Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode 15

Writing ChallengesT_Victorian letter

Teresa (Tess) Karlinski of How the Cookie Crumbles, an irreverent view of life after sixty-five sent the “things” for this episode.  You may know her from her Gravitar handle as Cut the Crap.

If I had to assign a letter of the alphabet to Tess it would be “V” – for vibrant, vivacious, and for the vivid imagery in her writing. V_Victorian

She posts a weekly travelogue of her venturesome trip to China, as well as absolutely marvelous short-short stories that result from the various challenges into which she dives with vigor. One of those challenges is the “100-Word Challenge for Grownups.”  She turns flash fiction into a varicolored art form.

Tess has short stories in anthology volumes including “Slices of Life” and “Palpable Imaginings” .

Personally I’d be interested in seeing what tales Tess would make from the three things she sent.  I can already imagine the venturesome stories she’d tell.

Whether you are a serious writer, or you dabble for fun, try a writing challenge. (Melissa at Today You Will Write also posts fun writing “prompts.”) You could even see what you come up with for one of the three things in this episode.

The Flying Scotsman
The Flying Scotsman

For weeks I’ve been dropping subtle hints about the character Ignatius Belle.  This episode will reveal something about the handsome innkeeper.  But will it add transparency to the tale or will it thicken the plot?  Will it be a reason to trust him?  You’ll have to decide for yourself, because the steam locomotive has reached the platform.  All aboard! 


Last time The Alchemist intercepted a raven carrying a spy’s message about our trio.  Then new/old character Alastair Wong found his way into the story.  Finally we learned the name of “the Woman in Trousers.”  Read on to see what the “things” bring us now.

15.  High Button Boots, Washtub, Coffee

Kinkaku-ji, The Golden Pavilion, Kyoto City, Japan
Kinkaku-ji, The Golden Pavilion, Kyoto City, Japan

I explored the grounds of the replica of the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, which Alastair Wong called home.  At first it seemed strange that anyone would build a copy of a Buddhist temple in an out of the way corner of the Pacific coast.  However, for that moment in time, it felt like everything about the place was perfect.  As I stood on the banks of the crystalline lake and looked at the building in the golden light of evening, its beauty nearly took my breath away.

Copper ran down a manicured path that wound through Japanese maples.  Their crimson leaves were a darker shade than the new penny color of her hair.  She wore a yellow frock and high button boots.  I wondered at her change of dress, because I didn’t think those clothes had been in the big flowered carpet bag she packed before we left the Hixon estate on that frightful night.

“Felicity, Felicity!” Copper cried.

Having learned my real name, Felicity Deringer, it was as if Copper couldn’t say it often enough.

Victorian boot right“You look fetching in that yellow,” I commented as she skidded to a stop beside me.  “I don’t remember that dress.”

Copper twirled, making the full skirt swing out to a circle.  Apparently she thought that was answer enough.

“Cornelis asked me to find you,” she told me.  “He says it’s time to get dressed for dinner.”

I still wore the travel stained duster and trousers in which I’d arrived.  A tiny woman dressed in a beautiful kimono had showed Copper and me to the rooms that would be ours during our visit.  Copper was fascinated with the woman and she in turn seemed quite taken with the girl.

In my room I found a brush and used it to clean my clothes as much as I could.  However, I didn’t feel presentable enough for a dinner table… certainly not for the elegant affair I expected Alastair Wong would want to have in honor of Cornelis Drebbel.  Wong seemed to almost idolize the alchemist.  I sighed and followed Copper on the uphill path toward the house.

Copper led me on a circuitous route.  It certainly didn’t lead directly back to the house, but I had no objection to wandering a bit.  Our path crossed another paved walkway and the breeze brought me a burst of humidity and an unexpected scent.  For a moment I thought it was lavender, though I had not seen any growing on the grounds.  Then I recognized it for detergent scented with lavender.1880 Woman laundry

“Do you smell that?” I commented, thinking out loud as I followed my nose down the new path. (If you want to know more about Victorian laundry…)

Ahead I saw a row of small but well-kept outbuildings.  They were designed in a similar way to the main house, and were painted a golden yellow.  Moving a few steps closer I saw a hot spring and the steaming pool of water it fed.

