Character Recap – Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers

“This must be Thursday.  I never could get the hang of Thursdays…”  Douglas AdamsEngineer n Engine

It’s Thursday as I post this, and here I am with a mid-week treat.  But don’t panic! It’s not that you didn’t get the hang of Thursdays. Neither did time run away with you.  I promise the steam locomotive to the Victorian Era will be at the platform on schedule this weekend.

I know I’ve said it before but everything about the serials I post here, week by week, is inspired by the “three things” you readers give me.  The events, contraptions, even the characters are rooted in the things (or ingredients as the case may be).  So I can’t be sure how near we are to a conclusion for this serial, but in the previous three serials I’ve done a recap post when I think we’re about 2/3rds of the way through the story.

This is also when the spontaneous nature of the serials actually becomes a challenge for me.  By this point there are a lot of things — clues, and loose ends waiting to be tied up by me…  So this recap is as much for my own benefit as it is for yours.

Characters & Clues — Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers

Jamie Murray as Felicity 3First we met the narrator of this serial, Felicity Deringer aka The Woman in Trousers (although the “things” didn’t compel her name until Episode-14).  Some readers say they imagine her as a young Katharine Hepburn, but when I started writing this I heard the voice and saw the face of Jamie Murray, as she was in her part as H.G. Wells on the Warehouse 13 television show.



The Woman in Trousers met dashing innkeeper, Ignatius Belle when she arrived in Basil Gill 2the out-of-the-way little town and took a suite at his hotel, the Belle Inn.

Felicity also met shopkeeper, Mrs. Billie Best, who along with her customer were downright mean to an interesting young girl.



Copper curious w-green


That girl was Copper Hixon.  At Best’s General store Felicity first saw Copper, and intuitively realized the girl was the reason she’d been drawn to the far-flung town.




Terrence Mann as Cornelis

Then we were introduced to the third titular character, Cornelis Drebbel, the alchemist.  I took him right out of the history books… but altered him with an accident of alchemy.  When I thought of the Cornelis character I could hear the voice of American actor, Terrence Mann, and the wonderfully droll tone he could use to such great effect.

Drebbel stamp


1900 Maid with trayWorking at the Belle Inn was Bitsy the maid.  Felicity was pleased to meet anyone who paid no attention to her unusual attire, like Bitsy. You’d have almost thought the maid already knew about Felicity’s odd way of dressing, that’s how little attention she paid to it.   Belle Inn




Cookie_Belle Inn

At the inn there was also Cookie, who of course was the cook.  The Woman in Trousers and Cornelis both were delighted with Cookie’s culinary creations.




Sheriff Seth Bullock-Deadwood

When Felicity found Copper at home alone, with an unknown dead man and her father missing, some of the townsfolk were uncannily quick to know that Calvin Hixon was in parts unknown. Those people included Ignatius Belle and Sheriff Alvin Bullard.  I saw the sheriff with a bushy mustache, and Timothy David Olyphant seemed to fit the part nicely.


With the sheriff were a trio of officials from the place Copper feared most — Merciful Haven Orphanage.  There was the county truant officer, Claude Dinkley, and orphanage owner and all round obnoxious Ethel Farthing, and her long necked sycophant  Gertrude Hobbs.  They all gave of us an unsavory impression, but particularly Ether Farthing.

Victorian Man Collar Gertrude HobbsEthel Farthing



Though she tried, Felicity couldn’t prevent the people from the orphanage (and the sheriff) from finding the unknown dead man in (Copper’s father) Calvin Hixon’s study.  We still don’t know his identity.

The sheriff arranged for the undertaker to pickup the corpse later — and the wagon driver turned out to be Ignatius Belle who inherited the wagon and that small portion of the undertaker’s duties.  However, when Sheriff Bullard and Ignatius arrived that evening, they found Felicity injured, and the corpse vanished.  However, Copper, the alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers saw who took it away.

Ignatius Bell wasn’t the only resident of the town to have a dual occupation.  Sheriff Bullard was also part owner in the local mill.

Ignatius Belle is overtly interested in Felicity, but Copper can’t stand him.  Ignatius gave full credit to Cookie and Bitsy for insisting on packing a basket full of wonderful food for him to take to Felicity and Copper.

Naughty Chimps The culprits who took the body were of course, the Naughty Chimps.


Our trio also found a letter from Alexander Graham Bell who was interested in Calvin Hixon’s design for a hydrofoil.  Then they found priceless documents written by Leonardo da Vinci secreted inside an owl-shaped lamp.

