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Working on a couple of new segments of this. Hope to get them done some time this week and up on the weekend.
He stood in the workshop doorway, not quite sure what to do.
Across the room, against the wall, was the large stationary laundry tub. Sitting in it was Beatrix, fully clothed, hat pinned firmly to her coiffure, hand dangling over the side as if enjoying a punt ride around the pond by an adoring lover.
She smiled at him. “There’s really quite a bit of room in this.” She indicated the tub. “Large enough to bath a man in, I wager.”
He blinked. For a moment he was back in the room with Old Thomas and Lydia lowering his fevered body… He shook the memory off.
As he lifted her out of the tub he held her for a moment too long. “That must have been a pretty picture,” he said, “you climbing into this old thing.”
“A bit awkward, actually. I misjudged it’s depth.”
“You didn’t hurt yourself, did you? I’d be happy to inspect for any bruises.”
She smirked at him and tapped his shoulder. “You can put me down now.”
Reluctantly, he did.
The moment her feet were back on the floor she sauntered away from him leaving him unsure as to if she’d felt his soft kiss on her neck or not.
If it was games she wanted, however, he was willing to play. But the expression on her face when she turned to face him was all business.
“How was the judge’s daughter?” she asked.
“In what way?” he asked back.
Her left eyebrow lifted just enough to say “I’m not angry at that answer, but consider yourself warned.”
“She was very chatty,” he said, “especially in her sleep.”
The eyebrow didn’t lower. “And of what, exactly, did she speak?”
“The whole of it? Or just a township here or there?”
She was piqued. He was pleased. He wasn’t sure why he was pleased, but he was.
“I put the powder in her drink that you told me to and she fell asleep shortly after putting her to bed.”
“Do you want all the details?” he asked.
Her frown had a false disinterest to it. “Of course not. What did she talk about… beside Europe?”
“I’m not sure. Maybe there was too much of the powder, she’s really rather small, but she spoke a couple times in German, I’ve never been good at German so I wrote down what it sounded like –”
“Do you have it?”
He pulled a few sheets of paper from his jacket’s inside breast pocket. She reached for them quickly, then, it seemed to him, deliberately slowed down and casually took them, only to deposit them into her purse.
“I’ll have someone at the office translate them. Anything else?”
“She said ‘Countess’ once or twice.”
The eyebrow arched again. “Really?”
“Yes. Once it was, ‘Countess, please no.’ and then ‘Countess, you won’t… mumble mumble… get away’ and then the rest was unintelligible.”
She nodded, then smiled at him. “Thank you very much.”
He was at the door before she reached it.
“Not now, Elliott, I need to leave.”
He didn’t move.
“Elliott, please, I do need to leave.”
He shook his head. “Lydia said you wanted to talk to me about a dead man thanking me. I’d like to hear about that.”
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