I have a blog tour for ‘That Scoundrel Émile Dubois’ between 1-7 December at : –
I hope readers will visit it. Meanwhile, here’s an extract from the story.
Lord Ynyr left Plas Uchaf before breakfast, riding through the grey morning down the foothills to Plas Planwydden. The sheep stared at him, and one challenged him with what sounded like, ‘Merde!’
That was exactly what the old Émile would have said about the gothic melodrama in which Lord Ynyr found himself.
The Count – usually far from devout – was praying.
The door was answered by the fat scoundrel who passed for the butler at Plas Planwydden. It was obvious from his battered face and black eyes he had been involved in a mill* recently. The Count drew back in disgust.
The ruffian was about to speak, but Lord Ynyr cut him off. “Is Monsieur Émile at home?”
“No, he is gone out.” The Count realised that the fellow was looking at him commiseratingly. “Your Lordship, may I enquire how does Miss Morwenna?”
The Count found himself bandying words with a servant. “You dare ask me how your Master’s victim does?! He is a blood sucking monster and the villain, having very likely murdered Miss Morwenna, will not face me.”
“Did anyone else speak of Monsieur so, I would not stand for it, but Anyone who has been a Friend to Monsieur is a Friend of Mine.” The ruffian looked regretful Lord Ynyr must be acknowledged as a member of this exclusive group.
“Perhaps he is about more mischief with his fellow vampires over at Plas Cyfeillgar?” The Count thought he saw confirmation in the man’s eyes. “You disgusting fellow, most likely you are become one yourself!”
The man drew himself up, looking outraged, and began to speak, but Lord Ynyr whipped out his cross.
Instead of cowering back, gargling, Émile’s butler looked bored. “I hope Your Lordship ain’t got religion and come here to preach? But if you take comfort by it now, that is well enough by me.”
Disappointed, Lord Ynyr had to admit that the man’s teeth were normal enough. “Where is your Mistress?”
“Mistress Sophie is a little indisposed and seeing no visitors.”
“I truly believe it! No doubt your monstrous master makes his poor wife a virtual prisoner in this disgusting nest of criminal vampires. I will waste no more words on you. But if Madame Dubois is by God’s mercy still human, then I will ensure that she remains so!”
As he span on his heel, some detached part of Lord Ynyr’s mind recalled Émile’s reading out a part of ‘Madoc the Magnificent or the Vampyre’s Curse’ in which the hero Eugene made just such a speech. The Count’s back prickled as he walked to the front door, reminding him how foolhardy he was to storm into this household alone.
The man was by him again. The Count thrust out his cross. Still unaffected by it, the criminal began, “You are wrong about Monsieur. That Kenrick -”
“Silence, you disgusting vampire’s lackey!” The Count wrenched at the door and rushed down the front steps.