Punch's Cousin, Chapter 250

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Ulrika gulped her wine—as she always did—and leaned back in her bed, grinning. “It’s sweet, really,” She cooed. “But, not as sweet as you, Arthur.”

“Did you like it?” Arthir winked, sitting next to her.

“Very much.” Ulrika sighed. “I also enjoyed the wine.”

“Ah, you are a harlot, Pet.” Arthur laughed.

“Careful, Arthur,” Ulrika frowned. “You don’t want to spoil my good mood.”

“Of course I don’t.” Arthur smiled. “After all, you’re so delicate.”

“I am.” Ulrika chuckled.

“And clever. How is it that someone so delicate can be so clever?” Arthur continued.

“I suppose I’m blessed.” Ulrika muttered.

“Yes, you must be. Such a clever lass.” Arthur scowled.

“What are you thinking?” Ulrika asked, rolling over slightly, without pulling the blankets over her bare back.

“I’m remembering, Pet.” Arthur smirked.

“Remembering what?”

“The time that you forced me and Barbara to take that foul root. Do you recall that?” Arthur asked.

“I do.” Ulrika replied uncomfortably. “My mesmerism. It’s really quite a complicated study. I suppose I should apologize for that, really. But, I won’t. It had to be done. At the time, it seemed the only route I could take. You seem to have recovered well enough.”

“And, so will you.” Arthur chuckled.

“Pardon me.” Ulrika tilted her head to one side.

“I discovered what that root was.” Arthur stood up and walked to the window. “St. Dymphna’s Root, it’s called. It makes the person who consumes it feel as though they’re living in a dream—unable to think or move for themselves.”

“Yes.” Ulrika’s eyes widened.

“It comes in many forms—chunks, powders…” Arthur laughed. “When combined with sugar, it’s almost unnoticeable.”

“What have you done?” Ulrika sat up quickly. As she did, she realized how dizzy she had become.

“It cost me dearly,” Arthur said triumphantly. “But, I managed to get some of your precious root.”

“You didn’t?”

“Could you taste it in your sweet wine?” Arthur laughed loudly.

“Arthur, you didn’t!” Ulrika gasped.

“I certainly did, Pet.” Arthur nodded. “Now, you’ll see how you like being a puppet.”

At that very moment, Robert narrowed his eyes at Giovanni. “Is that your answer? You won’t find triumph in the sound of a blade scraping my bones.”

“Don’t you think?” Giovanni shrugged. “I see we have a difference of opinion.”

“Stab him!” Marie shouted happily. “Spill his blood!”

“Such a hurry, Miss Laveau,” Giovanni tittered.

“I can use him. He’s no good to me alive.” Marie said quickly.

“You’d murder a man you don’t even know?” Robert said bravely.

“If he’s in my way, most assuredly.” Giovanni nodded.

“I’m not in your way,” Robert argued. “Move along. Go off and terrify someone else.”

“You’ve prevented me from seeing my brother.” Giovanni growled. “Now, I must prevent you from seeing yours.”

With that, Giovanni lunged forward with his blade extended.

Robert yelped as he stumbled backwards.

Meanwhile, Mr. Punch nervously approached Julian within the room that only they could see.

“Who’s talkin’?” Mr. Punch asked.

“Mr. Punch, if only you’d listened to me.” Julian murmured. “Now, you’ve awakened him.”

“Who?” Mr. Punch demanded. He turned to question Naasir, but found that the spirit of his friend has vanished.

“Naasir can’t help us now.” Julian said angrily.

“What’s happened? What’ve I done?” Mr. Punch asked—fear rising in his voice.

“You’re not the only one with secrets,” Julian shook his head.

“Is there another of us? A third?” Mr. Punch asked. “Why don’t I know about it?”

“You think you’re so clever, Mr. Punch,” a booming voice called from a distance, yet frighteningly nearby. “You’ll soon see who the clever one is.”

Did you miss Chapters 1-249? If so, you can read them here. Come back on Monday, May 23, 2011 for Chapter 251 of Punch’s Cousin. ads

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