An older woman and a young man rolled a washing machine away from the hot spring and into one of the little buildings, apparently finished with their laundry chore.  They had been making good use of the natural water feature.

The young man ran back outside and hurriedly picked up a washtub.  I heard the woman tell him to put the tablecloth in it to soak.  He managed the task in a couple of quick motions.  Then he closed the door to the storage building and ran up the path to catch up with the woman.  I noted she was remarkably spry for her years.

I was tempted to stop and soak my feet in the steaming pool of water.  Actually, a bath in it would have been even better.  Just as I had the thought I realized that the other two outbuildings might be changing rooms for precisely that purpose.  I expected they were filled with towels and bathing accessories.

Flying man w umbrellaCornelis appeared with a pop sound.

“I might have known you’d find this place,” he commented drolly.  “You’d best come back and change.  We don’t want to offend our host by being late for dinner.  There’s certainly no time for a leisurely bath in a hot spring,” he chided me as if he knew I had been thinking of doing exactly that.

The Dutchman’s tone was mildly annoying to me.  The fact of the matter was he probably meant to irritate me.

“Cornelis, don’t you think I should make an excuse and skip dinner.  I could claim to have the vapors,” I suggested reasonably.

“Don’t be absurd!” the alchemist said indignantly.

“But look at me!” I insisted, spreading my arms to show my rumpled dirty clothes.

Cornelis Drebbel made a little tut-tut noise and shook his head, looking put upon.  “Well you don’t think I meant you to wear that do you?” he asked drolly, with a wave of his hand toward my grubby attire.  “That’s why you need to hurry back and change.  Honestly… How you underestimate me,” he added with a pout.  Then with a sharp pop he disappeared.

***Navy embroidered Victorian gown

An involuntary gasp escaped my lips.  “It’s absolutely exquisite!” I said in awe as I picked up the gown.

It was navy blue velvet.  The skirt was heavily embroidered in paisley designs of gold, lavender, and rose, as were the three tiers of the bustle.  A smaller scale of the same pattern was displayed around broad cuffs and a deep neckline.

“Cornelis, where did you…  How did you…” I sputtered to the alchemist’s delight.  He loved it when he managed to render me speechless.

“Don’t worry,” he said.  “I found it in one of the forgotten crates back at the abandoned church compound.  I popped back to get the crate that was addressed to Alastair,” he explained and I knew he meant his trick of popping or disappearing.

“You moved the entire crate!” I exclaimed.  “It was rather large,” I spoke in concern.

The Dutchman waved away my comment.  “It’s not as though I carried it on my back.  Besides, all the heavenly bodies were aligned in a most helpful way,” he informed me.

Lady writing letters“Oh,” I said, not understanding a whit.

Suddenly I remembered the love letters we saw in Wong’s open crate.  They mentioned a woman named Phanny.  However, I had not seen a woman at the estate who was likely to be her.  I wondered what had happened to that romance.  I supposed it was not a particularly happy ending if he was here and she was not.

At dinner I learned enough to gather my own conclusions.  Mind you I didn’t come right out and ask.  I do have a few social graces despite my rebellious nature.  Civility and manners are important.  I just can’t abide corsets and bustles.  Even if I did wear a bustle with the lovely embroidered velvet gown…  Didn’t I did mention that I have a weakness for pretty things?  Even so, nothing was going to make me wear a corset.

Union Station Savannah, GA
Union Station, Savannah, GA

However, I digress.  Alastair Wong was a fascinating man.  It was amusing to me that he had a British accent as he sat at the table in a traditional kimono.  It bore what I assumed was his family crest — a white lion.  As it turned out, Wong was born in England.  However, he entertained us with lively stories of his visit to Hong Kong, from whence his family originally came.

“I was surprised to find you back on this coast.  I thought you were in Savannah, on the Atlantic coast,” Cornelis commented casually, and a frown flitted across Alastair’s face.  “Oh my.  Don’t tell me heartache drove you away,” the Dutchman said.

I blushed, feeling Cornelis shouldn’t have brought up such a thing.  I pretended to give my full attention to the beautiful plate in front of me.  We were served an amazing five course meal.



