I’m finally here with another episode of our little 1920’s story. The characters have been nagging at my thoughts. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them during November, while I’m trying to write an entire (new) novel in a few short weeks, for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! Maybe I’ll skip the fun part of decorating the post and looking up historic links, because I spend a good deal of time with that. There’s bound to be some “thing” that pulls me back to the story.
Sometimes a single word conveys so much feeling or imagery. Flapper is that kind of word. Wasn’t your mind filled with images the moment you read the word? Provincial Lady has a talent for thinking of those words. She supplied three evocative things for today’s post. As always you can find all the episodes in one place at the Three Things Serial page.
Episode 23 causes Pip to contemplate the unusual events that she and her friends have recently experienced. Can she put the pieces together?
Dissolute, Rocky, Bonehead
An expression of warmth and kindness came to the white-haired woman’s face when she looked at Frankie and me. “I worried that my Boris squandered his talents in some dissolute existence,” she began, her accent becoming heavier. I had to focus to understand some of her words. “But if he has friends such as you, then I know that fear is unfounded.”
Countess Babikov seemed to be wilting from her burst of energy. I poured another splash of brandy into her glass. Mr. Ringling helped her sit back on the sofa and put her feet up. I spotted a decanter of water and used some to wet my handkerchief and then gently cleaned the cut at her temple.
A plaintive call reached my ears. “Pip?”
I opened the door to find Mona looking for me. She held the tin lunch pail that she’d used for a home-away-from-home for Pear. However, other than the little hedgehog Mona was alone. “Where’s Flavio?” I asked.
“He was feeling a little rocky, and went back ashore,” she said with an expression that suggested she was pleased with herself for using the term. “I don’t think he’s a very good sailor, but he’s a sweet guy.”
Frankie gave me a lopsided grin and commented, “Nah, Flavio’s a bonehead.” I shot the fireman a skeptical look and his grin was unrepentant. “Okay. He’s a good bonehead, but he’s still a bonehead.”
“Oh, Pip!” Mona exclaimed, still in the corridor, but walking toward the door. “You’ll never believe who I heard this yacht belongs to.”
I heard the circus millionaire inside, cautioning Bepa or Faith — she asked us to call her one or the other, but I wasn’t quite comfortable with that. Holy Hannah! The woman was royalty for goodness sakes! Anyhow, he was worried about her exerting herself after the ordeal of her kidnapping.
A thought struck me. No one had ever said what the kidnappers wanted with her… Of course there was the ransom, but I had a strong feeling that money wasn’t everything they were after. I was also sure it had an awful lot to do with Boris. I felt like I was working a jigsaw puzzle and some pieces were missing. I didn’t like that feeling.