The Narrator

Episode 48: A Little Look-See | Scryer's Gulch

Scryer's Gulch never quieted down much overnight, but it did enough so Mamzelle could stake out the Hopewell Hotel without drawing much attention that night, even though it was the first night of the full moon. Jed Bonham had a big mouth, and when he told her he was taking the schoolteacher out to the mines the next day, Mamzelle thought she'd have a little look-see; this Duniway woman bore watching if Mamzelle was going to kill her.

The woman's window opened. A slithery black shape snuck out and bounded over the rooftops: Misiriplinapos Son of Misorianatus, Duniway's pet demon in the shape of a cat. Some demon, she sniffed.

Episode 29: A Demonstration of Knowledge | Scryer's Gulch

You might wonder why the parts where I talk directly to you are written so different from the story parts. Well, I’ll tell you. I talk into an ethercam, tell the story that way, and my granddaughter in St. Louis transcribes the thing and sends it back to me. She’s an English major at Washington University. She cleans things up for me, makes it sound like more of a story and less a babbling old man.

But she can’t get to it all. There are some parts that I have to tell you on my own. I do my best, and that’s all I can do. You’ll just have to put up with me.

I put up with you, after all.

Characters: 

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 7: An Accusation | Scryer's Gulch

As soon as they entered, Annabelle's bracelet pricked at her wrist; she hid her surprise. "Children, please sit down. Little ones to the front, older ones to the back. I'll return in a moment."

"Wonder where she's going," she heard Georgie whisper to Jamie.

"Maybe she's gotta pee," said Harry Lockson. Georgie and Jamie guffawed. "But maybe she does!" Harry repeated in earnest concern.

Annabelle rolled her eyes, and walked quickly up and down the street, as if looking for errant pupils; her bracelet made not a tickle. The schoolhouse stood off to itself enough that she knew nothing came from a nearby building. No, it was in the schoolhouse, and it came from either Jamie or Georgie.

Episode 6: One-Way Cat Fight | Scryer's Gulch

While Misi stood on the windowsill at Hopewell's worrying about Annabelle, she herself was still visiting students. She'd met Jamie Runnels and the Prake twins, and the two children of L.L. Lockson, publisher of the Voice of the Gulch. Now she walked back up the boardwalk toward the great mansion on the hill to acquaint herself with Lily Bonham.

Just past Prake's Hardware, her detector bracelet buzzed and pricked at her wrist. She returned to the store, masking her excitement as she pretended to windowshop; the sensation faded. She strolled back up the street until the pricking became nearly unbearable: it came from the ethergraph office.

Episode 4: Detectors and Detectives | Scryer's Gulch

While Annabelle waited a day for the schoolhouse repairs, the best use of her time would be to visit her students in their homes, get a sense of them. That’s what a real schoolteacher would do, she decided the next morning, and it gave her a chance to scan for the anomalies she’d been sent to investigate without raising suspicion.

“What exactly are we looking for, anyway?” said Misi from a perch atop the wardrobe. “You might have said,” he added sulkily.

Annabelle looked up at the demon cat as she buttoned up her bodice. “Daniel asked me to wait as long as possible before telling anyone anything, including you.”

“Who’s Daniel?”

Episode 3: Near-Revelations | Scryer's Gulch

Agent Duniway was not one to swoon when confronted with a shock, but Annabelle decided Schoolteacher Duniway should feel a little faint at the sight of the vandalized schoolhouse. She staggered gently into Mr Prake, who caught her elbow with a concerned murmur. “There now! Do you carry smelling salts in your reticule?”

She never needed them, and so, unlike most respectable women, she didn’t even own any. “Oh dear...left them at the Hotel, sir!” she faltered. She made an immediate plan to find a vial somewhere, even if she had to order Misi to steal one.

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