Roasted Corn – Wild Rice Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Cream


Glazed Breast of Quail on a bed of Baby Greens with

Wild Huckleberry Vinaigrette


Pistachio Encrusted Veal served with a Red Onion Orange Compote, with garden fresh vegetables


Assortment of Cheeses with Grapes, Port Wine


Coffee, Tea, Tisane


Alastair sighed exaggeratedly, making fun of himself.  He waved it away as if it was nothing, but a deep sadness was reflected in his dark eyes.

“I did come here for a much needed change of scene,” he said, but Cornelis raised a skeptical eyebrow.  “And yes, for a bit of healing.  You’ll remember that I have family here and in San Francisco.  My branch of the family tree adventured to the Atlantic coast.  I’ll return there eventually,” he reminded the alchemist, and Cornelis nodded.1903 Girl 2 Horses postcard

“Yes, I fell in love.  It is well accepted for a man to be many years older than his bride, and not criticized.  She was young, this I knew.  However, she had been orphaned.  I did not know at first that a few years before I met her, she had lied about her age to avoid being institutionalized,” Alastair told Cornelis.

Copper gasped.  Our host had just brought up her greatest fear — the orphanage.

“Do you mean they would have put her in an orphanage?” she confirmed, as our host nodded.

“Of course, she was of legal age by the time we fell in love.  Albeit that is still a very young age,” Alastair continued.  “Even at that, she was several years younger than I thought.  But as it turned out, I wasn’t the one who had a problem with it.  I would move heaven and earth for Phanny. Regardless of the wealth and comfort I could offer her, Miss Phanny is a woman with her own mind.  She doesn’t tend to be one who is burdened by the conventions of society, much as I expect you feel,” he said turning to me.

I couldn’t help smiling.  I thought I would like to meet the young Miss Phanny.

Victorian courtingSo I was surprised and confused that our age difference bothered her so much,” he continued.  “I do have a large extended family in Savannah.  Perhaps that contributed to her discomfort.  Matriarchs can be rather intimidating, particularly to a young woman who is not used to a large family.”

“No doubt,” Cornelis said in a sardonic tone.

I stuck out my foot to kick him under the table.  And he said I  was the one who spoke before I thought.  Really.  He was a fine one to judge.  As usual, he knew what was about to happen, and made his form momentarily lose its solidity.  My foot passed right through him and bumped against his chair.  That also caused me to shift in an awkward movement.

“Are you well, Miss Felicity?” Alastair Wong asked in a concerned voice.

“Just a cramp in my foot,” I replied with a quick glare at Cornelis.

In the chair next to me Copper was nodding off even as she finished her dinner, though she denied it emphatically.  She reminded me that she hadn’t even had dessert.  I felt a little guilty, knowing we adults had talked animatedly throughout dinner.  Dessert would typically have already been served. Copper pensive

I promised Copper she would get her dessert the next day.  Then the same woman who showed us to our rooms when we arrived at the pavilion took Copper up to her room.  The girl smiled brightly at the tiny woman.  I knew the two had connected the moment they met.

“Worry not Copper.  I will make sure they save you some Daofu fa.  It is sweet.  You will like it,” the woman told her as they walked down the hallway.

“My day began at an unusually early hour,” Alastair began and stifled a yawn.  “Also you have had a most trying journey.  I apologize if I have kept you late.  I shall retire now so that you may either go to your evening’s rest, or stroll around the grounds to further relax tight muscles.  Or perhaps you would like dessert served outside, whatever pleases you,” Wong said with a bow and a friendly smile as he left.Mauve teacup Wileman Co 1893

Cornelis poured coffee for the two of us from a silver pot.  “Shall we take dessert out on the terrace?” he asked.

We moved outside.  The Dutchman held the decorative wrought iron chair as I arranged the dratted skirt and bustle so that I could sit at the little table.  After he took his seat, he looked at me with a very odd expression on his face.

“Cornelis, are you certain you’re well?” I asked in concern.

“Well?  As in healthy?  My dear, it’s not as though I’m alive in the normal sense of the word,” the alchemist replied.

The man was so exasperating.  “You’ve been acting strangely ever since you popped off to the Hixon estate and did all that poking around,” I reminded him.

