This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The words below were written for practice.
Practice makes perfect.
“Miss Tess, there is a rather unsavoury character to see you. He had the gall to come to the front door, but I have seated him in the pantry so your parents won’t have to deal with him. You might want to hurry before he finds the cooking sherry. Would you like me to accompany you?”
“Thank you, Gillian. What do you mean, unsavoury? Do you truly believe that I require an escort?”
“I’m sure I don’t know, Miss.”
“Very well; in the pantry you say? That seems a rather uncivilized waiting area for our guests, don’t you think? I’ll attend to him myself. Your presence will not be required.”
“Yes, Miss,” Gillian replied as she backed from the drawing-room.
Tess straightened her skirts, pushed her spiral curls up and headed towards the pantry. She found a tall lean man there, of indeterminate age. The skin on his hands and his face had leathered as though he had lived outdoors all his life. Crow’s feet radiated from the corners of his eyes; they etched and furrowed deep. He turned upon hearing Tess enter and his eyebrow twitched upward before returning to its rightful position on his face. He smiled displaying a mouthful of broken and rotted teeth along with a few gold ones. He wore a sailor’s tricorn hat pushed to the back of his head. The smell in the room was horrific.
Tess wrinkled her nose against the overripe aroma that emanated from the man.
“May I help you, sir?” she asked.
“Be you Tess Chadwick, the daughter of Lord Thomas, and acquaintance of Captain Thorne, master of the schooner, Quail?”
“I am,” she answered.
“The Captain sent me with a message for you Milady. He said to tell you that The Quail sails for the China Sea with the tide. Until that time he will be at the Black Horse Tavern on the waterfront. He asked me to give you this note.” He proffered a small envelope which Tess eagerly took and tore open. She read the note written in Benjamin Thorne’s hand.
My darling Tess, I am sending this note in the hand of my trusted mate, Mr Géroux. You can rely on him and he knows not what I write. My ship sails with the tide, bound for the South China Sea. I need to see you, Tess. I want to ask you to wait for my return. I will wait for you to come to the Black Horse, but the rising tide lifts all boats. I cannot wait for long. Please come. All my love, Benjamin
Tess turned her face toward Mr Géroux, “When is the tide?” she asked.
“Not more than six hours, Milady.”
“Can you take me to the Black Horse?”
“Indeed, I can. We should make haste yet, time is getting short.”
“Wait here;” she instructed him, “have you a means of conveyance?”
“I have a steed Milady, but he is tired. It would be best if you had your own mount.”
Tess ran from the pantry to the kitchen where she knew she would find Gillian lurking nearby. “Gillian? Quickly have Matteo ready Dancer. I need a regular riding saddle, not a side-saddle. Make up a story to tell my father.”
“Very well, Miss. Safe travels. Come back again, please.”
This week’s prompts:
- what I write
- rising tides lift all boats
- I’ll be at the Black Horse Tavern