Hiedbound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 12

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 

Cover Copper Alchemist Woman n Trousers

Welcome back to Hidebound Hump Day, and another episode of Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.  My blog-writing time is limited to the weekend, and it was a very busy one.  So without further ado, here’s chapter 12.

Previously with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

Chapter 11. 

Felicity thought one of the voices she heard back at the Hixon estate could have belonged to Sheriff Alvin Bullard.  Thanks to the magically juiced road locomotive, Copper, the alchemist, and the woman in trousers outdistanced the three presumably hostile groups that pursued them.  However, when the speeding engine took a turn too fast, the woman and the skull of the alchemist ended up in the frigid waters of the river.  The resultant head colds for those two temporarily stalled their adventure.  Not to mention the strange things that rained down when the alchemist sneezed.

Do you think we need to open our umbrellas before we join them?

All aboard!

Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

12 — Short Ribs, Eggplant, Red Pepper

Frog Hoyt Cologne ad 1900 wiki

Hoyt & Co. cologne ad circa 1900

Cornelis Drebbel rolled his watery eyes up toward the frog that sat atop his head. 

“Huh.  Huh—” Cornelis began and quickly put his finger under his nose in attempt to forestall yet another sneeze.  The frog wisely jumped down from his head.

“For pity’s sake!  There’s no telling what will rain down on us if you sneeze again!” I said, though I knew the alchemist couldn’t help himself.

Ah-choo!” was the answer to my plea.

Another wet splat soon came.  What smelled like a very savory reddish-brown sauce splashed onto the legs of my trousers.  I drew back, annoyed.  I finally had been able to put on clean dry clothes, and they’d already been stained.  Cornelis bent down with a curious expression on his face.  Copper left off playing with the frogs to see what new wonder was produced by the sneeze of the alchemist.

He picked up the sauce covered thing that made the wet splat.  I asked what it was as I tried to clean the warm goo from my pant legs.

1860s Woman Handkerchief tintipe

“It appears to be the short ribs of a swine,” he said as he pulled the meat into two pieces and licked the sauce from one.  “Umm.  Tasty,” he commented.

I made a disgusted face.  “Since that is the product of your sneeze, isn’t it rather like the equivalent of eating your own buggers?” I asked; just to see how he would react.

Copper burst out in a gale of laughter.  Cornelis looked at me.  One side of his mouth turned down in an expression of contempt.  Cornelis raised an eyebrow and cast his eyes downward at the ribs.  Then he shot a glare at me and took a big bite of the meat, licking his fingers for good measure.

Then the second wave came.  Short ribs fell all around us.  They landed on my shoulder and in my hair.  They pelted the alchemist, who suddenly had sauce smeared across his nose.  Even Copper wasn’t spared — nor were the frogs.  Riotous ribbits ensued as the amphibians leapt for cover from the rain of ribs.

Ad for medicine, circa 1900.  Public domain

After calm returned, Cornelis and I discussed the three groups who converged on the Hixon estate.  We both agreed that their only logical purpose would have been to abduct Copper.  I supposed that was good at least in as far as it should mean her father was still alive.  Of course that was no guarantee, as Cornelis quickly pointed out.  Fortunately the girl had gone back to playing with the frogs and didn’t hear that comment.

Suddenly I beheld the strangest sight, and mind you, I have seen some very bizarre things since the alchemist came into my life.  Hundreds of frogs made a procession toward the huge wrent in the building’s wall.  Several hopped huddled together as they balanced an eggplant on their backs and heads.

Copper skipped along beside the strange spectacle.  I told her not to go outside.  She stopped and nodded regretfully as the frogs carried their eggplant away.  I asked Cornelis what that could possibly be about. 

“One sneeze doesn’t always produce a singular effect.  The eggplant could have come from the same accident of alchemy that created the frogs,” he said.

The Dutchman shrugged it off.  Even so, something nagged at me. 

The frogs continued to stream out of the building.  I followed in the opposite direction, tracing the line of amphibians to their source.  Cornelis followed my lead.  Ever curious, Copper came along too.  With a ribbit, a last frog hopped out of a crate.  The large wooden box was almost intact.  Only one corner of it was broken.

vintage red pepper

I started to try and pry the crate further open to get a better look.  Then, eyes bulging, Cornelis tapped his finger on the label he’d found on the container.

It was marked κόκκινο πιπέρι, and I thought the address was Macedonia, but I wasn’t sure.  “What’s wrong?  I don’t recognize the language,” I said.

Cornelis shook his head and pursed his lips.  “Your education was sorely lacking,” he complained.

“It was not,” I countered.

“This, κόκκινο πιπέρι or kókkino pipéri if you will, is Greek,” he informed me.  “It means red pepper.  So show a bit of mercy and do not open that crate.  I don’t think I can bear another sneeze!”