The Dutchman produced a leather portfolio.  He opened it and withdrew two sketches.  They were beautifully drawn.

Basil Gill 2“Cornelis, I didn’t realize you were such an artist.  You have true talent,” I said admiringly because I could tell it was true even before I had a good look at the drawings.

“Not so much talent as a hundred years to practice.  I drew designs of my inventions, but my hand wasn’t very deft until about a hundred years after…” his voice trailed away and I gathered he didn’t want to be diverted from whatever his subject was.

The sketches were both portraits.  It came as no surprise that one was of Copper.  He had captured her personality perfectly.  However, I was puzzled to see that the other sketch was of Ignatius Belle.  I praised his artistry again, because I couldn’t imagine why he would choose Ignatius, whom he completely distrusted, as his subject.

The alchemist heaved a great longsuffering sigh.  “Honestly woman, you can be absolutely maddening,” he told me in a droll tone with a sad shake of his head.  “I have given you hint after hint,” he grumbled.Woman tea close

“What?  So you’ve been acting so damnably strange because you’ve been trying to manipulate me into seeing something rather than simply telling me?” I asked, and the only thing that kept me from being angry with him was how badly his manipulation had failed.

It did make me feel foolish too, but I refused to take that bait.  He motioned for me to look at the sketches again.  I looked.  I shrugged.

“Perhaps if I color them,” he muttered and waved his hand.

Magically Copper’s cheeks became rosy in the drawing.  Her eyes became blue.  In the other sketch, Belle’s eyes turned brown.  Then the girl’s hair glowed with coppery red color.  In the other drawing copper highlights came to the hair of Ignatius Belle, then a moment later the brown color followed.

“You’re pointing out the fact that Ignatius has copper highlights in his hair?” I asked feeling befuddled.

Then I suddenly saw what had been there all along.  A resemblance.  Copper’s face was full with youth, while Ignatius had masculine angles, but their features were very much alike.

“They’re related,” I said amazed.  “And closely I’ll wager.  How did you deduce this, Cornelis?”

“It was the portrait of Calvin Hixon,” he told me, and I realized that I had paid very little attention to the painting; it was so standard and uninteresting.  “The coloring of the hair was the same as your innkeeper’s.  When I went back, I saw the family resemblances.”

mauve Table SettingI sipped my coffee as I thought.  “Hixon was youngish in the portrait…  I remember you asking Copper about it.  She indicated that he was much older when she was born,” I commented as assorted bits fell into place.  “But he had no previous marriage…” I started but did not finish my sentence.  “Oh.”

“Yet that’s not to say that Hixon had no other children.  I didn’t just prowl around, as you put it, at Hixon’s estate.  I went to Belle’s office at the Inn, and to his bedroom.  Based on letters Ignatius kept, he is the illegitimate son of Calvin Hixon,” Corenlis revealed.

“So he is Copper’s half-brother?  Why would she distrust him so?” I thought aloud.  “Sibling rivalry?”

“It’s highly unlikely that she knows about the relationship,” Cornelis told me.  “In one of the letters Hixon offers to announce it to the community; that his long lost son has come home.  Actually it was a son he never knew he had.  Belle was the one who wanted to keep it a secret.  He was the typically prudish Victorian in that respect.”

“However, Belle practically begged to work with Hixon on his inventions.  I gather that they spent a lot of time tinkering and inventing, at least for a while.  I’m not certain, but something must have soured in the relationship.  I just don’t know what, or how important it was,” Cornelis admitted.

“Ignatius Belle is Copper’s brother… or rather half-brother.  Why didn’t I see it?” I murmured.

Then I cast a withering look at Cornelis to stop him from making any disparaging remarks about me “not thinking efficiently.”


So… we’ve learned our dashing innkeeper is Copper’s half-brother, though she doesn’t seem to know it.  Why would Copper dislike him so intensely?  Jump aboard the steam locomotive again next time with when the “things” are from Hugh’s Views and News.  Guess which of “Moustache Cup, Apricot Charlotte, and Mangle” will create a connection to the blood that links those two characters.

 Don’t leave the train yet!  Here’s this episode’s recipe. Bon appétit!

