Annabelle Duniway

Episode 21: An Enthusiastic Hour | Scryer's Gulch

Annabelle preferred to sit in the back pew at church; despite her general self-confidence, church always made her feel exposed and vulnerable. She'd been raised both Methodic and Enthusiastic, the product of a rare mixed marriage and a childhood spent bouncing between one set of relatives and the next. She loved the clean formality of the Methodic Church and its emphasis on logic, but when it came down to it, she chose Enthusiasm: the brightly clanging bells, the incense wafting over everything, the exuberantly decorated altar, the music so loud it shook her bones, the shouts of the faithful in response to a good sermon. And the sermons were much shorter.

Her mind was Methodic, but her soul was Enthusiastic.

Episode 20: Ethergrams and Homilies | Scryer's Gulch

As it came to pass, Simon did not get over to the Runnels house that night. He stood outside for a fair piece looking up at the door, but couldn't bring himself to walk up the steps, knock, and hand over Miss Duniway's ethergram; revealing someone's private correspondence went against everything he believed in as an ethergraph engineer.

Episode 19: A History Lesson | Scryer's Gulch

It was with some surprise that Lockson received the schoolteacher in his office this Saturday. "Why, Miss Duniway! What can a simple newspaperman do for an erudite lady like yourself? Classified ad, perhaps? No, no, I shouldn't think so. Why, Miss Duniway, it is a stroke of good fortune, a miracle not far removed from that of the Prophet of the Method and His Delivery of the Good Woman of Persia from the Fiery Furnaces of Indecency, that you have sojourned to our offices today. Yes, Miss Duniway, let me assure you that I have longed this month to approach you for the purpose of acquainting my audience with the details of your life, one of education and perspicacity I am sure, a saga that would be a most edifying one for our readers."

"Come again?" said Annabelle.

"I'd like to interview you," said Lockson.

Episode 17: Evidence | Scryer's Gulch

"You look happy this morning," said Jed from the depths of a big tufted leather chair.

Mamzelle returned to her boudoir from the balcony. "I am always 'appy at the full moon," she said, settling on her chaise.

"Don't sit down. Bring me my coffee."

She narrowed her eyes to slits, but got up and poured him a cup. "I wonder, 'ow badly this would sting eef I threw it in your face?" she said.

"Go ahead. Then you'd find out how it feels to lose an eye."

"Eet's a rrrhetorical question. I can't hurt you anyway."

"Just remember that," he smiled over the cup's rim.

"I will, even as I eat your liver while you scream for mercy. That is not rrrhetorical."

Episode 15: What's in Its Pocketses | Scryer's Gulch

Annabelle opened her eyes to a scratching at the bedroom window. How had she ended up sitting on the bed? She held the codebook in one hand, and a letter in the other. Someone had lit the lanterns against the night, and the coal fire burned in the little sitting room stove. She must have fallen asleep, but apart from where she sat, the bed was undisturbed. A chill struck her.

Episode 14: Waste Not the Hour | Scryer's Gulch

From the front window of the Hotel LeFay, Anthony Bonham watched Miss Duniway and John Runnels exchange pleasantries. He knew the look on the man's face; Miss Duniway had fallen afoul of the Sheriff's crime-fighting instincts. What could he suspect the schoolteacher of, besides being beautiful, and that was no suspicion. Outwardly, Tony eyed her dispassionately. But within him, he formulated plans. A young woman, all alone in a town like this--she was bound to be lonely. He could use that.

Episode 13: Messages | Scryer's Gulch

The wretched Rabbit woke up at dawn inside the wire cage, naked and shivering. "John?" he called weakly.

"Sheriff's asleepin," said Aloysius. "Hey! Runnels! Wake up! Yer brother's lost his fur!"

John scrambled up from his cot, instantly awake. "Sorry, Rab, sorry! I'm coming." He opened the latch on the cage and helped Rabbit to stand; he wrapped his brother in the still-warm blanket from the cot. "Are you all right?"

"Did I scratch or bite?" said Rabbit. "I'm so afraid I'm going to bite you some day, Johnny--if I ever brought this on you, I'd throw myself in the river!"

Episode 12: Creature of the Night, Pistol on the Right | Scryer's Gulch

John rushed to his brother's side, whipping off the bandanna around his neck. To Annabelle's astonishment, he stuffed it in the deputy's mouth and guided the gagged and sobbing man gently to the floor. "It hurts, Miss Duniway, and he screams a lot," said John. "I'm here, Rab, I won't let go, I promise!"

"'M srry!" whimpered Rabbit around the bandanna.

"Not your fault!" said John.

"What's happening, Sheriff Runnels?" demanded Annabelle. "Should I be going for the doctor?"

Episode 11: Moonrise | Scryer's Gulch

In Mamzelle's boudoir, the madam and the cat were still embroiled in their murderous heart-to-heart. "But I do not understand, chéri," she said. "Why would you not wish me to keel your master?"

"Two reasons," Misi answered loftily. "For one, I can't reciprocate. You'd have to maneuver your master into a situation where he became a direct threat to my master."

Mamzelle laughed. "You underestimate me."

"Oh, I doubt that. But for me the more important reason is the second. If anyone kills my master, it's going to be me," he growled. "I've been plotting it for eight years, and no one is going to deny me that pleasure."

Episode 9: Rabbit's Time of the Month | Scryer's Gulch

Misi had almost fallen asleep in Mamzelle’s lap, when she said, “Well?”

“Well what?” yawned the demon cat.

“‘Ow are we going to keel our masters?”

“Ah. That. Yes.” Think fast, old boy. “Yes. There’s a problem with that.”

“Eh?”

“I’m under orders...general orders...not to kill humans.” It’s even true! he thought, though it hurt his pride to confess to such a weakness. It’s so humilitating, being owned!

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