Lucinda Elliot

Georges Says Kenrick will Do Himself a Mischief…

Eloise swishes her skirts out, calling Agnes the French equivalent of ‘bold face’.

Agnes, not to be outdone, calls after her; “Caed yr geg, twpsin!”

“Agnes.” muses Georges. “Not Welsh, that, for sure. What said you to her?”
“I told her to shut her mouth for a fool. She is such a vain, pert tight lacing creature as I cannot abide. Generally, though, except for that old stick Mistress Brown – she’s the Countess’ maid, and as bitter as an old prune – people are nice here. I’m lucky; I work for Miss Sophie; is lovely she is.”

No doubt Eloise wore her handkerchief pinned less modestly…

“Miss Sophie cannot be that haughty Mademoiselle greeted Monsieur outside?” Georges keeps his hgh opinon of ‘them dugs’ to himself.
“Oh, no, Miss Sophie is but a distant relative, and the old Countess’ companion to boot. In most households she would never have a maid all of her own, but that is just like the Countess and young Lord Ynyr.”
“If they’re so generous they could spare me a bit of wine.” Georges sighs. “So I may have to wait at table this evening, eh? I don’t think I will please that old butler.”
“Roberts, that is. Of course, he has the keys to the wine cellar, sadly, along with Madame Blanche. The sickness is just some affliction of the stomach, but there is another scourge started up hereabouts has plagued the sister of a friend of mine straight from a tale of terror. She was walking up in the top lane, making for home at twilight and claims she saw some red eyes and only came to herself, sprawled in the hedge with her neck bleeding.”
“Alors, pretty Agnes, most like she stratched it on the hedgerow.” Georges snorts, with the sophistication of one who has spent years in a city. “I know the tales that go about in these country areas.”

Agnes smiles and jerks her head in the direction of Plas Cyfeilgar, invisible from here. “There’s long been tales of the nasty sights to be seen at Plas Cyfeillgar. For sure the master, Kenrick, gets up to mischief enough in his laboratory to stir folks’ imaginations sore.”

“Kenrick…” Georges murmers. “Monsieur Gilles mentioned him. Met him in Town and took against him at once. They discussed mathematics, or some such foolisness. I’m always telling Monsieur that if he don’t watch out, he’ll overtax his brain. It’s lucky he likes to ride a horse or empty a bottle or have a brawl as much as any.”

“Monsieur Gilles? I thought his name was Emile.”

“I call him so, it suits him better.” Georges’ teeth flash in a smile of  reminiscence, and then he turns that smile on Agnes, thinking that perhaps this enforced stay in the wild mountains will not be so dull, after all.

4 Responses

  1. Good stuff, Lucinda. I see that you live in Wales. Do you speak Welsh? Or are you taking advice from someone who does? Also, how does one pronounce Ynyr? I’m thinking something like an Englishman saying, “in ‘ere”!

    A minor point: I know it gets a bit rangy with the 2010 theme’s big font, but it makes for much easier reading if you keep the spaces between paragraphs.

  2. Thanks, Thomas! I spent six years of my childhood in the area I’m writing about, the Clwyd Valley in Denbighshire. My parents used to do up big old houses before it became fashionable, and chance took them to Wales, so I attended a Welsh speaking primary school for a year.
    I’m semi fluent, started studying again when I moved with family back to Wales, Powys this time.
    Ynyr is pronounced much like ‘honour’.

    You’re right about spacing, I lost those through running into some trouble with my pc last night!

    1. Lucinda, I’m going to go off topic here and ramble a bit because a couple of things in your reply got me thinking. The town where you live, Powys, reminds me of John Cowper Powys, the English writer (with long-ago Welsh roots) who returned to Wales and became a Druid. (I’m not joking!) He wrote huge strange novels, ‘A Glastonbury Romance’ being perhaps his most famous. I’ve read ‘Maiden Castle’ and liked it so much I plan to tackle some of his other books. Do you know his work?

      Then there’s your parents doing up old houses. That reminded me of Leo Walmsley’s book ‘The Happy Ending.’ I read this years ago when I was living a rustic life on the edge of The Great Canadian Wilderness. Walmsley bought a run-down – but formerly grand – old house in Wales and fixed it up. He and his wife took in evacuated children during the war. The book is based on the experience and purportedly a novel, but so autobiographical I mistook it for just that when I bought it. It’s beautifully written and extraordinarily charming. Walmsley got to know Daphne du Maurier when he later lived in Cornwall. She wrote a glowing review of his novel, ‘Love in the Sun.’

      1. I never came upon those works, Thomas, fascinating.

        I should have emphasized Powys is a county, which was formed duirng one of the reorganisations of boundaries!=

        Up until the last three decades, say, and the rise of general car ownership in the UK, very big isolated houses were unfashionably inconvenient and could be bought comparatively cheaply. It looks like that man used his for an excellent purpose.

        I only know one story called ‘A Happy Ending’ which horrified me when I was seventeen (and the super powers involved in brinkmanship) where a woman recalled her life during the period of the two minutes warning. Horrid…

        The Canadian wilderness would be far more isolated than anything I ever experienced. I think immediately of ‘The Wendigo’!

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