Recipe:  ToFu Fa (Sweet Soy Pudding)

 ToFu Fa

Photo and recipe credit:

Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

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66 thoughts on “Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode 15

  1. Well fancy that – I didn’t suspect that twist at all – and I wonder what effect that will have on the rest of the story, we still don’t know whether he can be trusted or not 🙂


    1. Tee-hee! I’m glad i could surprise you, Andrea. 🙂 I really don’t plan these serials, but the “things” can’t lead to each and every detail. So now and then my twisting variety of logic inserts itself. If Ignatius was Calvin’s son (in my pantser brain at least) it was a logical reason for him to be there. But you’re right — the “things” still haven’t shown whether we should trust him. Thanks for reading another episode. Great-big hug!


    1. Why thank you, Sharmishtha. I really do enjoy writing the serials and the interaction they give me with everyone. The only down side is that I don’t have time to work on my novels… Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday.


  2. Stories and tofu, who could ask for anything more? Well, maybe hot apple pie and ………. 🙂


      1. Of course hot apple pie needs custard or ice cream. 🙂 Always good to drop by teagan. 🙂


  3. I took today off from work and not cooking so have time to read email and your stories. This would make a great movie.


    1. I’m happily amazed that you’re giving yourself some down time. And I’m sincerely honored you’d spend part of it here. 🙂
      A movie? I’m flattered. I will have to get you to dream up designs for the sets & all the props. 😀 Wow, that would be fun. Hugs!


  4. Great episode, everything is so vivid and beautiful, I love the pavilion and Mr. Wong and what a revelation about Ignatious Belle. Can’t wait for the next episode. Felicity’s dress sounds gorgeous.


  5. Once again another great story! I love the picures you use in the story. I feel it brings me into the right mindset for the time period. Hope you have a good weekend!


    1. Thank you so much. I hope you’re feeling all better. It sounded like you were “kicking” whatever bug had you down. I’m so happy you enjoyed this episode. The pictures help me too, because I’m certainly no expert on the Victorian Era. I make Pinterest boards for all my stories. The one for this blog now has Victorian images, but if you keep scrolling down, you’ll see pins for the 1920’s serials i was writing before. (I do love Pinterest! It’s totally therapy!)
      Thanks for visiting. Huge hugs. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You never fail to amaze me – so many fantastic pictures again – Kyoto, the ‘male Mr Poppins’ and all the rest – you capture that era so well with all its quirks.
    I also loved the Chinese Laundry part. I had John Jung on my blog about his book on the matter and I have an odd fascination with it. I’m loving Alastair Wong and the new twist.
    Looking forward to the next episode with Hugh’s items.
    Have a great week ❤


    1. Hi Christoph. I hope you’re getting settled and cozy in your new home. Thanks for taking time out to visit.
      >OMG, i’m busted! I wasn’t even thinking about “Chinese Laundry” when i wrote that segment… (Yeesh! I’m just not wired right. My humble apologies to anyone out there who might have been offended by that…). I had to use “Washtub” and the location was already Alastair Wong’s pavilion… It could just as easily have been a Scottish castle or a cave. But i guess i didn’t assign the woman and young man any race though, did i… so maybe i’m off the “politically correct” hook.
      But i digress — if you liked that part then you will love what happens with “Mangle” next time! ❤ Mega-hugs to you Christoph!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so welcome, Melissa. I don’t think most realize how helpful writing prompts can be. I’m happy you liked the new twist! We’ll have to see where the “things” take the unusual connection between Copper and Ignatius. Thanks for taking a moment to comment. Huge hugs. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Oh? Did i throw you a curve, John? (Actually i’m honored.) We’re not even yet — you’ve thrown me for a loop plenty of times with your great short stories. Love them.
      Well just because they’re related, that doesn’t mean it’s a happy Disney singalong. Great-big hug my friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Teagan, I’m always amazed — just totally blown away — by what you can create and write from random “things” suggested by someone. I don’t think I could do it! And yet you manage every single time to not only write with those touchstones, you take them and make great art! And thank you so much for introducing readers to another blogger/writer — I think that’s so commendable of you! Hope you’re have a great, warm and relaxing weekend, 🙂


