nearly every able young man had joined, hoping, and secretly praying, enthusiasm would make up for a lack of equipment and experience.
Like poor Cecelia, “The Curious Profession of Dr Craven” is back from the dead.
I’ve released a sweet regency romance, Miss DeVere This is a fun read.
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.