Burrell Road Locomotive

When three separate groups of villains converged on the Hixon estate (including one with an army of lethal, trained chimpanzees, and a group that seemed to be coming from the direction of the sheriff’s mill), Cornelis was able to fix one of  Hixon’s inventions and they escaped on that Road Locomotive.  The road locomotive was such a hit it was practically a character in its own right.  As the trio made their escape one of the chimps kept repeating the same sequence of gestures.  Copper thought the chimp was using sign language to say “Daddy.”

They hid out at an abandoned church complex with a big building converted to storage and at sometime abandoned.  Within that building they found many interesting and long forgotten items, including a stack of letters that reminded Cornelis of a friend who might be in the general area.
Sessue_HayakawaAs they eluded the bad guys, they met up with that friend of the alchemist.  He was the grandson of a man who once possessed the skull of Cornelis Drebbel.  That was none other than Alastair Wong — An older version of Alastair the elder had a part in Three Ingredients Cookbook-2, a Ghost in the Kitchen. I could see both the elder Alastair and his grandson who had the same name as Japanese actor, Sessue Hayakawa.

While Felicity and Cornelis recovered from head colds at the abandoned place, Ignatius Belle showed up, and his interest seemed to have switched from Felicity to Copper.  The Woman in Trousers wondered if he had been using her to get closer to the girl, but she dismissed the thought.  However, as the day progressed Ignatius was just too interested in Copper for comfort. Why was Ignatius so interested in Copper, and how was it that he found them?

Then one group of villains caught up with them. Ignatius insisted on using his paddle steamer to lead the bag guys (and their fierce trained chimpanzee) away.  Meanwhile, Cornelis used one of this “tricks” to hide the trio, but Felicity heard a familiar voice from the leader of that group, and it was a woman. Felicity mentally reviewed all the women she met from Copper’s home town, but wasn’t sure to whom the voice belonged.

anna-may-wongThe trio makes their way to Alastair Wong.  At the Wong family’s pavilion home we met the tiny woman, Victoria, one of Alastair’s relatives.  The pictured, more mature version of Chinese American movie star Anna May Wong could be Victoria.

While at the pavilion, Cornelis revealed to Felicity that Ignatius Belle is Copper’s half-brother. This may explain his interest in the girl, but why is Copper so distrustful of Ignatius?

Now, thanks to an accident of alchemy when Copper’s harmonic tuner got too close to Cornelis, who was actively using his harmonic tuner, magic produced the word “Daddy,” and emblazoned it on a map.  But did the map show the location of Calvin Hixon, or perhaps the location of their foes?  Was Copper’s daddy even abducted? Perhaps he ran away for reasons of his own…

Why are those three nefarious groups after Copper? Do they mean to use her to force Calvin Hixon to invent an amazing contraption for them? Do they want the priceless da Vinci documents?  The group led by a woman already had a hydrofoil… Was she connected to Hixon, perhaps a partner?

As you see, the story has a way to go before the steam(punk) locomotive reaches the end of the line.  Be at the train station this weekend — because you are going to meet another new character — the Green Fairy!

See you soon!


59 thoughts on “Character Recap – Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers

  1. Well, my first real week back in the blogging saddle and I’m already behind in my blog reading, Teagan! Saving the best for last, though. I just can’t get over how you take these elements and create such wonderful serials — so great! And your character naming — I think we’ve talked about this before, but you certainly have a “gift” for giving your characters terrific names. Nice work here! 🙂


    1. Why thank you Deb! Especially about the names. When i suddenly had 4 new characters to introduce (the sheriff and the people from the orphanage all showing up at once), I was at a loss! Then i thought to give a nod to my first grade teacher with the sheriff’s name (starts with B)… but that left his first name… and two names for 3 more characters. Finally i thought, okay, just go down the alphabet. So you’ll notice Sheriff Alvin Bullard, followed by CD, EF, GH. LOL.
      Thanks very much for taking a moment to comment. I’m honored that you are catching up here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, Teagan, now you sound like me in how you decide to name characters, LOL. Sometimes a writer’s just gotta do what she’s gotta do! 🙂 You know, this springtime stuff is so full of events — graduations, weddings, etc. that my days get squeezed. But I’m always happy to get to your fine blog cabin. 🙂


  2. Thanks for the character recap… you good at clearing things up for folks like me who wouldn’t have guessed Cookie was the cook… I would simple have though I was being offered one and hoped it came with either tea or milk. 😛