    1. Hi Deb — it’s great to see you! You are so incredibly kind — thank you for those encouraging words. I’m sincere in saying it means a lot to me. Strange as it may seem this is easier for me than my novels (no wonder i haven’t finished book-2). >Promoting other bloggers is part of the joy for me. Feel free to send three things/ingredients — the cupboards are running low! 😀
      Mega hugs to you and the four-footed crew. ❤


  8. Teagan, what an intriguing episode with lots of new twists! I want to know more about Miss Phanny! And the possible sibling jealousy. I think Copper knows more and will remember in a light bulb moment. Love Tess’s blog, her travels & flash fiction. Nice intro to her three things. Have a wonder-filled rest of the weekend! Look forward to the next episode, and your magic writing about Hugh’s three things! Christine


    1. Hi Christine. I’ve been missing your posts, but I know you have a big editing project. I hope all is well. Thanks for taking time to visit here.
      >Miss Phanny is a character in both of my “Three Ingredients” serials, set in the 1920’s. There she is Granny Fanny (who eventually went with the misspelling everyone kept giving her name). Those stories hint at her relationship with Alastair the elder and bring out her continued “issue” with age differences. Her granddaughter, Pip, is heroine and narrator of those stories, and one of her friends is Alastair Wong’s (same name) grandson. One day i’ll have time to write her back-story. Maybe that would be a good mini series for a break between serials…
      > Thank you for your encouragement, Christine. Mega hugs. ❤ 😀


      1. Thanks Teagan for the Miss Phanny review! I’d vote for a mini series in-between serials! I love your characters. And thanks for missing my posts! Yes, the editing project is intense and everyday work. It’s grown into developmental editing, and I’m contributing to the script. I’m loving it! I do have to write up a response to a Spread the Love Challenge soon! And I have some incredible photos of Audrey the dancer that I must post! Thanks for pushing my mind in that direction. Happy Week coming up! Hugs back! Christine


  9. This entire episode is filled with vibrant images and suspense, Teagan! I just loved everything about it, including that fabulous 5-course meal! I hope the rest of your weekend is fantastic! Mega Hugs! ❤


    1. Hey Kathryn — thanks for dropping by! I’m delighted that you enjoyed this episode. 🙂
      And i’m happy that you liked the menu. I added that late in the game. If i’d had time i might have asked you to be “subject matter expert” and tell me if the foods would have been appropriate to the Pacific coast… but when is there ever time? So crossed my fingers that The Royal Canadian Pacific was keeping their menu close to home. 😀 Mega hugs right back my friend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you so much, Olga. I think i’ve settled into the day and dealt with my “stuff” (at least for the moment).
    Yes, i think it will take several more episodes for the “things” to resolve this story — that mainly being finding out what has happened to Copper’s daddy.
    I hope you have had a particularly wonderful and satisfying Saturday on this special day. Mega-hugs my friend. 😀


  11. Hi David. It’s so good to see you. I’m glad to see i’ve given you plenty of food for thought throughout the story. 🙂 I’m delighted you enjoyed this chapter. A little excitement coming up next week, thanks to Hugh’s “mangle”. Mega-hugs my friend. 😀 ❤


  12. The plot thickens even more. The Menu reminded me of the Tess’s wonderful posts about her trip to China. I think your have story to keep going for quite a while, Teagan. And I hope the day gets better. ♥


  13. Thanks for another enjoyable entry. A little more to ponder and a lot more to enjoy. I particularly liked the play between internal and external dialog today.


      1. I don’t usually share comments like that but lately, there’s been something about each of these episodes that makes me realize that something’s going on.


  14. I delight in coming here to read the installments each week – it’s like a TV show that I look forward to regularly. You never disappoint, complete with a menu and intriguing characters! And how wonderful to see Tess here with the ingredients too (she’s great!) ❤ 🙂
    I am so into this series!