“Then move away, old thing,” I told him with a motion of my arm.  “There might be good provisions in that crate.  Clearly we can’t depend on your sneezes to always provide food.”

The truth was, having spotted that strange writing, I secretly hoped I would find a clue about something, anything in the crate. 

I had removed the priceless Leonardo da Vinci papers from the owl-shaped lamp.  I relished learning something before Cornelis figured it out, and I itched to do it again.

Who knows secrets might hide in a huge wooden crate?  I thought with anticipation.

Yet, I didn’t want the Dutchman to know that lest he tease me if there was nothing of interest in the wooden box.  Unfortunately, it did not yield anything that appeared to be a clue.

***

Copper curious w-green

Cornelis Drebbel and I argued.  Again.

“This is a perfectly good place to make a stand and fight,” I said.  “We can’t just keep running away to who knows where.  Especially when we aren’t even sure who we’re running from.  That will lead to us walking right into their clutches!  We have to know who the enemy is.  One of us should circle ‘round and come up behind them and at least find out who they are.”

The alchemist rolled his eyes heavenward.

“They were coming from three different directions – which group do you want to get behind?” he asked in a testy voice.  “And how far back do you want to go to get behind one of the groups, if you can even find them.  You know we out distanced them by a long way,” Cornelis reminded me.

“And just how do you propose we make a stand?” the alchemist acerbically retorted.  “We don’t know how many of them there are, but the one thing we do know is that we are sorely outnumbered.  Knowing their identifies is of no use if we are overwhelmed by our foes in the process of learning who they are,” Cornelis said with exaggerated patience.

I realized he had a point, though I hated to admit it.

A frantic honking noise interrupted our disagreement.

“Where is Copper?” I asked, suddenly worried.

While I knew nothing about children, abhorrent as it was to Victorian society for a woman to be unacquainted with child-rearing, I did have good insights into human nature.  When people argued it had an effect on those around them.  That was even more true of children. Copper had been through unimaginable upheaval, and taken away from every familiar thing and person.

Had the argument between the alchemist and me caused her to run away?

Copper!”

***

To be continued…

***

Could our little moppet have run away?  Even if she only got bored and went to explore, is it safe for Copper to wander around the abandoned compound?  They seem to have eluded their pursuers.  Yet have they really?

I hope you saw my big cover reveal.  If not then click the arrow at the bottom of the page.  Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers will be back again in a few days for Straightlaced Saturday.  I’ll be looking for you at the station. 

Hugs! 

***

Now some shameless self-promotion.

Pigs collection cover banner

The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2015 and 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work 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.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

77 thoughts on “Hiedbound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 12

    • Heartfelt thanks for reblogging, Melissa. No rest for the wicked! I’m spending the weekend getting the Atonement in Bloom Party Bus/Book Launch ready. Featuring everyone is a ton of work… But I’m happy for everyone’s support! Happy weekend hugs!

      Like

  1. Another satisfying episode Teagan.. Peppers I have never had much success in growing.. 🙂 And I so enjoyed visualising those frogs, on the eggplant. Again something I have not grown.. But my daughter has had great success with them..
    And its hard admitting the Alchemist was right, in not making a stand if one is unaware of your opponents strengths ..
    And I would have pulled a face too at pigs ribs in sauce, 🙂
    Great to read this episode Teagan..
    And hope you are well my friend.. ❤
    LOVE and Hugs.. Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sue. It’s lovely to see you. Mostly, making a stand would have brought the story to a close — and I still didn’t know where Copper’s daddy was. So discretion was the better part of valor! 😉
      Funny, ribs of a swine does not sound as appetizing as barbecued short ribs. LOL.
      You have such a gift with your garden, Sue. I don’t have a knack for growing anything. Thanks so much for visiting, and for going to Dan’s Atonement Doors post. Love and hugs right back.

      Like

    • Can you imagine the mess? But when someone sent “short ribs” as one of their “3 things”… I had no idea what to do with it for a steampunk story. Next thing I knew it was raining them! LOL. Many thanks for visiting and for reblogging, Dyanna. Mega hugs!

      Like

  2. I love the logic with which you brought us to the edge of yet another cliff, Teagan. I enjoyed the back and forth in this chapter. It’s live and real and totally believable, and yes, I can see how it would scare a young girl. I hope Copper didn’t wander very far.

    Have a great evening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erm… Dan… If you found logic in this story full of craziness, maybe I should worry about you. 😉 Seriously though, that is a great compliment.
      Oh, there’s no telling what kind of trouble Copper might be in…. Then again it might just be a red herring so I can keep my title of Cliffhanger Maven!
      I’ll be by your Doors post at scattered free moments. Heartfelt thanks for doing that. It means a lot to me. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    It is Wednesday and time to catch up with, Copper, The Alchemist and the Woman in Trousers. Teagan Geneviene provides a handy catch up (or in this case as you find out ketchup).

