The Art of Deception
or Pride and Extreme Prejudice
This week continues a spy story set in late Georgian England, the year before Trafalgar. Last week, after Alice was unable to worm anything interesting out of General Dumouriez, disaster struck. Her best friend from Easterly and her fiance – the real Mr Mapleton – corner her at the assembly. Alice tries, and fails, to bluff this one out.
“Do I know you?”
“I should hope so; um… Mr Mapleton and I… well, we’re engaged.”
“Goody for you, still Miss, what was your name?”
“Miss Willis, Miss Elizabeth Willis, your friend Sally.”
Roderick made his presence known, “Miss Mapleton, would you introduce me to your friends?”
“Miss Mapleton,” Sally’s fiancé spat, “Miss Mapleton, what Miss Mapleton, she’s Miss Alice Green; dashed unfriendly, considering we were almost.”
Sally nudged him in the ribs, “You weren’t, and please have some consideration for my feelings.”
“Got you,” Roderick shouted, “Edward, I’ve got her; I knew she was an imposter.” The queue for supper stopped and everyone stared at him, and her – it seemed as if accusing faces filled the room.
My apologies for creative punctuation.
Roderick is being a bit of a “puppy” here. I can’t completely blame him because Alice has lead him on a merry chase. The action in Bath is almost complete, setting up a surprise for when it resumes in “Part Trois.”
Puppy is an interesting insult. To call a man a puppy was to use fighting words. Why was that?
Inquiring minds want to know – what’s wrong with being a puppy?
From the 1811 “Dictionary of the vulgar tongue” Complied originally by Captain Grose and now considerably altered and enlarged, with the modern changes and improvements, by a member of The Whip Club. Assisted by Hell-Fire Dick, and James Gordon, Esqrs. of Cambridge; and William Soames, Esq. of the Hon. Society of Newman’s Hotel. Mr Soames, Esq. was most likely an actor.
DOG LATIN. Barbarous Latin, such as was formerly used by the lawyers in their pleadings.
DOGGESS, DOG'S WIFE or LADY, PUPPY'S MAMMA. Jocular ways of calling a woman a bitch.
PUPPY. An affected or conceited coxcomb.
Evidently dogs weren’t as popular as today. It adds a layer of complexity to the rather interesting dandy known as “Poodle Bynge.”
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.