    1. Thank you, Christy! That sincerely means a lot to me.
      I plan to try and bring more of the culinary element to this serial — I’m missing a lot of my food/cooking blog friends that came for the more obviously culinary serials (Three Ingredients). So, i’m glad to hear that you (and Hugh too) enjoyed the menu.
      Great-big-hug!!! 🙂 ❤


  15. The tofu pudding looks and sounds awful! I’m not a fan of tofu. Okay I’ll cut the crap. Or shout that be “cut out the crap”? Hmm! How about “cut the crap out”? “Oh crap! What did I cut?” Thanks for providing a quality read and entertainment. I’ve been reading this installment between dealing with the mechanical guys hooking up the air-conditioner in the server room now that the new roof is on the building. It’s never ending fun and excitement with old buildings as we discovered what we thought was a 220 volt system is actually 110 volts, which means the red wire is neutral not the white — getting your neutrals mixed up can be as shocking as discovering the girl is a lot younger than she looks.


    1. LOL… I have to admit that i didn’t think it looked that appetizing either, but i didn’t find a better picture or idea that fit the story. I actually like tofu… but i’ve become sensitive to it. A meal sized portion triggers an allergy…
      >Yikes! re the wiring. I’m glad to know the roof is back — you’ve had to work way too hard on that office, Tim.
      >I keep saying that one day i’ll write the full back-story of Granny Fanny (aka Phanny), which includes her friendship/unrequited romance with Alastair. After i finish book-2 of Atonement, and The Guitar Mancer, and re-edit The Dead of Winter and… 😀 Suddenly i’m tired.
      Be careful up there! And have a wonderful weekend. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank *YOU* Tess.
    I’ll be laughing for days about the “neon sign with hot flashes.”
    Admittedly, even though i try to keep this story/plot as spontaneous as possible, sometimes i get ideas along the way (like Ignatius as Copper’s half-brother). However, mostly, I don’t know much more than anyone else. Daniel’s “brocade of a white lion” brought Alastair into the story. The characters needed a stopping point as they ran away from their adversaries, so Alastair also provided that. However, I can’t begin to say how much of a part he will have beyond the next episode.
    >You are always so very encouraging, and i appreciate it very, very much. Mega-hugs! 🙂 ❤


  17. Thanks so much for your generous shout out, Teagan. I am 51 shades of hot pink and feel like a neon sign with hot flashes.
    Yow-za! I had to slow down reading because I want to put off the ending as long as possible. The story weaves in another unexpected clue: a mystery half-brother for Copper. I can’t wait till he starts talking. I only hope he had nothing to do with Hixon’s disappearance. And how exactly does Alastair fit it? Seamless storytelling,Teagan, and the tension and excitement continue throughout each week. I love this series. Awesome story. ❤ ❤ ❤


  18. Wow, what a wonderful Saturday afternoon read Teagan. I felt like I was in that story watching and listening to everything going on.

    Where did that menu come from, or did you make it up yourself? Looks wonderful, but no Jam Roly-Poly pudding and custard? 🙂

    Looking forward to next week, especially with the moustache cup making an appearance.


    1. Hey Hugh. I’m so pleased you dropped by. It’s (an abbreviation of) a real menu from The Royal Canadian Pacific. I put a link in the word “Menu,” but it’s not very easy to tell. Sorry. Anyway, the menu should be authentic to the region of our setting, but maybe not so much to the era… It’s a cool site — take a look.
      Your “3 Things” are up next weekend, including the mustache cup — but it was your “mangle” that led to something interesting! Come back and see what it did. 😀
      Huge hugs.


      1. Oh, I can’t wait to find out what that mangle is going to produce. I’ve got my ticket ready for next week’s performance.

        Thanks for the tip for the link under the menu. I’ll go and check it out right now.

        Have a great weekend, Teagan.


  19. Thank you for another delightful installment, Teagan, I so look forward to these and this one doesn’t disappoint, except…I want to know more and I’ll have to wait. 😉
    I think I’m going to try that ToFu Fa today, that looks yummy. 🙂
    I would have guessed Tess would give great ideas, her blog is as amazing as she is; her travels, her flash fiction, all her work is as lovely as she is.
    Thanks again and hope you have an amazing weekend! 🙂


    1. Hi Donna — i’m so happy to see you, and delighted that you enjoyed this episode. Your comment will definitely help me have an amazing weekend. Wishing you the same, and full of Great-big-hugs! 😀


        1. I think maybe your Saturday didn’t begin any better than mine (still grieving), yet you managed to post another great blog. You always have a friend here in the “Copper-verse.” Mega-hugs back.


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