    Previously with Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers

    Chapter 11.

    Felicity thought one of the voices she heard back at the Hixon estate could have belonged to Sheriff Alvin Bullard. Thanks to the magically juiced road locomotive, Copper, the alchemist, and the woman in trousers outdistanced the three presumably hostile groups that pursued them. However, when the speeding engine took a turn too fast, the woman and the skull of the alchemist ended up in the frigid waters of the river. The resultant head colds for those two temporarily stalled their adventure. Not to mention the strange things that rained down when the alchemist sneezed.

    Do you think we need to open our umbrellas before we join them?
    Expect frogs, red gloppy stuff, crates of Greek secrets and plenty of sneezes…#recommended

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You had me laughing out loud at the short ribs raining down on everyone, including the frogs. Then the spectacle of the frog formation with the eggplant took it over the top. 🙂 Thanks for the chuckles. But, where did Copper get off to? I do hope she is okay. Another fabulous episode.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I missed the Saturday episode, too, Teagan, so thanks for the recap.
    I do hope Copper is OK and that those frogs have not enticed her off anywhere. We have to remember that not all frogs turn into a prince when kissed.

    Have a super day and congratulations on the upcoming new book.
    Hugs to you

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL. I can’t look back at this story without shaking my head. I’m just not wired right! But I wouldn’t want to be any other way.
      You know I have to leave on a cliffhanger, Diana. That’s some kind of requirement I think… 😉 Huge thanks for being on this train. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

    • It’s so good to see you, Mae. I hope Raven is keeping everyone there in line. 🐱
      Good to know the recaps help. I realize it’s difficult to keep up with serials. (I know it is for me.)
      Although last week/weekend was an exception, I rarely blog more than two posts a week, so there’s always the back arrow. 😉
      Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Where oh where is Copper? And how can I start to sneeze short ribs, cause seriously, I could feed the world in the Autumn months lol
    This was a breath of fresh air (maybe not breathe in too deeply with red pepper around, but it might clear things out – TMI?).
    Thank you dearest Teagan, you sure know how to light up a room or the entire internet (and it needs it). I hope this days treats you kindly. 🙂
    Mega it ain’t easy being green or aubergine/μελιτζάνα one would imagine hugs xoxoxox

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s lovely to see you, Donna. Your visits are always a delight.
      (Check your email for something I sent.)
      Ugh! I know what you mean — fall allergies are every bit as difficult for me as springtime. And the pharmacy website was down during my lunch-break so they wouldn’t sell me my allergy stuff. I hate to make another trip. Oh well.
      Go for the red pepper! Back when my tummy could handle it, spicy food was a big help with sinuses. 🌶️🌶️🌶️😈
      The ability to magically sneeze up good food sure would help with the grocery bill.
      Although between the ribs and the frogs, I think our trio might leave those ruins in… well, ruins. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi GP. I got a kick out of that one too. The Victorians loved to to anthropomorphize all sorts of critters — at least in their illustrations. They range from cute to deeply strange, though they don’t seem to have thought they were so odd. I think the frogs are the most comical. I have to wonder if the illustrations weren’t similar to how we think of “memes” today. Many thanks for visiting. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The sneezes always get me. And I love eggplant so that’s another one that stuck with me. But where has Cooper got to? A great episode, Teagan. And I’m very intrigued by your new book… Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Hiedbound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 12 — Teagan’s Books | Fantasy Gift Sources: Book Reviews, Article Resources, News

    • Hi Fraggle. Thanks so much for dropping by. I’ve been having such fun at your place! I love all those costume events.
      Oh, there’s no telling what kind of trouble Copper might be in…. Then again it might just be a red herring so I can keep my title of Cliffhanger Maven. 😉 Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Hiedbound Hump Day — Cornelis Drebbel 12 – by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene… | Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

  10. Having just returned from Portugal – it is lovely to read this post and to be reminded of your immense creativity and to immerse myself into your world. Thank you dear Teagan for giving us all something wonderful to think about in the middle of the week. Huge hummingbird hugs. Janet. p.s. will actually be in London for the next few months and so will be catching up with blogs, and much else. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so kind, Cindy. That means a lot to me. I had the same thought about the cologne ad! The Victorians loved to to anthropomorphize all sorts of critters — at least in their illustrations. They range from cute to deeply strange, though they don’t seem to have thought they were so odd. I have to wonder if the illustrations weren’t similar to how we think of “memes” today. Huge thanks for buzzing over from The Holler. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

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