Sunday Snippet, Something Fishy.

A Formulaic Romance

This is the start of another story Amelia and I are putting together. There’s a pun in the title that will become obvious in time.

The story starts with Rachel, Lady Hayforth, throwing the dice in a desperate try at the marriage mart and coming up short when her carriage breaks down in the middle of nowhere. After a complicated string of happenings, she ends up engaged to Rupert, Lord Hartshorne, an aspiring chemist who did mysterious things for the war office in the recent past. His notebooks have gone missing, and a mysterious Mr Oliver is involved. Last week Rachel and her friends went to look at the stars after an eventful afternoon.  George has left for the village. One might think that Rachel’s life would get simpler without this distraction, but that would be no fun.

Rupert showed he has something that connects his shoulders to his hips. Last week, the start of a new chapter shows that another of his talents is important.  We discovered why it was so important that Rupert come with Sir Roger recently. Rachel awoke below decks in a ship (a channel barge). Despite the sterling reputation of the English as cooks, the crew ask Rachel to cook for them. Her choice of seasonings has their desired effect. The morning after she gave thanks for her deliverance she writes to let her friends know where she is. Things, however, are afoot and the game is on – especially with the reappearance of Mr Oliver.

When you’ve finished with this tripe (however well-cooked), take a look at the better authors in Snippet Sunday.

A hundred yards further, That’s all, only a hundred yards, the dock. There a fisherman talked to the three men. Those three men. Them. All of them, and they did not look happy.

She waited while the fisherman and the men seemed to have an argument. The wind carried the sound away.

Then the men stalked off.

Good, I can breathe again, Rachel straightened up. Squish, squelch, and squish again, she walked to the dock.

The gulls finally paid attention to her and circled. This strange creature didn’t seem good to eat, but maybe it carried food.

That brought unwanted attention from the other predators. “La! Lars Regarde! L’femme.”

The men ran towards her, fortunately, the fisherman did too. He reached her first. Rachel’s French wasn’t up to understanding the words, “Chienne!, Vache!, Petite Chatte!, Merde” or “Poutain!” Somehow, I doubt they’re complimentary.

The fisherman’s English was within her vocabulary. He shook his fist at them, waved his boat hook and they appeared to decide that digression was the best part of valour.

Henri shouted, “Nous serons de retour pour vous.

Damn Frogs and Dutchmen. Whose bloody country do they think it is?” The fisherman paused, then turned to Rachel, “Begging your pardon Ma’am.”

Rachel laughed, “Those words were elegantly spoken.”

You’re that Lady staying with Dr Fowler, aren’t you? Saw you at Compline.”


What did those … men have to do with you?”

You know the boat that Captain Lewis …”

Aye, were they the crew?”

Rachel nodded.

He continued, “A bad lot.”

I think they said they’d return.”

Most likely not, Ma’am. I know that sort, more bluff than bluster.”


My intermittancy, a consequence of family matters, appears to be settling down. With that comes a sincere apology for spotty answers and returns.

Swearing in French is much less simply scatological than English. The various “four letter words” (Work is a four letter word, you know), in English tend to reflect anatomical features, biological processes, and somewhat impossible activities. The French have those, too, but tend to use animals.  While my reading comprehension isn’t completely terrible, my spoken vocabulary is not at all good and my accent is even worse. I speak like a Spanish cow (je parle comme une vache espagnole).  Andouille (Chitterlings, and a sausage made from them (recursive sausage)) can mean a you’re bone idle.  Calling someone a badger (blaireau) is an insult.  “Tu me gonfles” (you’re inflating me) seems likely to be useful at the next faculty meeting (especially as the only other person there who knows enough French is a friend). In the immortal words of Bart, “n’a pas de vache, mec”

One of our books, set at GSU, made it to the university reddit. No sales, but still a nice thing to have happen.

Amelia reminded me to put a link to our book page.  The first book in our series, The Art of Deception is now available for sale with an extract on instafreebie as a teaser.

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 had a book contract. An ex- booktrope author and a photographer.

3 thoughts on “Sunday Snippet, Something Fishy.”

  1. I hope your chaotic family dynamics become less period soon. In Canada, I once heard a variation on the vache espagnole phrase: “Vous parlez le francais comme une vache de Calgary.”


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