Jedediah Bonham

Episode 37: A Little Song | Scryer's Gulch

Mamzelle was just waking up, ready to face another long night catering to the foolish men who came through the doors of the Palace. In a way, she felt sorry for them. They were lonely, as she was, and in need of excitement and solace. The full moon was in a few days. She'd give them excitement a-plenty then, but the only solace would be hers.

And Misi's. On the first night of the full, she would kill the Duniway woman, he'd be free to kill Jedediah Bonham, and Mamzelle would take her revenge. The town would be cinders by the next morning. She could see the flames rising against the night sky, perhaps silhouetted against the full moon. Oh, that would be beautiful.

Episode 35: An Invitation | Scryer's Gulch

Tony Bonham's first thought when he woke the next morning was that he'd overslept. His watch, the treasured reminder of his mother, had not chimed the morning alarm as it usually did. He sat up, yawning; something furry had crawled into his mouth to whelp during the night, and he poured and drank a glass of water to drown it. The smell of coffee approached down the hall, probably on his man's tray. Won't he be surprised to see me still abed, Tony thought heavily.

He swung his legs over the edge of the bed. No, he won't be surprised. The morning fire had been lit in the grate, so Graham must have been in already. Disconcerting; the Bonham men had the habit of sleeping with one eye open, and yet Tony had slept through Graham's entry. Had he really drunk so very much last night? But there on his dresser next to the water glass sat the near-empty cut crystal decanter of brandy; it had been full at the beginning of the night. He'd drunk more than he'd thought, apparently. At least it had served its purpose; he'd gone the night ghost-less, or if he hadn't, he'd been too drunk to notice.

Episode 32: Hands All Around | Scryer's Gulch

In the hours after Miss Duniway's discovery of his perfidy, Simon suffered much and slept little. He longed for the chance to express the fullness of his regrets, but none came. It was left to him to make his own chance, and he took it the day after the horrible scene at the jail. He saw her on the street after school, threw on his coat, closed his office and hurried after her. "Miss Duniway!" he called, and she halted.

"Mr Prake, how can I be of assistance?" she replied, in tones warmer than he felt he deserved but cooler than he wished.

"I wonder if we might speak for a moment in my office? There are one or two things I wish to convey to you that I'd rather not say in the street."

Miss Duniway paused, and for a sickening moment Simon thought she might refuse. "Very well, Mr Prake, I have a short moment to give you, as long as it can be supposed I have business at your office," she added in a low tone. Simon gave her his humble thanks, and she followed him through his door and into his back office.

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 18: Servitude | Scryer's Gulch

Mamzelle had a time of it under Charity's orders the next day.

She scrubbed the floors, beat all the rugs, bathed Charity's disgusting little pug dog, shined the copper weathervane atop the gingerbread-encrusted turret, mucked out the stables, and blacked every boot in the house as well as the stoves--all in her best silk dress, now tattered and stained. Blacking smudges covered her face, not all of them self-inflicted, and shoeprints stood out on her dress where the occasional kick had landed.

"Too bad about about the dress. It was so flattering on you, too. I bet you never affront me again!" smirked Charity as the housekeeper fidgeted behind her.

"Oh, no, madame, I wouldn't dream of eet!" said Mamzelle, face downcast; her eyes reflected a dangerous ruby color in the wooden floor she'd polished to a perfect finish; neither human noticed.

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."

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