Saturday, December 1, 2018
Welcome, my chuckaboos! With promoting the release of Atonement in Bloom, I haven’t done a Straightlaced Saturday in awhile. Let’s take a little #SteamPunk jaunt today.
As most of you know, I’ve been rerunning the serial, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers. We haven’t reached the halfway point of the story yet. Damfino why it takes me so long to tell these stories. Anyhow, I want to keep your enthuzimuzzy going, so I thought we could do a character recap post!
First we met the narrator of this serial, Felicity Deringer aka The Woman in Trousers. Some readers said they imagine her as a young Katharine Hepburn, but when I started writing this serial 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. Yet no matter what face your imagination gives her, she’s still Felicity.
The Woman in Trousers met dashing innkeeper, Ignatius Belle when she arrived in the 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.
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.
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.
Working 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Although 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.
The culprits who took the body were of course the Naughty Chimps. Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape is responsible for their spontaneous addition to this serial.
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.
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.”
Our heroes 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.
As 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-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 in his paddle steamer, 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.
Now a little bit of a preview. The trio made their way to the home of Alastair Wong. Last time we stopped just before you could meet the tiny woman, Victoria, one of Alastair’s relatives. The pictured Chinese American movie star, Anna May Wong could be Victoria Wong. If you’ve kept track of the short stories in the “Pip-verse” you saw a much older version of Victoria Wong meet Pip. That happened in the short story, Pip Sees a Camel.
Thanks to everyone for being on the steampunk train! Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers will continue on Hidebound Hump Day. I’ll be looking for you at the station. Hugs!
Now some shameless self-promotion.
Universal link to my Amazon Author Page
USA: Atonement in Bloom
USA: Atonement, Tennessee
(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )
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
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