    I didn’t know the naughty chimps were involved in all this! They were the ones that kidnapped me… oh, it feels like eons ago now. Oh well, at least they’re moving up in the world, Mm… is that a good thing? 😀


    1. Yes, Kev, the very same Chimps (or maybe their ancestors, since these were in the Victorian Era. Or more frightful, time traveling chimps? Chris the Story Reading Ape did that post with them, and it stuck so firmly in my mind that the Naughty Chimps became a fourth “thing” for that episode. That was back in Episode-4 Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was before I began reading, Copper… that’s how I missed it. Time traveling? Oh no, that would be terrifying! 😀


  3. This is what exactly I was needing in order to catch up more fluently with the upcoming events as they unfold …I much enjoyed the thorough recap, dear Teagan…. 🌟★🌟
    Some random insights here… I can’t believe that the culprits were in charge of the disappearance of the body … Felicity Deringer’s character is very appealing!… And so is the young Cooper as to Cornelis…. I wonder why you call him the alchemist… And is that stamp of original…I will bookmark this post so that way I won’t lose anything in further readings… Best wishes. Happy weekend! . Aquileana ⭐


    1. Thank you Aquileana. I’m happy you like the characters. It’s “fun” not intended to be “literature.” I wouldn’t expect anyone who started, two thirds of the way into the story, to understand. I keep homepages for each serial, where the episodes are in one place, and in chronological order. However that does not include the introductions.
      > If you get the mood to do catch up reading you can click the category for “Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers” — and get full posts ordered according to most recent post. Or you can go to the homepage to see it in chronological order. Happy weekend to you as well. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re far too kind Sharmishtha. It seems like there are always people who don’t understand this story. So i know it can’t be that good. But thank you — because i always need the encouragement. Hugs to you dear Trisha. 🙂


  4. Just got on and I thought, did I lose time?!? lol
    No, but Teagan decided to brighten up my week, thank you, thank you!
    Loved the recap, but strangely it doesn’t make the wait easily.
    But I’ll patiently wait at the station among the madding crowd!!! 🙂


    1. LOL, Donna you must be like me (and Douglas Adams) and have trouble getting the hang of Thursdays. :mrgreen: (Does that look a little like the Hitchhiker’s Guide face?) I hope i’ve reminded myself of all the loose ends… I’m glad you met the train today and look forward to seeing you on board this weekend. Mega-hugs right back! 😀


      1. I miss Douglas Adams, he knew how to put the world into perspective. This Thursday is running away with me, hopefully Friday shall right it all again. 😉
        Thanks again for the treat, Teagan!!! Megahugs!


  5. I’ve already got my ticket and am on my way to the station. I have a pre-packed lunch and plenty of bottles of something to keep me going until the locomotive arrives.

    See you on Saturday Teagan, and thanks for the recap.


  6. What a pace you set there! Thanks for the recap. I did remember a fair bit, that is testament to your skills. Can’t wait to meet the Green Fairy on Saturday!


    1. Thank you so very much Olga, for commenting and for following along with the story. I’m amazed to think this one started back in January, and here it is June already! I’m delighted to know you’ll be at the train station for the new episode. Mega hugs.


  7. Tanks for the recap. It was interesting. I’ve been on board for the entire trip this time (I joined in the middle last time) and I am loving the trip.


    1. Dan i’m so glad you’re a passenger on the locomotive to the Victorian Era, and even happier that you enjoy the trip! Which reminds me that i need to look for your Thursday post. Great big hug!


    1. Oh thank you Sally, for being a regular passenger on the steam train, for your comments, and for reblogging! You have so many great “pages” of regular things at your blog. I enjoy them all, but have really liked the stories from your garden. ❤ Mega-hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kathryn. I’m delighted you enjoyed this. You are always welcome to send more things/ingredients. 😀 I’m a few episodes ahead, but i don’t really think i have enough “things” to finish the story-line. That would be great — just remember it’s the Victorian Era, so no cell phones or microwaves. LOL. (That actually happens.) Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OK, here are three more ingredients/Things to help finish the series: Potable Water, Sea Urchins, and Broken Knife. Have fun with those! I am sure you will, hugs. 🙂 (A hint, you need “potable” water to make my homemade chicken or beef broth…)


  8. Good Thursday morning – oh how I love your whimsical, creative posts – they always bring something very special to my day. I will be at the train station this weekend…..Janet:)xxx


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